Avoiding The Landmines And Pitfalls Of Custody Cases

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Information about Avoiding The Landmines And Pitfalls Of Custody Cases

Published on October 20, 2007

Author: bvertz

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Presented by Brian C. Vertz, Esq, MBA, AVA, for the National Business Institute in 2006. Describes issues encountered by family lawyers in advising clients for custody disputes.

Avoiding the Landmines and Pitfalls of Custody Cases Through Effective Interviewing Brian C. Vertz, Esq. Katherine L.W. Krazmien, Esq. Pollock Begg Komar Glasser LLC Pittsburgh

Brian C. Vertz, Esq.

Katherine L.W. Krazmien, Esq.

Pollock Begg Komar Glasser LLC

Pittsburgh

What information will I need? Charting the Family Constellation Determining Client’s Ability to Pay Fees Ensuring Jurisdictional Requisites Exploring Significant Life Activities of Parents and Children (Work, School, Other) Medical and Therapeutic Issues Making Collateral Contacts Interviewing Children

Charting the Family Constellation

Determining Client’s Ability to Pay Fees

Ensuring Jurisdictional Requisites

Exploring Significant Life Activities of Parents and Children (Work, School, Other)

Medical and Therapeutic Issues

Making Collateral Contacts

Interviewing Children

What advice should I give, and when? Explaining Custody Procedure Preparing for Mediation, Depositions, and Hearings Advising Clients about Probable Outcomes Avoiding Requests for Childrearing and other Non-Legal Advice Ruling Out Conflicts of Interest

Explaining Custody Procedure

Preparing for Mediation, Depositions, and Hearings

Advising Clients about Probable Outcomes

Avoiding Requests for Childrearing and other Non-Legal Advice

Ruling Out Conflicts of Interest

How can I protect the client’s confidentiality? Deciding Who May Attend Client Meetings Using Email and Fax Carefully Reviewing Treatment Records

Deciding Who May Attend Client Meetings

Using Email and Fax Carefully

Reviewing Treatment Records

How can I transmit information effectively to other professionals? Using a Client Intake Form Keeping Detailed Notes

Using a Client Intake Form

Keeping Detailed Notes

Scenario 1: Custody Relocation Initial Interview of New Client: Susan Parent Facts: Joe and Susan Parent were divorced three years ago. Their daughters, Amy and Brittany, ages 8 and 11, have resided with their mother since the Parents separated in 2001. Your law firm has received an inquiry from Susan, who wants to seek relocation to Florida. Under the existing custody order, Susan has primary physical custody of both children. Joe has partial custody three weekends per month (Friday evening until Sunday afternoon) and alternating holidays. Susan and the children live in the former marital residence in Bethel Park. Joe resides in Alison Park with his new wife Gena and their infant son Rico.

Initial Interview of New Client: Susan Parent

Facts: Joe and Susan Parent were divorced three years ago. Their daughters, Amy and Brittany, ages 8 and 11, have resided with their mother since the Parents separated in 2001. Your law firm has received an inquiry from Susan, who wants to seek relocation to Florida. Under the existing custody order, Susan has primary physical custody of both children. Joe has partial custody three weekends per month (Friday evening until Sunday afternoon) and alternating holidays.

Susan and the children live in the former marital residence in Bethel Park. Joe resides in Alison Park with his new wife Gena and their infant son Rico.

Scenario #1: Issues to Explore Gruber Relocation Factors likelihood of improving the quality of life for the relocating parent and child(ren) motive of the relocating parent availability of adequate substitute partial custody arrangements Parents’ New Spouses and Kids family constellation in each parent’s household personality conflicts between parents and new spouses or kids of different parents Money and Custody transportation expenses

Gruber Relocation Factors

likelihood of improving the quality of life for the relocating parent and child(ren)

motive of the relocating parent

availability of adequate substitute partial custody arrangements

Parents’ New Spouses and Kids

family constellation in each parent’s household

personality conflicts between parents and new spouses or kids of different parents

Money and Custody

transportation expenses

Scenario 2: Initial Custody Determination Initial Interview of New Client: Dr. Jerry Simpson Facts: Jerry and Cindy Simpson are the parents of three children: Bart, age 12, Lisa, age 8, and Maggie, age 5. Jerry and Cindy and the three children are residing together in the marital residence. Cindy has filed a complaint for divorce, raising claims for divorce, division of property, alimony, custody and support. Cindy has informed Jerry that she wants him to move out but he has not done so. Jerry has come to your law firm for advice on how to win primary custody of the children.

Initial Interview of New Client: Dr. Jerry Simpson

Facts: Jerry and Cindy Simpson are the parents of three children: Bart, age 12, Lisa, age 8, and Maggie, age 5. Jerry and Cindy and the three children are residing together in the marital residence. Cindy has filed a complaint for divorce, raising claims for divorce, division of property, alimony, custody and support. Cindy has informed Jerry that she wants him to move out but he has not done so. Jerry has come to your law firm for advice on how to win primary custody of the children.

Scenario #2: Issues to Explore Accusations of Abuse (mental and physical) Coordinating Parents’ Schedules with Kids’ Schedules Separating Siblings Availability of Parents The Standoff: Who Leaves When Both Parents Live Together?

Accusations of Abuse (mental and physical)

Coordinating Parents’ Schedules with Kids’ Schedules

Separating Siblings

Availability of Parents

The Standoff: Who Leaves When Both Parents Live Together?

Scenario 3: Grandparent Custody Initial Interview of New Client: James and Sydney Hyatt Facts: James and Sydney Hyatt are the grandparents of Joel Hyatt, the three year-old son of their daughter Elissa Hyatt and her boyfriend Jeffrey Feiger. The grandparents had a close relationship with their daughter and grandson until two months ago, when Elissa’s hypnotherapist assisted her to recover memories of childhood abuse. Since then, Elissa has prevented James and Sydney from having any further contact with their grandson. James and Sydney seek your assistance in resuming contact and possibly even winning primary custody of the child.

Initial Interview of New Client: James and Sydney Hyatt

Facts: James and Sydney Hyatt are the grandparents of Joel Hyatt, the three year-old son of their daughter Elissa Hyatt and her boyfriend Jeffrey Feiger. The grandparents had a close relationship with their daughter and grandson until two months ago, when Elissa’s hypnotherapist assisted her to recover memories of childhood abuse. Since then, Elissa has prevented James and Sydney from having any further contact with their grandson. James and Sydney seek your assistance in resuming contact and possibly even winning primary custody of the child.

Scenario #3: Issues to Explore Grandparent Standing issues In Loco Parentis doctrine Paternity issues Addiction/Impairment Issues

Grandparent Standing issues

In Loco Parentis doctrine

Paternity issues

Addiction/Impairment Issues

Avoiding the Landmines and Pitfalls of Custody Cases Through Effective Interviewing (c) 2006 Brian C. Vertz, Esq.

(c) 2006 Brian C. Vertz, Esq.

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