Do I have to send my child with his father who I believe is unfit? 20 Answers as of May 18, 2011

I have primary physical custody of my son. There is no visitation set in the order..visitation must be agreed upon both parties. I feel that my son's father is unfit. The father is living in a camper outside of his mothers residence, has no bedroom for my son, has his other child sleeping in a swing on top of a bed along with my son. Also, there is no water line in the camper & the father's mother locks her door at night. I fear that if there was an emergency; no one could be contacted. Am I able to keep my son from him visiting his father until I take him for sole custody?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
You need to carefully review the court order controlling each parent's rights and responsibilities to be sure what authority you have, or don't have. If there is truly no mention whatsoever of the father's parenting time (visitation) rights, you are not violating any court order when you genuinely and accurately believe that your child would be in danger if there is no one to supervise the visits. To be certain of your authority and to obtain appropriate judicial restraints on the father's visits, you need to seek a court order modifying the original parenting plan.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/18/2011
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
The determination of whether a parent is "fit" is made by a court of proper jurisdiction (supreme court in a divorce, family court in all other instances), not by the other parent. If you are in New York State, you should consider bringing an action in family court to limit your son's father's right to have unsupervised overnight visits with the child. You will need to present the information illustrated below to substantiate your claim. There is no guarantee that the court will agree with your opinion, but this is the correct way to protect your child. While there is no visitation set in the order, if you act unilaterally to deny the father visitation, you could be opening yourself up to a claim that you are alienating the child from his parent.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/18/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
If the visitation must be agreed upon you do not have to agree to an overnight stay but that does not mean that visitation should not take place at all.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 5/18/2011
Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
If the visitation has to be agreed, and it's not agreed to, in good faith, for good reasons, then there is no visitation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/17/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
If there is no order in place, I don't see how you could be held in contempt. However, if there is really nothing wrong with the camper, the dad could use your denial of visitation against you. It is ultimately your judgment call as to what is in the best interest of your child. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/17/2011
    Michael Rose Attorney at Law
    Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
    How old is your son? Are you married to the father of your child? Have you been to court to decide visitation? What order has no visitation child support order? File for custody and visitation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    It would appear that your analysis is accurate that he or his circumstances are unfit for visitation as they presently exist, however, the Courts are the place to go to terminate or limit his visitation. It's best to not just stop his visits without some "due process" of law, which means the courts. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If a court order allows visitation, you must file a motion to modify the visitation provision.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    What you are describing is terrible. You may want to ask the Judge to order that your child not go visit overnight with his father. Call me if you want a lawyer to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Legitimate concerns for a child's safety are a valid reason to interrupt visitation. In your case, you would not be running afoul of a Court Order. What you should be wary of is any hint that your actions are geared to frustrate the father's visitation. That is, you had best truly be acting in the best interests of the child. The father's situation does not sound very appealing, that is true. He might best exercise visitation without overnight visits. I believe that you should file for specific orders sooner than later. On the other hand, perhaps you can agree with the father regarding a more limited, and safer, visitation arrangement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    This is a slippery slope question. While non is ordered, you are ordered to allow agreed upon visitation. I think your concern is overnights but that doesn't prevent daytime access. If you were to deny all access, including daytime, you could be perceived as unreasonable. Try to work something out so that the father can have contact.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    First you must obey any court orders that are in place. If you feel your children are in danger you would need to seek immediate orders from the court allowing you to keep the kids from exercising parent time with they parent. We are Arnold & Wadsworth a Utah Law firm and offer a free consultation to our potential family law clients. Feel free to give us a call.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    If there is no visitation set, then it does not sound like you have an obligation to send the child for visitation. You may want to ask the court to clarify under what conditions the father should have visitation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You can prevent your son from staying with his father under those circumstances, but you shouldn't cut off all contact between your son and his father. You should tell his father why you are not letting your son stay with him, and you should promptly file your OSC to modify child custody to seek sole physical and legal custody of your son. You would best be represented by an experienced Family Law Attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    As a parent, you have the obligation to protect your child from harm. If you have a good faith belief based on objective evidence that your son will be harmed by spending time with his father, then you may refuse visitation until you get custody modification orders. However, beware that if the court believes your actions were unwarranted, and thus you caused harm by interfering with the father-son relationship, that could harm your custody modification motion. If you feel that the circumstances are dire (meaning that your child will be irreparably harmed), you can and should file for emergency custody modification orders (ex-parte request). Call a local family law lawyer for help. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Denying parenting time can really hurt you and I do not have enough historical background or the order in my possession to review in order to really give you insight into this. Patterns of parenting time that have been exercised over time will work against you if you suddenly deny parenting time.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    I am not sure from your question if you are divorced or not. In Washington State, the court always considers the best interest of the child. If you are divorced, you should consider filing a modification action.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    If there is no timeshare order, then the visitation must be by mutual agreement, however I strongly advise seeking an immediate modification of the order to state that he can only have visitation if he has proper accommodations for the visit (running water, bathroom, a bed for your son to sleep in, etc.). If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney