Are you currently going through a divorce or custody and placement action?
If you are considering filing a stipulation with the Court regarding custody and placement but have reservations about the other parent’s ability to parent, you may want to reconsider. If the stipulation provides the other parent with substantial periods of placement and joint legal custody, you might be stuck with that arrangement for at least two (2) years after you’ve entered in to the agreement.
The two-year period is known as the “cooling off” period. It lasts for two (2) years after the initial orders on custody and placement. The parent who wants to change custody and/or placement within that two years would have to show the court by “substantial evidence” that the current custody and placement arrangement is harmful to the children. This means it is very difficult to have custody and/or placement changed in the first two years. Absent some horrific circumstances, this is not an easy burden to meet.
So, if you have reservations about the other parent’s ability to properly care or make decisions for your child(ren) for the first two years, you may want to reconsider signing that agreement. You may need to have the Court decide the issues, so that you do not feel you’ve left your children in a bad situation with the other parent.
If you have questions or concerns about your individual custody and/or placement disputes, please call 920-720-0000 to set up an appointment for a free consultation.