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  1. #1
    MTHRaye is offline Member
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    How long do you wait?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NC

    We got our final order July 31st 2008. Dad has graduated visitation plan working his way up to overnights in 6 months. There are 2 conditions to getting to that point...

    1. Dad has to take a parenting class courts order in NC to all parents that can't agree in mediation within 30 days of order (per prior order class was already suppose to be done before we went to trial. He signed up, but didn't show up). Judge stated if dad didn't take class within 30 days to get out of contempt that dad could not move to next phase of schedule with overnights.

    It has been 30 days and he has not taken class or signed up for it (per family court on Friday). The next time it is offered is Sept 9th during the same time period we will be in court for contempt and failure to comply with child support so I don't think he will be able to make it to that one either. Next available date that he could possibilty take it at this point is Sept 23rd.

    2. Dad can not miss more than 2 visits per month for next 6 months (because he had missed almost all in the temporary period and our daughter is only 14 months so judge wanted an introduction and bonding period).

    He has been showing up for visits and munchkin seems really happy when she is returned. He is suppose to pick her up at 4 T/Th and have her until 7. He has not yet picked her up before 5:30 because he says that is the earliest he can get off work. This is fine for me except he testified in custody and support court to being unemployed.

    Question: How long should I wait to file the contempt/failure to comply? I know legally I have the "right" to do in tomorrow.

    But, I don't want to look like a b**** to the judge for holding him to it to a T, but have also read on this forum about "windows of opportunity". He is in contempt in all 3 orders we have (CS with NO payments since initial order in Jan 08 and cancelled insurance 1 hr after court ordered to continue providing, custody with this class and in a civil order for a medical bill I incurred for baby when he cancelled insurance and I have had to pursue through a writ of execution). I think the visits have been great for kiddo and don't want to discourage their progressing relationship.

    But, I (admiting its my thinking) wonder if it may be important for the future to at least have this heard and for his continued contempt to be noted in our file for the future since we have 17 years ahead of us. I do not want to take away his overnight possibility in 6 months (which is the stated punishment as well as fine b/t $100-$5000) but just to have it in the record in case he tries to file for joint custody in the future since I now have sole legal which is important to me for schooling issues mainly.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    Bloopy is offline Senior Member
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    He's not in contempt.

    He's failing to meet the requirements to graduate to overnights.

    If he pushes for overnights, these failures will sink him.
  3. #3
    Farfalla is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTHRaye View Post
    He has been showing up for visits and munchkin seems really happy when she is returned. He is suppose to pick her up at 4 T/Th and have her until 7. He has not yet picked her up before 5:30 because he says that is the earliest he can get off work. This is fine for me except he testified in custody and support court to being unemployed.
    If he is picking up a late because he is working… it’d not make a big deal out of it. He has a job, cooperate with him having and keeping a job. He needs one to help support his child.

    It is reasonable for you to work around his work schedule.
  4. #4
    MTHRaye is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloopy View Post
    He's not in contempt.

    He's failing to meet the requirements to graduate to overnights.

    If he pushes for overnights, these failures will sink him.
    I am sorry if I mislead and maybe I am wrong in my understanding. We are both pro se and I had 3 people in court with me that heard the same thing I did. The judge when telling us what the order was going to be while we were in court said... "Mr. X; you were already suppose to take this class. I am giving you an additional 30 days to complete. If you do not complete this class within 30 days you will be found in contempt and I can fine you $100-$5000, jail you for 30 days and you will NOT get the overnight schedule you are requesting if this class is not complete within 30 days."

    It doesn't specifically say that in the order. The way I read our order is that regardless of the overnights occuring that he is already in contempt. Am I reading it wrong if this is the way our order is written?

    Our order reads

    "2. Plaintiff shall have visitation with the minor child according to the following graduated schedule..." Then it goes on to elaborate on schedules

    Then it goes on to list a bunch of other stuff like access to medical records, vacations, moves, etc.

    THEN:

    "15. Plainiff shall enroll in and complete the four hour parenting class with in thirty (30) days of the date of this order."

    I specifically asked the judge that and she said that he had to take the class 30 days from date of order PERIOD.

    If he didn't then he would be in contempt and his overnights would not occur. Of course in re-reading the order that is not what it sounds like to me.
  5. #5
    MTHRaye is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farfalla View Post
    If he is picking up a late because he is working… it’d not make a big deal out of it. He has a job, cooperate with him having and keeping a job. He needs one to help support his child.

    It is reasonable for you to work around his work schedule.
    I agree and I am, BUT of course it makes me have to bite my tongue every time he states why he is late, but continues to tells CS he is unemployed. If he were actually using the income from that job to support the child it would be a lot easier to smile at the late exchange Hopefully we will get that resolved at his contempt hearing next week.
  6. #6
    Bloopy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTHRaye View Post
    The judge when telling us what the order was going to be while we were in court said... "Mr. X; you were already suppose to take this class. I am giving you an additional 30 days to complete. If you do not complete this class within 30 days you will be found in contempt and I can fine you $100-$5000, jail you for 30 days and you will NOT get the overnight schedule you are requesting if this class is not complete within 30 days."
    Pissing off the judge is ALWAYS a bad idea. The judge may very well impose the jail time and monetary sanctions (paid to the state) he threatened.

    Not getting overnights sounds like a given. It’s the only consequence that concerns you.

    Quote Originally Posted by MTHRaye View Post
    It doesn't specifically say that in the order. The way I read our order is that regardless of the overnights occuring that he is already in contempt. Am I reading it wrong if this is the way our order is written?
    I’m reading your order as a graduated plan contingent on him meeting certain requirements.

    The consequence for him is that he does not get overnights.

    Quote Originally Posted by MTHRaye View Post
    Our order reads

    "2. Plaintiff shall have visitation with the minor child according to the following graduated schedule..." Then it goes on to elaborate on schedules …

    "15. Plainiff shall enroll in and complete the four hour parenting class with in thirty (30) days of the date of this order." …

    If he didn't then he would be in contempt and his overnights would not occur. Of course in re-reading the order that is not what it sounds like to me.
    There is no need for you to pursue contempt. He is in contempt of the ordered steps required to get overnight.

    He can try to say YOU are in contempt by not handing him overnights after six months, but he will fail.
  7. #7
    MTHRaye is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloopy View Post
    Pissing off the judge is ALWAYS a bad idea. The judge may very well impose the jail time and monetary sanctions (paid to the state) he threatened.

    Not getting overnights sounds like a given. It’s the only consequence that concerns you.
    I understand that point and frankly at this point would like for him to hear "Hey, court orders are made to be followed" but I also assume that the courts are not going to make him take the class unless it it brought back to their attention.

    I’m reading your order as a graduated plan contingent on him meeting certain requirements.

    The consequence for him is that he does not get overnights.
    Again, I may be making this confusing... But I am thinking it reads a little different than what she stated to us in court. It seems from reading it that there is nothing specifically to back her statement that if he didn't take the class he would not get his overnights. There are contingencies set forth in the schedule section pertaining specifically to gaining overnights which states:

    2b. If, after six consecutive months, the plainitff has been consistent with his visitation and has not missed more than 2 visits in any given month, plaintiff shall have visitation according to the following schedule:

    i. Every other weekend from Friday at 4pm until Sunday at 6pm
    ii. Tuesdays from 4pm until 7pm.

    It then goes on to specify all holidays and how long visits are during those.

    Section 2 has everything to do with the schedule. Then the judge threw the class in there as the very last thing in our order. What confuses me most is that there are other conditions that he had/has to meet which were obvious to happen at certain periods.

    Sections 3-12 discuss communication, doctor stuff, daycare access, moving, estranging, medical treatment (nothing he has to do by any certain time)

    THEN;

    13. Plainitff shall procure and utilize an age appropriate car seat before transporting the child.

    14. Plaintiff shall procur and utilize an age appropriate bed for the child before any overnights begin.

    THEN...

    15. Plaintiff shall enroll in and complete the 4 hr parenting education class within thirty (30) days of the date of the Order.

    16. This Court retains jurisdiction on this matter

    That is the end. How should one read an order like that as far as time framing?

    There is no need for you to pursue contempt. He is in contempt of the ordered steps required to get overnight.

    He can try to say YOU are in contempt by not handing him overnights after six months, but he will fail.
    I really don't want to go there in denying any visits and debating the issue of "was it ordered steps to overnights or a separate issue altogether". I would prefer he take the class and get the lecture on co-parenting in hopes that he would gain something to help us move forward

    How do I figure out if it is a "step required" according to the way our order is written? I would prefer to figure that out now and not in the middle of an arguement 5 months from now while attempting to deny overnights.
  8. #8
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTHRaye View Post
    I understand that point and frankly at this point would like for him to hear "Hey, court orders are made to be followed" but I also assume that the courts are not going to make him take the class unless it it brought back to their attention.



    Again, I may be making this confusing... But I am thinking it reads a little different than what she stated to us in court. It seems from reading it that there is nothing specifically to back her statement that if he didn't take the class he would not get his overnights. There are contingencies set forth in the schedule section pertaining specifically to gaining overnights which states:

    2b. If, after six consecutive months, the plainitff has been consistent with his visitation and has not missed more than 2 visits in any given month, plaintiff shall have visitation according to the following schedule:

    i. Every other weekend from Friday at 4pm until Sunday at 6pm
    ii. Tuesdays from 4pm until 7pm.

    It then goes on to specify all holidays and how long visits are during those.

    Section 2 has everything to do with the schedule. Then the judge threw the class in there as the very last thing in our order. What confuses me most is that there are other conditions that he had/has to meet which were obvious to happen at certain periods.

    Sections 3-12 discuss communication, doctor stuff, daycare access, moving, estranging, medical treatment (nothing he has to do by any certain time)

    THEN;

    13. Plainitff shall procure and utilize an age appropriate car seat before transporting the child.

    14. Plaintiff shall procur and utilize an age appropriate bed for the child before any overnights begin.

    THEN...

    15. Plaintiff shall enroll in and complete the 4 hr parenting education class within thirty (30) days of the date of the Order.

    16. This Court retains jurisdiction on this matter

    That is the end. How should one read an order like that as far as time framing?



    I really don't want to go there in denying any visits and debating the issue of "was it ordered steps to overnights or a separate issue altogether". I would prefer he take the class and get the lecture on co-parenting in hopes that he would gain something to help us move forward

    How do I figure out if it is a "step required" according to the way our order is written? I would prefer to figure that out now and not in the middle of an arguement 5 months from now while attempting to deny overnights.
    You could order a copy of the hearing transcript. Its likely that it would be useful to have if you need to go back to court on this issue, anyway.
  9. #9
    MTHRaye is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    You could order a copy of the hearing transcript. Its likely that it would be useful to have if you need to go back to court on this issue, anyway.
    Thanks, that is a good idea. Do they actually type the entire thing up word for word or do they just give you an audio recording? Listening to that whole thing over would be tourture
  10. #10
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTHRaye View Post
    Thanks, that is a good idea. Do they actually type the entire thing up word for word or do they just give you an audio recording? Listening to that whole thing over would be tourture
    A transcript is a written document taken from the audio tape. There is also normally a charge for it....to pay the person who listens and types it out. Its also the best way to remind a judge what the judge ordered in court, even if that item didn't make it into the written orders.
  11. #11
    MTHRaye is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    A transcript is a written document taken from the audio tape. There is also normally a charge for it....to pay the person who listens and types it out. Its also the best way to remind a judge what the judge ordered in court, even if that item didn't make it into the written orders.
    Thanks. Is there typically someone at the courthouse who does that or do I have to take the audio to someone that specializes in doing that? What can I expect as a typical charge for that?
  12. #12
    Isis1 is offline Senior Member
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    i think it depends on your state. was there a court transcriber in the courtroom at your hearing? from what i understand not all courtrooms have this feature. some states require parties to hire their own court transcriber to their own hearing.

    in the state if california (seems we are spoiled here) one is in there already. if i want a copy of the transcripts, all i have to do is show up before court is in session, speak to tge reporter, give her my name, case number, date of hearing and she will let me know what the costs are, and when she can have it ready for me.
  13. #13
    MTHRaye is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsabellaSoriano View Post
    i think it depends on your state. was there a court transcriber in the courtroom at your hearing? from what i understand not all courtrooms have this feature. some states require parties to hire their own court transcriber to their own hearing.

    in the state if california (seems we are spoiled here) one is in there already. if i want a copy of the transcripts, all i have to do is show up before court is in session, speak to tge reporter, give her my name, case number, date of hearing and she will let me know what the costs are, and when she can have it ready for me.
    Besides the people with us for our trial there was the judge, a bailiff, and what I think is a court clerk? She is always the same girl for this same judge. Im pretty sure she wasn't typing anything because she answered the phone (quitely) a couple of times and seemed to just be sitting listening.

    I saw on the courthouse website there is a form to request a recording if you are a party to the hearing for $12. If that is the case and I end up with an audio recording would I take it to someone or does it have to be done by a court approved transcriptionist if I needed to submit it at a later date?
  14. #14
    MTHRaye is offline Member
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    Got a copy of recording

    I figured out how to get the recording. I had to find the clerk in that courtroom and order it directly from her. She got me a copy the next day (yesterday). I was surprised but there is no fee. There is a free player online and it broken up and labelled in parts (testimony, cross, witnesses, closing etc) so I didn't have to listen to the whole thing Praise GOD!

    I was slighly off in my first posting of what she said. She did not say there would be no overnights. She said... "You attending this class is crucial. If you do not complete this class within the 30 days there will be NO visits PERIOD." Then she said "Sir, do you understand?" and he responded "Yes"

    I think that is a little extreme and don't want to take his visits away because that is not good for our daughter. I simply want his lack of effort/continued failure to comply to be noted in our file just in case for the future as well as something to kick him in the bottom to take care of some of his responsibilities.

    Can I file a motion for failure to comply but then in the hearing ask the judge choose one of the other punishment and to not take away his visits? Or since he is on a graduated schedule is it possible to ask her to just maybe extend the time before he goes to the next phase in the schedule by the amount of time it takes him to complete the class? This might give him a greater incentive for him to take the class.
  15. #15
    TinkerBelleLuvr is offline Senior Member
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    Rock, meet hard place.

    You might be better off filing the contempt charge sooner rather than later.

    You could always change the parenting time to 'supervised by you' since the judge said NO visitation.

    I have always been told that to be a good parent, I must follow thru on whatever punishment I said I would give. not to say that I can't go back and allow for "parole". The judge gave an order. Your X heard it and AGREED to it. You can always allow your X to hear the order from your copy.

    If he finds out that there is a consequence to the action, then maybe, just maybe, he'll go to the class.

    What is the end result you are looking for in all of this?

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