My question involves a child custody case from the State of: GA
My ex-fiancee moved from GA to WI about 4 mths ago while I was out of town. We were scheduled to be married this April '08. We have recently went to mediation to get legitimation (make me her legal father) of my 21 mth old daughter, a visitation schedule and child support. We agreed to 4 days a month (Thur @ 9:30am - Sun @ 5PM) and alternating holidays, spring break, etc. I will get her 2 wks this summer (it goes up to 4 wks by age 5). I still live in GA. She is a stay at home mother and moved in with her parents in WI. This schedule will last until Sept 2011 when we will go with the school calendar (she will have started school at this time) and I will get school holidays and such. I have used my 4 days of visitation this month (June) and am scheduled to see her again over July 4th weekend. I am responsible for all travel expenses (air fare, hotels, etc). I have to stay in WI for the first 2 months and then get to start bringing her back to GA in August. Airfare as you know is starting to increase substancially. I have also found that 4 days a month is not often enough with my daughter and not enough time. She does VERY good with me and knows who I am and says Daddy the entire time she's with me. The max time I have ever gone without seeing her was 1.5 mths. I am a wonderful father and have no issues taking care of her. I have a very flexiable work schedule where I work from home about 80% of the time.
Here is my question: The mediation agreement has not been signed by a judge yet and is not final, even though we both signed it at the mediation agreement. I would like to know what reasons I can use to object to the current visitation schedule. The next day after mediation my lawyer said "You are going to get screwed on travel costs!" I was like "wow...thanks for sharing that with me now" He was a bad lawyer. Now I plan to move to within about 75-100 miles of my daughter in about 6 mths (hopefully). I am afraid that I will not be able to get more time than just every other weekend and once a night for a few hrs during the week once I move. I would like to work to get more time with her like from Thurs night to Monday morning so that once she starts school I can have her more time. How can I go back and have this added to the current mediation agreement? My lawyer was NOT very effective in mediation and was not on top of what my needs were. I'm afraid I need to get this taken care of now in the current mediation agreement because I've heard it's harder to get more time later. Do you have any ideas on what I should do now? GA does have a "freebie" modification where we don't have to wait 2 yrs to modify. Could I turn around and just file for a modifiaction right away? I've heard of getting something like "step up" plan put in place so that I can get more time once she starts school. Also, how can I get some type of split of time (not 50/50 but more like 60/40 or 70/30) once she starts school if I've only been getting her 4 days month or EOW?? I feel like I need to do something immediately just to keep from not getting more time later with her. I could move now and just commute back to GA for work after my EOW visit but it would be costly. I also thought about having the judge let me put something to the effect of "If the non-custodial parent moves with 100 miles of the custodial parent then he gets her every other weekend and ......".