Parenting Time: Interpreting Ambiguous Child Custody Agreements

mens divorce lawyer Janet Yu JohnstonQuestion:

Our child custody agreements state that over the summer, each parent gets 21 days of parenting time plus our regularly scheduled weekends. But that means there are 6 extra, unaccounted for days.

I interpret the parenting time agreement to read we each get equal amounts of visitation over the summer. My ex-wife seems to think the custodial parent (her) gets them by default?

Whose interpretation of the parenting time schedule is correct?

Answer:

I am not licensed to practice law in your state so I cannot offer legal advice on divorce. However, I can give you general divorce help for men that may be useful to you.

Your parenting time schedule, as it currently reads, does not address the remaining days of summer, however, it is true that often the custodial parent does receive the remaining days by default.

I would speak with a divorce lawyer in order to file a motion for the court to clarify that term of your agreement.

Usually, ex-spouses disagree because their decree is ambiguous, not because one ex flagrantly disregards a particular provision (although that does happen).

Do not be discouraged if your decree is ambiguous. It is a product of human language, try as we lawyers might to make decrees crystal clear. If your decree is ambiguous, ask your court to clarify it.

A motion to clarify asks the court to interpret what a provision meant when issued, according to the circumstances at the time. That is, what did the provision mean on the date the court granted the divorce?

Again, as I am unfamiliar as to the specific laws for your state, I recommend speaking to a lawyer licensed in your state for legal advice on divorce as soon as possible, as it may take some time to navigate the court system.

Cordell & Cordell has mens divorce lawyers located nationwide. To arrange an initial consultation with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Janet Yu Johnston, an Associate Attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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