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CP not cooperative in person or in mediation, what to do?

Clovis, CA |

I am the NCP.I filed a motion to modify custody or in the alternative parenting time. I also filed a contempt motion in regards to withholding my 3 children from me. The CP does this all the time in the event to get back at me for (1) because of our split 9 yrs ago and because I have had a stable relationship with my wife every since our break up. She also uses the kids as a means of pawn, so she doesn't want to allow me equal time because she will loose her food stamps, section 8, day care assistance, and utility assistance. All of which are free assistance programs. My wife does have family insurance and has had that for 3 yrs for all of us. My wife has also been involved in my childrens lives since they were newborns/infants.CP constantly denies me visitiation for any small disagreement

we have. My wife and I get very frustrated because she's hurting my relationship with my children. My wife will tell me not to argue with her because it makes matters worse. She'd then hear my wife across the phone and get even more upset. So she'll lie and say my wife threatens her and is always getting involved. However, I guess she fails to realize that a "marriage" is about discussion and that my wife is going to be involved. I just get so frustrated. The last time filed a contempt motion on her, she got a slap on the hand and the judge only focused on what I was doing and not why she is willingly withholding visitation and none of it was because of any danger my children were in.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. I generally do not file or like Contempt Motions. I find the Family Law Judges generally do not like these motions. The bottom line on Contempt, it does not work for what you are trying to accomplish, which is more time with the children.
    I generally request more time with the children, each time I file a Motion, after a parent denies custody. The parent most likely to encourage/facilitate frequent continuing ongoing contact is the parent that should be awarded custody. I would focus on that.
    Your wife has no legal obligation to do anything for your children. Personally, I do try and keep the new spouses out of the case/issues, specifically because they are not legally obligated to these children, only you and the Mother are legally obligated.
    I would ask for a location away from the home for the exchange, such as McDonalds. I would ask the Judge make an order that each party make a purchase, and if a dispute arises over who showed up, produce the receipt, because it has a time/date stamp on it. I would request that if a dispute arises over whether or not a parent showed up or not, the motion must be brought within 30 days, or that party complaining waives the right to raise the issue.
    This ensures that if you have a legitimate complaint, you bring in forward in a timely manner, and same with her. None of this nonsense where you and her bicker for one year, then come to court with 100 complaints that only come up after one big argument.
    I would ask that you be allowed to record telephone conversations, and she the same. This should keep both of you on your toes. If I were her, I would request that your wife be barred from participating in the conversations. As for you, you should not have your wife participate, this is not her problem, and it will ruin your marriage.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship

  2. First I would never suggest doing child custody without an attorney. Lay persons are not versed enough in the law to know what codes to bring up to counteract something the other side may have said. Also an attorney knows what to look for and the proper questions to ask. Child custody if done right the first time should not involve constant bickering between the parents. I do child custody in Fresno everyday and there is no need to be continually taking a case back to court.

    Second: as hard as it may be to understand this is between you and your ex. Neither parties current spouses or partners should be involved and in my opinion be mentioned to the mediator or the court.

    Third: make sure you have documented everything on a daily basis. There is nothing better than contemporaneous writings to submit to the court.

    Fourth: I practice Family Law in Fresno and contempt is not the way to go. As another responder here stated Family Law judges do not like contempt actions and that is true in Fresno County. Contempt does nothing but delay handling the issues because in a contempt matter the accused does not have to say anything and shouldn't because this is a semi-criminal matter.

    I am in Fresno and offer free consultations and flat rates if you would like to discuss your case. No matter who it is you need to consult an attorney.

    Note this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on. Each situation is fact specific and court specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship

  3. It is always helpful for someone involved in a custody dispute to have documented incidents with the opposing party. Keep a journal, maintain records that could be used to prove your case in court. Sometimes, the only way to get this information out is through a trial. Child custody and visitation can always be modified if there is something that has changed since the last order. It may be time to re-address your custody order. Also, the court does use a process called "psychological evaluation" which is meant to determine in more detail through a professional what issues are involved in a custody dispute. It is likely that this would be ordered in your case to figure out what the problem is.

    The answer is based upon the limited information provided and does not create an attorney-client privileged relationship.

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