16 answers

Visitation Issues

Hi, A briefing.. I am in need of some good advice.. is this possible! The father of my son agreed that he would have a 4 hr visit at my place/ supervised till he was 3 yrs old. He was ok with that the day we were at the attorney general office.. 5 months later mind you he has only gone by that agreement umm 4 times our of the 5 months if that.. and now he wants to modify changes to the visitation allowing him to pick my son up on Friday and return him to me on Sunday. Will the courts really modify these changes... ? Considering he doesn't even come on his weekends to visit his son for the 4 hours?
I am a single BROKE mom that can't afford an attorney. So if you do have an attorney that is dirt cheap please refer him to me as well. I will be darn if I let him take my son for a whole weekend! (My son is only 19 mo)

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all wonderful advice. I choose an attorney that is willing to work with me and basically I have nothing to worry abou. He doesnt take advantage of the time now.. Why would a judge let him take his son for a whole weekeend. I am not trying to be a mean person and keep him from his son, My door is open anytime and I will let them be!! I really appreciate you advice! Things are looking brighter and brighter everyday!!!

Featured Answers

Hi A.,

Gee this sounds familiar! I have just got off the phone with both of these places.

Lawyer Referral Service ###-###-#### www.AustinLRS.com (866-303-8303 toll free) This is if you can afford to pay.

Legal Aid ###-###-#### for when you can't afford an attorney. You can apply for this.

I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place because I make too much for legal aid, and I can't afford an attorney.

Good Luck,
T.

There is a lawyer referral service that could help you if you meet their guidelines. Call this number ###-###-####.
They can advise you.

Sincerely,
P.

More Answers

i am thinking that there is a reason why he agreed to supervised visitation. Just a thought if he is safe with your ex and will get his needs met. i know it would suck to have your son gone an entire weekend but if he is safe i dont see anything wrong with the father taking him. think about how much it sucks for him not being able to see his kid and only seeing him with you there...assuming yall dont get along. if you son is safe then its a tough situation but you have to do what is best for your son...all kids need a daddy.

2 moms found this helpful

Was the visitation order issued in Texas or California? That will make a difference--the way I understand it is that the original court maintains jurisdiction unless both parties petition for a change.

Despite some of the responses you have received, it is not always about maintaining control over the child or about fathers having equal rights or about the child support. Child support orders are issued separately from visitation in Texas--i.e. a parent can be ordered to pay support even if they don't have visitation and visitation can't be witheld for non-payment of support.

Some fathers are neither interested nor fit to spend time with the children they father--it is too bad that we don't always figure that out before we have babies. That being said, we have the responsbility as mothers to maintain the relationship the best way we can.

Yes, there is a chance that a judge could issue a "standard" visitation order if he takes you to court. You have a non-standard or modified order. The fact that he agreed to it less than a year ago will likely work in your favor. I hope that you have been documenting which visitations he has missed (if you haven't, start). Regardless of how HE feels, he has the responsibility to be there for his child.

It is not uncommon that children under three years of age DO NOT go for overnight visitation or unsupervised visits--especially if the father has not been an active part of the child's life before the split. For instance, my husband left while I was pregnant and never lived in my house with myself and my daughter. If you are breastfeeding, that relationship is also taken into consideration.

I didn't have so many problems, my husband never even bothered to hire an attorney or show up for court. I informed him of what I was requesting with regard to child support (less than standard) and visitation and he just signed the papers. That being said, I don't restrict his access (within reason). He is not allowed to leave with her because he can't be trusted not to drink and drive. He also is infamous for calling and asking to come and visit right about bedtime--I am the one who has to get up with her in the morning so that doesn't fly either.

When he DOES decide to show up...I let them be. I check on them, but I expect that he changes the diapers, bathes, feeds, cleans-up, etc. when he has his visitation. Just because he doesn't have custody doesn't mean he just gets to do the fun parts.

My advice is to try and keep the legal order you have today and work out some additional visitation that you both can live with. I suspect you are having an especially hard time yielding to his visitation since you had the opportunity to stay home with your child. Try to look at it as a little break for you. It isn't easy being a single mom--I love when he comes and I can just get some things done around the house!

Just a little semi-evil side note: If you don't feel he would be in danger by going with his dad overnight...try it out. Your son won't likely be traumatized by one or two rough nights but his father may decide that it just isn't worth it! People who aren't around children very much don't really realize how rough the nights can be.

2 moms found this helpful

Don't know the details, but he is the dad. If the situation was reversed, would you want his dad to keep you from spending time with your son? Just a thought...

2 moms found this helpful

Hi,

I don't think there is enough information here to be able to give you much advice. But I think you should confer with an attorney, especially since you're in a new state and probably need some help knowing what the Texas law is regarding custody and visitation. Here is a link to lawyers who handle custody cases in Austin. I would call some offices, tell them your financial situation and see if you can't get a referral to someone who works with clients on limited incomes. I've also included the link to Travis County family court services. Good luck!

http://www.co.travis.tx.us/dro/family_court.asp

tp://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/firm/Custody-&-Visitation/Austin/Texas

2 moms found this helpful

I don't know if you posted more details here earlier, but assuming that he's not abusive to the child (because you haven't mentioned it here), you have to keep in mind that it is just as much his child as yours. Yes, this is a very young child, but he still has the right to parent his child without your input or influence. It's terrible when you don't get along, but that has nothing to do with the kid. It's possible that he doesn't want to sit in your home because he's not comfortable being under your thumb while he is spending time with his child. Even if you stay in another area away from them (which you probably do not), there is still the possibility that you could come in at any moment and express an opinion about their time together. YOUR house equals YOUR control. If you are willing to ease into letting the child get used to being with his father alone, maybe you should suggest that he take the child for those agreed-upon 4 hours and then come back. If you want him to realize his appropriate role as father, then you've got to stay out of his way and let him do it, even with trial and error. Do you get everything right the first time? No. Would you want the government or someone else standing over your shoulder pointing out your faults, telling you that, although you're the parent, you can't be one on one with your child until he is three years old? Seriously, how would that make you feel? Oftentimes, it's easier (and better?) for men to just stay away until the child reaches an age of majority, in order to avoid the rants of a disgruntled mother (for whatever her reasons are--jilted lover, divorced wife, possessive control freak, etc.). That doesn't make for a pleasant outcome, but we have to open our eyes to the roles that we play in this sometimes.

Women tend to believe that they have all say over their children's lives and welfare--definitely more than the fathers--treating their children like possessions. Maybe a father would step up to the plate if he didn't have to deal with the whims of an overbearing mother. I'm not saying that that's you, but there could be reason for him to perceive that from you. I understand the urge to take the reins, the feelings of protective ownership, but I have to tell myself to let it go because my husband is a good father. (That's why it's important to consider the father in a man before having a baby with him, because you have to trust his judgment when you're not around.)

1 mom found this helpful

You should point that out to the attys. Let them know that why should you allow your child to be p/u by him if he doesn't even come to see your child on the designated days/times. That shows irresponsibility on his part as well as an unwillingness to adhere to court rulings & a definite unwillingness or uninterest in seeing his own son. I'd definitly do everything to at least keep it as is & I'd also keep a record of actually WHEN he comes to visit y'alls son, that way you'll have something to present to the court in writing. Good luck!

I would stick with the agreement and make him take you back to court. I would also document each visit missed. You are not keeping him from his son, you just want him to exercise the visitation he has now. If there is a reason why he had supervised visits, has that situation changed? If not, the court will not change the visitation. Call legal aide, they can help.

There is a lawyer referral service that could help you if you meet their guidelines. Call this number ###-###-####.
They can advise you.

Sincerely,
P.

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