Do I Have the Right to Determine Visitation Rights for My Son to See His Father?

Updated on November 08, 2016
B.N. asks from Woodbridge, NJ
13 answers

My son father avoided me for 2 1/2 years about taking a paternity and becoming involved in our sons life. I first told my son father about our baby when he was 9months old in 2013. I knew he would be shocked but I didn't think it would take him almost 3 years to finally be a man and take a test to find out if he was his father. sad to say my son was conceived through a one night fling but I knew it was best for my child to have and know his real dad. his father avoided me and stated that he wanted no involvement because he didn't want to be on child support. for 2 years I reached out to him and his family to persuade him to be in his life. 7 moths ago this year he took a test and he was his biological dad. He then convinced me to move to Florida with him to be a family. Well that lasted 2 months because of his infidelities and finding out I was pregnant with his second child didn't make it better. he threatened to put me out and told me I either could leave our son with him while I went back to Detroit or me and my son had to leave by Friday. 2 days past and I packed my son and our belongings and lived with a women from church in Florida. i decided to get an abortion and that decision hurts me till this day. I decided to stay to make a living of our own and still was willing to work with his father when it came to seeing our son. I just filed for child support because since we left he has controlled what he wanted to provide financially and physically when it came to our son. he has been trying to convince me to share custody of our child, after he didn't even want to be hear from day one. he knows I'm putting him on child support now and I'm afraid that he will try to get shared custody. Am i wrong for allowing him to see him on my terms now? or should I let him have him when he ask? or how long he ask? what are my rights in this situation? I allow him visitation but not when he wants at all times am I wrong for that?
All I wanted was for my son father to be in his life, I even told him I wouldn't put him on child support and he still choose to avoid him. I never wanted to make a relationship with him, but I did what I thought would be best for my child. I moved out of my home for this man In the belief that he wanted to do right. since then he has done nothing but put us out his home neglected helping me? and give me ultimatums on him keeping my baby. I even found messages he sent to his ex saying he only moved us here to not have to pay child support. my mind is full of distrust for this man cause I feel that he only wants to split custody to avoid paying me child support. I never kept him away or let him see him when I'm in the mood, that's a very harsh way of putting it.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

The child has a right to support.

Are you getting any money from the government (food stamps, monthly deposits or similar)?

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from St. Louis on

You need to go to court and work these things out. Generally they work out a custody agreement when they work out child support.

You need to understand letting a parent see children when you are in the mood, or it fits your needs, or whatever is not what it best for your kids. Divorce, separation, it is already hard on a child, it makes their life unstable. So don't add to the instability by them not knowing when they will see their dad.

It isn't a harsh way of putting it, it is realistic.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Child support and visitation are two separate issues.

You need to talk to an attorney NOW.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

ETA: Sorry but the idea that custody and child support are not tied together is just wrong. If a couple shares physical custody 50/50 and has similar incomes and similar child-related expense (healthcare and childcare), neither party pays the other any child support because each party has equal means and is providing equal support to the child(ren) already. If a couple has 50/50 physical custody but has very different incomes or there are big differences in how much each pays for childcare and health care, there can be support ordered so that each person is paying an equitable share of the child-related expenses. In cases where one parent has primary custody, the other parent's parenting time and the income and childcare and healthcare expenses of both parents are factored into a fair calculation of support payments to the custodial parent. My ex and are still in the process of calculating this and the numbers change dramatically depending on whether or not we report that we are sharing physical custody. So yes, shared custody can absolutely a motivation to reduce child support payments - and idiots who try this have no idea that actually caring for a child day in and day out costs way more than they would pay in support.

The short answer is that no, you don't get to determine this, the law does. In an ideal world, parents agree on parenting time and present their plan to the court as a joint petition and the judge just makes sure that the plan is in the best interests of the child. In a situation like yours, you are going to have to learn what the default rules are in your state and if you aren't comfortable with those rules, what you have to do or say or prove so that you can get an exception to those default guidelines.

When you apply for child support, your case will be assigned to an attorney who works for the state. Typically when they file motions in court on your behalf for child support, they throw in custody, paternity and parenting time (visitation) as well because the issues are all related (meaning that they can't assign child support until they legally establish paternity and determine who the child lives with and how much time the other parent has with the child). See what they say when you case gets assigned and if you are OK with those terms, have them file that way. With my oldest son, his father wasn't around so the attorney on my case filed for sole physical and legal custody of my son with no visitation and the minimum amount for child support. I was fine with that. If you aren't OK with that, consult with an attorney to find out what your options are. If you can't afford one, look for a legal aid clinic or a "lawyer of the day" service in court where you can talk to an attorney for free or on a sliding scale based on your income.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

You already opened this can of worms by filing for child support. Now the mediator or judge will also want an order for custody and visitation. It's likely he will get joint custody and maybe even 50% visitation like one week on, one week off. That will lesson his child support amount greatly and you won't have ANY say in ANYTHING once this is in place.

You have no right to keep your son from seeing his dad. You were irresponsible in getting pregnant TWICE while not being married so this is the consequence of that. You now have to share a child with someone you are not married to.

Next time you are having sex with someone, use protection so you don't get into this situation again and have two or more baby daddies. Good luck.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Unless their is a court order stating times for visitation, it depends on what the two of you agreen they will be. IF you want your son's father to be in his life, you will need to find a way to make visits.happen.

I suggest you have all the power. THIS, no doubt, causes his father to feel somewhat helpless. For many people feeling helpless comes out as anger.

Know that child support and visitation/parenting time are unrelated. He, by law has to pay
Child support, whether or not he spends time with his son. He can go to court to get a court order for parenting time. The judge then decides if the child will benefit from his father being involved. Each case is different and the current thinking is that children need time with both parents. Realistically speaking that is not always possible.

I suggest you talk with a family law attorney to learn what the law is in your state.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

No I'm sorry but you don't get to decide these things. You go to court and they decide. It looks like you want to control a lot of things on behalf of your son. You waited 9 months to let his father know that he had a child and then got upset that he didn't want to run right off for a paternity test? You should have put your son's needs ahead of everything and had him tested with child support set up as soon after birth as possible. Now you are in a position of worrying about joint custody which seriously I think is a threat on his part and not something that's going to happen. No guy running game is going to want a young child around to ruin his hustle.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Custody, visitation, and support are the 3 components to caring for a child. When you go through the courts here in NJ, to file for the first time for support, they encourage you to fill out documents for custody and visitation. You may be assigned a mediator to help you and the father to work through the particulars of these 3 components. If you are unable to come to an agreement, they the law and the judge will step in and determine how things will go forward.

I strongly suggest you lawyer up.

The first judge I went before was obviously biased against single moms without legal representation. His ruling was very slanted toward the father who showed up with a lawyer. The next court date was before a different judge but I had my attorney in tow and the outcome was very different. The latter judge made some modifications to the first judge's rulings which turned things around.

Your heart is in the right place. Your children deserve to be financially provided for by both parents. You need to focus on being whole and strong for your self and your children. They will probably have a relationship with their father but you don't get to decide what kind of man he is going to be while you do get to insist he is respectful of you at all times and vice versa.

I don't know what state you are from but you will need to lawyer up for this. It's worth it. It helps to take some of the intense emotions out of this and make things a lot more black and white.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

These are excellent questions for a family lawyer.
Laws will vary depending on what ever state you are living in.
A womens shelter might be a very good place for you to get help/information.
I think - that a court will make visitation orders - and that will depend on a paternity test - because if your ex isn't the biological father then he's got no rights.
If he IS the biological father - then he has to pay support (unless he signs his parental rights away - in which case you get 100% control of your son and no support from his dad)) - and paying support means he'll probably have some custody/visitation rights.
You can't get him to pay support and not have him be involved with his child.
A lawyer is your best bet in getting accurate information.
Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

You have a right to ask for child support, and he has a right to want regular scheduled visitation and/or joint parental rights over his child. The best thing for you both to do at this point is get everything down on paper and legally binding. Is it possible he is asking for joint or shared custody just to limit his support payments? Yes, it is possible, but he has every right to want time with his child regardless of the reason because the child is as much his as yours. Your relationship didn't work out, you tried and now it is time to forget about you and him and both of you focus on what is best for the child. The fact is you choose to have a child with a man you don't know well, but what is done is done and he will forever be that child's father.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

you get a lawer and you get real legal advice on this. not internet mommas advice. now go and call a lawer to advise you thru this. the courts will help with the decision of visitation, child support and everything else

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Please grow a spine...not mean, just stop. Your child's father is responsible for him and should be paying child support. He should also have to pay back child support.

He's a jerk, WHY do anything he wants?

It's a common ploy that men who can control a weak woman, they'll threaten them and walk away without ever having to pay a cent of support. He should pay every single cent.

I would talk to an attorney about visitation. At 2 years of age I don't know how the law would determine visitation across the country. I would go for as little as possible since he's not been interested.

He might even try to kidnap him if he takes him out of state. Then YOU have to go there and stay through all the court dates and everything.

File for full custody in your state today. Follow the attorney's counsel.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Of course your mind is full of distrust NOW, but it should have been full of mistrust before you moved to Florida. I cannot imagine moving in with a STRANGER just because he's the biological father of your child. Why would you do such a thing? And why would you let yourself get pregnant again? That just blows my mind.

Instead of doing that, you should have gotten a lawyer who specializes in this stuff and had the lawyer deal with this guy. And that's exactly what you need to do NOW - get a lawyer. Find out what the law is in Florida and what the law is in the state you left. It could be that you need to go back to your other state in case the law is better for you there.

Stop trying to get this jerk to be a father to your son. It's not your job to try to push this through with him. All you are getting in return is him using you. And stop allowing yourself to be used by men!

1 mom found this helpful
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