Case Conclusion Date: January 1, 2011
Practice Area: Child Custody
Outcome: Permanent Orders To Be Scheduled
Description: This case represents a victory for military members and how the Court system can accomplish the right thing with good lawyering. This was an allocation of parental rights case(APR), and both parties are in the military. The Father stationed in Florida, and the Mother lives in Colorado. Back in February 2011, the Mother, who is the opposing party. filed her APR regarding a 6 month old child. The Mother was extremely restrictive regarding what, if any, time she would allow the Father to have. She insisted if he wanted parenting time, it must be supervised by her, he must pay all expenses to fly to Colorado to see the child. She must serve as the supervisor and the parenting time was to occur at her home. As we know, until you can proceed to Temporary Orders, it is difficult to obtain parenting time on terms other than what the other party demands. Father was passionate about wanting to preserve his role in the child’s life and traveled often, even if for a short amount of time, to Denver so he could enjoy what little time Mother was willing to offer. Over the summer, Jennie Wray, an attorney with The Harris Law Firm, did a great job at Mediation and was able to obtain a compromise that allowed Father to begin to exercise a small amount of unsupervised time, and a few occasional overnights. Even though this may not have been a long term victory, establishing that parenting time in the short term produced great long term results. In September, the Mother was deployed overseas. Without obtaining any Court authorization or telling anyone, the Mother transported the child to Wyoming so the child could live with her family while she was deployed. Then, Mother filed a Motion to Stay the proceedings under the civil service relief act. Opposing counsel didn’t confer prior to filing, didn’t obtain Court’s authorization to file and his Motion for Stay did not meet the requirements of what the service members relief act requires. Jennie Wray motioned the court to dismiss their Motion as it was nothing more than a ploy to create a new status quo and deprive Father of parenting time and to supersede the injunction. Upon receiving our Motion to Dismiss, they withdrew their Motion. Shortly thereafter, the Court issued an Order requiring the child be removed from Mother’s family’s care in Wyoming and be returned to Father’s full time care in Florida, to Father’s delight.