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Author Topic: Precedent RE: Visitation - Please Help (Pref Mass.)  (Read 6475 times)

aquanee

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Precedent RE: Visitation - Please Help (Pref Mass.)
« on: Jun 15, 2011, 11:16:41 AM »
I am looking for any type of Precedent regarding visitation as described below.

My CO is in Massachusetts. My CO says 4 weeks in the summer. However, it does not say 4 continuous weeks. The Parent Coordinator would only allow me two consecutive weeks despite the fact I live over 700 miles away from my son and cannot afford two 2 week visits.

I am searching for an case or law history (especially in Massachusetts) that would set precedence for me to have my son for 4 consecutive weeks.


The Facts


1) My son is 5 years old.
2) I visited him every other weekend from 9 months (when his mother left) until he was about 2 and 1/2. I then moved (temp move - will be moving back    in 2-3 years) and have visited him every 4-5 weeks for 5-7 days up until March of 2011 when my $ ran out.
3) We talk 3 times a week and have frequent web-visits.
4) He has been to my house 2 times for about 7-8 days.
5) CO says 4 weeks in summer.
6) Parent coordinator said not 4 consecutive weeks until he is MUCH older, he said like age 11.??? This same Parent coordinator changed web visits from    2 per week (what CO said) to at least 1 ?? Why I have no idea other than he does most (not everything) that my son's mother asks.

Some Facts I have found:

States of Minnesota and Indiana allow for 4 week visits by law, once a child reaches age 5. I believe it is Indiana that also says at least 1/2 the summer if non-cust. parent lives greater than 200 miles away.

If you have any other information I would greatly appreciate it, all I want is to be able to visit my son.

Thank you very much.


MixedBag

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Re: Precedent RE: Visitation - Please Help (Pref Mass.)
« Reply #1 on: Jun 15, 2011, 12:51:32 PM »
Sounds like the parenting coordinator is making up their own rules...
 
I'm not aware of a long distance plan in the AL codes nor the WV codes (or OH, or NV, or AZ).....those are the states that I've had to read up on over the past upteen years.
 
I wonder if it would be possible to see what "other" parenting coordinators would say?
 
Otherwise you have no choice but to work it through the court system -- maybe ask for a clarification about "not being allowed" the 4 weeks consecutively and if the coordinator is allowed to make changes to the order.

ocean

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Re: Precedent RE: Visitation - Please Help (Pref Mass.)
« Reply #2 on: Jun 15, 2011, 01:47:28 PM »
I agree, ask the courts for clarification on summer visit as your current order states 4 weeks and mom is not allowing 4 weeks together. (use distance and cost of two trips in not beneficial to child). YOu can file in family court yourself for clarification.

aquanee

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Re: Precedent RE: Visitation - Please Help (Pref Mass.)
« Reply #3 on: Jun 15, 2011, 06:15:10 PM »
thanks so far for input

The Parent Coordinator is NOT a straight shooter - yes, I'm sure many have heard that before and many more have felt that way - it just indescribably some of the things he's done. The first time wanted to bring my son to Ohio I had to petition the parent coordinator  (as with everything my son's mother tried to say no). The parent coordinator asked if it was OK if he spoke with my fiancee. I said, sure, and politely asked why. Even my son's mother did not mention anything about any problems with my fiancee and my son loves her?? Needless to say my fiancee told me what he asked - he asked her questions like:  did I took care of my son: change  his diaper, pre-pared meals, put him to bed etc. She said of course taken back and simply asked the parent coordinator what do you think has been happening for the first 3-4 years when he visited with his father? The parent coordinator responded that "men will be men" and he needed to know before he let my son come out to Ohio for a week. Things went down hill a bit with him since I confronted him about this and some of his other clearly biased decisions. We have joint legal custody - why can my son's mother's change call times and web visitation dates w/o my permission but I need her permission to do so??? She actually dictates when we have web visits due to one of his last order's - the CO says 2 a week, he changed it to at least one a week and only after my son's mother schedule's it - haven't had one in 12 days.

I don't have $ for a lawyer or to constantly travel back and forth to Mass to fight all these things. I have to pick my battles. Plus the state of Mass is relatively archaic in terms of a lot of family law matters.

I am going to Mass for court in one week and really need any info, law references/precedence anyone may know about OR even web sites that they think I can research and perhaps find something myself. I am working on this but figured someone out there may be able to point me in a few good directions.

Thanks again

bloom6372

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Re: Precedent RE: Visitation - Please Help (Pref Mass.)
« Reply #4 on: Jun 15, 2011, 07:28:50 PM »
I've never dealt with a parent coordinator, so excuse me if I am asking something stupid--can they really just change what the CO says without putting it through the Court? I mean, I know they can give recommendations, but do those turn into a CO? If not, I'd assume that the CO still stands (regarding the 2 web calls a week)...Like I said, we've never dealt with them, so I don't know for sure, but it would seem *to me* they could only give recommendations...
 
As for the 4 weeks, I'd look into the state's guidelines for visitation. See what that says about summer.


aquanee

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Re: Precedent RE: Visitation - Please Help (Pref Mass.)
« Reply #5 on: Jun 15, 2011, 11:16:36 PM »
The agreement does say that if my son's mother and and I have a disagreement about anything we need to go to the Parent Coordinator and that his ruling becomes an extension of the CO - but my argument is going to basically be that she (my son's mother) agreed to all this, we negotiated things and now she goes to the Parent coordinator and he changes the CO because she has found out that he mostly sides with her - and as I previously mentioned he has demonstrated a bias - it actually gets worse but somethings are just too hard to believe.

Again my biggest thing is trying to find law/recorded precedence etc so I can bring to judge.

It could also be medical documentation.

The internet, if referenced properly and due diligence is made to legitimize the information/source etc., is a tool that can carry some weight - but there is SO much to wade through - that's why I am asking if anyone has come across anything that can help me.

MixedBag

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Re: Precedent RE: Visitation - Please Help (Pref Mass.)
« Reply #6 on: Jun 16, 2011, 06:54:42 AM »

The agreement does say that if my son's mother and and I have a disagreement about anything we need to go to the Parent Coordinator and that his ruling becomes an extension of the CO - but my argument is going to basically be that she (my son's mother) agreed to all this, we negotiated things and now she goes to the Parent coordinator and he changes the CO because she has found out that he mostly sides with her - and as I previously mentioned he has demonstrated a bias - it actually gets worse but somethings are just too hard to believe.

Again my biggest thing is trying to find law/recorded precedence etc so I can bring to judge.

It could also be medical documentation.

The internet, if referenced properly and due diligence is made to legitimize the information/source etc., is a tool that can carry some weight - but there is SO much to wade through - that's why I am asking if anyone has come across anything that can help me.

 
Agreement or ORDER?
 
That changes your picture....
 
Whenever you approach the Parenting Coordinator, start with "the best interest of the child" -- "And how is this in the best interest of the child?"
 
 

aquanee

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Re: Precedent RE: Visitation - Please Help (Pref Mass.)
« Reply #7 on: Jun 16, 2011, 10:20:57 AM »
The title of the document says Stipulation-Agreement for Judgement, with the last page being title Judgement which states the judge accepts our agreement and signs it. Sorry I thought an signed Agreement became an Order, since the Judge has signed it??

I have approached the PC in that manner and I supplied him with documentation showing that states like Indiana and Minnesota have laws that allow children of 5 years or older to spend 4++ weeks with the non-custodial parent. He didn't care - he actually said and I quote, "This isn't Indiana or Minnesota" I asked him if the findings of those states would be any indication that other professionals in his field have found it in the best interests of children to spend 4+ weeks w/ non-custodian parents - he basically said "This is Massachusetts"

MixedBag

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Re: Precedent RE: Visitation - Please Help (Pref Mass.)
« Reply #8 on: Jun 16, 2011, 12:31:39 PM »
Yes, that means you stipulated (agreed to) the agreement -- actually when something is "stipulated" normally both sides areed to something the court wouldn't necessarily order....
 
But here, at this site, I'm careful when someone says "agreement" that they never took that second step and turned the agreement into an order and got it signed by a judge.
 
AGREEMENTS are not enforceable in court, ORDERS are.
 
You also have shared language that you didn't at first which supports what the Parenting Coordinator is doing.  Probably unique to your state -- or a sign of the times that the court is trying to reduce litigation by using parenting coordinators that are supposed to be impartial and focus on what's best for your child(ren).
 
SO....the burden of going back to court becomes a little harder.
 
Let's say the custodial parent has SOLE custody and makes decisions -- and you as the NCP parent don't agree with those decisions -- like say pulling the child out of normal schools and starts homeschooling.  The custodial parent has the right to make that decision without your agreement because they have sole custody.  SO, if you want to reverse or change that decision, you have to go to court, AND you have to prove how that decision is not in the best interest of the child.
 
So....back to you....you want to overturn the Parenting Coordinator's decsions regarding parenting time, like 4 consecutive weeks vs. 2 2-week periods because it costs too much.  Well, that's not gonna be the reason a Judge would overturn the decision (IMHO).  So it hurts your wallet, so what?>?  Can you prove to the judge that it's in your child's best interest to spend 4 consecutive weeks with you -- beyond "I'll have more money to spend on the child" -- you'll have to get an expert witness who can testify in court that this is better for the child.
 
 

bloom6372

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Re: Precedent RE: Visitation - Please Help (Pref Mass.)
« Reply #9 on: Jun 16, 2011, 11:22:40 PM »
I looked up the parenting time guideline for Massechusetts...It pretty much says that up until 6 years old, it's best to try to limit how long the child is away from the custodial parent (*I* don't agree with that--a child needs quality time with both parents!)... http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/probateandfamilycourt/afccsharedparenting.pdf Pages 14-15 (pdf pages, not pamphlet pages) are for children 3-5 years old. "If one parent was minimally involved in the child’s daily routine, a few days each week including a full weekend day will allow the relationship and caregiving skills to develop. As the child becomes more comfortable moving between two homes, additional time and one or two overnights may be added." I'm assuming the ex may try to use this as you are a long-distance parent. If he is almost 6, you can try to use the argument that for 6 years old and up, it states "At this age, it is important to maximize frequent contact with both parents."

 

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