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Main Forums => Dear Socrateaser => Topic started by: Crockpot on May 23, 2007, 02:03:18 PM

Title: Court order and birthdays
Post by: Crockpot on May 23, 2007, 02:03:18 PM
SO just spent a year to establish specific parenting time with his kids.  Their divorce was very vague (SO’s attorney was NOT good).  Over the years she’s been increasingly difficult to deal with so we hired a new attorney and after a year of mediation and attorney’s fees she caved two days before court.  

The order is very standard.  One issue BM had was kids b-days.  BM wanted the kids on their actual b-day every year.  SO compromised and asked to have them when their b-day fell on his time.  And that’s how the order was signed.  This is where my concern comes in.  I think we would have been better off not addressing b-days at all in the order.  This way if we ever went back to court to alternate them we'd have a better chance of getting the order changed (since there is no order either way).  I’m assuming if it’s not specified they kids would be with the parent who’s day it was.  

Make sense?  Any comments?
Title: RE: Court order and birthdays
Post by: MixedBag on May 23, 2007, 03:29:59 PM
Birthdays were not mentioned in three out of three divorces I dealt with.

So, the child(ren) were with whomever they would normally be with.  

No "holiday" to override normal parenting time.

In SO's case, the children would have been alternating years between the parents.  As it is now, SO may never have a birthday with his child(ren) if it never falls on his time.
Title: RE: Court order and birthdays
Post by: Crockpot on May 23, 2007, 05:33:23 PM
We checked the calender until the kids are 18.  SO has them several times, but not close to half.  I'm concerned that since we specified it in the CO a judge won't change it since they'll be no change in circumstance.  So we'll never get more.
Title: RE: Court order and birthdays
Post by: mistoffolees on May 25, 2007, 06:44:26 AM
Unfortunately, this is an example of what appears to be pretty much standard in divorce cases. People who have no problem deciding what to do with the kids one day become unable to agree on anything the day after the divorce is filed.

The first defense is to have a solid, detailed parenting plan which spells everything out in detail - dates, times, etc.

Even that's not sufficient. For example, our plan is quite specific (mother gets daughter from 6 pm the day before Easter to 6 pm on Easter on even numbered years, father on odd years, etc.). Unfortunately, we forgot to include a list of which takes preference. Next year, I get her for spring break and her mother gets her for Easter - but Easter falls on Spring Break. WOuldn't be a big deal, except we wanted to take a Disney Cruise - which leaves on Easter, so my ex would miss her day. I still haven't asked her if we can trade another weekend for Easter, but will need to do so soon to make the reservations before the prices start going up.

Bottom line is that no matter how careful you are, you need a mechanism to resolve the conflicts. The best thing is to be able to discuss things and reach agreement. If that doesn't work, you might want to have a neutral third party (priest, pastor, counselor, etc) who will hear both sides and make a recommendation. Mediation is next and court is the worst solution (partly because of the cost, but also because it's so unpredictable).

I think in our case, I'm going to suggest that if we can't reach an agreement we flip a coin.