What can I do if I am not being allowed my child visitation rights? 7 Answers as of June 19, 2013

I am an unwed father with visitation per court order established with paternity. I have been separated for three years. Last year she remarried and as soon as she did phone calls stopped between me and my son. Same week I was told they would no longer work with my work schedule I had to be there at the time the paper (standard county visit schedule) said. I did what I had to do to see my son I worked with my employer and they did massive schedule changes to help me. I asked her countless times please work out another time if needed but she just never responded. Then they changed our meeting place for exchange which was driving an additional 12 miles out of the way for both parties. It was done for spite and antagonism not benefit. That extra driving time reduced the allotted three hours a week to more like an hour and a half. I pay my support and even though all these obstacles have been put in front of me I have not missed one visit in three years. I love my son but I am poor and apparently powerless. I am a father trying to do right by my son and the system has been used to try and destroy my relationship with my son. In addition for two years I picked my son up on Friday and took him to school and dropped him off Monday morning. After they got married I was no longer permitted to do that either I had to have him there at 6 on Sunday. My work schedule flip flopped so often I would be at work Sunday at six. This turned into another instance where I had to make changes with work to be able to see my son. Since school let out she is now refusing my every other weekend and weekly visit. They tell him their phone isn't working if he wants to call me. He is eleven now and he clearly sees what they are doing also. I don't know what to do is there no real help for good fathers.

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The Law Firm of Jessica M. Cotter, P.L.L.C. | Jessica M. Cotter
You should consult with an experienced family law attorney who can assist you with a modification of the orders regarding your parenting time.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/19/2013
Glenn Milgraum PC
Glenn Milgraum PC | Glenn P. Milgraum
Based upon the facts set forth, you may be able to successfully move the Court for change of custody and/or modify visitation arguing the parental alienation allegedly taking place. However, be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. (in other words,if you can't handle being the custodial parent you shouldn't request this as your remedy.) Good Luck!
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 6/18/2013
Perez-Jenkins Law, LLC | Patricia Perez-Jenkins
The order is what governs the relationship. Parents can chose to be flexible but the court system will impose the terms of the order. If the terms of the order are not being followed you can sue your ex under contempt and force her to comply with the order as written. There are avenues that one can take when another party unjustly changes the order on a whim.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 6/18/2013
Ronald Main & Associates | Tracian M. Laignel
I would file a motion to modify custody in the action that established custody and visitation. I would ask to be the custodial parent and the mother the non-custodial parent. The judge can question your son and see that his mother prevents communication with you by telling the son the phone is broken. The court tends to award custody to the parent that would permit unfettered visitation with the other parent. Clearly that is not the mother. I would contact an attorney to see if they can draft you a motion to modify custody. Hopefully at a bare minimum the court will make sure the mother allows visitation as agreed as well as uninterrupted communication between father and son.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 6/18/2013
Law Offices of Julie A. Ringquist | Julie A. Ringquist
File a motion with the court to modify the visitation schedule and the pick up and drop off locations based on the changed circumstances (you had been agreeing on scheduling which was different than the court ordered schedule, but allowed you a good amount of time with your child, but now the mother is frustrating your attempts to see the child by offering times you are not available due to work and making you pick up at an inconvenient location). This was just a very short email and you were able to explain things clearly, so do that again (more fully, with exact details) in a declaration to the court. Include exact dates and even texts and emails if you have them. The child deserves to have consistency and you should get back to regular visitation without letting it go very long. Don't be afraid to ask the Judge for help if you have an uncooperative co-parent.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/18/2013
    Paul G. Kostro, A Professional Corporation
    Paul G. Kostro, A Professional Corporation | Paul G. Kostro
    The necessity for at least minimal parental cooperation in a joint custody arrangement presents a thorny problem of judicial enforcement in a case wherein despite the trial court's determination that joint custody is in the best interests of the child, one parent nevertheless contends that cooperation is impossible and refuses to abide by the decree. Traditional enforcement techniques are singularly inappropriate in a child custody proceeding for which the best interests of the child is the polestar. Despite the obvious unfairness of allowing an uncooperative parent to flout a court decree, courts are often unwilling to sanction punishment of a recalcitrant parent if the welfare of the child will also suffer. However, when the actions of such a parent deprive the child of the kind of relationship with the other parent that is deemed to be in the child's best interests, removing the child from the custody of the uncooperative parent may well be appropriate as a remedy of last resort; i.e., Remedies for a parent's violation of orders relating to custody or parenting time include temporary or permanent modification of the custodial arrangement provided such relief is in the best interest of the children.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/18/2013
    Webster & Associates | Anita Webster
    In Nevada, you would start with a letter from an attorney outlining all the efforts you have made and how she has thwarted those efforts, asking that the visitation and phone calls resume or you will be filing a motion with the court. If she fails to respond or comply, file a motion with the court. Having tried resolve the matter prior to court puts you in a better position to ask for fees and will bolster your position that your lack of visitation has not been due to non interest but instead has been due to her thwarting your efforts.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/18/2013
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