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Delk & Tomlinson Law | Family Law for Men Montgomery AL

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By delktomli48103527, Mar 17 2017 04:07PM

We have many clients who don’t work 9-5 jobs, like shift workers or military personnel. It’s our job to find a schedule that works for you. Shift work and military deployments do not automatically ensure that your children will stay with the other party. Many clients who work shift work or are military, reserves and active duty, immediately assume that the other party will be granted primary physical custody of the children. While this may have been the case years ago, many courts are leaning toward shared physical custody.

Shared physical custody does not necessarily mean fifty-fifty custody. In fact, in many cases, it is not. Every case is different and every case requires its own custodial schedule. There are several ways to deal with the odd hours or changes in your work schedule.

If you can settle your case outside of court, you have the most flexibility with regards to the custodial schedule. In any agreement, your attorney should try their best to ensure that every possible scenario is accounted for. Rotating shift work may require the attorney to try to include a rotating custodial schedule. Set shift work may have a schedule based off the shift you are on. Your attorney should try to factor in military deployments and drill weekends. The attorney should also try to include a catchall provision that considers your changing schedule and allows for the parties to reschedule custodial time if necessary, but that the rescheduling must allow you to have the same amount of time with your children as before. In other words, the schedule may change, but your time with your children won’t.

It is more difficult to get such a detailed order from the court, but not impossible. The opposing party must show that it is not in the best interest of your children to share physical custody. If the opposing party fails to meet that burden, we must then show the court the schedule that we believe is in your children’s best interests. We do this through our complaint or answer as well as testimony. We set forth your work schedule, her work schedule, and specifically ask the Court for a specific schedule that is in the best interest of your children. In instances where the Court asks your attorney to prepare an order, she can include as detailed a schedule as if she were writing an agreement. In instances where the Court issues an order, we will deal with whatever he or she orders. If it is not a workable schedule, we can attempt to remedy that by filing a motion with the Court, setting forth the reasons the schedule doesn’t work and offering a schedule that does.

Bottom line, don’t give up before you even begin by assuming that you are not entitled to time with your children because of your work schedule. Your children are just as much yours as they are the other parent’s. If you are having concerns regarding custodial schedules, call our office at (334) 819-4810. We would be happy to help you figure out the best options for your schedule.

By delktomli48103527, Feb 10 2017 11:05PM

We know it is only February, but school will be out in no time. The schedule changes that come along with summer can be stressful on all parties involved, especially your children. There are several things that you can begin taking care of now to make these changes less stressful on yourself, the other parent, and most importantly, your children.

First, if you are a non-custodial parent who is going to be enjoying more time with your children, it is time to make arrangements to be off work for as much of your custodial time as possible. It can sometimes be very difficult to get days off in the summer, and requesting leave now may make it less difficult. While we know that it may be impossible to get that much time off, you can plan for day camps or other activities for the children when you must be at work. Start looking into those types of programs now, as they may have sign-up deadlines.

Second, if you are a non-custodial parent who has plans to take the children on a trip during your summer custodial time, make sure that you comply with any order that requires you to notify the other parent or provide them with an itinerary. In fact, now is a good time to pull out that final order or settlement agreement to make sure that you are abiding by it. It is much better to do it now, than to wait and run into an issue the day before you are supposed to leave. While planning for a vacation with your kids make sure to get a list of their medications, allergies, pediatricians, and a list of emergency contacts, just in case you cannot reach the other parent in an emergency.

Third, have a conversation with the other parent about any current issues your children may be having. It is not uncommon for children, especially younger children, to have separation anxiety when their schedules change. The best person to help you with this transition is the other parent. They can encourage the change and help the children get used to the idea of being away from them longer than normal. You can facilitate the change by speaking to the children now about the plans you have made for your time with them. Get them involved in the planning stage. Get them excited about spending that time with you!

We hope these tips make the transition into summertime custodial schedules less stressful on all involved. Feel free to contact our office at (334) 819-4810 if you have any concerns or questions about your summer custodial time.

By delktomli48103527, Dec 5 2016 10:59PM

While making a custody determination, it is normal for judges to split holiday time between the parents. This means that on some years, you may not have your children for Christmas Eve, and on others, you may not have them for all of Christmas Day. It can be hard, for children and parents alike, to adjust to doing things differently around the holidays. However, rather than letting the holidays turn into a struggle, create new Christmas traditions with your children that you can enjoy during your custodial time.

Our office has some very fond memories from Christmases past that you may find inspiration in. For Attorney Jacquelyn Tomlinson, the most memorable tradition of her childhood was a family pot luck dinner on Christmas Eve. To her, Christmas Eve was all about extended family getting together. You can implement this tradition with your side of the family. Attorney Dana Delk’s favorite Christmas tradition is eating dinner at the Huddle House on Christmas night. The tradition started when she was young, because her family went out of town the day after Christmas. The trips have stopped, but the tradition of Huddle House has remained throughout the years. Associate Attorney Katie Hoyt’s favorite tradition is sitting in front of the fireplace, no matter how hot is outside, while her father reads Christmas stories on Christmas Eve. For our Office Manager, Amy Myers, the holidays are all about taking her children, young and grown, to see the Christmas lights.

We have also compiled a list of other Christmas traditions you can begin to implement with your children this Holiday season:

Have a cookie decorating day, and let the kids decorate the cookies to eat or deliver to the neighbors or family.

Make a gingerbread house. The kits to do this are amazing now, but the mess is half of the fun!

You could make Christmas tree ornaments each year. Others who are less artistically inclined could buy a new Christmas tree decoration each year. When the children grow up, they can have a collection of their own with memories to go along with each ornament.

While your children are young, you could help them create a family history. Have them interview family members and record them in a book.

Every year, buy a new Christmas book and read it with your kids.

Pick a favorite Christmas movie, pop some popcorn and make hot chocolate for a cozy Christmas movie night.

Let the kids paint Christmas pictures on the windows with washable paint.

Have your children write a Christmas letter to all the relatives, with the kids telling what they have been up to this year.

Have a birthday celebration for Jesus, have a little cake, and sing happy birthday to Jesus Christmas morning.

Light up your walkway with handmade luminaries.

The day you put up your Christmas Tree, let the kids sleep under it.

Hopefully, our favorite traditions and the list above provide you with plenty of good ideas to help make new, happy memories with your kids. We know the holidays can be a trying time, and a new holiday tradition can take some “getting used to.” However, these new activities will soon become yearly traditions. Call us for some non-traditional holiday visitation schedules that can work for your family. We want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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