Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Camps

This post is a follow up to my previous post "Making Summer Plans?" as summer camps are often a hot button issue for co-parents who are struggling to get along or who are very territorial about "their" time with the kids in the summer. As most parents know, premium camps require registration earlier in the year - January, February, March which is earlier than the standard language in most divorce decrees or final orders in which the noncustodial parent must designate his/her extended summer possession by April 1. If the noncustodial parent fails to designate at all, then the default is typically July 1 - 31 for the noncustodial parent. Prime camp time. This creates pressure on the custodial parent (and the children who enjoy camps) to assume the risk of that the noncustodial parent will designate (or default to July 1-31) his/her time to be DURING the camp time and the ultimate disappointment of the children if they cannot attend. This disappointment could also be misdirected at the noncustodial parent who is simply following the court order. If you're presently involving in pending litigation, bring this particular issue to the forefront for discussion so that you can specifically negotiate a term that is appropriate for your children.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Woman gives sister the gift of life

Below is a local story (by KVUE) in which a couple experiencing infertility were given the beautiful gift of a child from a family member (the wife's sister) who volunteered to be the couple's surrogate. Although these types of situations can be rife with emotion, tension, and legal issues, this story is about a wonderful journey of love and selflessness. If you or a loved one are interested in surrogacy, we are happy to assist! Give us a call to schedule a consultation.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

It's Time to Designate Extended Summer Possession

It's that time of year to file tax returns and to designate periods for summer possession and vacation. Most orders read that the non-custodial parent, let's say John, must notify the primary parent, Jane, by April 1st of when and how he plans to exercise his 30 days of summer possession. He can choose 30 consecutive days or he can break it up into no more than two periods such as 1 week/3 weeks or 2 weeks/2 weeks. If John does not notify Jane by April 1st, then his extended summer possession defaults to the period of possession outlined in the order which is normally the entire month of July. Once April 1st passes, Jane then must notify John of two weekends that she wants in the summer during his regular possession and extended summer possession. For example, if John has the kids during the entire month of July, Jane can designate July 4th weekend as the weekend that she chooses to exercise. She can also designate a weekend of John's regular periods of possession (1st, 3rd, 5th weekends) in June or August so long as she doesn't choose Father's Day. Please note that the above is based on Standard Possession language. Refer to your Order for specific provisions related to Extended Summer Possession. And remember, you and the other parent can always agree to a possession schedule above and beyond what is in the order, just be sure to get it in writing!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Conscious Uncoupling?

It's the new catchphrase in the world of celebrity separation and divorce and is Gwyneth Paltrow's attempt to coin a friendlier term for divorce. Guess what? It's still divorce. There will still be a separation of the couple's assets, possession schedules for the children, child support possibly, who makes what decisions for the kids or how those decisions are made. The difference that Gwyneth is trying to "make" is that she and her estranged husband are committed to putting the family's needs over the individual husband/wife's needs. Well, that's not a new concept. Everyone attempts to do that but unfortunately, most couples believe that they are. Estranged couples "choose" how they approach a separation and their behavior during the process. But, it's difficult as time goes by, money is spent, the children become angry or do not adjust to the separation well. It will be interesting to follow their journey through conscious uncoupling.