What steps can a father take to get back into his sons life? 20 Answers as of May 17, 2011

My boyfriend has a 2 1/2 year old son. He hasn't been part of his life very much due to difficulties with the relationship with the mother. Even so he always wanted to be part of his son’s life she wouldn't let him (constantly cancel meeting, never call back...). What steps can he take to get back into his sons life? He is recognized as the legal father. Thank you!

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
This is a common question and I have to say, it is a tragedy that so many men have been told, convinced, or outright deceived over the years. He is the father and therefore Mom CANNOT keep him out of his son's life. In Texas and almost every state now, there is a presumption that the man be a part of the life of his children. In Texas, we are very strong on this issue to the point that the Legislature has stated in the Family Code that the Court shall issue appropriate orders to ensure a parent who has shown ability to act in the best interest of a child has close and continual contact to the extent feasible. What your BF must do depends on his circumstances. Does he have court orders? If so, get those orders, put the local sheriff on speed dial, call Mom, don't ask - tell her "I will pick my son up at 6:00 Friday in accordance with the Court order. I expect you to be home when I get there." Then go get his son. If she refuses to answer the door or is not home, call the sheriff, show the deputy the orders and get a report number for later. Do this two or three times, get copies of the report every time. Then file a Motion for Contempt and Enforcement. Trust me when I say, this gets attention fast. Now, if he has an "informal" agreement - ie no court orders - then buy a cheap audio recorder and call, ask to see the child, record the response. If she says no, wait a four or five days then do it again. Record her saying no three times, then file a Suite to Establish Paternity and be sure to ask for temporary orders, give your lawyer the tape - he or she will love you for it. If she says okay, but does not show, again, record the answer, then go to the appointed place at the appointed time but take a witness (you would be a good witness, wouldn't you?). When she does not show up, take a picture of him in front of the location at the time, take a picture of his watch showing the time (and hopefully date), then you or the witness needs to make a written statement while the facts are fresh.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/17/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Petition the court in his jurisdiction for a visitation order. He should also go ahead and start paying support using checks or other means that provide a record because she will petition for support when he petitions for visitation. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/12/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
If there are court orders he should go back and get them revised to ensure he can have regular visitation. If there are no court orders he should file a motion to request them. If he wishes any further assistance please let us know.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 5/12/2011
Vermeulen Law office P.A.
Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
Depending on the history of your boyfriend's case, he will probably need to file a Petition for Custody and Parenting Time. If parenting time has already been ordered by the Court, then he will need to look at other avenues to enforce that order.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/12/2011
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
He needs to obtain a court order for specific time, and build up a reunification parenting pogrom. Most importantly he needs to stop letting the mother dictate the parenting terms. I can obtain this result for him if he is ready to go.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/12/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    To establish custody and parenting time, he must file an action to determine custody. Since he has been absent for some time from his son's life, it is likely that any order would require rebuilding the relationship gradually commencing with visits supervised in some fashion.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    In Washington, he either needs to bring a petition to establish a parenting plan or to bring a motion to enforce the parenting plan if he already has one.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    He should file and a Paternity suit, and seek custody and visitation rights through that case. He would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to file and represent him in that case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Enforce and follow the existing parenting plan if there is one and petition the court to establish one if there is not. A gradual build up of time probably makes sense. See an attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    Even though he is recognized as the legal father, he will still need a custody and visitation agreement/order through the Family Court. This will establish his rights to see his son and take part in his life.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    That is so sad. Every child deserves two parents who love him and care for him. You will want to get some help from an attorney. I may be able to get the child's mother to back off and stop preventing him from seeing his son. If she will not, then I can help you get the Judge to order her to allow him to see his son. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the telephone call and no charge for the first office visit.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    The good news is that the courts have a method to get father back into the life of his child, with or without the cooperation of mother. Yes it costs to get the court involved but ultimately Dad should end up with a parenting time schedule included in a judgment signed by a judge which mother must obey or be found in contempt. Call my office to talk. At the moment I am out of the office but my office can patch you through to me. Unless there is some type of bad history regarding your boyfriend or prior court order excluding him from his son's life, your boyfriend should be pretty excited by what I hope we can accomplish.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    MRM Law Offices
    MRM Law Offices | Matthew Miller
    Has he established paternity? This is a list of documents you will file: Entry of Appearance, Waiver, and Consent Entry of Appearance, Waiver, Petition For Visitation Order For Visitation Certificate of Mailing of Order For Visitation Notice of Hearing Certificate of Mailing of Notice of Hearing.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    I would file a motion to get an order established. A step up order which slowly reintroduces him into the child's life would be appropriate. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    If there has never been a court order establishing his specific parental rights, he needs to see an attorney to open a court case and seek some specific parenting time. He can expect initially that his access will be limited, perhaps even supervised, in order to gradually establish a relationship with a young child. You say he is the "legal father", but that doesn't indicate whether he has been paying child support - either voluntarily or by court order. If child support has never been ordered by a court, he can also expect a claim for child support retroactive to birth in connection with his request to be involved in the child's life.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Your boyfriend is wasting his time unless he files and Order to Show Cause. I do not know if there is already a Paternity action. If not, and he was never married to the child's mother, he should file a Paternity action and for an Order to Show Cause. He is seeking orders pertaining to visitation and custody. He and the child's mother will be sent to Mediation, where they can try to hammer out a visitation and holiday schedule. Your boyfriend should consult an experienced, local Family Law Attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    He needs to file a paternity action, file for visitation and then follow through on visits.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Berner Law Group, PLLC
    Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
    If you and your boyfriend live in Western Washington, he can feel free to call my office to set up a free, no obligation consultation-in person or by phone-with an experienced custody attorney about his situation. He definitely has options.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    Is there a parenting plan/residential schedule/custody agreement or similar court order in place? If not, he needs to have one established.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/11/2011
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