December 23, 2013

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
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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