My husband and I are currently going to court for parent responsibilities on for his 2 children that he has with a prior girlfriend. We have had the children Mainly Thursday- Sunday every week; Depending if she will let them come, which is about once or twice a month. The children are 7 and 4. The 4 year old is in head start, and we were taking her and picking her up from school for the last year, until about 2 months ago when the papers were filed for a court agreement. The main reason for the mother wanting to go to a court agreement was my husband working out of town Monday - Friday, but getting them every weekend. The children have always been registered at her address. For the last year he has given her $150 average a every week, and has the documents to show she received them. She is employed, as are him and I. The children are on government insurance. And we purchase all needs for our own home, and she does for hers. She is willing to keep the children getting on child claimed on each parent for taxes, which she has only claimed them every year, except this last one, my husband did and gave her half.
Based upon the way in which you asked your question(s), I am suggesting that you and your husband schedule a consultation with a family law attorney to see if you can get answers to your concerns. The way to get a "joint agreement" is for two people to agree to something. In this case, the two people who must reach agreement are the mother and father of the children. If they cannot agree, the court will make a decision.
Your case is properly titled Allocation of Parental Responsibility. As you know the outcome of you case can have a big impact on the amount you will pay for child support and other issues involving decision making and extraordinary child expenses over time. These can be very tricky cases that can go sough very fast. The court will look at any agreement you make as to if its unconscionable, unreasonable, unfair, made under duress, not taking fully the interest of the children in mind. You will need to explain your position to the court. If the court thinks everything is fair they will approve it. If the court thinks something is off, everyone will be in court answering questions. For the cost that is usually charge by an attorney for this type of case, I find that the possible saving in reduced child support to you will pay for that attorney over a short period of time, as your likely to have all the bases covered when being represented by an attorney.
It is impossible for any of us to tell you the likelihood of an agreement - that depends on your husband and his ex, what parenting time schedule each of them wants, how well they are able to communicate with each other, etc.
I agree with the other responses that your husband should consult a family law attorney who can help him make the best argument for the parenting plan he wants the court to adopt. Your husband will also likely have to attend mediation with his ex to try to come to an agreement - a process which is also much easier with an attorney on your side.
The answer given is not legal advice and does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established. Your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter
I am on optimist. From the fact you have given, it sounds as though there may already be an agreement on many issues. Have you mediated with the other side already? If not, I would suggest you find a mediator experienced in family law and request from the other side, or the court, that the parties attempt mediation. Even if you can resolve all issue at mediation, it sound as though some can be and that would limit what you would have to bring to the court.
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