My wife and I are separated and we verbally agreed to follow the parenting plan in the mediation agreement. In the hopes of having an amicable divorce, I agreed to not have our young daughter for overnights unless I am with my parents per her demands. It was a mistake on my part.
But does she have any legal standing if I should decide that I would like to have my daughter stay with me alone overnight? Can I start this now before an official divorce decree is entered in hopes the court will follow that arrangement?
First let me preface my answer by stating that I am not licensed in the state of Missouri, although Cordell & Cordell does have attorneys who are licensed in the state of Missouri that would be happy to discuss your case with you.
I cannot give you any specific advice to your question because I do not know everything that you have agreed to in writing and any other relevant facts that may affect that decision. I believe that you are correct in that this is time that you will never get back with your child and it has been my experience that the pattern the parents follow before the decree will almost mirror what the Court will decide. So whatever time you have now, or lack thereof, the Court may consider that to be a proper parenting schedule to follow.
Each parent should have an equal right to their children and you have every right to want to assert your rights. You should speak to your attorney about ensuring that your rights are protected.
Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky office of Cordell & Cordell. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.