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Mark Alan Morenz-Harbinger

Mark Morenz-Harbinger’s Answers

21 total

  • My case is in Pierce county I have been divorced since my daughter was 6 she is now 14 and is refusing to go to her Dads

    Mark’s Answer

    In the type of scenario you are describing, parenting plans can be modified by a Court when the Court decides that “substantial changes” in circumstances have occurred since the decree which make the current situation “detrimental to the child's physical, mental, or emotional health and the harm likely to be caused by a change of environment is outweighed by the advantage of a change to the child” or if adjusting the parenting plan would be in the “best interests of the child”.

    This type of litigation is often costly (a Court might appoint a Guardian at Litem to represent the child and to get to the bottom of her complaints…sometimes teens just manipulate the situation and, anyway, it is generally unhealthy to have children choose where they end up living, for psychological reasons).

    But—especially if her health or safety is at stake—it is often best to ask the Court to adjust the Parenting Plan. ALSO, if domestic violence has taken place, that elevates this to a whole other level, too. Emergency Orders can be sought.

    One question I often have clients ask themselves is: would they go to child protective services with what they know now? If not, then their motion to change the parenting plan might not have the chance of success that they would like (generally, the law is supposed to prevent abuse, not just ‘bad parenting’). And, if they *would* go to CPS—then why didn’t they, already? The Court might ask social services to get involved and do custodial evaluations, anyway. Remember, once you are back in Court, the Judge can do whatever they like in that area.

    Best of luck to you and your family.

    See question