My soon to be ex husband and I went to mediation and agreed upon supervised visits due to the violence in our relationship, he threatening to kill me and our child, mental illness, he had a TPO and breaking it. The agreement was a vague agreement that he will get to see our child two consecutive days a month at the end of January or early February. We been having difficulty with the days and the hours. My ex wants to see our child on his day offs and three hours since he's coming out of state, which conflicts with my school and my internship as well the visitation centers only allow 2 hours. His lawyers are going to bring a motion to the judge even though I already set up the visit with a center. What can I do to make sure I don't get in trouble with the judge or the courts?
I have change my schedule with school and my internship, but still my ex insists on his day offs from work to see our child. I have tried compromising and adding more time if he would be able to see our child on the weekend and yet his answer is always no and only wants his day offs. I don't know what to do. I'm worried about going to the court before the judge and the opposing counsel tell the judge that I didn't hold up our agreement from mediation and trying to keep him away from his child. Also, he has never seen our child due to the TPO and him making the decision to want to be involved last month after asking a paternity test in December.
First and foremost, you should seek the assistance of local counsel to present your case to the court. It is very important that you show the court that you are acting in good faith to accommodate the visitation. Good luck.
Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.
Without all the details (such as, did you convert the mediation agreement into an Order), it is difficult to give a solid recommendation. In these situations, I recommend hiring a lawyer to help you navigate through this process (or at least having a consultation with one), because if the mediated agreement was converted into an Order of the Court, you could be looking at a contempt charge. It sounds like the time of the supervised visits may be outside of your control if the center only allows 2 hour blocks. The problem with having no set days is that it is difficult to plan anything. I would try to negotiate for set days of visitation.
Child Custody Lawyer
First, it is important to understand whether that mediated agreement has been converted into an order of the court. If if is then, you might find yourself in contempt. However, if the mediation center is not allowing more than two hours at a time then that is an excellent defense to any contempt they might bring with regard to the amount of time.
Second, if that agreement has not been made an order of the court then they cannot find you in contempt but they can move to have the agreement enforced. I think that your change in your school schedule and your spouse's insistence on days that conflict with your school days is a good reason to set aside your agreement. If you are successful with setting aside the agreement, then I agree with Mr. Merriweather and strongly advise you to have set days for visitation, i.e. first Saturday of the month, second Tuesday of the month, etc.
Lastly, depending on when you mediated your agreement and in what county you might be able to renege on your agreement. For example, if I remember correctly from my last mediation in DeKalb that their ADR agreement (you signed at the start of mediation) says that if either party is not represented at mediation then they have ten days to void the agreement. The idea is that you would have an attorney review and based on their advice, you may choose that you do not want the agreement enforced.
I would recommend contacting an attorney.
This post does not create an attorney client relationship. This attorney is only licensed in Georgia.