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Should I make a court ordered custody agreement? What did you do?

I have been advised by a lawyer NOT to make any court ordered custody agreements and to work things out by ourselves. I asked though if this means he could take my child longer than I say or for weeks on end without getting in trouble and she said no. Right now I have legal and physical custody and he has "reasonable parenting time" but there is no definition of what that is until he petitions something. Should I just try to work things out without the courts? Would we just type it all up and sign it and would that hold up for now? Please let me know what you have done!

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:46 PM on Jan. 16, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (8)
  • I'd make up a parenting plan and have it approved by the court if I thought there would be an issue. My x always brought them back too early not too late so I never had a problem!

    Answer by admckenzie at 4:02 AM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • I am the OP...the anon that posted about the EX husband was not me, but several people responded to her so I just wanted to clear that up. In my state of michigan once his name is on the b.c. i get legal and physical bc i am the one that filed for child support. I had to do this bc my child receives state funded insurance so they need him to pay back the birth costs. Lawyer also said that a notary really makes no different but she did say that a notebook of everything will hold up bc you have to swear under oath and not many ppl are going to lie about what is in the notebook log.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:54 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • dont listen to the lawyer get it all in writing and signed by the judge so that you have legal rights if he trys to pull something

    Answer by cara124 at 11:38 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • Unless something is on paper ordered by the courts and signed by a judge it is normally NOT enforceable by police. So if he takes her and doesn't bring her back by the ordered time...your hands are tied. That is just where I live through.

    Answer by Allergic2Stupid at 11:08 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • I just want to add, if you are concerned about the "what ifs" make a list and call your county family court. These laws vary by state, so any info you get here is just in the experience of the mom posting.

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 11:04 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • If the legal and physical custody are legally documented then I agree with the lawyer, getting his visitation court ordered will be worse. When my DS was young he had set times-EOW and EO Wed. 3 hrs- for visitation as he got older it was changed to "reasonable visitation" which meant he didn't have to go if he didn't want to. Even though we had joint legal custody, his sperm donor NEVER had any thing to say about medical or school decisions, and since I had physical custody the "reasonable visitation" time was determined by me and DS so if he ever tried to keep DS longer than he was supposed to I was told to just call the cops and have them meet me at his house with court papers in hand and he would have to turn DS over to them. As happened with a pp ex-Dh eventually signed off all rights and DH adopted DS.

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 11:02 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • If your ex signed his parental rights away, he doesn't get any visitation. As far as the courts are conerned he is not the father, your current husband is. You do NOT have to give him anything and he can NOT get his rights back. You can be nice and let him see the kids, but your are not legally obligated too, even with the divorce papers. Those were voided when your current husband adopted the kids. Your ex doesn't have to pay or do anything for the kids,ever again. Your husband took that responsibility when he adopted the kids.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:11 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • How can you have legal custody of your child when you just said there is no court-ordered custody arrangement? Either you do or you don't. Just because the child lives with you doesn't mean you automatically have full custody. You are considered the custodial parent, yes, but the father has just as many rights as you do.

    You can always sit down together and work out these issues for yourselves, and then sign it in front of a notary public. It will hold up in a court of law. But, take note: if either one of you wants to change the agreement, you have the right to do so.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:55 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

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