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Author Topic: SOLE legal & sole physical with c/s based on FULL TIME employment!!!  (Read 2448 times)


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FINALLY!!! A judge who followed the rules of law!!!  Here is the memo he sent in support of his findings of fact!!!  This is just too good to be true!


The parties had a hearing on June 4, 2003 which each sought various modifications to the children's custodial arrangement and parenting time.
The parties are back in court again unable to meet and confer concerning the children's activities.
The acrimony which characterizes the parties' relationship stems from, according to the petitioner's allegations, the excessive use of alcohol by both the respondent and her significant other, according to the respondent, to the petitioner's controlling behavior.
It is time that one or the other of the parties be given the authority to manage the children's lives because the conflictive nature of the parties' relationships precludes any joint decision making process about education, sports, extra-curricular activities and medical care.  The ends of stability and security for the children require they not be placed between or affected by the hostility and acrimony which characterizes the parties' contacts.  Respondent's alcoholism, her failure to abstain from the use of alcohol after being so ordered, the excessive use of alcohol by her significant other explain why respondent has not been candid with the chemical dependency evaluator (_____ _. _____, at Fairview Recovery Services), on October 16, 2002.  She has been convicted twice for driving under the influence in 1989.  She then went under treatment.  She went through outpatient treatment in 1989 and then again in 1994.  She did not complete the aftercare portion of her second treatment program.  She subsequently participated in an inpatient chemical dependency program at Dellwood Recovery Center in 1995.  She resumed her drinking after each of these treatments.
On February 21, 2002, respondent reported a verbal dispute with her significant other to the Maplewood police.  She declined assistance.  The dispatchers described her a "drunk female".
On March 31, 2002 at 12:30 am, the Maplewood police were summoned to intervene in an argument.  Respondent and Mr. ____, her significant other, were intoxicated in the bar of the Maplewood Inn and had become involved in a domestic dispute.  Respondent was described as uncooperative and belligerent with the police.  The boys were in the motel with the respondent and Mr. _____ at this time.  Mr. ______ attempted to gain entry to the respondent's room by pounding on the door while she and the children were present in the room.
Respondent contends that since August of 2002, she has not used alcohol and has remained sober but has not attended AA or any other group designed to promote and maintain sobriety and provides no proof to support her sobriety other than reporting.
Respondent admits going to bars with Mr. _____ and the children after the date of her claimed sobriety but could "not recall" whether she had been drinking at the 5-8 Tavern in January in 2003.
On September 25, 2003, Maplewood police came to the residence shared by respondent and Mr. _____ based upon a call that there was a drunk driver in front of the house.  That driver turned out to be respondent.  This incident occurred between 3:00 and 4:00 am in the morning.
On Labor Day weekend, 2003, there was a confrontation between Mr. _____'s daughter, A____, and the respondent.  The respondent admits that he said that we (he and respondent) were drinking, but now claims in retrospect that he was trying "...just to make it seem worse than it was...".
The frequency of these incidents, her failure to maintain contact with any sobriety support group, the nature of the incidents, the conflict with her drinking significant other, belies her claim that she has maintained sobriety since August, 2002.
Her drinking, her driving history, M____ M_____'s drinking and his violent, angry conduct while drinking, create instability, insecurity and stressful events for the parties' boys.
M_____ M______ involves himself in the relationship between respondent and petitioner further complicating that relationship with the result that he intensifies the level of conflict and animosity.
It appears clear that M____'s participation encourages respondent to "draw the line in the sand" even when so doing disrupts the lives and activities of the children.  For example, the children have expressed a desire to maintain their sporting activities with their friends near the petitioner's home.  Respondent rejects this because it's inconvenient for her but gives no thought as to how it affects or disrupts the children.  She places her right to visit the children over the children's desires and their needs to participate in athletic programs with their friends.    Respondent admits she has left the children home alone but contends that that was an unusual circumstance.  She admits to smoking even though J__ has a history of serious respiratory problems and D___ has allergies and even though the family physician has recommended that the children not be exposed to cigarette smoke.
Respondent complains that the petitioner is controlling to the point of being intrusive in the conduct of her affiars.  The history of the relationship between peitioner and respondent indicates that he has legitimate concerns for her stability and her ability to remain sober.  To the extent that he does intrude into the conduct of her life, he does so out of concern for the well-being of the parties' sons.
Joint custody is not a possibility for these parties in view of their history.  The stability and security of the children will be best served by peititioner having their sole legal and physical custody.  While the boys need the affection of their mother, it is the peitioner who is the person more actively involved in meeting the children's needs for clothing, shelter, emotional support and nurture.  It is he who tends to the children's medical needs and arranges their extra-curricular activities.
The children have a more intimate relationship with their father, the petitioner than they do with their mother, the respondent, whose focus is less child-centered than it is self-centered.  The children's relationship with the peitioner's significant other, M___ K___, is far more positive than it is with the respondent's significant other, M___ M___.
The stability and security that the petitioner provides is reflected in the fact that the boys do well at school, participate heavily in sports and other activities and have a very positive relationship with their father.  Respondent claims that their participation in sports is the result of the father's over-control and domination.  I find this allegation not to be true but do find the children's participation is reflective of their desires and represents their father's understanding that sports provide an outlet for many of their social needs and contributes beneficially to their self-esteem.
Petitioner provides stability and security for the children.  Respondent's relationship with the children is affected by her drinking, her failure to address the issues that a long period of alcohol abuse necessarily creates for herself and those with whom she shares a close relationship.
While there has been no documentation of physical assault by Mr. M____ upon the respondent, there have been a number of occasions where the intensity of the disagreement carried with it the threat of violence.
The best interests of the children require that their father be given sole legal and physical custody.
Petitioner has a net income of ____  with reasonable necessary monthly living expenses for himself and the children of _______.  Respondent is employed roughly half-time working 48 hours every two weeks.  Her net monthly income is _____.  She has monthly living expenses of _______.  At her present wage, she is capable of a net monthly income of ______, if employed on a full-time basis.  There is no reason in the record that suggests that she can' t be employed on a full time basis at a salary commensurate with that which she is now earning.  If employed on a full time basis, respondent's obligation for support of two children is ____ per month.
Taking into consideration respondent's under-employment and the fact it is she and her significant other who have caused the greater part of the hostility, acrimony and conflict, an award of attorney's fees to her would be inappropriate.
YES!!!!  FINALLY a judge that did his job!


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« Reply #1 on: Apr 10, 2004, 01:50:35 PM »
That is incredible.  I am so happy, thanks for sharing that memo, it made my day.

Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip. ~  Will Rogers


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