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Need Help w/Visitation Modification ASAP in Orange County

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  • Need Help w/Visitation Modification ASAP in Orange County

    I am a single mom of 2 amazing girls. My oldest daughter is going to be 9 next month and is the one that I'm going to court about right now. Her dad and I were never married and established the initial court order about 3-4 years ago. We currently have joint physical custody w/me as the primary and joint legal custody. His current visitation allows her to spend every other weekend with her from Friday night to Monday morning as well as an overnight visit on Tuesdays every week.

    My job is really demanding and I work a minimum of 48 hours a week (usually more) just to make sure the bills are paid and I can take care of my girls. This doesn't allow me much face time with the kids and I have them under the care of their uncle who babysits them between the time they are out of school/daycare till I get off work.

    My daughter's father is now serving me with papers to get a modification on the visitation order so that we would alternate her with each parent one full week at a time. However, he's also requesting that she gets to stay with him from Wednesday through Friday on the weeks she is with me. This leaves me only a few days a month with her which I am NOT ok with. On top of that, he didn't even ask our daughter if she wanted to change the schedule or what changes she would like to see happen. She's a very, very bright and mature young girl and I feel her opinions should be considered.

    I did discuss it with her this morning to let her know that I wanted her input and if she wanted to spend more time at her dad's since I work so much, that's okay and she doesn't need to feel bad about it because I just want to accommodate whatever makes her happy. Her response was that she likes the schedule the way it is now and just wishes the time we had at home was more with me than the sitter. I explained the option that her dad had proposed to see if that would be something she would like to do and she was completely against it because she doesn't want to be away from myself or her sister for that long.

    I came up with an alternate visitation to where we would both have about the same amount of time we have now but he would have more time during the week and I would have more time on Sundays, my only day off, so that way it seems more reasonable. I want to present this in mediation but I know he won't take it so we'll end up in front of a judge. I'm really scared because I am willing to quit my job if that's what it takes (I will NOT lose my child for my job) but I need to have a way to provide for my girls.

    Should I get an attorney? Does the father's request seem "reasonable" enough that the judge would grant him what he wants? PLEASE HELP because I am devastated right now and have no idea what to do to keep my family together.

  • #2
    Does the dad pay adequate support? Seems to me that if he was paying enough, you wouldn't have to work so much and be away so much. You probably should get an attorney, they can make sure all the rules are followed and that you don't get screwed. Do NOT agree to settle and rely on him to withdraw the suit - some sleezy guys do that, and then get a default judgment when you don't show up.

    Oh, I just remembered - In California, we have Legal Documents Assistants - much cheaper than a lawyer if you can't afford a lawyer. You have to tell them what you want them to do, but they can assist you on this. You can look up referals at CALDA, California Assoc. of Legal Documents Assistants online.
    I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by krys1022 View Post
      I am a single mom of 2 amazing girls. My oldest daughter is going to be 9 next month and is the one that I'm going to court about right now. Her dad and I were never married and established the initial court order about 3-4 years ago. We currently have joint physical custody w/me as the primary and joint legal custody. His current visitation allows her to spend every other weekend with her from Friday night to Monday morning as well as an overnight visit on Tuesdays every week.

      My job is really demanding and I work a minimum of 48 hours a week (usually more) just to make sure the bills are paid and I can take care of my girls. This doesn't allow me much face time with the kids and I have them under the care of their uncle who babysits them between the time they are out of school/daycare till I get off work.

      My daughter's father is now serving me with papers to get a modification on the visitation order so that we would alternate her with each parent one full week at a time. However, he's also requesting that she gets to stay with him from Wednesday through Friday on the weeks she is with me. This leaves me only a few days a month with her which I am NOT ok with. On top of that, he didn't even ask our daughter if she wanted to change the schedule or what changes she would like to see happen. She's a very, very bright and mature young girl and I feel her opinions should be considered.

      I did discuss it with her this morning to let her know that I wanted her input and if she wanted to spend more time at her dad's since I work so much, that's okay and she doesn't need to feel bad about it because I just want to accommodate whatever makes her happy. Her response was that she likes the schedule the way it is now and just wishes the time we had at home was more with me than the sitter. I explained the option that her dad had proposed to see if that would be something she would like to do and she was completely against it because she doesn't want to be away from myself or her sister for that long.

      I came up with an alternate visitation to where we would both have about the same amount of time we have now but he would have more time during the week and I would have more time on Sundays, my only day off, so that way it seems more reasonable. I want to present this in mediation but I know he won't take it so we'll end up in front of a judge. I'm really scared because I am willing to quit my job if that's what it takes (I will NOT lose my child for my job) but I need to have a way to provide for my girls.

      Should I get an attorney? Does the father's request seem "reasonable" enough that the judge would grant him what he wants? PLEASE HELP because I am devastated right now and have no idea what to do to keep my family together.


      A quick question - has your work schedule changed since the original orders were made?

      The next part is not really legal commentary.

      Mom - I beg you, please stop talking to your daughter about this. You're putting her in an absolutely impossible position; she's not even 9 years old and no matter how mature you think she is, she's going to feel at the very least as if she's being asked to "choose" between parents.

      It also places an inappropriate amount of power in her hands.

      You really, really, really shouldn't be discussing custody with her - at all.

      (Actually now I think about it, this could become a legal issue; I've seen parents get completely spanked in court by doing this exact thing).

      Leave this between you and Dad. Not you, her and Dad.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Alice Dodd View Post
        Does the dad pay adequate support? Seems to me that if he was paying enough, you wouldn't have to work so much and be away so much.


        In all fairness, we don't know if Mom is simply living beyond her means. It wouldn't be unusual.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dogmatique View Post
          In all fairness, we don't know if Mom is simply living beyond her means. It wouldn't be unusual.
          I am DEFINITELY not living beyond my means. My younger daughter is in childcare so between the cost of renting an apartment in Orange County and the daycare for the youngest alone, I am spending $2k easily a month. Plus living expenses, car payment, insurance, etc. Not an easy thing to do. He pays a whole $125 a month (which I admit is better than nothing) but only because dad has ALWAYS refused to work full time for more than $9 an hour.

          I plan to get an attorney at the advice of many.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dogmatique View Post
            A quick question - has your work schedule changed since the original orders were made?

            The next part is not really legal commentary.

            Mom - I beg you, please stop talking to your daughter about this. You're putting her in an absolutely impossible position; she's not even 9 years old and no matter how mature you think she is, she's going to feel at the very least as if she's being asked to "choose" between parents.

            It also places an inappropriate amount of power in her hands.

            You really, really, really shouldn't be discussing custody with her - at all.

            (Actually now I think about it, this could become a legal issue; I've seen parents get completely spanked in court by doing this exact thing).

            Leave this between you and Dad. Not you, her and Dad.
            Work schedule has increased a bit because it fluctuates now but they are hiring help so that I don't have to work so much overtime. For instance, regular work weeks are 48 hours. The last few weeks have been more like 55-65

            Comment

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