Can a wife refuse her husband the right to see thier kids? 24 Answers as of June 09, 2013

My sister left her husband and she does not want him to see the kids because he is involved with the law right now and he is unstable. Can she refuse him the right to see the girls even though they are married?

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Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
This is a complicated matter. You mentioned that your brother-in-law is "involved with the law," but you did not say whether he is in custody, facing charges, or the extent of this involvement. You did mention that he is unstable. Your sister might have a valid concern for her children's safety. She needs to discuss her situation with an attorney immediately. Please feel free to call me.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 9/2/2011
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
Your question is one reason why Custody Lawyers keep so busy. If the parents cannot agree on a schedule for each, then he should file a Custody Complaint in your County Court of Common Pleas. J
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 8/22/2011
The Law Office of Erin Farley
The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
Absent a court order, it is not technically unlawful to refuse to let him see the kids, but I do not advise this route unless she truly feels the children are in danger of harm. Judges do not take kindly to parents who do not recognize the value of moms and dads in the children's lives, so refusing to let him see the children (again, absent a real threat of harm) could very well backfire. The better route is to file a custody action, state her concerns, and create a visitation schedule (which might include supervised visitation) that would be best for the children.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/22/2011
Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC
Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC | Daniel B. Rubanowitz
Generally, both parents have custodial rights to see and spend time with their children, unless there is a Court Order to the contrary or facts evidencing the need to keep a parent away from their child(ren) for their safety, such as domestic violence or abduction threats. If there is concern for the safety of the child(ren), then you should consult with the police and a Family Law Attorney. Another option could be to utilize the services of a professional monitor to make the visit safe for the child(ren). Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/21/2011
Theiler & Mourtos Attorneys at Law
Theiler & Mourtos Attorneys at Law | Devan J. Theiler, Esq.
This is a complicated situation without a simple answer. The answer is both yes and no. Yes, technically, she can withhold the children from him unless and until he gets a Court Order setting forth a specific visitation schedule. Without a Court Order, even if he were to try to involve the police, it is unlikely that they would do anything about it. However, a Court will likely not look favorably upon her withholding the children if he does go to Court. If there are serious and legitimate concerns about the safety and wellbeing of the children while in his care, I would recommend being proactive and filing for primary physical custody and allowing him only supervised visits. The Court is likely to be more favorable to that than to an outright denial.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 8/20/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Each parent has a right to have the children in their care absent a court order to the contrary. If a parent endangers a child, it may be possible to seek a restraining order.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    The Court cares about the "best interests of the children." If she is preventing the contact for a "good reason," she can prevent the contact. The proper and legal way however is to established contact (or no contact) pursuant to a court order.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    Complicated situation and there is no simple answer.. She needs a lawyer. If she cannot afford one, she should contact Alabama Department of Human Resources.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    She really needs to get a Court Order in a Divorce Action because until she does he has as much right to the children as she does.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    If he does not want to see them then no problem, but if there is no divorce filed and a custody order with specific visitation schedule, he has just as much right as she does to have the kids. In short, GET A LAWYER.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Without any resort to court, it is not appropriate to do that, unless there is good reason for it. For example, if he is charged with a crime concerning minors (inappropriate contact, for example), would you want him near your kids? Also depending on what is the involvement with the law, there might be protective orders as well. I would suggest that he contact a local attorney to determine what his rights are and if he would need to file something in court to get his access rights.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    As married parents, either parent has as much right to the children as the other. If she is truly concerned for the safety of the children, court action is the proper mechanism to establish supervised timesharing. I suggest your sister consult an experienced Family Law attorney to discuss her case in greater detail and learn all of her rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    She can try, but legally she does not have the right to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    No. Hire a lawyer and get a court order.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    It is not a unilateral decision. Each parent has custody rights. She should file a case with the court to get an order limiting or preventing his visitation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    No. Until and unless she files a divorce, separate maintenance or protective order case and a judge rules, she has no right to interfere with his access to the children. She should get a lawyer immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    It happens all the time - but the parents have equal rights relating to the kids until a judge says otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    Your sister should seek protective custody orders from the court by filing a motion.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/9/2013
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Until there is a court order establishing each parent's specific rights, each parent has exactly the same legal rights of access to the child. She can refuse to let him see the children if she believes that would be harmful, but until there is a court order she won't be able to enforce that decision with the help of law enforcement officials. So, if he refuses to abide by her decision there is obviously a risk that he will do something stupid and perhaps something worse than simply yelling might happen. She should begin a divorce case promptly so that a judge can decide how parental responsibilities should be shared. If the judge concludes that the children would be harmed by access to their father, he can be prohibited from contact them. But, the question will be based solely on what is best for the children - not simply what the mother says or is afraid of.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    if it is in the children's best interest and she is not violating any court orders granting him visitation then she is obligated to protect them from harm if he poses a harm to them
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    Yes. She can refuse his visits and if he wants to see the kids he needs to file an action with the family court to establish rights of visitation. She may want to be more proactive and go after a sole custody order herself instead of waiting for him to file something.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Without a court order in Washington, she has no more rights in regards to the kids than he does.That said, hopefully the court wouldn't blame her for protecting the children. To be safe she should file for divorce and seek ex parte restraining orders the same day.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/18/2011
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