Can I get visitation of my children? 15 Answers as of June 11, 2013

I am in the military, and 8 years ago my ex-wife took off with my kids and didn't tell me where they were. She just recently filed for child support on the youngest child, and I got her address from that. I am trying to get custody of the kids, and at least visitation established. The kids are 8 and 14. I have been paying child support, and providing medical coverage. My ex-wife denied the medical coverage and used medicare for some hospital bills, and is now trying to make me pay the bills.

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Yes you can. Based on the information you provided there is nothing stoping you from attempting to get custody of your kids. What you do need to do is get all of your information together and hire a lawyer in the State where she lives if it is different than yours. From your question, I assume she has filed through the Attorney General for Child Support. If so, this is a blind trap to you.

If she lives in the same state, file a counter-petition for Custody, and a General Denial and then ask the AG Court to transfer the case to the District Court. If she lives in another state, hire a lawyer there and ask that lawyer to get the AG Case consolidated into the Custody action. Here is why. The Uniform Family Support Act (UFSA) is a Federal Law that requires the AG of one state to assist the AG of another state in collecting Child Support. However, while this law gives Texas for example the right and duty to enforce, and even amend child support payable by a Texas Resident when asked to do so by another state, UFSA prohibits Texas from altering custody unless the custodial parent (in this case your ex-wife) agrees to let Texas amend custody. In other words, if you want to have a custody fight, now is the time and appearing in the AG court is suicide since she can get all the relief she wants for free and you are left with no options and still have to go to her state to file for Custody. Why fight two battles when you can fight only one.

AS for her demand you pay medicare - that is a tough one - again the AG Court will not give you much credit - they only care about the money and if she got medicare, the money is owed to the State and the State wants the money. However, a District Judge is looking for Justice, while the AG may show up and demand money, the District Judge is more concerned about equality, and the kids. Go file your custody suit wherever the kids are and get the ag case transferred and consolidated. I cannot stress this enough, the AG Court cares only about getting money from you and your efforts there mean nothing - the AG only wants money, they pretend to care about the kids, but in the end, they do not, it is all about the money. Make this about your kids, but to do so you have to take the fight to her front door. Good Luck and if she lives in Dallas County or Collin County in Texas, please let me know, I would be happy to sit down and discuss the case and facts with you.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 4/27/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
You have rights. Consult counsel. You need to immediately reengage in the relationships with your children and file for contempt of the visitation order or get one in place. If you are no threat to the children, you are entitled to visit. You may expect a gradual schedule to get back to regular visitation. However, if you get dirt on the mother that shows a threat to the kids, you could go for custody. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/26/2011
Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
Yes, as the father you are entitled to visitation rights of your children. If you are not being allowed to see them at this time, you may need to petition the court for modification of visitation. You can contact our office to discuss this and other options.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 4/26/2011
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
Yes hire a family lawyer in the state where she lives.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 4/27/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Yes, you can get visitation with your kids. It would appear from the facts that you related that your marriage is over. You should retain an experienced Family Law Attorney in the county in which the children are living to file a Divorce case and seek custodial and/or visitation rights on your behalf.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/26/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Any initial custody or parenting time determination is based on what a court believes is in the children's best interests. That, of course, would require consideration of any relevant factors that affect the children. In the scenario you provide, one critical issue is whether the children know you and/or have any relationship with you. If it has been some time since you have seen the children, you will have to walk before you can run. That means parenting time may start off as short periods and, perhaps, even supervised until the children reach a level of comfort in your presence.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    You need the assistance of a family law attorney to help your cause.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Yes. Colorado now uses the label "parenting time" to reinforce the concept that both parents have constitutional rights to be involved in their children's lives and that the best interests of children are to have to two parents. You should consult the Legal Assistance Office at your base and probably need to hire an attorney to help you obtain parenting time. Keep in mind, however, that if you have had no contact with the children for 8 years it will probably be necessary for you to resume your relationships gradually while they get to know you again.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Based on what you are saying, your exwife is violating all kinds of state and federal laws. There are a lot of things to talk about, to decide what options are best for you (and for your kids). Bankruptcy might help you. I would review your whole situation with you, and give you some legal advice as to what you can do.

    Bankruptcy might help, or you may be better off dealing with these issues by taking other steps. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    If there are no visitation orders you can certainly apply for them. If you wish to discuss further please let us know.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Yes, under the facts described, you should at the very least be able to get visitation rights established by the court if not custody.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/25/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    Yes you can. Depending on your state you will probably get visitation starting with minimum time and then probably getting your more time.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 4/25/2011
    Owings Law Firm
    Owings Law Firm | Tammy B. Gattis
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    File for divorce if you are still marreid and seek a reasonable parenting plan. The children may need a period of adjustment- to get to know you again, butthey are better off with you in their life, than out - unless there is more to the story than what you've revealed. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/25/2011
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