Helping People During Divorce – Parenting Time Enforcement

I love helping people through difficult court cases. Saying this at a social gathering can be a conversation stopper, but it’s true. I previously blogged about my passion to help, and about helping one particular client through a very difficult case, and having the court award him $25,000 from his ex wife for his legal bill. Many people in his situation would have given up, but he didn’t.

One of the most satisfying cases I’ve worked on in the previous 19 years involved helping a father wrongfully cut out of his children’s lives regain time and his relationship with his children. His ex-wife intentionally interfered with his parenting time, and had been playing games with his time since the divorce over 6 years ago. Over the course of 6 years and five different hearings, false allegations were debunked, attorney fees were awarded; and the court tried different sanctions to gain mother’s compliance with previous orders. Never in 19 years of practice have I seen a parent so relentless in destroying the other parent’s relationship with the children. He’d exhausted himself financially trying to get parenting time going. He thought about giving up and walking away, but ultimately didn’t. Instead, after much soul searching, he agreed to go forward with the final hearing. I am truly glad he did, and I believe the children will be thankful when they are adults. In addition to getting his legal fees paid, the Judge put mother on probation until the children are 18. She has to report to the judge every other month to talk about how she is complying with the parenting plan or face jail time.

If he had given up he wouldn’t see his kids at all. He wanted to. Watching his struggle, counseling and encouraging him, and standing by his side until the court did the right thing was one of my most satisfying experiences as a lawyer. Period.

By Sean Stephens
Google +

Other Popular Articles and links from the Oregon Divorce Blog

  1. Top 10 questions to ask a divorce lawyer in the first consultation.
  2. At what age can a child decide custody/parenting time?
  3. Contempt Of Court for Parenting Time Violations

About Sean Stephens

By Sean Stephens Google + Sean Stephens is divorce and family law lawyer, and a founding member of Stephens Margolin P.C. He was born in Eugene, Oregon and is a fourth generation Oregonian. Sean Stephens attended the University of Oregon, and graduated in with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a minor in English Literature. His psychology studies emphasized early childhood development. You can find more about Sean Stephens at Stephens Margolin P.C.
This entry was posted in Attorney Fees, Divorce, Helping People During Divorce. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Helping People During Divorce – Parenting Time Enforcement

  1. Adam Klein says:

    Sean,

    This is great to read and I admire your dedication. I am very happy for the father in this article. I only wish I were so fortunate. Based on horrible advice from a former attorney, I granted permission for my aggressively alienating ex-wife to move out of state, and she took advantage to escalate her alienation and interference even further. Once she and the kids were out of state for the minimum required time to establish residency, the local (out-of-state) family court assumed jurisdiction over the custody agreement (not the child support / financial component, per statue, which has been a life-saver).

    Painfully, the out-of-state family court judge has *no* interest whatsoever in recognizing my ex-wife’s alienation or interference, resulting in my ex-wife successfully cutting off my relationship with both kids. Despite extensive documentation from professional and independent objective sources who have direct experience with the kids both with me and my ex, stating that my ex is causing direct harm to the children, the judge recently ruled in a (similar to what you describe in this posting) “last effort on my part” hearing to maintain the status-quo, and tacitly permitted my ex-wife to continue keeping the kids from me (no consequences to my ex, no modifications, even refusing to order a custody evaluation). After nearly $100K over six years in legal fees, I have resigned myself to hoping the kids reach out to me when they are older (though I still make every effort to stay in touch – buying plane tickets for scheduled parenting time, being online for the custody-agreement ordered weekly internet video chats, emails and cards… the kids just don’t talk to me and refuse to get on the flights). Even according to my out-of-state attorney (who is very competent and aggressive), until this judge is no longer on the bench, there’s nothing to be done.

  2. Stephens Margolin says:

    Adam,

    I am sorry to hear about your story and struggle.

    Sean Stephens

  3. Pingback: Daniel Margolin | Find a Lawyer

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