Divorce and family law issues are hard enough without having to fight about possession times and schedules. Here are 5 tips to help you avoid possession issues in your family law or divorce case.
1) Read and know your possession schedule.
Both divorce and other family law cases will have final orders, but even if your case isn’t finished, you most likely have temporary orders that are in place until yours is finished. Read the orders and get to know them. This avoids problems because you can make plans, schedule important dates on your calendar that you need to comply with and know when you need to be somewhere.
Also, if you have temporary orders, the orders are probably not custom fit to your situation. Temporary orders are usually entered at the beginning of the case and sometimes circumstances change or neither you nor your spouse remembered some unique situation for your family like a band trip to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. When you know your orders, you will be able to deal with potential problems.
2) So, now that you know the schedule – prepare for the new.
Prepare yourself, your home, and your kids. Be where you need to be, when you need to be there and be ready to exchange the kids. Prepare yourself by knowing where, when and how you will exchange the kids, and make sure your car is ready for the kids. Make sure you have what your kids will need for extracurricular activities, homework and whatever is important to them. If you have teenagers, prepare yourself for their extracurricular schedules, work schedules, social lives to interfere with the schedule and talk it out with your lawyer. Know how you want to work with those issues.
3) Keep a calendar or log.
Log, write down or list your parenting times. Keep a note of issues and how they were resolved – both when it ended well and when it didn’t. You can use online calendars, online resources or just a calendar from the office supply store. This isn’t a huge time investment, but will help you remember what happened when, if you need to, a year from now.
4) Communicate with the other parent.
If you guys are working amicably through your current issues, then this probably is obvious. But, if you aren’t amicable then change your idea of communication. Use a method that is more likely to just allow you to communicate about the kids like an online method, discussed in my earlier post.
5) Finally, keep your schedule easily accessible.
If you keep a paper daytimer or calender, copy the schedule and carry it with you. You can either go with a paper copy in your office, or a pdf copy on your phone, tablet or laptop. If you don’t have your orders as a pdf, as your lawyer for you a pdf copy of your orders. If you need to schedule a last minute business meeting out of town you will be able to refer to your schedule to make your decision.
Talk to Jill O’Connell, an experienced family law and divorce attorney, at 940-497-5454.