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  1. #1
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    Oct 2011
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    Default Do I Have Grounds to Ask Judge for Supervised Visitation

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: TX

    I am about to come to an end of a 2 year custody battle and I hope my story will help others too. Going to try and make it short. Aug 2007 divorce was finalized and I had a 2 year protective order for his violence/abuse towards me. I was awarded sole custody and father standard visitation. Daughter and I moved to CO and I notified ex of this in writting. After my move ex never came to visit saying he was too broke, but had a racing hobby. Oct. 2009 I decided to move back to TX so ex and daughter could spend some time together. I notified ex of this move in writing. He cut off all communication with me and when I asked for his number he wouldn't give it to me. When I moved to TX in Jan 2010 I could not find him. this is when I realized had no contact info for him except an e-mail which he would not respond to. March 2010 I was offered a really good job as an engineer in LA where I also had family. I decided to take the job but didn't plan to stay in LA until July 2010 when i was offered a even better job in LA doing what I went to school for.

    March 2011 I was notified of a hearing for child support contempt against him. He counter filed for full custody claiming I was hiding our daughter from him. He filed contempt on me for denial of visitation and interfereing with parent child relationship and not notifing him by cert mail of my moves. I was found not guilty of denial of visitation and interference but guilty of not notifying him cert mail. (He owed me 12K in arrears) He requested amicus attorney for our child. I tried to get the case moved to LA but since I showed up without a lawyer I didnt know that I subbmitted jurisdiction to TX when I appeared in court in TX. Amicus attorneys where appointed for our daughter. Home studys where done.

    My daughter told me during my visit with her while she was at her dads for the summer that her half brother bit her on the boob, while they where left home alone. i didnt see any marks and noted in my journal and phoned the amicus attorneys. They went by to see daughter to talk to her but they went on vacation in FL so was unable to see her about this. After comming home my daughter told me that her half brother choked her, slapped her hard enough to fall on the ground, grabbed a knife and said he was going to kill himself and ran away leaving my daughter at home with the 80 g'ma that is unable to walk, barely talk, and is on oxegen. She had a bruise on her chest, which I took her to the doctor for and had recorded. At a more recent visit my daughter told me that her father grabbed her arm and dragged her through the house and a nail was on the floor and left a big scrape on her knee, also took her to doctor for this. My daughter never wants to go to her dads house and cries about 90% when its time to go.

    I am very concerned about my daughter's safety while she is over there. I really feel supervised visits will be best for right now, at least for her safety. I am pretty sure the amicus attorneys are on my side with custody staying with me. They even said that I need to retain sole custody and not joint. I am not sure about supervised visits though. This is what I want to go for seeing as we are in court now and the issues should be addressed now. So what do you all think? Is it possible to get the judge to order supervised visit?

    (ex has had contact with daughter since June 2011 but didnt start exersizing visits untill xmas of 2011 to current.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default Re: Do I Have Grounds to Ask Judge for Supervised Visitation

    LA never had jurisdiction over your child, only Texas does. So there was never a question of you submitting to jurisdiction by appearing in court. You could have petitioned Texas to relinquish its jurisdiction to LA, but in this instance it may not have been granted anyway.

    Beyond this it is unlikely you will get supervised visitation, although some issues should be addressed with the court. But these things should be handled by your own attorney, which you don't appear to have. Otherwise some things that should be done probably will not be done.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: Do I Have Grounds to Ask Judge for Supervised Visitation

    Quote Quoting worriedmommy
    View Post
    I decided to take the job but didn't plan to stay in LA until July 2010 when i was offered a even better job in LA doing what I went to school for.
    If the job is good, doing what you went to school for, please get an attorney.

    Quote Quoting worriedmommy
    View Post
    I am very concerned about my daughter's safety while she is over there. I really feel supervised visits will be best for right now, at least for her safety. So what do you all think? Is it possible to get the judge to order supervised visit?

    (ex has had contact with daughter since June 2011 but didnt start exersizing visits untill xmas of 2011 to current.)
    Attorneys are expensive, yes, but this is your child you are talking about. If it were an illness and you were concerned about your child's health, you would go to the doctor. So here, if you are concerned about your child's safety, for the love of all things chocolate, get an attorney. You have posted here a number of times, but haven't been extremely effective in presenting your concerns. They may be very valid concerns, but you need someone to articulate them on your behalf. I don't know your chances of getting supervised visitation, but the odds will improve exponentially if you have representation.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    124

    Default Re: Do I Have Grounds to Ask Judge for Supervised Visitation

    Actually I have been represented this whole time except for the first court date. I have spent 10K + on lawyer fees, travel expenses, and time off of work. And yes LA did have jurisdiction seeing as the child and I have not lived in TX for 5 years and lived in LA for 2 years. The only reason my lawyer was unsuccessful in getting it switched was due to the fact that I showed up in court in TX there for relenguishing jurisdiction back to TX. This was all explained to my by legal counsil. If I would of shown up to my first court date with a lawyer filing the correct papers to get it switched then it would have been granted. I keep posting on this site so that I may get different points of veiws on what is going on. I am very thankful for this site because it has helped me to see both sides to a custody battle helping me veiw certain things in a different light.

    Now that is clear that I do have legal counsil can yall tell me what you think my chances are with supervised visits and maybe some points I can or cannot argue. My attorney had told me that the amicus attorney is hoping I am going for supervised visits. For the last 2 years I have been going for 1 weekend a month and alt holidays but now 2 weeks before trial I would like to ask the judge for supervised seeing as my child's safety is now a concern to consider. I know where my lawyer and the amicus attorney stand.... they want reduced visitation, child support, medical support, and address flight schedule issues. I just want to see what yall think about all of this. Get some good different opinions.

    I am working on my case this weekend and really appreciate any advise or experience anyone can offer. And yes I work on my case due to the fact I am the only one who all the details inside and out. I gather all the info and evidence and give to my lawyer and he decides how and what to present. The first attorney I had was an angry person at my ex and lost sight of my goals in court by filing things just to make ex mad and without asking me first so I fired him and hired a new one and he is great!! My new attorney has gotten my ex to drop all court filings of his and that saved me about 10K seeing as he wanted a jury trial. (very expensive!)

    My ex has been pro se this whole time. I like to hear what other people not involved think so that I can be as prepared as possible for court on the 15th. I am also curious who will be paying for amicus attorney?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Do I Have Grounds to Ask Judge for Supervised Visitation

    Sorry, but I'm not going to second guess your attorney. And honestly? That's not why we're here.

    You have counsel. Talk to your attorney.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  6. #6
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Do I Have Grounds to Ask Judge for Supervised Visitation

    You can ask for anything you want. Getting the court to order it is another. I suggest you give your list of demands to your attorney and let him/her do their job. Good Luck.
    With enough thrust, pigs fly just fine.
    You may believe that you understood what you think I said. I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default Re: Do I Have Grounds to Ask Judge for Supervised Visitation

    If your attorney told you that Louisiana had jurisdiction since you lived in LA two years, then your attorney was wrong and does not fully understand UCCJEA. While Texas could have voluntarily ceded jurisdiction if you had properly petitioned, it was not required to. That would have depended upon the disposition of the judge in your case. It could have gone either way.

    While judges may order supervised visitation in temporary orders, for many reasons they are far less inclined to do so in final orders without a lot of strong evidence to support that. Which is probably why your attorney is only pushing for reduced visitation, and even that is far from a given.

    If parents cannot agree to visitation, Texas courts will frequently default to the Texas Standard Possession Order, which is far more than what he is currently getting. Just be aware that by demanding supervised visitation, or even messing with the current visitation schedule at all, you may inadvertently open the door to him getting more visitation than he now has.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2011
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    Default Re: Do I Have Grounds to Ask Judge for Supervised Visitation

    First off thank you both for your posts.

    Dogmatique, I am not looking to second guess my attorney, he agrees with me on going for supervised visits. I am just wanting to get some ideas and thoughts from different people, thats all. Doesn't mean I am going to jump around changing what I am already going for.

    tex11, Ex and I live 400 miles apart and he is currently exersizing the current court order for Standard visitation. My daughter currently travels more than 24 times in a year. I know that this is just standard but really I dont see how that much traveling is in my daughter's best interest (she is only 7). Most parents I see that live this far apart have a less frequent traveling schedule. I don't even see the judge giving ex joint custody which is the only way I see the judge giving him anymore visits than he currently has. Ex has a lot of ordered time with our daughter as it is now. Weekends begining the 1st, 3rd, and 5th friday of the month and alt holidays plus 6weeks in summer and gets her every Spring break.

    My ex refuses to co parent with me for example: There was a time that I seen I could not afford to pick up my daughter after visitation in TX (about a month before the visit). I e-mailed ex offering to bring her and pick her up if he could do the same for me on the visit I couldnt afford. I thought was pretty fair, but he declined. I also offered him a make up weekend, he dedlined. I offered him extra time plus making up the weekend during mardi gras break, he declined and said he would be there to pick her up for the visit. He said you do what you gotta do and I will do what I gotta do, knowing I would not let her go if I knew I couldn't provide a return way home. At this time he was not paying any support either.

    I thought I was pretty clear he was already getting tx standard visitation. I really do not want to open any doors to him getting more visitation... can you tell me your thoughts on why a judge would give him more than standard visits?

  9. #9
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Do I Have Grounds to Ask Judge for Supervised Visitation

    Quote Quoting tex11
    View Post
    If your attorney told you that Louisiana had jurisdiction since you lived in LA two years, then your attorney was wrong and does not fully understand UCCJEA. While Texas could have voluntarily ceded jurisdiction if you had properly petitioned, it was not required to. That would have depended upon the disposition of the judge in your case. It could have gone either way.
    By the time she brought the matter to the attention of her lawyer, she was already actively involved in custody proceedings in Texas, and had voluntarily submitted herself to that court's ongoing jurisdiction. She didn't say that her lawyer didn't attempt to transfer jurisdiction - she said he was unsuccessful in that effort, most likely because the Texas court decided that its continued exercise of jurisdiction under the facts was appropriate.

    Telling your ex-, "I don't have the resources to pick up our child after a scheduled visit, so I'm canceling the visit", is not a reasonable action. You're supposed to follow the court's order.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default Re: Do I Have Grounds to Ask Judge for Supervised Visitation

    The standard order should not require you to share travel expenses more than 4 or 5 times a year during extended holidays. The weekends should be entirely upon him to pick up and drop off at your home. Is this not the case here?

    - - - Updated - - -

    The Texas SPO only gives one weekend a month to the non- custodial parent under the long distance provision

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