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Ilovemyboys wrote:We have no temporary orders. My wife is taking everything straight to court.
We tried court mandated mediation, but she finally gave in to every other weekend and Wednesdays. But I wanted 50/50. So we couldn't mediate.
Our temporary hearing was set for Tuesday, but do to the schedule that day, it doesn't look as if it will be heard. Next court date is out in August and that's for temporary child custody.
SHE IS NOT THE GATEKEEPER OF THE KIDDOS. Sorry for yelling, but you gotta get it into your head. You are falling on your sword saying 'Ow-ow-ow-ow-ooowwwww', and this is willingly. Time to ditch your lawyer, find someone who is not so god-awful with advice. Moving out, really?
If you truly cannot do what FoF noted ^^, see below.
Get yourself to their school, pick them up, take them home (whatever place you call home), and spend time with them. There are no orders, there is no primary parent designated. Time to just ball-up and get it done. You need to exercise your time with the kids. Expect a cop call, but without orders, they have no reason to intervene. The kids have a right to be with both of you.
You need to start fighting as dirty as the law allows to keep you in the running for 50/50, as you are seriously behind the 8-ball here. You can do it, but it will take intestinal fortitude you have not shown to this point. Are you willing to do that?
The meaning of life is Happiness. What makes you happy? - Dalai Lama
Family court isn't Burger King. In spite of what you may think, you simply can't have it your way. - TK
My attorney said nothing about leaving the house impacting child custody and I discussed this with him at length.
I just wanted to point out that there is a gulf between what the law says and what reality is.
Because there is a fear of DV, in your case a fear of false DV claims, the law says that if a person moves out because of those fears it cannot be used against them in the custody dispute. The laws were written so that a woman wouldn't be penalized if her man beat her and chased her out of the home and then claimed she abandoned the children and didn't deserve custody.
The law was written for women.
If you feared domestic violence and left the home and took the children with you........that is what the law was written for.
SO, while your attorney may be partially correct that moving out because of your fear of DV can't be used against you, it ignores the practical realities of real life and White Knight judges.
An atty that understands your stated goal of at least 50/50 would have advised you to stay in the house, perhaps in a different bedroom; buy immediately an mp3 recorder and kept it on 100% of the time you are at home and in proximity to her (to prevent her success in accusing you falsely of DV); and to curtail any conversation to child-logistics, the well-being of the kids, and a reasonable and equitable settlement. That your atty missed the elephant in the room (i.e., how can you pass the bar exam and not know that Dad moving out of the marital home guts his chances of 50/50?) is frightening...I'd be looking for a competent lawyer, fast.
The advice you were given is the easy way out, the least amount of conflict, the cheapest in terms of legal costs. My guess is that if you said "I'll give her anything she wants, I just need the boys" to the lawyer, they stopped listening at the comma.
Ilovemyboys wrote:According to my attorney, since I still pay the bills, I have not abandoned the family. My wife has changed the locks and any attempt for me to regain access to the house is considered Domestic Trespassing here in NC according to her attorney (and mine).
Per NC statute, you may have screwed yourself by moving out and establishing another residence. You will need a court order or a written agreement to allow you to move back into your house.
As has been stated already, you are allowing your STBX to establish the status quo with regard to your children. At this point, without a seperation agreement or custody agreement, you both have equal rights to see your children (she cannot control your children). Make sure to aquire an MP3 recorder, NC is a single party state, and then go to school and pick up your children. Enjoy your time together. You STBX can < edited > and moan and call the police, but without that piece of paper, they really cannot do anything.
Be aware that her strategy may change after this (ie she will get to school first, etc) event. Find a good lawyer and develop an effective stategy to get the most time with your children. Don't forget you can still be involved with your kids. Go to school and have lunch with them, mine loved this. Be a coach on one of their teams. Spend as much time with them as you can and make sure to document what you are doing to be a great Dad. And make sure that recorder is running any time your STBX is around.
Read the LIST!
§ GS 14‑134.3. Domestic criminal trespass. (a) Any person who enters after being forbidden to do so or remains after being ordered to leave by the lawful occupant, upon the premises occupied by a present or former spouse or by a person with whom the person charged has lived as if married, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if the complainant and the person charged are living apart; provided, however, that no person shall be guilty if said person enters upon the premises pursuant to a judicial order or written separation agreement which gives the person the right to enter upon said premises for the purpose of visiting with minor children. Evidence that the parties are living apart shall include but is not necessarily limited to: (1) A judicial order of separation; (2) A court order directing the person charged to stay away from the premises occupied by the complainant; (3) An agreement, whether verbal or written, between the complainant and the person charged that they shall live separate and apart, and such parties are in fact living separate and apart; or (4) Separate places of residence for the complainant and the person charged. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, upon conviction, said person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (b) A person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a Class G felony if the person is trespassing upon property operated as a safe house or haven for victims of domestic violence and the person is armed with a deadly weapon at the time of the offense. (1979, c. 561, s. 2; 1993, c. 539, s. 76; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1998‑212, s. 17.19(a).)