Friday, April 2, 2010

What Divorce Law is Doing to Marriage Part 32

More from the words of Jed Abraham

The court further finds that Husband is entitled to the reasonable visitation that our statue preserves for the non-custodial parents of the minor children of divorce. Our case law has arrived at the consensus that, all other things being equal, reasonable visitation means visitation liberal enough so as to encourage an ongoing relationship between the non-custodial parent and the minor child. By arrangement with Wife, Husband currently enjoys temporary unsupervised visitation with the minor children for five hours every other Sunday afternoon. This arrangement, as noted above, was entered into by the parties as part of an agreement between them which resulted in the withdrawal by Wife of her allegation of sexual abuse of the minor children. Although Husband’s current visitation will have recourse to a bath-that is, when the risk, as Wife perceives it, of Husband sexually abusing the minor children is very low-it does indicate that Wife, to her credit, is generally willing to entertain the maintenance of a visitation relationship between Husband and the minor children, given the proper precautions. No untoward incidents during Husband’s current visitation have been reported to the court. The court therefore believes that an expansion of Husband’s visitation with the minor children would be appropriate.

The court orders that Husband’s visitation with the minor children be expanded to the first three Sundays of every month from 9 AM to 5 PM. (During the remaining fourth and possible fifth Sunday of every month, the children shall remain with the Wife so that she, too, may enjoy an uninterrupted Sunday with the minor children.) Such visitation is to continue for 3 months from the date of this order, where after Husband’s visitation shall be revised to conform to our established liberal standard of every other weekend from Friday afternoon at 7 PM overnight through Sunday afternoon at 5 PM. The court has also set forth, in the Appendix to this children’s holiday and school vacation time. It is so ORDERED.

You did pretty well, your lawyer will tell you, as he ushers you into his office. Abuse charge quashed. More visitation. More visitation still to come. Sure, you didn’t get joint custody. And if you want, you can appeal.

Appeal to what, you will sneer. You’ve had enough. You were a loser in marriage and no you’re a loser in divorce. If some jackass judge who gets to play God thinks it’s just fine for the kids to have a deadbeat drifter take the place of their father then let him live with that. You can’t. Besides, you can’t afford to appeal. You’re cutting your losses. You’re outta here.

Of course, all is not lost. You’ve learned a thing or two. For starters, you’re gonna give up your apartment – you know, the one the judge said is not good enough for the kids-and then you’re gonna go looking for John’s ex….

Your lawyer will dryly remind you that you can’t go anywhere just yet. The court must still rule on alimony and child support. And how much you have to pay your wife’s attorney. Your losses have just begun.
This concludes Chapter 5 “Your Custody Hearing”. Next summary I will be starting to cover Chapter 6 called “Alimony”.