Child Visitation

Child Visitation Rights

Concise explanation Visitation Rights

Mothers and fathers who will be declined child custody with their children will often be eligible for ample visitation rights, until visitation using the non-custodial father or mother doesn’t provide the particular child’s best interests. The child’s well-being may be the court’s main objective along with child custody as well as visitation concerns. Mothers and fathers could possibly be rejected visitation rights for the motives:

  • A court docket discovers evidence of home abuse which was directed at your child, the child’s parent or guardian, or even a sibling
  • The mother or father has maintained an unfortunate reputation for drinking or other substance abuse
  • The mother’s or father’s adult legal rights have already been relinquished

Specifics of visitation rights:

Visitation Plan

Once visitation has been approved, a new court docket might dictate a new visitation timetable that provides consideration involving any time mothers and fathers could workout visitation rights. A new visitation plan could include:

  • Weekends or court determined schedules
  • Holidays
  • Summer getaways and vacations

It certainly is ideal for a mom and dad to determine the optimal visitation plan with each other. Ultimately, in cases where a mother and father can’t seem to agree with the other, a family court authority will determine a proper visitation routine and schedule for all parties involved.

Varieties of Substitute Visitation Rights

  • Restricted visitation rights: Custodial mother and father may wish to reduce visitation pertaining to non-custodial mother and father for numerous motives which include healthcare worries, ages of the children, or even just because a non-custodial father or mother could possibly be institutionalized
  • Supervised visitation rights: Monitored visitation time can be ordered by the custodial parent or guardian with the approval from a judge when the father or mother presents an established risk to the child
  • Overnight visitation rights: Various custodial mothers and fathers possibly, could not be wanting to enable a new non-custodial father or mother to have overnight time with their child. The court docket will settle if a new custodial parent or guardian maintains a legitimate concern regarding the accessibility to a non-custodial parent being able to have overnight visitation consequently

Enhancing Visitation Rights

When the existing visitation order no longer acceptable to the father or mother, parents need to find an adjustment by commencing their case through family court. Furthermore, a dad or mom must talk publicly regarding achievable alterations on the visitation timetable.

FAMILY.CODE SECTION 3100-3105

If you are a parent unable to see and visit your children, please contact us at – www.AboutTheChildren.org

Feel free to contact us anytime – 800 787 4981

This information is not legal advice or legal counsel and does not apply to all situations or circumstances. Contact a local family attorney if you are seeking legal advice and counsel.

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76 comments on “Child Visitation
  1. Joey Smith says:

    My wife has custody of our four and two year old daughters. I have been involved in a workman’s comp situation which has not been resolved and even though I have the children ninety percent of the time because she is living with a guy who has hit my children therefore she leaves them with me all the time. Which I love and want to have the children but she wants child support money and I do give it to her when I receive a check from worker’s comp. But if I am unable to get the money to her when she wants to go out she calls the police to arrest me for not paying child support. Her first husband has won custody of their two children because it was proven she is an unfit mother. I need help getting mine to protect them all the time. I fear for their lives. But, I just don’t have money for a lawyer until I resolve this worker’s comp case and have my surgery approved. Please help me if you are able to with this free legal aid. I need to protect and then begin to heal from a severe injury. I would deeply appreciate any help you can give me.
    Thank you so very much, Joey Smith

    • Hi Joey,

      Thank you for reaching out. Several things:
      If you are just sending her money and it is not through an actual court order, than it is just considered a gift.
      It sounds like your children are living with you even though there is not a court order for physical custody.
      Your situation is unfortunately very common and we have dealt with this kind of thing all too often. As we inform any parents who are dealing with family situations like this and involving their children, to stop, modify, or enforce anything must be addressed with a court order. If there isn’t a legal document in place, it becomes very difficult to enforce your rights as a father.
      We look forward to helping you any way we can.

  2. Dennis Cruz says:

    hello, my name is dennis cruz, im paying a child support that automatically diducts from my pay checks bi weekly. my problem is i have not seen my kid since he was 3 year old. i dont know where they live and i dont have any contact with him. all i know is they live in daly city california. i need your help with this situation.

    • Hi Dennis,

      Thanks for reaching out. How old is your son now? How far do you live from them currently? There are ways of locating where exactly your son and his mother are in Daly City. We can help you with locating their address as well as getting you some parenting time with him. If you haven’t already please contact us at http://www.aboutthechildren.org. If you contact peterssearches.com he can attempt to locate their address in California.
      We look forward to helping you further Dennis.

  3. Jason West says:

    My ex & I already went through mediation and a full Joint Custody order was issued at that time in Smith County, TX. The only thing given in conjunction to the visitation schedule was the suggested schedule from the state. I cannot find specifically any where in the Custody order where it had to be complied to as part of that order. We are not divorced yet, but have been separated for 3 years.

    Before the mediation I would have my sons, age now is 3 & 10 every weekend unless she got upset with me over something & wouldn’t let them come. Our mediation was in March & now I haven’t seen them since mid April. I’ve gotten to speak to my oldest maybe 3 times since then. She was always telling me he wasn’t there, or was asleep every time I’d call. Now she has said he says he’s afraid to be here with me and his grandmother (I live with my mother ever since she & I split up) and that his counselor ordered either a restraining order or a protection order, but I have not been served with anything, so I don’t believe what she is telling me. I tried to go see them yesterday & when I got there she said she was calling the Sheriff & her live-in boyfriend had them with him & she called him to tell them not to bring them home till she let him know I had left. Since the last thing I want is to cause the boys more problems, I left, but I am at the point that I don’t know how much longer I can handle the struggle with her just to get to have the time with my sons that I have the right to.

    The paperwork I have re: visitation states Conservatorship: Joint Managing Consevatorship & General Terms and Conditions – NCP: Return the child t the CP at the CP’s residence or the child’s school; Terms and Conditions – CP: Surrender the child to the NCP at the CP’s residence or the child’s school. This document though is not signed by a judge like the Custody order is. I understand I have to have something signed by a judge from the court to enforce custody & visitation, but since I can’t afford an attorney, I need to know what documents I need to get from the local court system to file myself for the court to review. I have already sent a message today to your organization for a free consult, but if someone could email me instructions it would be best. I cannot take calls during business hours at my job, so the only way I can speak with someone is after hours & I don’t know if that is truly an option with you or not.

    Please advise ASAP. My boys are suffering as am I. They love it when they are here & my 3yr old would cry when it was time to leave. I feel she is doing them a great injustice & harming them by her actions. She says when “their” income tax check comes in & she files for the divorce she is going to go for sole custody. I need to stop this now, not later.

    Thank-you!

    • Hi Jason,

      Thank you for taking the time to reach out regarding this situation. I see that you got a chance to enroll into our services and are working with one of our Case Advocates presently. You have provided some good information regarding your case and we look forward to assisting you with getting this behind you and establishing solid rights with your boys.
      Times like this are always difficult, but it is only temporary. Your children will recognize how you fought to stand up for yourself. They deserve to have equal time with you and their mom even though things didn’t resolve themselves between the two of you. We support you through this issue and will help you to get the most time you can with your boys.

  4. Earl Dean says:

    I AM A 40YR OLD DISABLED GULF WAR VETERAN, I USED TO SEE MY SON MAYBE EVERY OTHER WEEK. WHEN HE’S HERE AND DOES SOMETHING TO BE DISCIPLINED, SHE COMES TO GET HIM AND WON’T BRING HIM BACK UNTIL SHE FEELS I’M A BETTER FATHER. SHE HAS KEPT HIM AWAY FROM ME SINCE MAY 2012,BLOCKED MY CALLS AND WON’T ALLOW HIM TO CALL ME. MY SON IS A 12YR OLD BOY WHO NEEDS HIS FATHER IN HIS LIFE SO HE WON’T END UP ON “SAVE OUR SONS”. I AM MAN WHO WANTS TO SHOW HIS HOW TO BE

    • Greetings Earl,

      How far do you currently live from your son? If you have a current court order in place, what kind of visitation or custody do you have?
      If your son lives less than 30 mins away from you, you might qualify for half time parenting time as a non custodial parent. Ultimately, it sounds like you should get into family court to get an established order in place to enforce your rights as a dad. Really this is the only way to put his mom in a position where she cant do whatever she wants and keep your son from you.
      Let us know how we can assist you further.

  5. Michael says:

    I was divorced in 2002 and the divorce degree allowed me visitation every other weeend and every other holiday. I was also ordered to pay child support. Before the divorce the mother dissapeared and for 8 months I could not locate my children until she resurfaced to file for divorce. She was living illegally on a milatary base and was forced to move when I showed up unannounced to see my children. Temporary vsitation was granted through the courts and I was able to see my children for awhile. After the divorce I did see the children a couple times till the mother dissapeared again. Now 9 years later I have located the children and the mother is playing games, acting like she is my daughter messaging me through facebook stating that she does not wish to call, but I know that it is the mother. I have reliable information on her where abouts, and phone # but am afraid to use it for fear that she will dissapear again. I do not want to cause any disomfort in anyones lives at this point but absolutely want to be a part of my daughters lives andfor them to know me. f there is anything you can do to help me it would be tremendously appreciated, I have been searching for 9 years now and finally think i am getting somewhere but afraid to do the wrong thing. I have filled out the request and look forward to hearing from you. Mike

    • Hi Michael,

      It’s unfortunate to hear about such a struggle with being able to just visit with your daughter over they years and constant disappearances. Thank you for reaching out to us. We have several resources that can be beneficial to you, including a skip trace connection we refer parents to when they have had difficulties locating the other parent in these types of issues.
      If you haven’t been contacted already I just submitted your information to one of our seasoned parent advocates who is happy to speak with you about this. Be looking for a phone call from them. Hopefully we will be able to assist you with solidifying your rights with your daughter.

  6. 800feetagl says:

    I have been trying to establish a visitation with my wife for a few months now. I spent time and money on scheduling a visitation hearing and her new lawyer arrived and asked for a continuance until the custody trial. The custody trial ended up being continued until February, and we were still unable to come to a visitation agreement the day of because she was not putting our children ahead of her own wishes. At this point, she claims she is trying to schedule a visitation hearing. She already ran off with them once. I am unwilling to allow her to have unsupervised visitation with our children as long as their is no visitation order signed by a judge. Our children’s welfare is my main priority here. They want to spend time with their mother, but I am unwilling to risk having her run with them again without a standing order. Any ideas? Is it even worth (or even possible) to get an ex parte visitation order?

    • Greetings,

      Its difficult to get an ex parte if there the children are not in any immediate danger. Have you retained an attorney or filed a response yet? The hearing that has been rescheduled for February is just addressing visitation?
      You are smart to pursue getting a solid visitation order in place while you are separated. Its imperative that you get your facts written and prepared as part of your response to the upcoming hearing. I suggest you consult with an attorney and explore your options if you haven’t already. They can be expensive, but their services are valuable.
      We help parents with these types of issues and help them represent themselves. Hope this information helps and feel free to contact us directly if you need assistance.

      • 800feetagl says:

        Oh, this has been ongoing since April. It was the custody trial because mediation was a failure.

        I was awarded an Ex Parte Custody Order due to DSS reports made against her. And I definitely have an attorney. I’m almost 10 grand in on this.

      • Wow! Keep your head up and persevere. Sounds like your attorney is doing their job. Sorry to hear its cost this much since you started. We’ve heard many similar stories. You are doing the right thing as a father, and taking all precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of your children. This will behind you soon enough. Let us know if you need anything else and keep us updated!

  7. Aaron Frost says:

    I haven’t seen my daughter in over ten years . I got a job and I pay child support , but she doesn’t let me see her. I know she’s still in town and I want visitation . I can’t locate her address . What options can I take to set a court hearing ?

    • Hello Aaron,

      Thanks for reaching out. Depending on how far you reside from your daughter can affect how much visitation and over night visitation you can get with her. Within 50 miles, in most situations, you can get half-time with her (also known as joint custody). We have other resources for helping parents locate the other party. In the mean time you can contact peterssearches.com for locating the mother. Hope this is helpful to you. How ever you want to move forward with pursuing some type of visitation through a court order is what we help with. Look forward to hearing back from you.

  8. Lisa perez says:

    My name is lisa and i had a concern, my boyfriend got a divorce about 6 months ago and pays child support weekly and sees the kids ever monday but my point is that his ex wife prohibids him of bringing the kids over to our house and she only lets him see the kids at her house ….is that the only way of him seeing them or does he have the right to bring them over to our house the kids are 7yrs. Old and 2 yrs old.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for supporting your boyfriend in this. His divorce decree should contain stipulations regarding parenting time and a custody arrangement. If it doesn’t, which is entirely possible, he would want to look into getting that modified so he can have his children over at his house and possibly over-night. Sometimes divorce decrees, state “liberal visitation” to one parent which doesn’t help the parent since it is completely unspecific to time of day, location, and with who can be present. Have your boyfriend take some time to review his decree over the weekend and see what it states.
      If he wants to modify the decree for more parenting time, we can help him with that. He will have to be the one to want to pursue this however.

  9. Bradley Dalrymple says:

    My son is a low income father with 4 children,. He has been paying child support for his oldest son, who lives in Wisconsin. We hired an attorney in Wisonsin but the cost is too much to bare. We tried mediation, but she wouldn’t give on any grounds. They then hired a person to go in to the hiome to evaluate it. My son cannot keep up with the cost of these attorneys, We have no way to complete this process. She lies about everything. We =, my husband and I spent over $8,000.00 to visit him last summer and let him meet his sisters, brother, stepmom, father and me, his grandmother. She told the mediator that she had no idea that all those people were coming to Wisconsin,. She was the one to suggest the hotel rooms I rented. How can she keep getting away with her lies and manipulation. We have run out of money to continue this fight. I promised my grandson that we would establlish visitation, but the money is gone. Can anyone help us with this?

  10. Laurie Dalrymple says:

    I posted the note from Bradley and I am the grandmother of his son. We have establish paternity through the court. He has no visitation but is required to pay child support for him. She has kept my grandson to herself and told numerous lies about my son. Since no visitation was established what are we to do with no money to do it with. The mediation went very badly because she swore she would never allow Bradley to see his son when they broke up. They were never married by the way. How can we get visitation established with no lawyer who is willing to work the case pro-bono?

    • To completely put this situation to rest, Bradley has to get a court order in place. As long as a case isn’t pending with the courts right now we can attempt to help him get his paperwork in order and get a hearing. Being that he has already spent $8,000 the attorney should have something mostly prepared. A court order is the only way to enforce his rights as a father and protect his custody or visitation rights.

  11. James Arquette says:

    I am a divorced parent of 2 boys ages 7 and 11. I currently live 9 miles away from them but will be moving closer. I was served today with accusations of their safety and am not being aloud to spend parenting time with them. I was recently unemployed and had paperwork for a month filled out ready to file to change parenting and support. I believe because i told her and she knew i wouldn’t have the money to file or hire an attorney that she put this together with an attorney. I still won’t be able to retain a attorney but i have 3 weeks to prepare. I can disprove all her motions and can provide it all with paperwork but just because she has filed with an attorney she is holding my parenting time from me. The current order is joint legal and physical to her with me getting every other weekend and holiday. What are my options at the moment to obtain my visitation rights as they are currently ordered and not according to her motion?

    • Hi James,

      Thanks for writing to us.
      Do not be concerned on whether you have an attorney or not. Family court is driven by the facts and evidence to back up any and all statements made in a request. You mentioned you can disprove her claims against you, Great!
      It doesn’t make her look any better since you mentioned that there is a current order in place for joint legal and physical custody and she is withholding your time with your kids – violating the court order is a serious matter.
      If you haven’t spoken with one of our staff yet, please contact us so we can help you get a response together before your hearing date. We definitely want to help you put this matter to rest.

      • James Arquette says:

        Thank you.. someone did leave a message from your side and it was accidentally erased trying to save the number. I have until the 16th of January. I look forward to hearing from you again.

      • Hi James,

        We’ll attempt to reach you tomorrow even with it being Christmas eve. We will be out of the office the 25th and in the rest of the week.
        We look forward to connecting with you.

  12. Hello, first of all, thank you for finding me through my blog. Here’s my situation. I have sole physical and legal custody of my seven year old son. His biological father has never been allowed to be around because I discovered (while I was pregnant) that he was not only addicted to drugs but selling them. Anyway, he says he’s moving close to us in the upcoming year. I don’t necessarily believe him but I want to be prepared if he does. What kind of rules am I allowed to set concerning visitation? Do I have to go to court to establish a schedule or do I have control since I have legal custody? If he decided to file for custody, how hard would it be for him to overturn the ruling? Thank you so much. This site is an amazing help and comfort to so many.

    • Forgot to say-my son does want to get to know him. Even though the man I am married to is his dad in every respect, he’s curious and I don’t want to deny him this connection to parts of himself. However, I need to know that he will be safe, and what my standing is here.

      • Hi Julie,

        Glad we could connect about this.
        To clarify, you have a court order in place for sole physical and legal custody, right? Also, how long has your son lived with you?
        If this is the case and his father is now moving closer he can potentially be entitled to more visitation.
        Keep in mind we are not a law firm so anything we suggest should not be considered legal advice. If his father is wanting to get more visitation, it could be a good idea to attempt to come to an agreement with him before you go to court to get anything finalized.
        If he does serve you with papers in the near future, you definitely will want to respond to them so you don’t lose by default. Since he hasn’t been involved in your son’s life for quite awhile, it sounds like, typically a judge will give him some visitation depending on how far he ends up living from you two. The closer he lives, typically determines the amount of visitation time a non-custodial parent will receive.

  13. Jeanie says:

    Hello my name is Jeanie,My son and his wife,just split up about 3 weeks ago,she moved in with her mother and her stepfather and family,and he now lives with me his (mom) Anyway they have a 10 month old son and she is 17 weeks pregnant,She has not let him see his son sense she left about 3 weeks ago,She will not even give an address to where they live so he can send support,He is a wonderful Dad,and has always been there for his son.He works all the time,that is why I am sending this not him.What can we do ??? We all miss him so much !!!!

    • Your son is going to want to get into court as soon as he can to get a parenting plan in place. Thank you for looking for help on his behalf. With family court situations, your son is going to be the one who needs to initiate and remain consistently involved till his case is finished. If there isn’t a support order in place as of yet, any funds that are sent to her by your son will be considered a gift. As long as there aren’t assets between the two of them, we can most likely be able to help him get a family court order in place for visitation or partial custody depending on his specific circumstances.
      When he is available please have him contact us at http://www.aboutthechildren.org so he can speak with one of our parental advocates about this. Thank you for your help with this.

  14. Thank you for visiting my site. It was a blessing in disguise. I’ll be passing your site info on to my daughter in law.

  15. Kristy Young says:

    HI, I was served with a “motion to reinstate and for other temporary relief” from my daughter’s biological father. We had a temporary order for visitation schedule and child support, I believe 10 years ago (it was dismissed in Nov of 2011) ,that he very quickly decided was not what he wanted and he stopped picking her up. He also stopped paying child support 7 years ago, when I started dating my now husband. His exact words to me were “she is his (my husband’s) problem now. His parents did regularly get my daughter and we had a very civil relationship with them. They often would thank my husband for being the dad their son would not be. I let my daughter go over there whenever they asked really. But a few months ago, her grandmother was getting very jealous that she had more friends and had birthday parties and wasn’t spending as much time with them. She also got upset that we bought a new home, but that DHS was still trying to get child support from her son. On the weekend of our move I let my mom bring my daughter to their house to visit but I wasn’t letting her stay because it was going to be our first night in our new home. When my mother arrived my daugthers other grandmother jumped out of her car yelling and screaming calling me and my mother names ,etc. Then she hit my mother in the face in front of both of my children. So my mother left and I stopped letting my daughter go over there. I now have been served with papers from her son saying he wants to reinstate old order, which was before my duaghter was in school and is crazy days and hours. He also all of sudden started paying child support again but still owes $13,000 in back child support. We have paid and hired an attorney but don’t feel she is doing what she should be. What are our options?

    • Hi Kristy,

      You certainly have several issues going on here. However, in our parental advocate opinion, his father isn’t in the best of places in this case. He is in the arrears for a huge amount of money and has been distant for most of his child’s life, along with his mother assaulting your mother with witnesses.
      That said, you definitely need to respond with your defense including evidence confirming the past, recent events. Since you hired an attorney, we cannot help you with preparing any documents for your response, but we can certainly provide you with sufficient online resources with our blog.
      Don’t doubt your attorney, they are usually worth the investment. Just be sure to cut to the chase when explaining your situation with them. Come in with a plan and outline of what you want to accomplish. In this case, its probably to maintain your current custody arrangement and begin collecting arrears as well as current child support payments from him. Even though your daughter has had a relationship with her grandmother in the past, with domestic violence occurring that is naturally a red flag in any court room as long as you can prove it. We wish you the best in dealing with this in court and please let us know how else we may be able to assist you.
      ATC

  16. Thomas Pregel says:

    On march 18,2005 I was ordered by the courts to pay $220.00 aweek+other. Then courts ordered me to pay 286.62 aweek starting April 2005. I paid this amount unteil I went to prison on March 14,2006. This was for 2 children Brittany was born 4/4/1989 & dropped out of school 2006.And J.R. born Jan.24,1996. After I went to prison I did’nt make any money until Oct.2006 00.17 a hour for 6 hours aday 5 days a week $5.10 aweek. 2007 my pay was increased to .25, than .34, than in .42, then in 2009 .50 a hour and alot of that money when to court fees.I never inteended to not pay child support. My kids are everything to me. At this time I don’t have anything. I got out Oct. 10 2012. I live with my brother & his wife He is keeping me from bring homeless. I am looking for a job. I do get foodstamps but cant get unemployment or any other government assistance. I am picking up cans to pay 10.00 aweek. I ouly got to see my son 1 time in 5 years. for 3 hours 2 days after I got out. The mother would not let me white him. She would send the letter back to sender. thats not right, She now lets me call him 1 time aweek. He calles me more but she gets on him for it. Thay have moved to a nother state about 400 miles. and has that state on me about paying back Child Support of $ 112,631.66 so they but me on a payment plan of 1,433.10+286.62 aweek and they want adjust the back Support like take 1 kid off 6 years back. adjust to wair I was in prison. 8,000.00 for the sale of the house to go to child support. I have ask for Abatement and they just send me what health insurance do i have for my son. I don’t know what to do and it looks like no one cares. My son has more then he needs and wants his mother and other has been doing a good job with him. Thank God but all i can do for him right now is to love him and find a job and pay and im good with that. oh how much can child support take from your pay check 1/4 or 1/2 or 3/4 or all? Just like to know.

    • Your experience is, unfortunately, very familiar and common with parents who have kids and get incarcerated for a period of time. To answer your question, once you establish yourself with a consistent job that has you on payroll, the state will initiate the support order. Not sure which state you are in, but in California all you have to do is speak with the child support agency directly about a payment arrangement. Whom ever your new employer will be, once they receive the paperwork from the state, there will be the information you can contact if need be. In some cases, once you have paid a substantial amount of whats owed, they might work with you on reducing the overall amount. Each state and county have various flexibility terms on this, so certainly no guarantees here. Just thought you should be aware. The state will never pay if their is a biologically related parent available to pay, that’s just how they look at it.

      Best of success to you in this. Once you get yourself on your feet with consistent employment, living arrangements available to your kids, you can consider going for some visitation.

  17. NAOMI LANCIA says:

    MY SON IS DIVORCED BUT HE HAS NO LEGAL CUSTODY RIGHTS TOHIS SON THE CHILDS MOTHER IS THREATENING TOMOVE FROM PA TO FLA I I HAVE LIVED 5 MIN. AWAY FROM MY BELOVED 4YROLD GRANDSON SINCE
    HE WAS BORN AND NOW WHAT SHE SAYS THAT SHE WENT TO A LAWYER AND MY SON WILL RECIEVE DOCUMENTS INTHE MAIL FOR HIM TO SIGN MY SON SAYS HE WILL NOT SIGN . SOWHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY ADORED GRANDSON

    • Hi Naomi,

      When your son is served with papers he will need to respond to them accordingly with what his request will be. We can assist him with this as well getting him prepped for the hearing. We are not a law firm, but have over a decade of experience with helping parents with these type of issues. Once your son is able to secure his rights through a court order, during his time this is when you will be able to see your grandson. Please have your son contact us about his case so we can help him. Thanks for your support.

  18. Scott says:

    Hi,
    I am the stepfather of a 12 yr old son and the adopted father of a 5 yr old daughter who I have cared for since before her birth. Last Saturday my wife kicked me out due to me admitting some fooling around with another woman 5 months prior… I have been on workers comp and have been a stay at home daddy for 2 years…The very day she kicked me out she had her boyfriend/friend move in or at least hasnt left in almost 2 weeks.. He is on disability apparrently… He is an old boyfriend who until 3 wks ago, she hadnt seen in 14 years…and the kids had never met him.. So my daughter is in half day kindergarten and of course, I had been taking her off the bus every day… All of a sudden she has not allowed me to continue with my parenting role and she is having her boyfriend care for my kids while she is working (8-5).
    She has said that she will allow me to have my daughter every wednesday and every other week end but I’m concerned that this is a relative stranger taking care of my kids when i am readilly available and willing to do so. Also she is refusing to “deal with me” and want all my communication regarding the children to go through this new/old boyfriend…..I feel like I want to just go there and take her off the bus and drop her off when my wife gets home… My wife says thats not ok with her because then she would have to “deal with me” every day…. As for my step-son. she has not let me see him and is refusing to discuss it… 10 days ago I was their every day caretaker and in one night there is a stranger taking full time care of my kids……….I still have hopes that i can reconcile with my wife but it seems like shes moved on although she will not say anything to me face to face….she will not discuss with me what she has told them about this man and will not devulge the extent of her relationship with him with me…. I feel like she may be stalling to gain some leverage with this guy taking care of them…. I am lost without my kids…..she is tearing me up inside and I dont know what to do……please help me……….
    S.
    massachusetts

    • Hello Scott,

      Thank you for sharing your story. Since the two of you are still married, you should have rights over your adopted five year old. I know this is a very difficult and traumatic situation with no obvious path to a resolution. I encourage you both to seek counseling regarding this matter with a marriage counselor. She may not be ready for this, however you seem to the most willing at this point, so you should take the first step.
      If this issue begins to go down the line of separation and divorce you can certainly contact us for this type of help with preparing what you will need. You are a strong father for wanting to take a stand for the sake of your children. Please keep us updated on this situation as it progresses. We will support you with any resources we have available.

  19. Hi,
    Just wondering what rights I have as a father. My wife took both my boys and left two weeks ago and is in a safe house (I debate her need to go there, since she is the one who was hitting me, I never hit her). But since that time, she has cut off all contact. I don’t know where she is, and have not been able to speak to my boys in more than two weeks. They are 8 and 5. She wants me to seek counseling, and I’m dong that this week. We are not legally separated or anything like that. She just up and left.
    What rights do I have?
    Please help, and please keep this as confidential as possible. I was looking for an email address and couldn’t find one.
    Timothy

    • Hi Timothy,

      Its excellent that the two of you want to pursue counseling. Typically, in order to seek some type of legal agreement the two parties have to be at least separated – this depends on different states and counties. But hopefully the two of you wont even have to go there. Keep us updated on your progress through counseling.
      You might want to consider contacting the police about your situation, if she is uncooperative, and push kidnapping charges.

  20. leigh booth says:

    hello my name is leigh i am write u for my husband justin he has a 9year old girl he payes childsupport but hes ex will not let me see her becuse hr is married to me and she said i should be aroubd kids he hasnt see hes kid still 20010 and ge nows she lives in mo but he doesnt no the dress we would like to get cuduy of her and she is married agin and we all so think she is on drugs agin abd hrs kid is in too small if cloths too abd i thank she is a nefit Momther so could u help

    • Thanks for looking into getting help for your husband. We should be able to help him with this, just need some additional information. Have him contact us directly at aboutthechildren.org
      We get cases like this very frequently. Look forward to speaking with him.

  21. amador says:

    does any one know where i need to go to file for custody?

    • Hi!
      That depends. Which county and state has your child or children lived in for at least the past 6 months?

      • amador says:

        i ive in san jose ca and they live with there mom in las vegas nv

      • If they have been in Las Vegas for more than 6 months, you will want to file in Las Vegas county. Otherwise, you should file in the county they were last residing before las Vegas.
        Depending on how long your children have been living with their mom will be a factor in deciding on a custody agreement. If you require assistance with preparing what you need to make a request, we can help you with that. Hope this info helps you in the mean time.

  22. amador says:

    ok thank you

  23. amador says:

    how much do yall charge

    • Depending on whats involved, we never charge more than 1K. We understand that’s still a large bill, however most attorney fees add up to between 5-10K on average for doing these types of cases.
      I believe you submitted your information for us to contact you directly this morning. When you speak with a parent advocate they can provide more details on the specifics.

  24. Neishara says:

    Hello. My fiancee is banned from seeing his daughter because he is in a relationship with me. Today is her second birthday and marks 8 months since he has seen his child. He thinks he has no rights and would not get any support from court systems since he is currently unemployed. He loves this little girl more than any thing in the world and its sad to see him go through this. Is there any way that he can at least get visitation rights or is he doomed to never see his child again?

    • Hi Neishara, your fiancee can absolutely ask for visitation rights for his daughter. Even if he is unemployed, he is still her father and has a right see spend time with his child. Family courts in general, believe it is in the best interest of any child that they have time with both mom and dad. Have your fiancee contact us directly about his situation and we can see how we can best help him pursue this matter. Thank you for your support.

  25. Dave says:

    Everyone keeps saying its a matter for the courts to decide. Even the police tell you that when you hold the divorce decree in hand and you’re there on the day your suppose to be there and you are denied your right by law. Unless I’m mistaken I already went to court. It was already decided that I could see my daughter.

  26. Dave says:

    They can enforce us to pay but they can not enforce them to let us see your kids. Its a one way street with everything in there favor. When they break the contract it is up to us to pay more money to attorney to enforce the contract. We are already paying. What a bottomless pit.

    • It sounds as though the order you have Dave, is not specific so there are many opportunities to breach the contract without any enforcement. Some orders include what are called sanctions, to discipline a party when the order is not followed. With a more specific order it should be easily enforced by your local police. We understand how frustrating this matter is for you. The only answer we can really give is to do what you can to get this modified in family court. We can assist you with this process when you are ready.

  27. Kimberly Sumowski says:

    My ex and I have been split up for a long time but we have a daughter that will be 17 in sept. she lives with me her dad wants her to come to his house every other weekend , but she does not want to any more because she’s getting older. He told her she has to because he pays child support until she’s 18 . Is that true does she have to go by law?

    • Hi Kimberly,

      Good question. If the two of you have a court order in place for visitation than it definitely needs to followed. Once your daughter is 18 though, she will be an adult so she can decide if she wants to see her father or not. Hope that information helps you! Feel free to review our blog posts as much as you want you may find more information on there that will be of assistance to you.

  28. dominique washington says:

    hi i lost my kids due to the condition of the home. i divorced my husband and want custody of the kids back they are with his sister. what can i do. they trying to keep them from me. i never lost my rights . was told to petition the courts but i cant afford an attorney. please any advice will help. they want to be with me.

  29. chenglee says:

    Hey, i am divorced and paying child support. i am very close to her part of the family. When she hears im going to support at family events, she leaves on purpose and i feel like she wants the kids to hate me. She says that if i show up then shes going to start drama, so most of the time i dont go. I am planning to get a visitation order is that a good idea ?

    • Hi Cheng,

      You definitely should get a well-defined order in place for visitation with your children.
      We’ve seen this come up a lot when couples get divorced and do not get anything specific or well written when it comes to split time with their kids in their divorce decree.
      Have you filed anything yet regarding this?
      We can certainly help you if you like in putting this together. Feel free to contact us directly regarding this.

  30. PJones says:

    My husbands has a child he has not been allowed to see in over 8 years. For the first year and a half of her life he was a VERY active father and his family was always supportive. His daughters mother never claimed the child wasn’t his and it seemed as though they were making things work. Their relationship took a sour turn and she took his child and he never saw her again. She tried to have an order of protection issued against him which a judge threw out as it had no merit…during that time however she was able to get out town without my husbands knowledge or any idea of where she went. We had court dates for child support and visitation that she never showed up for. The judge threw out child support,as again, she never showed up. We were unable to settle the issue of his visitation rights because she did not come to court. Since then we hear that she has married and has more children…the same for us…however he hasn’t seen his child in 8 years and we have NO idea how to bring her to justice for this. He has a child being raised by someone that is not her father….and I’m not even sure if the child knows who her real dad is. Over the years I have tried to find her and from time to time we ran into each other online and she would claimed that the child wasn’t my husbands. A claim I don’t believe and if so a simple DNA test would settle the matter. I can’t tell you how hard it is to have watched him over the years suffer and hurt over a child that was taken. A situation that was not perfect but that didn’t have to end like this. What can we do?

    • Hi PJones,

      This situation has to end at some point. Unfortunately, your husband’s situation is very common and we have many parents calling for help with this type of issue. Keep in mind we’re not a law firm so do not consider any of this legal advice. The good news is there is a solution. You mentioned that he has been having difficulties in locating her residence. We often refer parents to another resource that specializes in finding individuals, its called Skip-tracing. However, ultimately the way to get this resolved is to get a visitation order in place which mandates your husband time with his daughter. We help parents frequently with that. He will need an address to serve her documents so its best to attempt to locate her first. Your husband can check out Peterssearches.com to run a skip-trace on her. Make sure he mentions About The Children when he calls, and they will give him a discount.
      Thank you for reaching out for him, he will need to be the one pursuing this since its his case. Hope this information helps for the time being, and continue supporting him through this. We look forward to hearing from him about moving forward with asking for a parenting plan through the courts.

  31. Carson says:

    Hello! We are a Canadian family in desperate need of information and support regarding parental alienation. We are unable to find any support in our community and legal fees are piling up severely. We love the children and have been fighting for access to them for years. Any help, information and support would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Carson,

      Thanks for your comments. Keep in mind we’re not a law firm, so do not consider any of this legal advice, but general information.
      If you’re child or children are experiencing parental alienation be sure to document every event you can. What happened, dates, who was involved. Have you been to family court before and got an order in place for visitation or some type of custody?
      Having a court order signed by a judge is the only way to protect and enforce your rights as a parent. Proving parental alienation is important, but not the most compelling factor that judges typically use when making their decisions. If a child is truly in danger or not being cared for and it can be proved with photos, witnesses, or professional opinions, these are the kinds of things a court will want to be aware of.

  32. Hi we are a Canadian family in desperate need of support and information but cannot find any support in our community. Legal fees are extremely demanding while other parent receives free legal aid. We feel we don’t stand and that the system is unwilling to provide us with support. We love the children very much and are not willing to give up.

    Any information/support would be greatly appreciated.

  33. Michael Riggs says:

    Hi, I have been fighting tooth and nail to see my 4 boys. I pay child support and I have paid a lawyer, the sad part is though I believe my ex paid him off. I have not seen them in over 6 months. I just want to see my kids. I am a dad who cares. She has had them call me and say they never want to see me again but then will say I love you or my 4 year old will say I don’t ever want to see your ugly face again. This is not something a small child will say on their own. She has also sent any pic she could find with me or my family in to my parents house, like she is trying to erase me from my childrens minds. It is not right and she is hurting them more and more everyday. I want the this nightmare to end for me and my children…. please help me.

    • Greetings Michael! Thank you for finding our blog and seeking out assistance with this issue, the first step is always the hardest, and you’ve just made that first step by seeking help with this. A father’s time with his children is so important not only to the father, but for the overall well being of the kids as well. As a father, you do have rights and we can help you get the right court documents prepared to go to court over this issue. About The Children is not a law firm but taking proper action in a family issue such as this doesn’t require the high costs of attorneys to get the issue addressed and hopefully resolved. We help hundreds of fathers represent themselves in court and establish their rights to their children. Please call or e-mail us to see how we can help you.

      (800) 787-4981

      • Amanda says:

        Hi. I just wanted to seek some info. I have a son whos 6. His father and I divorced when he was 2. We r both remarried and happy. Well I am. He doesnt want me happy at all. He takes me to court every year. My husband snd I have decided to move closer to my dad. It will be cheaper cost of living and be paid more. My sons dad will not agree to let move. I have seen a psychiatric dr. Who gave my son adhd medicine. My ex’s mom was at the dr and she even said ots not good for our son to be with his dad every other weekend. He hears stuff and sees stuff a six year old shouldnt. So I think being 600 miles away would be so much better for our son and only seeing his dad during the summer. I feel like if I present this to court as I tried years ago I look like im attacking my ex and just being mean. When all I want for my son is to be happy and healthy. And him visitong his dad is unhealthy. How do I move? Can a judge tell me I cant move?

      • Hey Amanda, thanks for commenting on our blog. You’re right, you don’t want to look like you’re attacking your ex in the court room unnecessarily. You want to show the judge that you’re trying to do the best thing for your children, even if that means moving father away from the father. Cost of living and other financial concerns are definite issues that can affect your child in terms of how well you can care for them and where they’re living. We all wish money wasn’t a concern but that’s just the way it is. Framing your case in such a way that it doesn’t look like an aggressive maneuver is key here. We can help you get the right documents together to file if that’s what you’re trying to do. Please contact us to see how we can help you.

        (800) 787-4981

  34. I am a British man and had a baby with a Thai lady, she left him with me when he was born and I bought him up for 2 years then all of a sudden she came back and took him off me, she told me I could still see him but she didn’t keep to it, he will be 9 this year and haven’t had contact since he was young, I’ve tried ringing her in which she doesn’t pick up or get back to me, I’ve also been to both her shops as she owns 2 Thai massage shops which are not far from me but she never seems to be there, and no one will give me her up to date phone number, I also don’t know where she lives but I know it’s not far from me as her shops are near to me, I know the school my son goes to, she’s just very hard to get hold of and to find, and now I’m older I’ve realised a lot and sorted my life out and just want to have contact with my son again, I just don’t know what to do, what are my rights? His surname is the same as mine, I just want to start seeing him and get that bond back that’s all I’m asking, legal fees are so expensive so could you give me advice on what to do next, I don’t want to leave it any later, enough is enough now just want him back in my life.

    • Darren, congrats on making the first step to exercising your rights as a father. A father’s bond with their child is one of the strongest bonds we humans can have, and it sounds like you just want to be a part of his life. About The Children is not a law firm, so we can’t give you any formal legal advice. However, information is what you need at this point. If your name is on the birth certificate, has your name and whatnot, then you have rights to the child. Enforcing these rights is just a matter of procedure that we help people with every day. It’s really a matter of getting the right documents to file with the court to bring your story to the judges eyes so you can get a court order that outlines a parenting schedule with the child. Legal fees can quickly become a wildfire and we’re here to help you at a cost that you can afford. Give us a call or e-mail us to talk to one of our staff members about how to get the process started. Thanks again for writing to us.

      (800) 787-4981

  35. scharee says:

    Looking for advice…my boyfriend took his child’s mother to court and got a court ordered visitation signed by the judge but now his daughter comes for visits and tells us about her mother making her lie and how she has to babysit her 2yr old brother while the mom stays locked in her bedroom with friends “Watching movies”. we both think she is using drugs again because of who the “friends” are.

    • Great question about an unfortunate situation. In scenarios like this, it’s important to make sure the child is safe or is in an environment that is good for them in terms of health, education and emotional growth. It sounds like the mother doesn’t really take an interest in the the child’s best interests, especially if the child feels like they have to lie. This is something I’ve come to call parental sabotage and it’s not healthy to put a child through something like that. If drugs are in the household, this presents a clear and present threat to the child’s well being and needs to be addressed. All kinds of trouble can stem from this kind of behavior. Especially if strange people are coming around the house and the child is left unattended while they go in the back room. If you boyfriend is worried about the safety of his daughter, bringing the issue before a judge is a sure fire way to make something permanent happen that will protect the child’s best interests. Please contact us so he can talk to one of our representatives about how we can help. Thank you.

      (800) 787-4981

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