Residential Custody

Residential Custody is the term used for establishing which parent’s home should be considered the children’s primary residence. It is necessary to establish a primary residence for a number of reasons, most predominantly to establish which school district a child will be enrolled in and which parent is likely to receive Child support. There are a number of other state and federal statutes that require the determination of a primary residence. The child or children will use the Residential parent’s address for these purposes.

Regular Parenting Schedules

Regular Parenting Schedule is the term we use for the establishment of the everyday Parenting Time schedule for the child or children, as opposed to the schedule for holidays or exceptions for vacations or the like. Regular Parenting Schedules are written in Court Orders. These Orders can be either temporary or for the long-term. In a Divorce case, these Orders would be included in a Final Judgement of Dissolution. In a Paternity, these plans would be in a final Order. Generally, the schedule will consider a two week period of time and the schedule depicted in that two week window would be repeated for every two weeks.

Vacation Parenting Time

Vacation Parenting Time will generally be included in a final order and will establish how many days and how often each parent will be able to take the children on vacation. It will also typically include a notice agreement that will establish the requirements for how much notice each parent must give to the other before taking the children on vacation – usually a 30 day notice is included. Occasionally, there will also be a limitation on the distance of travel or the location. This is often seen when one party has family or significant relationships in other countries. For example: one party may only take the children to see family in Mexico with a 90 day notice rather than a 30 day notice; or one party may be barred from taking the children to Canada outright.

Summer and Holiday Parenting Schedules

Babysitting / Right of First Refusal

Parenting Exchange Location

Parenting Exchange Times

Parenting Time Supervisors

Decision Making Authority for Health Care

Decision Making Authority for Extracurricular Activities

Decision Making Authority for Education

Decision Making Authority for Religious Purposes

Child Tax Credits

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Helpful questions about family law

How to choose the right divorce lawyer?

Choosing the right divorce lawyer, in our mind, comes down to three factors. First, is this lawyer going to be an aggressive advocate for me? Second, is this lawyer a person I can get along with personally? Third, do I trust this lawyer to communicate with me effectively? If you walk away from an initial consultation with a lawyer answering yes to those three questions, you have likely found the lawyer who is right for you.

Legal work can be extremely time consuming. Your expectations should not necessarily be that your lawyer is someone you can vent to about your personal life, as that would likely result in an unreasonably high bill. But you should expect your lawyer to keep you informed as to the status of your case. You should also expect your lawyer to listen to your wishes and concerns and use those thoughts as a basis for your case. You don’t need to talk to your lawyer everyday, but you should hear from them every other week or so.

Expect the unexpected when it comes to the Court dates. The Court system is based on a first-come-first-serve calendar, when the case is not filed as an emergency. All initial Court dates are determined by the Clerk of the Court, not of the lawyer or client. If you have a lawyer, expect the Judges to want your lawyer to do the talking, unless the Judge asks the client a question directly. You should also expect the Judge to keep the Courtroom as orderly as possible. Judges very much look down on people who speak out of turn. As for dress, the Court does not require a strict dress code, but it is always a good idea to dress professionally to show the Judge that you take the system and their Courtroom seriously.

There is a process in the law referred to as “discovery” that allows a party to a legal proceeding to discover information about the opposing party. In the context of a divorce, “discovery” is primarily used in the form of written questions and written requests for the opposing party to provide documents to the party that is doing the requesting. These are called “interrogatories” and “requests to produce.” During the process, the party answering the questions or requests must provide a written testimony, under oath, that the documents and answers are true and accurate. It is through this process of “discovery” that we are able to learn what assets a party possesses.

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