Example of a beginning of ‘fact’ section:
1. The Court entered its Judgment of Divorce on December 15, 2007.
2. This Judgment provides that the Plaintiff is awarded sole physical custody and the parties sharing joint legal custody of the minor
a) Sara Smith, born January 3, 2003.
3. The Judgment provides that the Defendant will exercise parenting time by the agreement of the parties. The Plaintiff further states that the Defendant has not exercised frequent and/or consistent parenting time. In the past twelve (12) months the Defendant has seen his daughter an average of one weekend per
4. (Here, continuing the numbered paragraphs, tell the court what law it should be following when deciding this motion, i.e., what is the law to revisit an existing custody determination; what is the law to change supposal support? If you know of any case law that states the legal standard you should include that in this paragraph- you only need the case name, no citations are necessary in this class motion.)
Example of the beginning of a ‘Law’ Section:
10. When there is a request for a change in custody from an existing custody determination, the first issue to be considered is whether the movant has shown that there is “proper cause” and/or “change of circumstances” before the Court may reexamine an order for custody. See, Vodvarka v Grasmeyer.
III. ARGUMENT (Where you apply the facts to the law)
(Keeping the numbered paragraphs tell the court why the facts support the motion, or if you are writing a response, why the facts do not support the motion / why the facts show the motion should be denied.)
IV. Conclusion (Where you tell the Court what relief you are seeking:)
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff respectfully requests that this Honorable Court:
a. Grant/Deny the Defendant’s motion to change custody;
b. Any and all other relief that this Court deems proper.
Now Comes (The Defendant or The Plaintiff), (Your client’s name), by (his/her) attorney, (Your name), and for his Motion (Title of the Motion), states as follows:
- Julia and Mark were divorced in January 2015 whereby the custody of their only son Ellis was given to Julia. He was providing a maintenance to the plaintiff, Julia an amount of $10,000 per month for 5 years and $5000 for child support.
- Upon such judgment, Mark was aggrieved and wanted to gain the custody of their child back.
- the defendant, Mark could have custody only in every alternative weekend and one night in a week during the school year and alternative weeks during the vacations and in summer.
- Julia admitted that she was having an affair with a married neighbor when the marriage between Mark and Julia subsisted.
- Ellis was getting distracted at school of which Mark was very concerned but Julia did not take much heed.
- Julia engaged in secret conversations while Ellis was busy. This makes Mark think that Julia was not a quintessential role model for their child.
- Ellis himself told his father that he wanted to reside with him and not Julia because she prevented him from taking meat and wanted him to be very conscious about his health.
- All of Mark’s saving is now over. The divorce had affected him badly and he had lost his job. His income was decreased from $350,000 to $45,000.
Change in Custody
After the judgment was passed there were several alterations that took place:
- The performance of Ellis in school was not up to the mark. He was distracted easily. He often talks without justification and leaves the class without the consent of the teacher. The school suspected Ellis of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Mark was very concerned about Julia did not pay much heed to it. Mark wants Ellis to be examined and in case he is not diagnosed he would take Ellis to a child therapist for his betterment.
- Ellis was deteriorating in the class grades. He received ‘unacceptable grades’ in math, English and physical education. Mark claimed that he could devote more time to a=Ellis as compared to Julia so that he could improve in the studies.
- Ellis did not desire to live with Julia any longer since she prohibited to consume meat and compelled him to do yoga. Mark pleaded to Julia for the custody of Ellis by telling her everything but she did not respond to it.
- Ellis had wanted to participate in tackle football sport in school. Julia signed was for it, thinking it would be a ventilation of his energy. But Mark, after a research was under the impression that it would be a rough activity and could lead to permanent injuries upon his body and brain. Julia signed without seeking the consent of Mark.
In support of the defendant’s claim Julia purposely signed such an agreement to win back the child’s preference towards her because Ellis wanted to live with Mark. She did not bother about Ellis’ health.
- The maintenance was decided when Mark earned $350,000 while Julia earned $10,000.
- it was expected that he would earn more due to the expected partnership in the Accounting Firm. Julia was doing her master degree in 3 years and after 2 years from then she would get hold of a permanent job. Because of this, she would be able to maintain herself and she would not need much of the spousal support that she received.
- But Mark went into clinical depression after the divorce which affected his work and he finally lost his position.
- Mark lost all his savings and prized possessions and went into a debt of $10,000.
The above reasons indicate that he was no more capable of maintaining Julia.
After having read the facts and the preferences of the child, the defendant pleads to the court to grant the physical custody of Ellis to Mark. it can be concluded that the welfare of Ellis would be best served under the custody of his father.
Though Mark had been busy in his early life because he was very busy with his work, but he worked so that he could give a better living to his family.
Mark was very much concerned about the health of Ellis. He wanted to spend more time with him unlike Julia.
Mark wanted to examine Ellis of the suspected disease of ADHD from school and wanted to give him the best treatment so that his grades could improve and he could behave normally in school. Julia was not attentive of Ellis.
Moreover Ellis wanted to stay with his father because he was being prevented to follow his choice of life by Julia.
The above conditions thus state, that the defendant deserved to have the custody of his child.