Yesterday A judge made a child custody order with a step up plan for visitation. I was awarded sole legal and physical custody until the last step. Strangely, the father's attorney was given the role of creating the summary of the court orders even though there are some holes that I believe they are putting specifics down for that werent mentioned by the judge. I havent received the court orders from his attorney yet.
My specific question is regarding pickup location for child visitation. Although no mention of pickup location was made by the judge, the father is claiming in fact that the court order states the pickup location to be the "primary residence" that I put on my court papers. However I am moving and am filing a change of address with the court.
I have given the father notice where this new residence is but he refuses to pick up at the new residence which is still LA county. He insists that the court order specified my old address and thats where it will be.
How can I verify his lawyer isnt tampering with court orders and putting unmentioned specifics in? Also can we make arrangements outside the court order? How tight are they and can he "take backs"?
I would start by getting a copy of the minutes of the court. This may give you the information you need. It is usually two pages of notes taken by the clerk of the court summarizing the court's orders. If that is not clear, I would move on to requesting a copy of the transcript. The court reporter should be listed on the minute order. You can always call the clerk of the court to get the reporter's name and contact information. You will need to give the clerk the time and date of your hearing so she can be sure to give you the correct reporter's information.
If the order simply states that the pick up location is at your "primary residence" then dad will have to suck it up and pick them up at your new house. It sounds like he is the one who needs to make things better and being so stubborn to not pick the kids up at your house is slightly ridiculous. If it is simple "primary residence" I would tell dad that if he wants to pick up the children he can do so at your residence (give him the new address) in accordance with the court order.
If the attorney tries to add additional language to the court order that specifies your previous address even though the court did not specify, you can always file a motion to amend the order because it was improperly submitted.
I cannot imagine that the court intended anything but for dad to pick up the kids at your residence if the order was primary residence.
I agree with Attorney Baglof and would add that a letter to the attorney about this should suffice to straighten this type of thing out, particularly if you mention that you have every intention of returning to court to clarify this if sound reason is not applied to this issue and it cannot be resolved out of court. Do check the Minute Order and, if necessary, the transcript, before writing to counsel. It may be helpful to attach a copy of the Minute Order or transcript to your letter to the attorney. It is clear that you will get nowhere writing to Dad, so writing to counsel would be your first step before doing a Request for Orders for clarification and for sanctions.
Sometimes the orders say that the receiving parents does the transportation. Most probably the other attorney filed the RFO - this is why he has to write the order. He has five days to write the order. If the order does say receiving parent, this means he picks up when he starts visits. You pick up at the end of visits.
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