"B!$&# f#*% You. You better get another PFA, because if you try some dumb shit you will regret it." This was an actual text message sent to a client. Now, my client sent back some equally harsh words, but at the end of the day, I found myself copying these words to present to a Judge. That's right, a Judge! The former couple were fighting over custody, child support, and ultimately Profection From Abuse. Each was claiming to be the better parent and the best option, but the evidence we had to present to the presiding Judge showed hatefulness. Can you imagine how mortified this young person must have felt when these words were read aloud in court? Well, I don't have to image because I see it every day.
As an attorney, I do the best I can to reseearch the parties. That research often shows deplorable Instagram or Facebook accounts. There may be disgusting text messages that include threats of violence. Ultimately, people are treating technology like it's a secret diary. It is not. I urge you to think before you tweet, text, or post. What you write may come back to bite you, and ruin your case.
If you’ve ever wanted to know how to make it through the holidays without fighting with your Ex over custody, then you’re reading the right article. That’s because you’re about to discover my easy 3 step method for a stress free holiday for divorced parents.
And the good news is that this method works even if you don’t have a lawyer.
Step 1: Review Blank Custody Order/Agreement
Many people who’re new to world of custody disputes don’t even realize that they need to do this step before they head to court. And that’s why a lot of people who try to get agreements end up failing – they’re simply missing this crucial step.
So, the first thing you need to do is go to the court house and see the blank custody forms. They will tell you what areas you should be concerned with when crafting your first custody order/agreement.
You’ll find that this part of the process goes much more smoothly if you apply these tips and tricks:
Once you’ve taken a look at blank agreements and order, and thought about your values, then you can move on to the next step…
Step 2: Make a detailed plan
The next thing you need to do is make a very detailed custody plan. When many people first started their custody case, they made a lot of mistakes. Now that I’ve helped hundreds of others do it, I see a lot of people have a tendency to make the same mistakes. So let me share with you the top mistakes and how to avoid them:
Most of these common mistakes can be avoided by proper planning. Before deciding on an elaborate custody plan, talk to your attorney about what works and what pitfalls are common to each type of plan.
Step 3: Get to Court early
At this step you’re likely to notice that your previous plans haven’t worked and you are in a crunch situation. The one thing you don’t want to do is panic, or worse yet, violate a custody order. So, what you need to do is get to court quickly. Do not wait until the last minute!
I still remember one time when I was planning to leave work early to bake cookies with my young children. I had pushed through most of my work and planned a leisurely day until I got a frantic call from a client. His ex-wife was threatening to take the kids away before Christmas and he was afraid he would miss his scheduled holiday time. I quickly filed an Emergency Petition and got a date the day before the courts closed for the holidays. After speaking with him, I discovered that this wasn’t a new issue. She had told him of her plans months ago, but he hadn’t agreed. She thought he was being unreasonable denying the kids a trip when he knew months ago. He thought she was being unreasonable planning a trip that interfered with his time. I learned from this, and other cases, that there are some ways to prevent this last minute dash to the courthouse.
And there you have it – a simple 3 step method for divorced parents to reduce their holiday stress. Now that you know how to negotiate this thorny issue, there’s just one thing left for you to do: take action.
So get to it, and soon you too will sail through the holiday custody without a care in the world!
By Jacquie L. Jones
Join us on a journey of discovery as we explore issues of custody, criminality, and Probate especially in Delaware County, PA.