Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Insist on Your Right to Visit Your Child!

J. Benjamin Stevens writes the South Carolina Family Law Blog and always has interesting posts. The following is a recent one of his which reproduced a post from the Florida Divorce and Family Law Blog, beginning with Stevens' introduction:

I found the post below from Brent Rose to be very interesting. He makes a great point in a very unusual and compelling way. I hope that this post makes my readers think about this issue as well.

There's something I like about both the NRA and the ACLU. I know they're such different organizations. One is considered very liberal, the other very conservative. But they have one thing in common: they don't sit back and expect their rights to simply be handed to them. They fight for their rights. If they think their rights are being abridged or abused, they take charge. They go public. They get angry. They sue.

I get upset when someone says, "My ex won't give me visitation!" Well, why do you expect your ex to give you your visitation. Do you think the NRA or the ACLU expects the government to just give them their rights? Visitation is a right. Sometimes rights have to be demanded. Sometimes you have to get angry. Sometimes you have to sue.

No, it's not that the other parent didn't give you visitation. You just didn't take it. You are as much a parent as the other person is. You have a right to visitation. The law is pretty simple: the other parent can't deny you visitation. If he or she does deny you visitation, you file an action to have your visitation determined by the court. And if the other parent still won't give you visitation after a judge orders it? Watch how quickly custody changes. Maybe you agree with NRA and/or the ACLU and maybe you don't, but there is something to be learned from them. Don't expect your rights to just be handed to you. Go to court and demand them.

Source: "The Other Parent Won't Give You Visitation" by Brent Rose, published at The Orsini & Rose Florida Divorce and Family Law Blog.


Anonymous said...

My husband's ex is a drug abuser and is married to a physical abuser. We deny her visitation when she is unhealthy and using. I have no qualms about protecting our children from this harmful environment. She snuck in the visitation at the end of a child support hearing and will dodge our lawyer to keep from having it changed back to supervised. It's a nightmare. Not all denials are just out of spite, some of us have to to protect our kids!!

Dick Price said...

There certainly are situations where it is appropriate to protect a child by refusing visitation. If the other parent is high, drunk or drinking, or out of control, there should be no visitation until the danger is past. If the other parent would place the child in a dangerous situation, such as not having a car seat for a young child or bringing the child to a dangerous location (dangerous for any number of reasons), then visitation should be refused. If a parent refuses visitation on such a basis, that parent should have clear proof of the situation and should consult with an attorney immediately on the advisability of filing right away to modify the visitation order. A big nightmare may be avoided or minimized if the custodial parent not only protects the child, but follows that with changing the court order to accurately reflect the current arrangements. If the noncustodial parent is refused visitation and believes it is unjustified, that parent should consult with an attorney about how to best proceed.