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Father having difficulty seeing his kids; teenage daughter won't even talk to him


Your Question:
I live in NC and my children live in CT with their mother. The children are 16, 14, and 11.

My ex has been turning our children against me since we split up in 2000. She tells me it is because I moved to NC that my children dont want to see me. She tells the kids that I abandoned them. Our original court order says that I get them for 4 weeks in the summer in NC. This has never happened. Only 2 of my 3 children have ever been to NC with me and it has not been consistant because of her interference.

Now all of a sudden, there is NO visitation agreement at all. This all started in MA. And somewhere between MA and CT, I suddenly have no rights at all to see my children. The court in CT said I dont have a visitation order. I am and have been paying child support. So there is an order for that.

I am in the process of filing for visitation again in CT. Last year in mediation, I was only allowed to get my son.

Questions:
Is there ANY possibility that I could at least get visitation with my kids and can they all be MADE to come to NC with me?

Will the court think it is in my kids best interest to move away from their two 1/2 brothers and older sister (*my oldest) if I were to go for custody of my 2 youngest kids?

*my oldest daughter has not talked to me in 4 years.

Thank you very much for your time.

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My Answer:
Hi,

I can imagine that you're pretty frustrated with it all, now 5 years after the separation and still major problems seeing the kids.

I'm not sure why you believe you have court orders on time with the kids, but the CT court isn't recognizing them. This is something about which you should consult an attorney in CT. Court orders should be recognized between jurisdictions.

Unless you have major problems as a parent (e.g., drug addict, alcoholic, repeat serious criminal, violent criminal, sexual pervert, etc), or if your home poses a threat to the children (e.g., your spouse is any of those things), you should be able to secure court orders to spend time with your children. Once you have court orders, adults and children ALIKE are required to follow them. The mother doesn't have the option to ignore the orders.

That said, the court may be interested in knowing why the kids don't want to see you (if that's the case). There may be an evaluation, or the judge may want to talk to the kids in chambers. If the children all say, "Daddy beats us with a metal-studded belt", then your odds go down significantly.

I would encourage you to read the book Divorce Poison by Warshak. There's a link to it on my Resources page. The book helps you understand what's going on with your oldest, and it gives excellent advice on how to combat a parent's attempts to turn the kids against the other parent.

Given the difficulties you've already had, I don't know how much luck you're going to have without an attorney on this matter. You can give it a shot on your own, but finding a good, aggressive attorney in CT would likely help you the most.

Good luck... if you're a good dad, it's a tragedy what you're facing.

Eric





This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.


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