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Author Topic: Visitation/Information blockade - what to do  (Read 1664 times)

promantis

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Visitation/Information blockade - what to do
« on: May 17, 2007, 04:39:36 PM »
The question:

Our parenting plan states, "disputes between parties shall be submitted to mediation."  However, I am considering filing contempt charges against the X for not following the directions of the court as she will not reply to my requests.   If in fact I need to go through mediation, do I need to do that in Washington where the divorce was finalized or in Oregon where the boys reside, or in Idaho where I reside?

The rest of the story:

Because I lived in Nebraska and X in Washington, visitations were set for one long weekend per month.  On several occasions, my X has waited for the last minute (after my flight, car, and hotel were arranged) to email me that she would be out of town with the boys.

I have given my kids a prepaid calling card.  However, I have not received a call in over a year.  I only know her cell phone and every time I call I get sent to voice mail.  My messages are not returned and I don't believe my kids get the ones I leave for them.  "Reasonable telephone access" is required per the parenting plan.

I have asked repeatedly (via email) for my kid’s school schedule, to be advised of any medical issues, and to be kept informed of their social activities.  This is required per the parenting plan however, all requests are ignored.

A little over a month ago, I moved to Idaho after finding a comparable job there.  I kept my X informed of the status of my move and sent her my new home phone/address and my new work phone/address.

Three weeks ago, my wife sent me an email letting me know that she had a new job and she and the boys had moved to Oregon - only 2 hours away!  She told me I could pick up my boys at McDonalds which I did.  She did not and has not informed the court of the move as required and she will not tell me what the new address is.  I asked the boys where they lived and they told me they didn't know.

As they are located approximately 2 hours away, I have asked her to consider visits every other weekend - no reply.

I would like to get custody but, based on my prior court experience, I know that is impossible.

Some interesting notes:

Although I was escorted from my home by the police with only one suitcase, my attorney counseled me not to file perjury charges related to the protection order as it could hurt my case.

The divorce took over two years and over $40,000.  During that time I lost my job and got a new one in Nebraska.  However, I never missed a CS payment and, paid additional COBRA fees to keep my boys insured.

Although the X was directed by the court to deliver agreed property, I was never allowed to obtain it.  At the end of the case, a list of items that I supposedly had in my possession was submitted to the court my by X (I submitted one as well).  The court accepted hers and ignored mine even though she testified that she had sold, broken and left several of my items behind when she moved.  -  Go figure.

In the end, I got to pay off all the joint debt and keep my 401k.

The reason I am paying the $1,000 spousal support is so that she can go to school.  Since the finalization she has found the time to work full time.  However, my CS % is still based on her income at 20hrs/week.


mistoffolees

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RE: Visitation/Information blockade - what to do
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2007, 11:08:50 PM »
If the divorce was filed in Washington, no other state will touch it unless you get jurisdiction moved. If she has lived for 6 months with the kids in OR, then that's the most likely place to get jurisdiction.

Now, if you try to file for contempt in WA, they're going to tell you that you can't file until you've tried mediation - per your court order.

If you file to transfer jurisdiction to OR, then you MIGHT be able to file for contempt rather than go to mediation, but that would be a gray area, and probably up to the individual judge.

If it were me, I'd ask for mediation in WA immediately. If that doesn't work, then I'd file for contempt in WA. While that's inconvenient for you, it's also inconvenient for her, giving her an incentive to work with you. If you ask for jurisdiction to be transferred to OR, it would work to her advantage because it's easy for her and hard for you - and she would have an incentive to drag it out.

Davy

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RE: Visitation/Information blockade - what to do
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2007, 01:42:17 AM »
What I would do....

Considering that no parties reside in the original jurisdiction all matters
would revert to the state where the children reside.  I would find an Oregon attorney experienced in interstate custody cases for a quick legal opinion and stratagized from that point.  

You will discover there is no approval necessary fro the original state and a 6 month residency requirement is not pertinant in this case.

Be careful not to be drawn into jurisdictional legal arguments.  

Your children should benefit by having much more access to their father in light of changing circumstances and, moreover, because the custodial parent has proven to be an incompetent parent.

notnew

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RE: Visitation/Information blockade - what to do
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2007, 04:58:59 AM »
You have good reason to file for a modification.

You should be able to find her new address easily enough. If her new state has a real estate assessment database that is searchable on-line, you can search home sales and new titles if she has purchased a home and you may find one there.

You can search around on the internet and see if anything comes up.

You can hire a private investigator and let him/her know when you will be meeting to get the kids and she can be followed back to her house.

All of your interesting notes are worthless going forward. None of that matters.

It is in the best interests of the children to have a contact with you. Now that they are living closer, you should have them every other weekend. So,  your parenting time schedule needs to be modified.

Stability is your best ally. The less you move, change jobs, etc., the better. Sounds like both of you move alot which is not good for the kids and doesn't look good in the court's eyes.

You need to keep logs of each time you try to call the kids and the result. Date and time. Logs are legal records. Your order says "reasonable phone contact" not good enough for contempt action. When you get your modification, the phone contact schedule MUST be specific, such as Tuesday and Thursday evenings between the hours of 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. THEN if you can't get them, you can file contempt.

My advice, get her current address (the kids have been told to not tell you anything). If the kids bring homework, look in their bookbags when you have them and while they are out of the room or sleeping. There may be information in there you could use. Knowing what school they go to could narrow your search area. Ask them about their new school, generic questions, teachers name, do they like the bus ride, is it long, is there more homework at this school, etc. After you have her current location, you can file for a modification pronto.

I'd also advise you to get an attorney. Representing yourself is hard and takes a lot of research and time. Not a decision to make lightly. If you can afford an attorney, get one. Properly represented, you should get more time with your kids and pay a lot less out to her. CS may be unaffected, but her current income needs to be factored in as well.

Good luck.

notnew

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RE: Visitation/Information blockade - what to do
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2007, 05:02:20 AM »
Davy,

I agree with you here. I also believe contempt is a moot point. The more important thing here is the change in circumstances that warrants a modification of the order which will allow him more parenting time, etc.

He also needs to make sure new order states he has access to school and medical records. Without this in writing, many administrators will balk at giving out information.

Getting her held in contempt for failing to provide school and medical information is, in my opinion, far fetched. My ex has never comlied and the court has repeatedly looked the other way.



mistoffolees

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RE: Visitation/Information blockade - what to do
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2007, 02:15:33 PM »
>Davy,
>
>I agree with you here. I also believe contempt is a moot
>point. The more important thing here is the change in
>circumstances that warrants a modification of the order which
>will allow him more parenting time, etc.
>
>He also needs to make sure new order states he has access to
>school and medical records. Without this in writing, many
>administrators will balk at giving out information.
>
>Getting her held in contempt for failing to provide school and
>medical information is, in my opinion, far fetched. My ex has
>never comlied and the court has repeatedly looked the other
>way.

I don't think that's a good reason for contempt charges, either. However, her refusal to let him see the kids is.

Jade

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RE: Visitation/Information blockade - what to do
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2007, 05:37:39 PM »
>The question:
>
>Our parenting plan states, "disputes between parties shall be
>submitted to mediation."  However, I am considering filing
>contempt charges against the X for not following the
>directions of the court as she will not reply to my requests.
> If in fact I need to go through mediation, do I need to do
>that in Washington where the divorce was finalized or in
>Oregon where the boys reside, or in Idaho where I reside?
>
>The rest of the story:
>
>Because I lived in Nebraska and X in Washington, visitations
>were set for one long weekend per month.  On several
>occasions, my X has waited for the last minute (after my
>flight, car, and hotel were arranged) to email me that she
>would be out of town with the boys.
>
>I have given my kids a prepaid calling card.  However, I have
>not received a call in over a year.  I only know her cell
>phone and every time I call I get sent to voice mail.  My
>messages are not returned and I don't believe my kids get the
>ones I leave for them.  "Reasonable telephone access" is
>required per the parenting plan.
>
>I have asked repeatedly (via email) for my kid’s school
>schedule, to be advised of any medical issues, and to be kept
>informed of their social activities.  This is required per the
>parenting plan however, all requests are ignored.
>
>A little over a month ago, I moved to Idaho after finding a
>comparable job there.  I kept my X informed of the status of
>my move and sent her my new home phone/address and my new work
>phone/address.
>
>Three weeks ago, my wife sent me an email letting me know that
>she had a new job and she and the boys had moved to Oregon -
>only 2 hours away!  She told me I could pick up my boys at
>McDonalds which I did.  She did not and has not informed the
>court of the move as required and she will not tell me what
>the new address is.  I asked the boys where they lived and
>they told me they didn't know.
>
>As they are located approximately 2 hours away, I have asked
>her to consider visits every other weekend - no reply.
>
>I would like to get custody but, based on my prior court
>experience, I know that is impossible.
>
>Some interesting notes:
>
>Although I was escorted from my home by the police with only
>one suitcase, my attorney counseled me not to file perjury
>charges related to the protection order as it could hurt my
>case.
>
>The divorce took over two years and over $40,000.  During that
>time I lost my job and got a new one in Nebraska.  However, I
>never missed a CS payment and, paid additional COBRA fees to
>keep my boys insured.
>
>Although the X was directed by the court to deliver agreed
>property, I was never allowed to obtain it.  At the end of the
>case, a list of items that I supposedly had in my possession
>was submitted to the court my by X (I submitted one as well).
>The court accepted hers and ignored mine even though she
>testified that she had sold, broken and left several of my
>items behind when she moved.  -  Go figure.
>
>In the end, I got to pay off all the joint debt and keep my
>401k.
>
>The reason I am paying the $1,000 spousal support is so that
>she can go to school.  Since the finalization she has found
>the time to work full time.  However, my CS % is still based
>on her income at 20hrs/week.

If the child support is based on a shared income calculation, it is actually to your benefit, unless she makes considerably more than you do,that it isn't based on all of her income.  The more total income in the pot, the higher the child support.   The one thing that it would effect is the allocation percentage for extracurricular activities.  It definitely is something to look into before you file for a modification.

Second, try to find out if she left a forwarding address at her old mail.  Obviously, you can't serve her if you don't know where she is.  An attorney may be able to assist you with this or recommend a private investigator.  

Because with them being closer, you should definitely be able to see them more than one long week-end a month.  

Taking their ages into consideration, would getting them their own cell phones be feasible?  This way, they should be able to call you whenever they want to.  

Davy

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RE: Visitation/Information blockade - what to do
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2007, 06:53:17 PM »

>If the child support is based on a shared income calculation, it is >actually to your benefit, unless she makes considerably more than you >do,that it isn't based on all of her income. The more total income in the >pot, the higher the child support. The one thing that it would effect is >the allocation percentage for extracurricular activities. It definitely is >something to look into before you file for a modification.

>Second, try to find out if she left a forwarding address at her old mail. >Obviously, you can't serve her if you don't know where she is. An >attorney may be able to assist you with this or recommend a private >investigator.

>Because with them being closer, you should definitely be able to see >them more than one long week-end a month.

>Taking their ages into consideration, would getting them their own cell >phones be feasible? This way, they should be able to call you >whenever they want to.

Jade, your post is basically irrelevant to this thread.  The father has already touched on the topics you mentioned so there's no need to reiterate.

The main need is for the children to gain full access to their father while the mother refuses to comply with the orders of a court to purposefully exploit the children and alienate them from the father.  The mother's behavior is/should be considered criminal.

Jade

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RE: Visitation/Information blockade - what to do
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2007, 03:25:59 AM »
>
>>If the child support is based on a shared income calculation,
>it is >actually to your benefit, unless she makes considerably
>more than you >do,that it isn't based on all of her income.
>The more total income in the >pot, the higher the child
>support. The one thing that it would effect is >the allocation
>percentage for extracurricular activities. It definitely is
>>something to look into before you file for a modification.
>
>>Second, try to find out if she left a forwarding address at
>her old mail. >Obviously, you can't serve her if you don't
>know where she is. An >attorney may be able to assist you with
>this or recommend a private >investigator.
>
>>Because with them being closer, you should definitely be able
>to see >them more than one long week-end a month.
>
>>Taking their ages into consideration, would getting them
>their own cell >phones be feasible? This way, they should be
>able to call you >whenever they want to.
>
>Jade, your post is basically irrelevant to this thread.  The
>father has already touched on the topics you mentioned so
>there's no need to reiterate.
>
>The main need is for the children to gain full access to their
>father while the mother refuses to comply with the orders of a
>court to purposefully exploit the children and alienate them
>from the father.  The mother's behavior is/should be
>considered criminal.

Davy,

Feel free to ignore my posts then.  All I did was address what was in the ORIGINAL POSTER's post.  Just like everyone else.

The main need right now is for the father to FIND WHERE THEY LIVE.  That is the only way he is going to be able to serve her with papers.

And, yes, any parent (and fathers do this, too) who keeps the children from the other parent in the abscence of safety issues (i.e. abuse) should be held accountable.  

 

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