K.R. asks from Steubenville, OH on December 18, 2008
Paying Child Support and Rights to See Son.
Ok, I have been asked my my brother if the mother of his child has the right to deny him the right to see his son. He is current with his child support and even goes above and beyond what was asked of him. He gave the mother a car in his name to make sure she had a reliable way to transport his son to the Dr. and get to the store and where ever else she needed for the baby. But the agreement was also that she would bring the baby to visit him at the very least every other weekend. My nephew just turned a year old. And she refused to bring his son to see him on the weekend before his b-day or even allow him near her parents home to see his son. Now she is refusing him the right to have Christmas with his son. Last year while they were still together he didn't spend the babies first Christmas together b/c she went to her parents home. As she did each holiday. So my brother has YET to see his son an any holiday. He is a good dad and does what he needs to do.
I guess my question is what can he do to see his son? There is no court documents saying he has no right to see his son, she doesn't have full custody. He said all she was given was residential custody for the child support, that she went though welfare to get from him. They have never been to court.
On the rare occasions she does bring the baby to see his father she never brings him any diapers except 1-2 for the 3 hr drive and just enough formula for the trip as well. So then my brother has to rush out to get diapers and formula and usual clothes for his son. And he can't tell her she can't take them home on her return trip b/c he doesn't wanna neglect his son. Any suggestions on what he should do?
So What Happened?™
I just wanted to thank everyone for such great advice. I have passed along a lot of the information to my brother. As to what he does is up to him. As the old saying goes: You can lead a horse to the stream but you can't make it drink from the stream. I am going to talk to my parents and suggest that they file for visitation rights as well. I hope something can be resolved in court to make it a greater outcome for both my brother and his son. On a side note, she kept him from being with his son for Christmas and the new year. And I haven't seen my nephew for almost a year. So I too miss him dearly.
C.S. answers from Cleveland on December 19, 2008
Get a lawyer and get some legal document in place. If he can't afford a lawyer, contact the local legal aid department and see if he can get help. There is no reason for her to be so controlling.
A.W. answers from Cleveland on December 18, 2008
I think he needs to get a lawyer and be aggressive with regards to his rights to see his son. The mother sounds a little unstable, is she? Anyways he needs a lawyer and he needs to make it all legal with regards to his visitation and rights.
J.L. answers from Toledo on December 19, 2008
He could be a father who doesn't pay child support and still have visitation. Child support has nothing to do with visitation. Are they divorced? Also if she is the residential guardian of the child, he is the non residential guardian, which means he should be granted visitation, which there is a schedule in the Toledo Bar Assoc. Bar book (i t have gone thru this all first hand). It states that like even/off years who gets what holiday. Almost like every other one.
IF they have a divorce and the guardianship of the child was established in court, then he needs to file a motion to show cause and hold her in contempt of court for failure to allow him proper visitation. This is a form you to go to the court house (is he in lucas county) Family court, fill it out, pay the fee and get a date. I think that the fee is like $150 since there is a minor child involved.
I would also recommend an attorney, although normally you meet with a magistrate and this sounds like a pretty simple case. My ex abondanded my son and he took me to court after almost 2 years and I represented myself. Basically they asked me why I withheld the child and they asked the father why he didn't come around for 2 years. I can recommend one if you want to send me a personal message. I had a great one for my divorce and other things we went to court for. He is very reasonable priced and looks out for the well being of the child.
1 mom found this helpful
D.K. answers from Indianapolis on December 21, 2008
IF they have JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY.....he has EVERY RIGHT to see his son within what the guidelines say. If it says he gets him on odd number years on his birthday, etc. then that's what should happen. If she does NOT comply, he needs to be filing contempt charges. We've been doing this for almost two years now. As a result of filing the charges, he's getting to see her more because legally, he's supposed to any way.
If he does NOT get what he's supposed to get, he just reminds her, shows her the pages in the guidelines and highlights (she does NOT read it on her own and could care less about what it says because she thinks she can make the rules). If she doesn't comply, he files charges. The courts HATE this and so do the attorneys. If a judge sees that she is NOT abiding by the guidelines and the father is making a huge effort to see & provide for the child, this looks bad on her part and that she's not doing what's in the child's best interest OR abiding by the guidelines set by the court. We are in a battle for full custody. You can tell, after almost a year and a half that the mother is now scared of losing her daughter because she's lied so many times and done what SHE wanted, refused to abide by the guidelines and not allow her daughter to be with her dad when she is supposed to or wants to. She's made up her own rules and now it's coming back to haunt her.
They have joint legal custody but mom makes her own rules. The more we file contempt charges the more they see she does not comply or do what is in the child's best interest.
If he does NOT have joint legal custody......he might think about doing so and/or filing for full custody. If you need a good lawyer on this and are in the Carmel area, let me know. WE've got a GREAT one!
L.C. answers from Cincinnati on December 22, 2008
In the state of Ohio if he pays child support he gets to see his child unless he refuses (I had an uncle who paid child support but never saw his son because he didn't want to). Obviously he's not refusing, so she's in the wrong.
Get a lawyer and get your nephew.
And depending on how your parents feel about this and the judges in your nephew's particular county, your parents might want to apply for visitation as well. From what I've experienced dealing with a lot of children in joint custody situations, when a parent refuses the other parent to see the child without reason and frequently, too often someone's not caring for the child as s/he should and is afraid the other parent will find out. If that is the case, the more your nephew is out of the situation, the better.
J.C. answers from Fort Wayne on December 19, 2008
My brother had to deal with the custody issues of his daughter. He actually was awarded sole custody, but I do know that if you want particular rights, you have to go through the courts to have them granted. For instance, they can settle through the courts on who gets the children on what holidays. It can get a little confusing at times because they usually will alternate years, like he gets them for this Christmas, she gets them for next. But, it is well worth it since you can report her not following the court order if she doesn't comply. Other than what's enforced by the court, if she has legal custody and he's only granted every other weekend at this point, she has the right to dictate anything above and beyond that. If he wants more, he needs to get it by calling a lawyer. It's unfair, but unfortunately it's just the reality of custodial issues with children.
R.B. answers from Toledo on December 19, 2008
I dated a man in a similar situation years ago, and a friend of mine also went through this. Your brother HAS to take her to court to have any chance of regular visitation. He could sue for joint custody, or full custody even, in order to end up with the most opportunity for seeing his son. He will have to spend the money, and it can get very costly if she doesn't follow what the court orders. My old boyfriend had to keep going to court to fight for his visitation rights, because his ex would take their son and simply not be home when he showed up for his court-granted visits. But maybe just having a lawyer involved and having the court order the visits (there will be an exact, regular schedule determined) will keep her in line, and he will have a legal recourse if she violates the judge's orders. As far as keeping supplies on hand, your brother should just have these things at his house and keep them there. If his ex is not properly taking care of the child, he needs to document everything so he can present his case in court.
R.K. answers from Cleveland on December 19, 2008
Unfortunately, your brother is going to have to get a lawyer involved to set up visitation. She has no right to keep him away, but at the same time, since there are no court documents to back him up, he really can't do much about it. Make sure that he has documentation as to the car, and child support and all other monies he has spent to show the courts that he is doing all he can. The courts will frown on her keeping him away from his son. It's very rare these days to find a man that goes above and beyond the set child support. They will set up visitation guidelines and she will have no choice but to let him have his son on those set days. Maybe he should mention to her that if she doesn't work out something with him outside of the courts, then he'll have no choice but to take her to court? MAYBE she'll see the light and work something out with him?
Good luck and God Bless!
P.R. answers from Indianapolis on December 19, 2008
You said they have never been to court, he is paying her child support and they have an agreement which she is violating. Is the agreement a written document? Was it notortized?
If not then verbal commitment is not necessarily the same as a written contract, and the written contract can be held up in a courtroom, which is something they have never experienced. I hate to tell you this, it sounds horrid, but even court orders are violated and expensive to enforce.
My heart goes out to your brother, who sounds like he is doing his best to be a great father, and who obviously loves his son very much and really wants to spend time with him, but short of proving she is an unfit mother or taking her to court his options are very limited. Doesn't sound to me like she has any intention of being reasonable.
J.M. answers from Columbus on December 19, 2008
First of all were they married when his son was born? If not then technically she does have full custody of him. I went through this with the father of my children but I don't keep him from seeing them I encourage it. Also it is his responsibility to have the diapers,formula,etc for his son and as well as it is hers. He doesn't have to send what he has back with him. He pays his child support so she should be able to provide that herself and he shouldn't feel guilty as hard as that may be. Also I know when we went for child support they let us know that he had 30 days to dispute it because of visitation or whatever. I think the only thing he could do now is try and take her to court for some type of custody or visitations set up. He should try and go for full custody hoping to get anything. That's what most lawyers I've talked to have told me. I wish him the best and happy holidays to all of you.