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Author Topic: Going to Court.....Need a Devil's Advocate  (Read 8789 times)

awakenlynn

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Going to Court.....Need a Devil's Advocate
« on: Jan 25, 2008, 07:11:36 PM »
My husband is going to court next month.  Here is the background.  Ex moved to TX in 2003 (her husband in military).  My husband was in military until 2004, so IL kept jurisdiction until 2007.

In 2007, ex had visitation jurisdiction moved from IL to TX.  She has now filed a petition to get the visitation order that she registered in TX to be vacated. (The current order says every spring break--we pay tranportation, 8 weeks in summer--ex pays transportation, and alternating Thanksgiving/Christmas break--we pay).  We have had this order since 2003.  Ex states that if judge will not vacate the order then she would like the TX standard order in place with changes. She wants every other spring break(a change from TX standard order), 6 weeks in the summer and alternating Thanksgiving breaks and splitting Christmas up.

We don't have a problem splitting Christmas up.  But we would ask that ex pay for the transportation on the years we are paying for Thanksgiving, since we can't afford 2 tickets that close together.We would ask the judge to more clearly define the transportation issue.  Ex refuses to allow daughter to fly on a layover flight (SD will be 15 in a few weeks).

SD has flown with a layover before.  We purchased Christmas tickets and ex drove her from TX to our house and then kept SD out of school even when we gave SD up a day early in order for her to drive back to TX.

Anyways, as the for Devil's Advocate.  Ex is claiming a substantial change in circumstance.  I am looking for what everyone would think to be a substantial change.  I want to make sure we have everything cover that ex could possibly be thinking of.

Thanks,
Lynn


brwneyedmom

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There is no change in circumstances based on
« Reply #1 on: Jan 25, 2008, 11:09:27 PM »
what you have described.  She registered the same order in TX that was in effect.  Nothing new has occurred in the meantime except that your SD has gotten older.
I remember the tale you had for winter break and the effort your PB went to in order to mess up visitation.  THAT may be the change that she is talking about.
I might argue that with her move from IL to TX, she can provide all the transportation and then she would have nothing to complain about with the layover flights.  Just an evil idea....
Doesn't she have to provide her argument prior to court so that you can prepare for it?  I would think that discovery would apply in this case.  

Davy

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RE: AGREE There is no change in circumstances based on
« Reply #2 on: Jan 26, 2008, 10:37:17 AM »
Agree.  And, as I remember, Texas statues have a 3 prong test to modifiy a custody order and they are not as much nilly willy as Illinois to which she is probably accustomed.  I've understood the reason to satisfy the 3 prong test requirement is primarily for docket management.

Just an opinion !!!!

awakenlynn

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Going to Court.....Need a Devil's Advocate
« Reply #3 on: Jan 25, 2008, 07:11:36 PM »
My husband is going to court next month.  Here is the background.  Ex moved to TX in 2003 (her husband in military).  My husband was in military until 2004, so IL kept jurisdiction until 2007.

In 2007, ex had visitation jurisdiction moved from IL to TX.  She has now filed a petition to get the visitation order that she registered in TX to be vacated. (The current order says every spring break--we pay tranportation, 8 weeks in summer--ex pays transportation, and alternating Thanksgiving/Christmas break--we pay).  We have had this order since 2003.  Ex states that if judge will not vacate the order then she would like the TX standard order in place with changes. She wants every other spring break(a change from TX standard order), 6 weeks in the summer and alternating Thanksgiving breaks and splitting Christmas up.

We don't have a problem splitting Christmas up.  But we would ask that ex pay for the transportation on the years we are paying for Thanksgiving, since we can't afford 2 tickets that close together.We would ask the judge to more clearly define the transportation issue.  Ex refuses to allow daughter to fly on a layover flight (SD will be 15 in a few weeks).

SD has flown with a layover before.  We purchased Christmas tickets and ex drove her from TX to our house and then kept SD out of school even when we gave SD up a day early in order for her to drive back to TX.

Anyways, as the for Devil's Advocate.  Ex is claiming a substantial change in circumstance.  I am looking for what everyone would think to be a substantial change.  I want to make sure we have everything cover that ex could possibly be thinking of.

Thanks,
Lynn

brwneyedmom

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There is no change in circumstances based on
« Reply #4 on: Jan 25, 2008, 11:09:27 PM »
what you have described.  She registered the same order in TX that was in effect.  Nothing new has occurred in the meantime except that your SD has gotten older.
I remember the tale you had for winter break and the effort your PB went to in order to mess up visitation.  THAT may be the change that she is talking about.
I might argue that with her move from IL to TX, she can provide all the transportation and then she would have nothing to complain about with the layover flights.  Just an evil idea....
Doesn't she have to provide her argument prior to court so that you can prepare for it?  I would think that discovery would apply in this case.  


Davy

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RE: AGREE There is no change in circumstances based on
« Reply #5 on: Jan 26, 2008, 10:37:17 AM »
Agree.  And, as I remember, Texas statues have a 3 prong test to modifiy a custody order and they are not as much nilly willy as Illinois to which she is probably accustomed.  I've understood the reason to satisfy the 3 prong test requirement is primarily for docket management.

Just an opinion !!!!

awakenlynn

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RE: AGREE There is no change in circumstances based on
« Reply #6 on: Jan 30, 2008, 10:32:48 AM »
Hi, what is the 3 prong test you mention?  I would like to read that in the statutes.  It's been awhile since I reviewed TX statutes, but would like to look that up.

The transportation responsibility was set up when both husbands (mine and hers) were in the military.  Her's still is and we (while money is extremely tight) are fine with the way things are.  We have told ex numerous times that is she wants a 15 year old to fly nonstop than she can drive the 3 hours to Dallas, like she made us do (drive to Chicago) for 3 years.  Ex's excuse is that it is too hard to drive that highway even though she doesn't work, she doesn't volunteer, she just sits and waits for child support to play with.

Thanks,
Lynn

Davy

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RE: AGREE There is no change in circumstances based on
« Reply #7 on: Jan 30, 2008, 11:01:52 PM »
I stopped reviewing statues years ago but had a book simply entitled "Texas Statues" and it probably under Custody modification.
I'd google for that.

FYI one can easily whip in/out of DFW or LUV field avoiding am/pm traffic. It's best to have some NASCAR experience anywhere on I35 betwix OK City and San Anton.  Anything would be better than Spfld - Chicago.

Otherwise, I suspect her issue is so insignificant that a mod would not
be warranted.

IMHO !  

awakenlynn

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Questions the attorney brought up, need to figure out how to counter
« Reply #8 on: Jan 31, 2008, 08:17:47 PM »
Ok, spoke to our attorney, he brought up some questions he thought the other attorney would throw at my husband and I need information to help answer.

1)SD is soon to be 15 and should determine her own visit times--she has a life and friends to see over spring break and summer
    (her mother ships her off to grandmother the day after school lets up and we don't get to see her until our visit starts  and also, we get SD 10-11 weeks depending on the year, ex and TX friends get her 41-41 wks)

2)Why should we allow SD to fly layover especially after 9/11?  (attorney is trying to help us know how ex's attorney will act)

3)Ex does not work, but will not drive to the closest airport to allow daughter to fly non-stop because it is TOO HARD to navigate the highway she has to drive to get there.

4)Ex says SD is not high priority with her dad, becuase dad has to work and can not spend time with SD.  Therefore visitation should be reduced.

Any thoughts on what we can use to argue against ex?  I have some thoughts on areas, but could really use some fresh thoughts and ideas.

Thanks,
Lynn

Kitty C.

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Answer to #2...............
« Reply #9 on: Jan 31, 2008, 10:42:33 PM »
Do your homework and get the guidelines from every major airline on UAM (unaccompanied minor).  Go to the FAA, who makes the rules for all airlines, and get their rules.  I haven't read them lately, but when DS was flying, a child could fly with one layover/plane change once they turn 8 years old (almost twice as YOUNG as your SD).  In DS's case, and since he had ADHD, his dad and I decided to fly him non-stop one more year after that.  That required 1000 miles of driving for me every time he went (every summer and EO Chirstmas), since it was 250 miles to Chicago O'Hare, but DS's dad lived in Sacramento.  If DS couldn't fly to SMF, it was only 100 miles to SFO or OAK.

One thing to think about:  our custody order was written in 1994 and it was the JUDGE who ordered DS to fly.  It scared the crap out of me initially, but once I saw how diligent the airlines are with UAM's, it alleviated all of the fear.  This was an order from over 13 years ago.  It blows me away that your SD isn't flying regularly.  Every roadblock your SD's mom is putting up is just an excuse to prevent visitation, period.

As for extended lay-overs (something longer that just going gate-to-gate), all airlines have private areas where UAM's can stay and be OUT of the mainstream of the airport.  No one other than authorized airline representatives are allowed in those areas.  And before a child boards, there is a form filled out that must have both parents contact information and how to get in touch with them while the child is in the hands of the airlines.  It also has a list of spaces for signatures, for EVERY airline representative who is responsible for the child.  Say if a child has a plane change, the attendant who first signed the form hands the child off to the next attendant who will be responsible, who also signs the form.  When the child reaches the final destination, there will be a list of EVERY person who was responsible for the child while with the airline.

On one flight with DS, there was an extended layover because of weather at the destination airport.  The airline tried to contact me, but we were out of range on my cell.  So they contacted DS's dad and told him they would hold DS in their private area and feed him as well.  As soon as we got service, DS's dad got in touch with me and told me what was going on.  The airline handled the situation perfectly and there was absolutely NO cause for concern.

By the time DS was 14, he had enough frequent flyer miles for a free flight.  We paid the UAM fees, which was a small price to pay for the peace of mind.  When DS was little, he and I used to have a game called Bowl Mom Over when he'd fly home.  He'd always be the last one off, because he had to be escorted.  Once he could see me in the terminal (and I could see a big person holding the hand of a little person coming up the jetway!), he'd let go and come at me on a dead run!  I'd kneel down and he'd throw himself into my arms!  It was obvious who his mother was, but the attendant who had last responsibilty would still ask to see my ID.  

When we finalized the CO, my atty. told me NEVER to be without my ID when I picked DS up.  She told me of a time a dad went to pick up his son and was in a hurry, forgetting his wallet.  His son was standing there, crying 'Daddy, Daddy!' but the attendants would NOT release the child until he went back home to get it.

It really rubs me the wrong way when a parent tris to give 'excuses' as to why a child can't fly.  And your SD is a teenager!  With the increasing number of divorces and the distances betweeen parents, kids flying UAM is a VERY common occurance.  Even after 9/11.  And if the atty. asks why to allow after 9/11, you tell them for the same reason adults still fly, because there's no difference.  

As for her driving to the airport, all it would take is some strategic questions for the BM about her driving habits and where she drives, how much time she spends behind the wheel at any given time.  I bet you can blow holes in that excuse wide enough to walk through!  That has to be the lamest excuse I've ever heard.

And if you need any other back-up on this issue, just e-mail me!
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

 

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