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Discussion Starter #1
<p>So I want to submit a custody plan to my lawyer and see what we can do for a settlement. This has been dragging through court for 4 years. We are trying to get my case thrown back to mediation but this could be difficult to do with my ex's abusive nature and the current judge. Currently he has been granted EOW in my town and all of spring break which is essentially 9 days. The judge left it up to my ex and I to hash out the rest however this has been impossible. My ex is hostile, demanding, lies and is not willing to compromise on anything. He has not paid any child support in 4 years. We have a 4,5,8 and 10 year old. He is court ordered allowed to call mon, wed, fri evenings at 7pm. The first three years he was granted supervised visits only and he never once came. Then he took me back to court and the order was reversed to the above. In the past year the kids have gone for two 9 day visits. He rarely calls and goes months between phone calls. He just went 1 1/2 months without calling and is requesting all of thanksgiving and xmas break with no negotiating allowed. He hasn't visited once since July.</p>
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<p>With his inconsistent phone calls and random visits the kids do not fair well during the visits. He does not provide appropriate sleeping arrangements either. Give me some specific ideas so I can appear reasonable but am showing I am highly concerned about the kids welfare during the visits. Plus as far as travel goes can I request he pays all travel but we can renegotiate this at the point  he is caught up on child support or at least paying consistently? He is $12,000 in arrears and has never attempted to pay me once. If he doesn't call consistently he misses the next visit? If he doesn't exercise at least one EOW a month he misses a 10 holiday break visit? He must provide separate sleeping arrangements for the children and must bring their clothes home in good condition. He brought all of their clothes home from the last visit pulled directly out of a washing machine and thrown into a garbage bag where they sat for a few days in his car and all of the kids clothes were destroyed and moldy. He must show proof of entrance and completion in the batterer's program? How can I incorporate it all into an agreement? Any input would be great!</p>
 

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I don't have a custody agreement like this (I have full physical and legal), but perhaps google helps. I'm just kind of surprised after reading this that he's asking for visits at all--it sounds like he doesn't really want them and rarely uses them. I would write down EVERYTHING you want, like the clothing and the living situation (like each child must have a bed, 3 meals per day, must brush teeth, must bathe every other day, etc etc...whatever the basics are for you), be as nitpicky and harsh as possible and then let your lawyer go through it and tell you what is realistic. If you truly think the kids are in danger in his care, calling CPS is another option besides just going back to court. Do they communicate with you on their long visits? Do they have a way to let you know if, for example, they weren't fed that day? Good luck! I really feel for your kids on this...sorry they have to go through it
 

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<p>I think your ideas are great.  The problem I see is that your ex is NEVER going to agree to it - and if you want to go to mediation, he has to.  I would say, stall, stall, stall, stall, stall, stall until after your judge steps down, and then feel out the new judge (with ALL the facts), and then go from there.  If I were you, I would settle for nothing less than supervised visitation in my home town ONLY b/c offering anything else seriously undermines your concern for your children.  I know you want this to be over, but once an order is final, its near impossible to change it.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #4
<p>I don't know how to overturn the already ordered unsupervised visits. He has had two 9 day visits and because he didn't abuse the kids my lawyer felt like we can't overturn it without some proof. We are asking to go back to mediation as a stall tactic for waiting on the judge to step down. We have been to mediation twice the both mediators recommended supervised visits with him needing extensive therapy for anger and abuse issues. The judge overlooked it all. Mediation is really hard for him because he always says I kidnapped the kids and never goes beyond that. But I want to go in with a full list and hope for the best.</p>
 

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<p>Ok, if thats your stall tactic, thats great.  Hopefully, the mediator will recommend the same things that the others have.</p>
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<p>Are you sure that he didn't abuse the kids during those 9day visits?  You said the visits were hard on the kids, but you never said why, so I really don't know (I certainly hope he didn't!!!!  Its just that knowing what I know about your situation, I wouldn't trust that man further than I could throw him, and probably not that far either!)</p>
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<p>Anyway, if you do ask for mediation, you should definitely go in with a well thought out plan, and several copies of it (one for the mediator, so they can see it and read along, one for you and one for your x - maybe one or 2 more just in case he rips it up or burns it or something)</p>
 

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<p>Isn't there a thread here that asks 'what do you wish you'd put into your custody agreement" with a lot of really great advice? I recall a poster who said they had something like a 30 page document detailing every little thing pertaining to the kids (can't recall who it is though!) so you wouldn't be the first to have an extremely detailed list. You might as well ask for the sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, any and all other constellations, martians, or other alien life forms in the first go around. Let him come back and say what HE'S willing to negotiate on. He who writes the contract comes out ahead.</p>
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<p>IANAL, but if you detail all of the things he was supposed to do (anger management, calling, paying child support, etc.) as conditions of your agreement, if you can stall until you get a new judge, it outlines WHY you're asking for so much for the new judge who is looking over the files.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Isn't there a thread here that asks 'what do you wish you'd put into your custody agreement" with a lot of really great advice?</div>
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YES! Darn this new board without the stickied threads....that was so helpful. <a href="http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/659455/what-do-you-wish-you-had-put-in-divorce-settlement-parenting-agreement">http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/659455/what-do-you-wish-you-had-put-in-divorce-settlement-parenting-agreement</a> i found it and i will bump it up too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<p>The only thing is that I have a restraining order and there was a long history of abuse and I want the decision the judge made reversed. But my lawyer, as much as she fights it, the judge will not see the facts. I don't believe he should have any visits but I have to be careful with this judge. So when I draft a proposal I need it to reflect this. The previous mediators all said visits should be kept  supervised, this is technically the law. I have been doing extensive searches on San Diego judges and the courts there. There are several websites dedicated to the corrupt judges, yes mine is one of them, and the websites reflect how many children are being hurt by the San Diego family court system. That battered woman are losing custody of their children to their abusers and that the abusers are getting liberal unsupervised visits regardless of police records and restraining orders. At this point my goal is to get my case transferred to where I live and pray I can get this all reversed. Truly he doesn't want the kids, he does however want to control and hurt me in any way that he can.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<p>Also this is what the judge reversed. I left my ex and lived in a DV shelter with the children for a year. Supervised visits to the father were order and for him to attend a batterer's program for one full year. Once he completed the program and showed good faith at visits it was said we could revisit custody then. My ex did not do one single visit and we did not even hear from him for two years. Then he found me. He showed up at my apartment complex, restrained the children in front of multiple witnesses and began yelling to everyone that I had kidnapped his children and he was there to get them. The police came and refused to arrest him even though multiple witnesses were present. Over 7 people called the police including a postal worker who was present. I was finally granted a restraining order because the first time the judge denied it saying that since I moved so far away I would be safe. Following my request for the new restraning order after this incident my ex went back to court to modify custody and he told the judge that I had been allowing him to see the kids for the last two years unsupervised. I provided police records and phone records to show I called the police when he did appear, I was very scared and he hadn't called once in two years. The judge gave him weekends supervised by his mother. His mother is a convicted drug felon who attempted suicide in 2005 and is on multiple meds for mental issues and has been on Social Security Disability for mental issues since 2003. He claims to live with his mother. We provided proof of her suicide attempt, she was put on a 72 hour hold at a hospital, and her probation/felony arrest. The judge still allowed it. After three visits at 4 hrs each with his mom present the judge modified the custody to my ex having EOW and all of spring break. My ex has not taken one EOW visit but did take the kids for spring break to where he lives. For nine days, after not seeing their dad for three years except for the three 4 hour visits, the kids had to go with their dad. THeir dad took the kids to his moms home where her husband is also a three time convicted drug felon and has been arrested for domestic violence against my ex's mom. This is what the judge has allowed. For three convicted drug felons, with two of them having restraining orders against them and the grandma with suicide attempt and mental issues to be in charge of the welfare of four young children. Who am I? A work from home mom, full time online student, with a completley clean record of any sort who has been raising the kids on my own for the last four years. And the judge believes the children should go for visits into that situation over being with their mom. Oh and even though child support was ordered I have never received a penny and my ex never enrolled in the one year batterer's program and the judge overlooks both os these things. So I want to overturn this injustice. However my female lawyer and I are not getting anywhere even with all of the above facts. Currently my ex is attempting to get all of Thanksgiving and Christmas break plus all of Summer with the kids. Does he truly want them? No. But he wants to control and hurt me in any way he can. He will not truly be present with them. He leaves the kids with his mom and girlfriend. Also all of his mom's family, her mom, sister, dad etc submitted declarations on my behalf of how mentally ill she is and neglectful. His girlfriend is also being abused by my ex and she told my lawyer this. But stated it was in confidence and she was afraid for her life if my lawyer were to say anything. So that's everything. I'm not sure what to do but I'd like to get things overturned before he hurts the kids.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Super~Single~Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279160/help-me-draft-a-custody-plan#post_16043070"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I think your ideas are great.  The problem I see is that your ex is NEVER going to agree to it - and if you want to go to mediation, he has to.  I would say, stall, stall, stall, stall, stall, stall until after your judge steps down, and then feel out the new judge (with ALL the facts), and then go from there.</p>
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<p>:yeah I agree stall stall stall stall and aim to get a new judge.</p>
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<p>I also would spend some time thinking about what you would be okay offering.... While I know you have a laundry list of what you want and it feels odd to offer someone who has been abusive anything but to appear like there is something worthy of mediation then I would think you need to also know what you are willing to offer.</p>
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<p>I'm late on this thread but while it would might be hard to reverse the unsupervised visit thing, I would at least <em>request</em> supervised visits pending your ex's completion of the batterer's program.  And I would lay out the EOW thing and say that in order for him to any vacation time, he must be consistent about visits.  You can mention that due to the inconsistent nature of his visits since the last schedule was handed down to you, the current schedule is not in the children's best interests.  You could say that <span style="text-decoration:underline;">once the batterer's program is completed</span>, for instance, and he does X amount of supervised EOW visits consistently, then he can begin unsupervised EOW visits.  If he misses an EOW visit, he must do X amount of supervised visits again before he may re-continue unsupervised visits.  And for him to have vacation time with the kids, he must have done X number of EOW visits consistently beforehand, or he foregoes that vacation.  I also would try to do something about that 9-day vacation thing - like offer half the time.  It can't hurt to try.  All of this could show the new judge that you are most concerned with his behavior around the children, and the consistency issue. </p>
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<p>Also, not sure how to word it but require that he show proof to the court that he has appropriate sleeping arrangements for the children. </p>
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<p>I would also, somewhere in the document, reinforce the fact that you have a restraining order against him - so if/when this goes to a new judge (one can hope!) they are reminded of that major fact front and center.  The new judge may be very unimpressed with him, and while you'll want to look as though you're trying to facilitate a relationship between kids and ex, like a PP said, you don't want to undermine your own concerns.  A tough balancing act, but first and foremost I would insist on the batterer's program proof of completion.  It is just beyond crazy that he never had to complete that!  Your lawyer should absolutely stick to that!</p>
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Discussion Starter #12
<p>That is very, very helpful thank you! I'm going to write something up this weekend.So today my lawyer went in ex parte to request I appear telephonically and not in person and that we have mediation before the settlement conference. Crazy judge wasn't there today so my lawyer was very excited. But this judge didn't have time to hear any ex partes and my lawyer has to go back in on Monday, when crazy judge will be present. Ugh. I guess the court clerk kept telling my lawyer that I have to appear for a mandatory settlement conference. My lawyer showed them the list that shows telephonic appearances are acceptable but must be approved by a judge. My lawyer said if they try to force me there for the mandatory settlement that she is going to request we go to trial instead. We are stalling in every way possible due to crazy judge leaving in Dec. I pray something works. Thanks again for those great ideas.</p>
 
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