K.D.v.D.B. (In re K.B.)

FAMILY COURT OF THE STATE OF DELAWAREMar 5, 2019
FILE NO.: CN12-06768 (Del. Fam. Mar. 5, 2019)

FILE NO.: CN12-06768 CPI NO.: 17-33557

03-05-2019

K----- D-------, Petitioner, v. D---- B-----, Respondent. In the Interest of: K--- B----- (F) (DOB --/--/2008) L--- B----- (F) (DOB --/--/2011)


ORDER AND DECISION ON PETITION TO MODIFY CUSTODY

Before the Court is a Petition to Modify Custody filed on November 3, 2017 by K----- D------- ("Mother") against D---- B-----("Father") in the interest of their two children, K--- B-----, born ------- --, 2008, and L--- B-----, born ----- --, 2011. In her Petition, Mother requested to modify the residential arrangement to alternating weeks during the summer and a 2-2-5 schedule during the school year, with the ultimate goal of having alternating weeks during the school year within two years. On December 1, 2017, Father filed an answer opposing any change to the current schedule.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On February 24, 2014, the parties reached an Interim agreement regarding custody and visitation with the Children. The parties agreed that Mother and Father would share joint legal custody and shared residential placement. The parties further agreed to a 2-2-3 schedule, wherein Father would have the Children Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, during the first week and then on Wednesday and Thursday the following week. Regarding Summer Vacation, the Consent Order provided that each parent shall be entitled to two uninterrupted weeks of summer vacation visitation to be taken in blocks of one week. On August 11, 2014, the Court entered a Stipulation and Order, submitted and signed by the parties, which made the Interim Custody Order a permanent Order of the Court.

On November 3, 2017, Mother filed a Petition to Modify Custody wherein she requested that the parties change the visitation schedule to a 2-2-5 schedule which would provide more consistency for the children and be in their best interests. Mother also requested that summer vacation visitation be with each parent on alternating weeks. On December 1, 2017, Father submitted a Response to Mother's petition which merely indicated that he did not agree to changing the visitation schedule but did not provide further elaboration.

On December 3, 2018, the Court held a hearing on the merits, participated in by Mother, her attorney Chandra Williams, Esquire, Father, and his attorney, Drew Gonser, Esquire. The Court also interviewed the Children on December 12, 2018.

DISCUSSION

For judicial economy, the Court will not repeat in detail the testimony that can be obtained from the record, but will not the salient testimony as it pertains to the required statutory analysis. On February 24, 2014, the Court entered the Interim Consent Order regarding the custodial, residential, and visitation arrangements for the Children. On August 11, 2014, the parties submitted a Stipulation on Custody, which was entered by the Court, that made the interim agreement, a permanent Order of the Court. Under 13 Del. C. § 729(b), a Court order by consent of all parties concerning the legal custody of a child or his or her residence may be modified at any time by the Court under the standards in 13 Del. C. § 722. Additionally, under 13 Del. C. § 729(a), an order about visitation may be modified at any time if the best interest of the child would be served under the standards in 13 Del. C. § 728(a). Therefore, in determining whether the Consent Order should be modified regarding Child's custodial, residential, and visitation schedule, the Court must consider the best interests of Child by an analysis of the factors listed in 13 Del. C. § 722.

Best Interest Factors

(1) The wishes of the child's parents as to his or her custody and residential arrangements;

Both parents expressed their desire to retain joint legal custody of the girls. Mother requested several modifications to the visitation schedule. Specifically, Mother requested that visitation with each parent be changed from the current 2-2-3 schedule to a 2-2-5 schedule. Mother indicated that she wanted this schedule to coincide with the visitation schedule of her two step-daughters, A----- and C----, who have shared residential placement with their mother and father, Mother's husband, so that the four girls would be together in Mother's home as much as possible. A----- and C---- are in Mother's home every Wednesday and Thursday overnight and every other weekend. The Court notes, and noted in previous Orders, that the schedule Mother is actually requesting is a 2-2-5-5 schedule. Mother further explained this arrangement would also benefit the girls by adding stability and consistency to their visitation schedules. Under the current schedule, the girls are not in a parents' home on the same days each week, as the days alternated each week. However, under this proposed schedule, the girls would always be in Father's home on Mondays and Tuesdays and Mother's home on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Mother also believes that spending five day periods of time with each parent would benefit the girls because they would have more time to establish routines and become adjusted to a schedule within the home.

In addition, Mother requested that the current summer visitation schedule be changed to have an alternating week on week off schedule during the girls' summer vacation. Mother believes this schedule would be in the girls' best interest as it would make planning events and summer camps for the girls during the summer much easier since they would not have to worry about changing their home during the camp week. To support this, Mother described an issue which occurred during the previous summer wherein the girls were signed up to attend a horse camp. The parties' visitation schedule required the girls to change homes right at the beginning of the camp week and Mother had difficulty communicating with Father to ensure that the girls would have transportation to the camp on their first day. Mother explained that she often has difficulties communicating with Father and having an alternating week schedule would be simpler for the parties and require less communication and coordination between the parents. Because of this, Mother also expressed her ultimate desire to implement this alternating week schedule during the school year, but wanted to have a gradual progression to this schedule by doing a 2-2-5 schedule for at least the next two years.

Mother also requested a few modifications to the holiday visitation schedule. Mother requested that both parents share each child's birthday and proposed that whatever parent is not scheduled to have the child that day be permitted to celebrate the child's birthday from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Mother was particularly concerned about missing the children's birthdays after she could not see K--- during her birthday in October 2018. Mother testified that she texted Father the morning of K---'s birthday and asked to take her out for breakfast to celebrate but Father informed Mother they already had plans scheduled for that day. In response, Mother asked if she could speak with K--- at least to wish her a happy birthday and Father did not respond to this message until 8:00PM that evening, at which time Father told Mother that K--- would call her after her birthday party ended. While K--- called Mother later that night, Mother was concerned that she could not wish K--- a happy birthday earlier in the day.

Mother also requested that Halloween and the Fourth of July be made overnight visits. Mother believed this would be a better arrangement for the girls because they often are just starting their holiday festivities by the time the visitation is scheduled to end under the current Order. Mother further indicated that she would prefer to change the pick-up and drop-off provisions for holidays to allow whatever parent is expected to spend the holiday with the child to do the pick-up and drop-off of the child. Although Mother wants to see this change, Mother stated that she would be okay if they retain the holiday pick-up and drop-off provisions as they are, which requires the parent not spending the holiday with the child to provide transportation.

Father expressed his desire to maintain the current schedule as it is. Father's primary justification for maintaining the current schedule was this schedule had been in place for years and the girls had become adjusted to it. While Father expressed a preference for the current schedule, he indicated that he would change the schedule to a 2-2-5 arrangement, as Mother suggested. However, Father was not open to Mother's exact schedule because he could not have the girls on Mondays and Tuesdays as Mother proposed but, instead, would have them on Wednesdays and Thursdays, the days that Mother wanted the girls in her home to coincide with their step-sisters' schedule. While Father did not explain why he could not have the girls on Mondays and Tuesdays, Father also stated that he believed his proposed schedule would be better for the girls because he believed that the girls were experiencing conflicts with their step-sisters due to bullying in the home. Specifically, Father testified that L--- has spoken to him about being bullied by A-----. L--- has told Father that A----- calls her "Anger Issues" (or "AI" for short) as a way of teasing L--- for her emotional outbursts. Father also expressed some general concerns about all four girls picking on one another. For these reasons, Father believed that it would be better if the girls had some time in Mother's home without their step-sisters present.

Regarding Mother's proposed summer visitation schedule, Father indicated that he would not be opposed to alternating weeks during the summer but preferred to see how the girls adjusted to a 2-2-5 schedule first, because the girls are not currently used to being away from the other parent for over three days at a time. Father also agreed with Mother's request to make the Halloween visit an overnight holiday visit. Regarding changing the pick-up and drop-off provisions for holiday visits, Father requested that the Court maintain the arrangement because it is easier and less complicated for the parent who does not have the holiday to drop-off the children because it avoids the other parent waiting around for the children to come outside if they are not ready on time.

Mother has made several reasonable requests to modify the custody Order, which were well supported by rational justifications and explanations. While Father's requests are not unreasonable, Father did not support his position as thoroughly or rationally as Mother did. For example, Mother has requested to change the visitation schedule for the girls to have consistency in the days they spend with each parent and to maximize the time they can spend with their step-sisters, which Mother reports is an important relationship in the girls lives. While Father expressed some concern about the girls spending all of their time in Mother's home with their step-sisters, he also requested to maintain the current schedule largely out of a desire to just keep things as they are, without considering the potential downsides to this arrangement. Father also did not explain why the exact days of Mother's proposed schedule were problematic for him, which raises concern on Father's motivation for opposing Mother's suggested arrangement. Because Mother's request to modify the visitation schedule appears reasonable, well-supported, and made with the girls' best interests in mind, the Court finds this factor supports modifying the custody Order.

(2) The wishes of the child as to his or her custodians and residential arrangements;

At the request of Mother, the Court interviewed L--- and K--- on December 12, 2018. Throughout the interview, the Court was impressed by how perceptive, articulate, and friendly K--- and L--- were and the Court enjoyed getting to know these girls throughout the conversation.

During the interview, both girls expressed that they enjoy spending time in both Mother and Father's home. The girls also described their relationships with Mother's husband and Father's fiancé. The girls described Mother's husband, who they called "Bobbie" or "Bobert" as nice but sometimes grumpy. The girls described Father's fiancé as nice and kind but also sometimes mean. The girls elaborated that Father's fiancé often yells but both girls appeared comfortable with Father's fiancé and seemed to care for her.

The Court asked the girls to describe their relationship with their step-sisters, C----, nine years old, and A-----, twelve years old. The girls reported that they argue with their step-sisters but explained that they fight like sisters. L--- informed the Court she feels as though A----- is meaner than C---- because she often threatens to hit people and does not like to share as much as C---- does. Both girls denied ever being bullied by their step-sisters but K--- informed the Court she feels bullied by L---. The girls also reported that they have been bullied in school by other girls, including L--- bullied by a girl in her class name A-----. When asked about changing their schedule with Mother to have more time with their step-sisters, K--- said that she would change the schedule if she could because she wants to be on the same schedule as her step-sisters time. She further elaborated that while they always spend the weekends at Mother's home with their step-sisters, sometimes they go an entire week without seeing them at all which she did not like. L---, although less enthusiastic about changing the schedule, informed the Court she would also like to be with her step-sisters all the time and even wanted to change rooms so she could share a bedroom with C----. When asked if they had any concerns about changing their schedule to match their step-sisters' K--- explained that they might argue more often if they were always together but overall it would be a good change because the girls miss their step-sisters when they are not together in Mother's home.

The girls appear to share a typical sister relationship with both A----- and C----. While the girls raised some concerns about A----- and C----, such as sharing, arguing, and threatening to hit one another, these concerns also appear to be typical of an average sister relationship. The girls also love both parents but the girls expressed a desire to spend more time with their step-sisters. The Court finds this factor favors modifying the visitation provisions in the custody Order. (3) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents , grandparents , siblings , person cohabiting in the relationship of husband and wife with a parent of the child , any other residents of the household or person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;

The girls appear happy and comfortable in both Mother and Father's homes and seem to have a good relationship with both parents, and Mother's husband and Father's fiancé. Mother agreed that Father has been a good parent to both children but believes that he has difficulty co-parenting with her. Father also agreed that Mother has acted as a good parent and Father stated that Mother usually addresses any issues that may arise.

Regarding Mother's home, Mother testified that K--- and L--- are close with their step-sisters and described the four girls as "inseparable" and "best friends." Whenever the girls are not together in Mother's home, Mother reported that the children often ask about each other and want to know when they can see their step-sisters again. Mother reported that she has heard no allegations that the girls were being picked on by their step-sisters but assured the Court she would discuss the issue with the girls if it ever arose.

Mother complained about Father's fiancé. Specifically, Mother was worried about the impact that Father's fiancé may be having on the girls due to her attitude towards Mother during pick-up and drop-offs. , Father's fiancé has made harsh comments towards Mother such as saying "that's far enough" and "it's curbside only" whenever Mother gets out of the car during pick-ups and drop-offs. Despite these concerns, Mother had no specific reason to believe that Father's fiancé has had a negative impact on the girls and Father's fiancé even serves as the assistant coach for L---'s soccer team.

Father complained about the step-sisters bullying and picking on K--- and L---. However, when this Court spoke with the girls, the girls expressed no concerns with either of their step-sisters. Instead, it appeared as though the four girls share a normal sister relationship with each other. The Court finds that K--- and L--- have a good relationship with everyone in both parents' households; Therefore, this factor is neutral regarding the Court's analysis. (4) The child's adjustment to his or her home , school and community;

Overall, both L--- and K--- appear equally well-adjusted to Mother and Father's homes and communities. Both girls attend N----- C------ School. Mother testified that K--- is doing well in school while L--- has had some academic struggles recently. L--- has an IEP in school to assist her with her reading and math classes. Mother reported that having the IEP has led to a significant improvement in L---'s reading skills and she requires less one-on-one time during her classes. Mother believes that her request to modify the custody schedule will further help L---'s improvement in school because each parent would have five days at a time with L--- to establish a more consistent routine for doing school work and working on L---'s reading skills.

N----- C------ School is also familiar with the girls' current schedule and the parents submit monthly schedules to inform the school administrators what buses the girls should take home based on the parent they are expected to be with on any day. While Father testified that changing the schedule would disrupt this routine at school, Mother testified that Father is expected to submit the girls' residential schedule to the school each month, therefore, changing the visitation schedule would have no impact on the girls' bus routine at school, as the parents would continue to send them monthly schedules as they do now.

The girls are also well-adjusted to both Mother and Father's communities and the girls engage in extracurricular activities arranged by both Mother and Father in their respective communities. Specifically, the girls have participated in camps over the summer and L--- plays for her local soccer team. Although the girls reported to the Court that Mother recently moved to a new home in November 2018, there was no evidence to suggest this move disrupted the girls' adjustment to their homes or communities.

Because the parents only dispute the exact days and logistics of the visitation provisions within the custody Order, the Court finds this factor is neutral to the Court's analysis, as neither Mother nor Father suggested that changing the dates that the girls are with each parent would affect their school or extracurricular activities as the girls would continue to spend equal time in both Mother and Father's homes.

(5) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;

Neither Mother nor Father presented any concerns regarding their mental or physical health, or the physical health of either L--- or K---.

Mother and Father did, however, express concerns regarding L---'s recent emotional and behavioral outbursts. In May 2018, L--- was on her way to soccer practice when she realized she did not have the particular pair of soccer socks that she wanted to wear that day. L--- then became so upset she broke down crying and refused to practice without the socks. Because L--- refused to practice, Mother attempted to take L--- home which led to L--- becoming even more upset and she screamed while hitting and kicking Mother. Mother was concerned about this behavior as L--- had never acted this way before and described this outburst as "uncharacteristic" of L---. Both girls engage in counseling with Dr. M------ B----- S---------- twice a month. Mother has regularly communicated with Dr. S---------- and has transported the girls to and from these therapy sessions. As of this hearing, Father had not met Dr. S---------- and had never taken the girls to an appointment but was scheduled to do so soon. Father further agreed that he would engage in these sessions with the girls if the therapist believed Father's participation would be helpful to the girls' progress.

Because the girls are engaged in appropriate mental health counseling, and there were no other concerns presented by either party, the Court finds this factor is neutral regarding the Court's analysis. (6) Past and present compliance by both parents with their rights and responsibilities to the child under §701 of this title.

Under 13 Del. C. § 701, parents are responsible for the support, care, nurture, welfare, and education of their child. During the hearing, both Mother and Father expressed several concerns regarding the other parent's compliance with their rights and responsibilities as co-parents who share joint legal custody.

Mother's primary concern regarding Father was his inability and unwillingness to communicate with her. For example, during the summer of 2018, Mother signed the girls up for horse camp. Because of the visitation schedule, Father would have provided transportation for the girls to camp on their first morning. A week before the camp was set to begin, Mother texted Father and offered to drive the girls to the camp instead, since she signed the girls up for the camp. Mother got no response from Father until late in the evening the night before camp was set to begin. Mother testified that it is typical of Father to send very delayed responses to her messages and communications, if he even responds. Mother also testified that Father makes it difficult for her to communicate with the girls while they are in his home and does not let her have as much phone communication with the girls as she would like. Usually, Mother stated that she can only speak with the girls once during Father's weekends with the girls. During the week, Mother is usually only permitted to speak with the girls briefly. Mother also suggested to Father they implement a FaceTime schedule so they would be able to video-chat with the girls regularly while they are with the other parent but Father has refused. To further alleviate these concerns regarding communication, Mother has also suggested to Father they get K--- a cell phone so that either parent could speak to the children directly without having to go through the other parent for these communications but Father has also refused this suggestion.

Mother also expressed concerns with Father's unwillingness to co-parent. For example, during the above mentioned incident at L---'s soccer practice, Mother testified that Father did nothing to help Mother during L---'s break-down. When Mother attempted to call and e-mail Father afterwards to discuss the situation, Father did not respond. Father disagreed with this and testified that he did respond to Mother about this incident by text message. Father further stated that he tried to initiate a conversation with Mother about the appropriate method of discipline but these conversations led nowhere.

Mother also expressed concerns regarding Father's involvement in the girls' lives. Father sends the residential schedule to the girls' school monthly so the school will know which buses the girls should be on at the end of the day. Mother testified that Father had not yet sent the schedule for December 2018 which she worried may cause problems for the girls getting on the correct buses. During one of Father's recent Saturday visits, the girls' school was hosting an awards ceremony. While Mother informed Father of the event, she neglected to tell Father that the girls would be receiving awards during that ceremony. Father claimed to have had other plans that day and so he did not take the girls to the ceremony. In conclusion, Mother believes that she and Father have immense difficulty communicating with one another and believes that they would benefit from co-parenting counseling to address this issue.

Father presented several concerns of his own regarding Mother. Father expressed frustration with the way Mother handles certain situations involving the girls and feels as though things are often "blown out of proportion." Father conceded, however, that he does not always respond to Mother's messages and, instead, responds only to things which he believes are necessary to respond to. Father further acknowledged that he and Mother have difficulty communicating with one another but testified that he has tried to be better about responding to Mother's communications since these proceedings began. Father was also concerned about Mother's compliance with the pick-up and drop-off provisions of the custody Order. During one exchange the girls were walking to Mother's car and were carrying a present with tissue paper. When the wind blew the tissue paper across Father's front yard, Mother got out of the car and went to help the child collect the tissue paper from the front yard. Father believed this behavior was problematic as the parties have agreed that the parents will not get out of the car during pick-ups and drop-offs.

Regarding Mother's proposal for co-parenting counseling, Father emphasized that he did not believe co-parenting counseling would assist either parent. While Father admitted that the parties had never tried co-parenting counseling before, Father was not sure whether he even needed assistance with co-parenting. Although Father did not think co-parenting counseling would be beneficial, he indicated that he would engage in the children's therapy sessions with Mother if the therapist believed this would benefit the girls' treatment.

The Court finds that the above issues demonstrate that Mother and Father have difficulties communicating with one another which has an adverse effect on their ability to co-parent. Individually, none of the concerns presented suggests that either parent is failing to fulfill their parental duties at this time. Rather, a lack of communication, coupled with some tension between Mother and Father, has made it difficult for Mother and Father to work together and ensure that they have a mutual understanding for sharing joint legal custody of their daughters. The Court further agrees with Mother that the parties could benefit from co-parenting counseling to improve their communication with one another. Because the Court finds that both parents have fulfilled their respective rights and responsibilities to the children, this factor is neutral regarding the Court's analysis.

(7) Evidence of domestic violence as provided for in Chapter 7A of this title; and

Under 13 Del. C. § 706A(a), any evidence of a past or present act of domestic violence, whether or not committed in the presence of the child, is a relevant factor that must be considered by the Court in determining the visitation arrangements for the child under the best interests of Children. Domestic violence is defined by 13 Del. C. § 703A(a), as including, but not limited to, physical or sexual abuse or threats of physical or sexual abuse and any other offense against the person.

The record was void on any information regarding domestic violence and the parties. Therefore, this factor is inapplicable to the Court's analysis. (8) The criminal history of any party or any other resident of the household including whether the criminal history contains pleas of guilty or no contest or a conviction of a criminal offense.

The Court finds no criminal record of any import for Mother, Father, Step-Father, or Ms. White Accordingly, this factor is inapplicable to the Court's analysis.

CONCLUSION

Neither Mother nor Father have expressed any desire to modify the Custody Order as it pertains to legal custody. Therefore, both parents shall continue to share joint legal custody of both K--- and L---. However, due to the concerns presented regarding Mother and Father's difficulty communicating with one another, and the frequent disagreements and clear tension between Mother and Father, the parents could benefit from implementing co-parenting counseling to improve their relationship with one another to benefit both children.

Regarding Mother's request to modify the visitation schedule, the Court finds that the girls have a close relationship with their step-sisters and would like to see them more often than their current schedule allows. While Father expressed concerns regarding the step-sisters bullying the children, the girls downplayed these concerns and Mother herself had witnessed no discord between the children, beyond that which would be expected of a typical sibling relationship. The Court finds that Mother's schedule would provide additional stability and consistency in the girls lives, as it would ensure that the girls are with their respective parents on the same days each week. While Father expressed a preference to maintain the visitation schedule out of a desire to maintain consistency and stability in the girls lives, the schedule now being proposed by Mother seems to advance this goal in a manner in the girls' best interest. As Mother has suggested that the girls have alternating weeks with each parent during the summer, which Father did not oppose, moving to a schedule which allows the girls to spend five days at a time with each parent appears to be an effective way to ease the girls into this proposed summer visitation schedule.

The Court encourages Mother and Father to be more proactive with communicating with one another. While the Court observed some tension between both parents, the Court also recognizes that neither parent appeared hostile or disrespectful towards the other, and even complemented the other parent on their parenting skills. The Court urges Mother and Father to maintain a level of respect towards one another so K--- and L--- will feel as though they have two parents united and always concerned about their best interests and well-being above all else. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THIS 5th DAY OF MARCH, 2019, THAT THE FEBRUARY 24, 2014 CONSENT ORDER IS MODIFIED AS FOLLOWS:

1. The Petition to Modify Custody filed by K----- D-------is granted.

2. Legal Custody: Mother, K----- D-------, and Father, D---- B-----, shall continue to

3. share joint legal custody of their two children, born ------- --, 2008, and L--- B-----, born ----- --, 2011. Primary residential placement of L--- and K--- shall be shared equally by both parents.

4. Visitation: Father shall have the children every Monday and Tuesday and Mother shall have the children every Wednesday and Thursday. Mother and Father shall alternate weekends with the children.


a. This schedule ensures that L--- and K--- are in Mother's home on the same days that their step-sisters are also in Mother's home. Therefore, Mother's alternating weekend shall coincide with the weekend that the step-sisters are also having weekend visitation in Mother's home.


5. Holidays: Mother shall have the children on the holidays in Column 1 in odd-numbered years and the holidays in Column 2 in the even-numbered years. Father shall have the children on the holidays in Column 1 in even-numbered years and the holidays in Column 2 in odd-numbered years.



Column 1

Column 2

Easter or other religious holiday

Thanksgiving Day

Fourth of July

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Halloween


Except for Christmas, Halloween, and Fourth of July contact, holiday contact shall be from 9:00AM until 6:00PM the day of the holiday. Christmas Eve contact shall begin at 6:00PM on December 24th an end at noon on December 25th. Christmas Day contact shall begin at noon on December 25th and end at 6:00PM on December 26th. Halloween contact shall begin at 5:00PM and shall end the following morning, either when the girls leave to go to school or no later than 9:00AM. Fourth of July contact shall begin at 9:00AM on July 4th and end at 9:00AM on July 5th.


6. Mother and Father's Day: On Mother's Day and Father's Day, no matter whose turn for contact, the children shall be with the parent whose holiday is being celebrated from 9:00AM until 6:00PM.

7. Children's Birthdays: On each Child's birthday, whatever parent is not scheduled to have the children overnight that day shall have a visit with the child for at least two (2) hours. Each parent shall be respectful of any plans that the other parent may have scheduled for the child's birthday and make all efforts to schedule the visit around those plans.

8. Summer Vacation: Visitation during the summer shall be on an alternating week schedule, that shall begin the first full week after school ends and last through the last full week of the school summer vacation. This schedule shall also coincide with the visitation schedule of the step-sisters to ensure that L--- and K--- visit with Mother on the same

weeks that the step-sisters are also in Mother's home.

9. Telephone Communication: Each party shall be entitled to frequent telephone and electronic communication with Child when in the care of the other parent, with the exact times and duration of these phone calls to be determined by the parties. Phone calls with the children should take place at a reasonable hour. Neither parent shall interfere with communication between the children and the other parent.

10. Communication Between the Parents: Father shall maintain regular and reasonable contact with Mother for all matters about the children. If Mother sends Father a communication, Father should, at a minimum, send Mother a response informing her he has received the communication. Father should then respond to Mother's communications within a reasonable time.

11. Pick-up and Drop-off: The parent concluding their contact with the children shall drop the children off to the other parent's residence or other mutually agreed upon location. If pick-up and drop-off is to occur at one parent's home, the other parent shall not go to the car.

12.
Co-Parenting Counseling: Mother and Father shall engage in co-parenting counseling. Mother shall submit to Father , within thirty (30) days of the issuance of this Order, a list of THREE potential co-parent counselors. Father, within thirty (30) days of receiving this list, must then select one provider and inform Mother of his selection. Mother should then contact the parent coordinator and arrange for the parents to work with them.

13. The parties may modify the times and dates of each parent's contact with the children set out in this Order by agreement in writing.


IT IS SO ORDERED.

/s/ _________


ROBERT BURTON COONIN
, JUDGE RBC/jr cc: Counsel


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