Get it in Writing!
We all would like to think that people will keep their word, that a handshake or a nod of the head is enough to secure a commitment. Of course if that were true attorneys would be less in demand. The reality is that if it’s not in writing, it is as if it doesn’t exist. The spoken word usually cannot be proven. A simple solution to this possible dilemma is to GET IT IN WRITING.
Here is a perfect example of the many problems that could arise if an agreement is not properly preserved. A former spouse requests that her former husband allow her and the minor children to relocate out of state. He is very much an involved father and his initial reaction is to say no. His former wife convinces him that the move is in the children’s best interests. After considerable thought he agrees, because he wishes the best for his children. In return he demands that he see his children a minimum of once a month and during extended vacation times from school, such as summer, winter and spring break. In addition, the cost of transportation will be equally shared. They come to a verbal agreement which is never reduced to writing and in addition is not ratified by the court. Of course as the years go by the agreement is continuously violated and as a result he has to fight for every visitation.
Of course if there had been a written agreement he could enforce it before the court. Since however there is no such document he must now seek to have a time sharing schedule determined. In addition, he is now fighting this battle in two jurisdictions, since the former wife is trying to establish jurisdiction in her new state of residence. He has had to retain counsel in two states and the battle continues. In the meantime he has not been able to see his children for months. He must now wait for both courts to issue rulings to determine where the fight will take place.
He trusted his former spouse and tried to do the right thing for his children. Unfortunately, good intentions don’t always lead to favorable results. Get it in writing!
Contact the Law Office of Evan H. Baron for all issues related to family law in Broward County, including divorce, child custody, child support and alimony. Our representation ensures your rights are protected to the fullest extent of the law.