December 14, 2009,
A.M. asks from Clio, MI on November 03, 2009
Modifying Custody Agreement/Stipulations
So my ex is finally coming around, and we are now going to modify the custody arrangement to make the best schedule for our daughter while she attends special-ed preschool. We have come up with the schedule part, but I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for stipulations that I should add. (Ex: Right of first refusal). Our original order did not have any stipulations, and this was a huge mistake. I wish I would have added co-habitation and traveling stipulations, but its too late now. So anyways, any suggestions? I want to make sure that everything that could ever cause a disagreement in the future is covered. Thanks.
1 mom found this helpful
T.M. answers from Lansing on November 04, 2009
I am pretty sure if you are going to modify the order you are able to add the first refusal.
A.L. answers from Detroit on November 07, 2009
I added the no third party rule to both of us, if you can live with it then it is best for the child. It means you and him are not allowed to have a third party of romantic involvement around the child. It was a bit harsh for him but I had no problems with it, I wanted nothing to do with men for quite some time.
I liked the school idea you got too, I don't have that problem but that would be a great safety tool to be put in place.
As long as both of you are only looking at the best interests when making the rules of visitation and not of yourselves the agreement will work. Use that "best interest of the child" mind set if your wavering on something, or if you feel he is not cooperating, being objective to her is hard but as a mother you can do it.
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A.H. answers from Detroit on November 04, 2009
I would suggest talking it over with your lawyer. If he is educated enough and deals with these situations, you should be able to have him assist you to the fullest extent. All situations are different for other parents here. What one parent would be allowed, another may not be depending on what is happening. Not only that - but you will have legal and sound advice.
And try to keep open to the ex and his new wife. I would imagine that will help you more than if you do not.
C.W. answers from Greensboro on December 14, 2009
question....im trying to make it where my ex cant just up and take her or find a loophole but i dont have money for a lawyer, so i am making my own papers, what kind of stipulations did you have?? if his fam gets her without me having custody papers, they will keep her, help?
C.B. answers from Detroit on November 05, 2009
I just wanted to add that you should make sure that when your papers are all in order to personally take a copy to your daughters school to have on file - also talk to the Principal if you can. I also made sure the Admin building also had a copy of my judgement on file for the entire school district. I learned this the hard way when my ex and his parents just decided to show up w/o notice at my daughters school and try to sign her out w/o my knowledge around lunch time. I also made sure that certain people were not added to the Emergeny call cards so that my kids could not be released to them w/o my knowledge. Good Luck.
M.H. answers from Grand Rapids on November 08, 2009
First of all, if he has not been consistent in her life the visits need to start off slow at that age.. during the week after school 2x's a week, no over nights until he completes the consistent after school thing. If you can, invite him over for dinner at your house so that you can see them interact together. He will not know that it is a supervised visit, they do not react well to control, usually. She will see that you both get along and will phase into their alone visits better. If this is not acceptable to you for your reasons then you can even meet at McDonalds playland and do the same. A child that age should not be thown into over nights until you see that they are comfortable with that. If she is just getting to know him again this will work out best for everyone. He may not agree with this and if so and you are the custodial parent. Too bad for him...it is her feelings that matter not yours or his. I would set a 2 month date on the after school for 2-3 hours after you do the supervised visits...it is best not to use that word. Just set the visits up that way. If you do not get along you do not have to sit at the same table. Bring your laptop or borrow one that can keep you busy so that you are not leering at them. Encourage your daughter that this is your time with daddy. Mommy is busy but I am here if there is an emergency, she will need you for potty breaks. When you go for potty breaks be posative..example; Isn't it great to ssee daddy. Are you having fun? Parks or Chucky cheese is a great place for visits too. She will be stamped with a number that only matches yours and he cannot leave with her.
After the 2 months set up alone visits where he has to come pick her up and drop her off after 2 hours with a booster seat of his own. That is the law...You do not have to provide one for him if he does not have it you can deny a viit until he does. He can get one at a garage sale or good will if he soes not have much money, there is not excuse for ignoring her safety. What else will they ignore?? These kinds of visits are so he has to find something to do that focuses on her and if he does bring a girlfriend, so be it. It is his time and if she is important to him that gives your daugher a chance to get to know her slowly as well. If you do not want a man in your life that is fine but trying to control his life will build resentment instead of respect. It will also let you see his significant other interact with her. The courts usually need a reason to deny him bringing her with. It also shows no jealousy and that you are over him by respecting his right to a social life. If she is abusive or argumentative then the stipulation regarding no cohabitation can be submitted. If it interferes with the best intrest of the child.
After your specified time that you set for this type of visit and he is following through on all the visits you put the stipulation in for over night and the weekly after schools. I do not know the reason for her being in special education? My son was too. He had an emotional impairment with anger issues. Her handicap cannot be ignored so if it takes longer to be ready for an in crease in time that is fine but don't let her manipulate you either. If she has autism then there is much for daddy to learn. I started with one over night and the 2 days a week after school. If you want to increase the after schools to be flexible and he returns her on time that is always good too and he is showing respect and responsability and you can feel safe giving him extra time with the beautiful child you both created.
With those who are not consistent they either follow through or hang themselves by making excuses why they cant come or do not show up or drop off on time. They end up in contempt of the order and go away again. Let them know this will show your daugther how much she means to you. I hope this is helpfull to you and these are just examples of what worked for me. Most of the time they cannot handle the extra responsability and go away as I said before. Time will tell. I was a child advocate for many years and I also have 3 children that are involved with visitation orders. They have to be modified to what the child needs not the parent.
I also agree regarding the visitation order being in place and on file with the school. Her teacher and the office should both have one. I hope for her sake that he brings smiles to your face by being a great dad and saying...what ever it takes to make her feel safe and happy. I hope this gives you usefull suggestions that you can modify to fit your family.
I wish you all the best.