5 Post-Decree Parenting Tips For Minnesota
Once a child custody case is settled, it is important to follow the decree ordered by the court. There will be many challenges ahead and the parenting time / schedule set by the court will need to change based on new circumstances. Because of this, we have put together 5 parenting tips to help you manage your court ordered decree regarding parenting time.
1. Follow The Parenting Time Schedule
Your decree of custody or dissolution should contain a parenting time schedule. Follow this schedule to the best of your ability. The Court has ordered the parties to follow this schedule because it is “in the best interest of the child”. If you are not following the schedule you are in violation of a court order and the court could see you as someone who is not acting in the best interest of their child(ren).
2. If You Can’t Follow The Parenting Time Schedule Temporarily, Keep Your Overnights
Many parties are unable to follow the parenting time schedule in their decree 100% of the time. In the event that you must deviate from the schedule make sure you are not just giving away your parenting time days. If you must give away a day of parenting time, make sure that the opposing party gives you one of their parenting time days in exchange. If you fail to do this, you could face financial consequences as child support is partially based on the amount of overnights a parent has.
3. If You Can’t Follow The Parenting Time Schedule Temporarily, Document It
Many parties are unable to follow the parenting time schedule in their decree 100% of the time. In the event that you must deviate from the schedule make sure that you have it in writing. This does not need to be a formal document. Rather, an email or text message with both parties agreeing to change the schedule temporarily is sufficient. If you do not do this and simply rely on the honest word of the opposing party, you open yourself up to being arrested! The opposing party can call the police and/or file a motion for contempt and claim that they never agreed to deviate from the parenting time schedule.
4. If The Terms And Conditions Of The Decree Are Not In The Best Interest Of Your Child Contact An Attorney
Many times the Court will make orders that simply do not work for your child for numerous reasons. Additionally, parties may agree to terms and conditions that seem good for the child at the time. One party may not have had adequate representation; the child got older and their custody situation has changed; the needs of the child changed; the other party’s behavior has changed, etc. You do not have to live with a decree that is not in the best interest of your child until they are an adult. If the situation with your child has significantly changed you can go back to court. Contact the Law Offices of Clarence Patterson III for a case review. It may be time for a motion to modify and/or motion for contempt to address unfair or outdated decree.
5. Document Everything
You may feel relieved that your case is over and you have clarity for the wellbeing of your kid(s). The opposing party may not agree with the decree and they may try to make your life miserable. Keep track of this information and save it to your computer. You do not want to be in a situation in which you have to go back to court and you are trying to find a text message from 5 years ago in your phone.
Contact An Experienced Divorce Attorney
At the Law Office of Clarence Patterson III, our team is dedicated to helping and representing you. You will have an experienced attorney who is easily accessible, patient, tech savvy and efficient so that you can save on attorney costs.
Our firm serves the areas of Ramsey County, Washington County and Dakota County. If you are in need of an experienced family law attorney in Minnesota, please contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.