Divorce & Standing Orders Possession Schedule

Updated on February 25, 2011
K.M. asks from Frisco, TX
12 answers

I have some questions. I am going through a divorce that I never wanted and need to have some opinions of others who have grown through this. I have an attorney but don't like what I am hearing and further more, that I have any chance of accepting something different.
In our mediated settlement (which took place in Nov) I agreed that we would create a different possession schedule other than the standing order.
My ex has written the final decree and he wants the standing order. 30 days in summer, extended weekends etc. I am at a loss of words; because we agreed we would come up with something different.
My questions are: if we end up going to trial -- am I forced to accept that he will get standing order. He wants to be a part time DAD and that does not bother him; but it bothers me. He is forcing me to be a part-time MOM.
There is no concession given to me to continue to take my child to therapy twice a week either. Would a judge (in trial) grant me right to do that without being forced to for monetary reasons.
I am just wondering here -- if I have been given the right advice -- in mediation I got 60% of community property and my atty said I would have never gotten that if we went to trial. So, I would be a fool to not sign this decree and get it over with. Whose side is he on anyway?! Could you offer me some advice.

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answers from Anchorage on

I agree that if you do not like it, don't sign it, but be ready to lose some of that 60% (most states go 50/50) and you still will not get full custody unless you can prove the father is unfit. I am sorry this is forcing you to only have the child/children part time, but the father has rights to his children as much as you do.

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answers from Milwaukee on

Do yourself a favor and get a lawyer. You will lose out on so much if you don't. If the situation gets ugly your lawyer will have your back. I fought a very long time but got what my child deserved. It is very hard on my child going back and forth in the summer for long periods of time (especially with her friends here and none there). The courts strongly support the father wanting to be a part of their childs life. You need something set as far as what day to what day so that he can't just call you up and say your child won't be coming home for a few more days or he's picking the child up on a day you had something planned with your child. How old is the child? This could make a difference on opinions of what to do. There are things a lawyer can do to help you that standing on your own won't. It is so worth the money. If you didn't sign an agreement then nothing is set until court. Don't let him trick you into it. He may just be trying to have the child more to avoid paying child support. If he gets 50/50 placement he most likely won't have to pay a dime. There's a certain amount of over night hours that get figured out as to how much he pays. Not days, just over nights. I wish you luck. Court is not fun. Stand up for yourself. You just learned that he goes back on his word so don't let him do it to you again.

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answers from Phoenix on

Actually, thanks to a divorce, you are a part time mom because simply, you are no longer together so your time with your child is divided. I have been thru this, as well as my husband. My ex could care less about his time with the kids. He does his time every other weekend and can't be bothered with anything else. My hubbys ex is straight from hell. She has caused nothing but problems since we've been together. My biggest advice to you is to get the schedule as detailed as possible. Not just "30 days in summer" but actual dates and times. State the "receiving parent" is to pick up child. State what year each parent will have child for each holiday, including time. Don't forget you can have child on your bday, he can on his, etc. This will save you a lot of pain if you do this. Whatever is ordered/agreed on now, will be very difficult to change in the future so make sure you are happy with it and that it is very detailed. Email me if you have questions, I have so many Court Modifications I have written I could practically be an attorney myself!! [email protected]____.com Good luck to you!

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answers from Eugene on

Here in Oregon, our judgment was divided into 3 parts: property settlement, child custody, and spousal and child support. Any part could be settled out of court and we would then go to trial over the parts we couldn't agree on. I don't know how it is in Texas, but it sounds like you don't feel completely confident with your attorney. It could be that he is telling you the truth and it's not what you want to hear. Or, he may want to get the case moving and wants you to sign so he can be done with it.

I started out with an attorney who didn't go to trial. She knew she was in over her head when my ex contested the divorce and started making unreasonable demands (he was abusive and made it hard to leave). She sent me to an excellent litigation attorney. I think that working with him is what kept us out of court. He knew the judges and could tell me what to expect if we went to trial. Even so, when it came to custody and the parenting plan, I refused to accept the plan my ex submitted and made it clear I'd go to trial to do what I felt was best for my kids. It was grueling, we met with 2 mediators with no success, and were all interviewed by a court psychologist. I gave in on some minor points, but stood my ground and ended up getting a parenting schedule that was pretty close to my original request.

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answers from Dallas on

Well my hubby has been through the custody battle in the Tarrant Co. court house. I was there the second time around - for custody modification. It is the worst experience, so be sure this is best for the child. If your X is a good father - or you think a social study will find him a good father, then the court will most likley grant him the Standard visitation. 1st, 3rd, 5th weekend and every Wed or Thur (not sure what day) every other year holiday and 30days in the summer. You will really have to show proof that he is not worthy to have this visitaion in court, hard facts with evidence. Its not easy.

IMO I would talk with your X one last time. If he wants the standard then I would go with it (if he is a good dad). If he is not a good father and you think you have enough to prove your point and it is best for the child envolved, then fight it. But know that the child will know what is going on - and it will affect them.

Ithink it is great that you have your child in therapy, and I would continue this somehow. You both should still have joint custody and both be able to make medical decisions. So this should still alow you to take him, if it doesnt work out to take him twice a week - then just make sure you take him when you have him.

Its a really hard choice, but in the long run a bad parent will drop off... My Step-Daughter sees her mother once every 2 months for 2 hours - if that. And her Mother has that standard visitaion.

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answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,

So sorry that your divorce is not going smooth.

MOST judges are really truly interested in the best-interest of the child. Usually, that means as close to equal time with each parent - which yes, puts you as a 'part time mom' - I think that's what you are asking. Because if he has joint custody with 'extended' weekends I am assuming he will have your child almost as much as you will.

If by standing order, you mean the general guidelines for your state??? I would say that NO, if you can provide compelling reasons either way why a child should spend more or less time with one parent a judge will usually take that into consideration. It depends on a bunch of factors like how old your child is, the stability of each parent etc etc.

If by standing order you meant the temporary visitation decree that you and your stbe agreed on in mediation, I would think he would need to explain to the judge why he wants to change it.

As far as therapy, it would depend on what type of therapy - do you mean seeing a psychologist or physical therapy? What monetary compensation do you want? anything that you want would need to be written into the decree.... usually this is just handled the same way as any medical issues, so anything that insurance doesn't cover would be paid for by however it's stipulated in the decree.

Unfortuately - one of the worst by-products of divorce is that you both generally become part-time parents. You also have almost no say in how he parents your child when he has visitation. It sucks doubletime if you don't want the divorce, so I get your frustration.

Hope that helps.

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answers from Dallas on

Please please please get a second opinion. I was moral support for my girlfriend who was going through the exact same thing as you are now and she got the short end of the stick. They went to mediation and was recommended that she get full custody of the children and when we went to trial the husband got full custody, he got the sole right to make decisions regarding mental and medical procedures and my friend now has to pay more child support (upwards of 1000 a month) because he lied and said his business isn't making that much yet he still lives in and pays for the house that they shared.

She's allowed extended visitations and she was awarded a lump sum of 6000. That was it. It would take a long time to discuss the details of their divorce, what led up to it, etc etc but the last thing she said to me was that she wished she would have had another lawyer because she didn't believe this one did the best that she could have done.

If you feel in your gut that something is off and you want another opinion, then don't hesistate because this could cost you valuable time with your children if you make the wrong decision.

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answers from Dover on

If you are not happy with the agreement, don't sign it. Keep in mind that if you don't reach an agreement, the judge can order custody and visitation that suits neither of you and typically makes it "part-time" for each of you. It is in your best interest to reach an agreement between yourselves...not saying it has to be the standing order or the one has stipulated. There are some crazy orders out there that work for some but would not work for me. One child at my daughter's preschool has to constant revolving schedule and it works better than the previous one but she is having lots of adjustment issues. It works for the parents but not so much for the child.



answers from Philadelphia on

Ok so I agree with getting a second opinion but by a female attorney! Let's face it ladies it's still a good old boys club. Also remember You pay him! You are in charge!



answers from Dallas on

I'm late to the game on this one. I've been divorced 14 months and Texas is pretty good with their standard verbiage which spells out the guidelines in picking the summer time, who gets what holiday, who gets the child's bday, etc. it's also good at spelling out what joint legal custody is and what that means, so I'm not sure why you think you can't continue therapy, as long as it's in network and was previously agreed upon, ex has to pay half.

What was the different possession schedule?? How many extra overnights would you have vs the standard possession schedule or the extended possession schedule?

realize that if you fight, you'll probably not only get 50/50 of property, but you have to pay to fight so you're really out even more than that.

if he's a decent dad, then i would go with standard possession and the 60% property. remember, that possession is just what he's entitled to... nothing is saying he won't want some of it and you'll end up with the child more than that.

regardless of who wanted the divorce, you'll need to come to terms with not seeing your child every day. i highly suggest a divorce support group, like divorcecares. your feelings are normal, but you'll need to find a way to deal with them.

oh, b/c of that, be sure to put in FROR. that's one thing I haven't seen in the standard verbiage of TX divorce decrees.


answers from St. Louis on

Honestly if you are not happy with what your atty is telling you I would get a second opinion. Another thing where I live just because you agreed to it in mediation doesn't mean that is how it goes. If you want more than a part-time Mom job then by all means fight for you because you more than likely won't get any less. With our order for therapy the judge ordered that when the kids are with me I take them and when they are with their father he or current wife takes them. Either way it was ordered that they must go.


answers from Albany on

Mediation only works if both parties have no disagreements whatsoever. What you need is your OWN attorney.

Bleck, sorry you're going through this. But do not allow yourself to be bullied into an agreement that does not work for you.


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