My stbx and I wrote our own visitation plan but the pro-se lawyer said that the judge will probably not sign it because the "standard" visitation order is deemed "best for the child". If I want him to sign it I have to explain why our plan is better for our kids than the "standard" and honestly I don't want to because I don't want stbx to get in trouble. The reason I'm getting what I want (sole custody, namely) is because he and I are playing nice. If he gets in trouble I think he would take it out on us and start fighting me for custody. The reason I want the plan we agreed on is because he has anger management issues, he has pushed and hit our oldest, he screams all day and honestly the kids are scared of him. Our arrangement is that he will have open visitation as long as we both agree and no overnights until he has proven he will be active in their lives by keeping twice monthly visitation and weekly phone calls (he won't).
So what can I say and how can I word it so the judge will sign?
Here's the one we wrote up:
Exhibit: Possession (Visitation) and Access Order
The Court ORDERS that each conservator shall comply with all terms and conditions of this standard possession (visitation) order.
The Court ORDERS that this standard possession (visitation) order is effective immediately and applies to all periods of possession occurring on and after the date the Court signs the order to which this exhibit is attached.
Designation of Conservators
The Court ORDERS that the conservators are designated in this exhibit as Home Parent and Co-parent.
The conservator known as the ‘Home Parent’ is: M
The conservator known as the ‘Co-Parent’ is: B
The Court ORDERS that Home Parent and Co-Parent shall have possession of the child/ren at any and all times mutually agreed to in advance by Home Parent and Co-Parent.
In the absence of mutual agreement, the Court ORDERS that Home Parent and Co-Parent shall have possession of the child/ren as ordered below.
The Home Parent shall have the right to possession of the child/ren at all times not specifically ordered for Co-Parent.
A “weekend” begins every other Friday at 6pm, and ends on the following Sunday at 6 pm, except when:
· The words “After school**” are present, which means that during the regular school year, the weekend begins at the time the child/ren’s school is dismissed.
· The words, “Next school day***” are present ,which means that, during the regular school year, the weekend ends at the time the child/ren’s school starts on the next school day.
· If weekend or midweek visit conflicts with holiday or summer schedule, you must follow the holiday or summer schedule.
Access to be as agreed by both parties. In the absence of agreement, the following shall apply:
Home Parent and Co-Parent agree that Co-Parent will have open visitation with 3 days notice at the children’s home or 7 days notice at his, if at all and will be limited to a maximum of every other weekend and 2 weeks in the summer.
Home Parent and Co-Parent agree that overnight visits will begin if/when all of the following conditions are met: The Co-Parent keeps twice monthly visits and weekly phone calls for 6 months consecutively and the youngest child is 3 years of age and ready for such separation.
Home Parent and Co-Parent agree that the children will not travel to visit until such a time that the youngest child is 5 years of age. We agree that the children will not be allowed to visit inside a home where smoking takes place. We agree that drop off will be prompt by 7 pm, if not an overnight visit.
Both parties agree that at the age of 12 years, the children’s desires regarding visitation will be taken into account and they will not be forced to travel for visitation overnights if they decide not to. Visitation at the children’s place of residence will remain open.
Child’s Birthday, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
Home Parent and Co-Parent shall also have the right to possession of the child/ren as follows, notwithstanding the periods of possession ordered for Co-parent and regardless of the distance between the residence of a parent and the child:
The Parent who does not already have a scheduled visit on the child’s birthday shall have the right to possession of the child on the child’s birthday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., provided he or she picks up the child from the residence of the parent entitled to possession, and returns the child to the same place.
This visit shall include the child’s minor siblings.
The Co-Parent shall have possession of the child/ren on Father’s Day weekend, provided he picks up the child/ren from the residence of the parent entitled to possession, and returns the child/ren to the same place.
The weekend starts Saturday before Father’s Day at 6 p.m. and ends at: 6:00 PM Sunday.
The Home Parent shall have possession of the child/ren on Mother’s Day weekend, provided she picks up the child/ren from the residence of the parent entitled to possession, and returns the child/ren to the same place.
The weekend starts Saturday before Mother’s Day at 6 p.m. and ends at: 8:00 AM on the Monday after Mother's Day.
All other Holidays
Both the Home Parent and the Co-Parent agree to decide together how to share time with our children on holidays and other special days, always taking into account our children’s best interests. We understand that this lack of a formal schedule could cause some problems in the future, but we believe that this will work out best for us, and we both agree to make every effort to make sure that it does.
4. General terms and Conditions
Except as otherwise expressly provided in this Possession Order, the following terms and conditions apply regardless of the distance between the residence of a parent and the child:
Exchange of Children at Start of Co-parent’s Possession
The Court ORDERS the Home Parent to surrender the child/ren to the Co-Parent at the beginning of Co-parent’s possession at:
If a period of possession begins at the time the child/ren’s school is regularly dismissed, the Court ORDERS the Home parent to surrender the child to Co-parent at the beginning of each such period of possession at the school in which the child is enrolled.
If the child is not in school, Co-parent shall pick up the child at the location designated above and the Court ORDERS the Home parent to surrender the child to Co-parent at the location designated above at 6 pm.
If the children will not be in school, the Home-Parent shall immediately notify the Co-Parent.
Exchange of Children at End of Co-Parent’s possession
The Court ORDERS the Co-Parent to surrender the child/ren to the Home Parent at the end of Co-Parent’s possession at:
If a period of possession ends at the time the child/ren’s school resumes, the Court ORDERS the Co-Parent to surrender the child/ren to Home Parent at the end of each such period of possession at the school in which the child is enrolled or, if the child is not in school, at the residence of Home Parent at 7 a.m.
If the child/ren will not be delivered to school on that day, Co-Parent shall immediately notify the school and Home Parent that the child/ren will not or has not been returned to school.
The Court ORDERS that each conservator will refrain from using corporal punishment, as the children’s primary care provider recommends.
We agree that each party will ensure the child is wearing a seat belt or age appropriate child restraint is properly installed and buckled whenever she is riding in an automobile or other vehicle.
Child/ren’s Personal Effects
The Court ORDERS each conservator to return with the child/ren the personal effects that the child brought at the beginning of the period of possession.
Designation of Competent Adult
Each conservator may designate any competent adult to pick up and return the child/ren, as applicable. The Court ORDERS that a conservator or designated competent adult be present when the child/ren is/are picked up or returned.
Notice if Unable to Exercise Possession
The Court ORDERS each conservator to give notice to the person in possession of the child on each occasion that the conservator will be unable to exercise that conservator’s right of possession for any specified period.
Written notice shall be deemed to have been timely made if received or postmarked before or at the time that notice is due.
In regards to finances we agree that M will be able to claim head of household for tax purposes. We agree that M will claim all children as her dependents for tax purposes.
We agree not to give our children any messages, either spoken or in writing, to deliver to the other parent, ask our children to keep secrets from the other parent, question our children about the other parent’s household or friends, encourage our children to challenge the authority of the other parent, to request a change of custody, or to resist spending scheduled time with the other parent, say anything, by word or gesture, that might reduce our child(ren)’s love, respect or affection for the other parent, nor will we allow friends or relatives to do so.
We agree not to introduce significant others to the children until the relationship has lasted at least 6 months and both parties have met significant others prior to introducing the children.
We agree to not allow children to use the terms: mom, dad, mama, daddy, mother, father for anyone other than their biological parents.
If we ever have to go back to court because of disagreement, B agrees to pay all legal fees for both parties. We also agree that both parties must attend private mediation first before any legal action can be taken. The party seeking a change will pay all mediation fees incurred. In the event one clear party is not seeking a change, both parties will split mediation cost.
Edited by micah_mae_ - 10/8/13 at 4:37pm