Jump to content


Photo

Understanding a judges ruling


  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 thinton76

thinton76

    New Member

  • Members
  • 2 posts

Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:44 AM

Today the judge ruled against us and I am trying to get my head wrapped around why. My 14.5 year old daughter spoke with the judge expressing her concerns and wishes. Her father moved away promptly after her birth and has not returned since, less a handful of visits over the years. He recently moved back to his hometown and pursued more visitation. Current visits are once a month at his mothers residence. In the 7 months that she has went, he has failed to take her to practices and events for school, says that is not his responsibility. He is also nearly $12,000.00 in arrears. I just don't understand if my teen daughter feels uncomfortable around him and he doesn't take part in her life and has never, why the judge would rule in his favor.

#2 Ted_from_Texas

Ted_from_Texas

    Platinum Contributor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,943 posts

Posted 14 August 2012 - 10:13 AM

What the judge had in mind is impossible for anyone on an Internet message board to guess. I can only offer the following considerations:

The law presumes, in the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary, that it's in a child's best interest to have two parents active in the child's life. Even an inactive parent is better than no parent, and unless the father can be shown to present a danger to the child, his desire to reenter the child's life will be accommodated within reason.

Naturally, a teenager will feel uncomfortable in the presence of an adult she hasn't known well for a large portion of her life. It's to be expected these feelings will subside over time as she and her father become re-acquainted. It's the job of the custodial parent to encourage visits, and to assuage the child's fears to the extent possible rather than exacerbate them.

The law holds that the parent's right of visitation trumps all other social and extracurricular activities that may occur during visits. Unless the "events for school" directly affect her academic record, he is not required to make sure she attends. If he causes her to miss school to the detriment of her grades, you may request a modification of the custody order to compel him to either take her himself or make her available for you or someone else to take her. Otherwise, Dad gets to say how her time is spent when she's with him.

Child support and visitation are two entirely separate issues, and neither parent can withhold one in order to enforce the other. There are legal means to enforce the payment of child support that don't involve curtailing visits.

I hope this clears things up a bit.

#3 thinton76

thinton76

    New Member

  • Members
  • 2 posts

Posted 14 August 2012 - 10:54 AM

What the judge had in mind is impossible for anyone on an Internet message board to guess. I can only offer the following considerations:

The law presumes, in the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary, that it's in a child's best interest to have two parents active in the child's life. Even an inactive parent is better than no parent, and unless the father can be shown to present a danger to the child, his desire to reenter the child's life will be accommodated within reason.

Naturally, a teenager will feel uncomfortable in the presence of an adult she hasn't known well for a large portion of her life. It's to be expected these feelings will subside over time as she and her father become re-acquainted. It's the job of the custodial parent to encourage visits, and to assuage the child's fears to the extent possible rather than exacerbate them.

The law holds that the parent's right of visitation trumps all other social and extracurricular activities that may occur during visits. Unless the "events for school" directly affect her academic record, he is not required to make sure she attends. If he causes her to miss school to the detriment of her grades, you may request a modification of the custody order to compel him to either take her himself or make her available for you or someone else to take her. Otherwise, Dad gets to say how her time is spent when she's with him.

Child support and visitation are two entirely separate issues, and neither parent can withhold one in order to enforce the other. There are legal means to enforce the payment of child support that don't involve curtailing visits.

I hope this clears things up a bit.


Dear Ted from Texas,
These are things we have heard before. Two of her scheduled events are school related and her attendance is part of a grade and the other is JV SOftball, which is a highly competive in our school and she is very proud of her place on the team. He consistently tells her he will take her but then when she arrives he says no. I understand when children are young parents can make ultimate decisions but I think teens should get to have more say in their schedule, which is why we let her take Marching Band and go out for sports. She has had a step dad since she was 4 and he has been very active as a parent. Even willing to adopt when there was what some states may describe as abandonment. Isn't there anyting we can do? He lied on the stand, we have proof; he has been home for 7 months and only has contact with her during visits...no calls, no attendance to activiities, nothing.

#4 pg1067

pg1067

    Platinum Contributor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 45,144 posts

Posted 15 August 2012 - 06:26 AM

If the information you have provided here has already been provided to the court and the court ruled in the father's favor anyway, then your only recourse is to appeal (depending on the applicable state law and how long ago the judge made his/her ruling). If it has not been previously provided, then you may be able to seek a modification based on this information. Consult local counsel.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users