Desperate! Child Custody Issue

Also I wanted to ask a question for the future. If he is in breech of our current custody situation (per seperation agreement, which has been incorperated in the divorce decree but open for modification) can I sue him, along with petitetion the court he pay legals fees?? I’ve been documenting even the few times that he claimed he would come pick her up but then called to cancel day of. The was one inccident in Oct where he told me he got out of the military and was in the police adacemy in VA so he wasnt going to be able to provide health insuarance for her until he finished school. (which I have in an actual email) only to find out in Dec that he never got out of the Marine Corps, but actually reenlisted in Oct for another 2 yrs. We are divorced and I want the games to end. I shouldnt have to pay extra because he’s got a mental issue. (which he very well may, we spent 5 yrs together before he deployed to iraq and came home to commit alcoholisim and adultry)

head in a tizzy
Ms. Crystal

The only “legal” reason you could have for not letting her go would be if you have aclause in the custody agreement preventing travel outside of the state. You could deny his visit, but you would be held in contempt. Possible spending time in jail. It is irresponsible the way he has approached the visitation thus far, but not criminal. Unfortunately you really don’t have much of a choice. Given the age of the child, expect to get a phone call to pick her up. Two year olds are tempermental and have stanger anxiety. You have to be the responsible one.

I already expect the call. And have been entertaining the idea of driving up to VA as well and staying in a hotel for the weekend. If I did this and he called for me to get her (she already gets seperation aneixty just from being at daycare while I go to work) can I sue him for the hotel fees as well? This is so unfair to my daughter. He and I spoke last week and agreed he needed to start slow with her… Couple hours the first visit, few more hours the next, etc. But the “new gf” loves kids, he says… I swear, it feels like he’s using my daughter to get laid. I hate this.

head in a tizzy
Ms. Crystal

No offense, but it sounds to me like you have an issue with his lifestyle and I can understand that to a point. You stated he agreed to start ‘slow’ so it sounds like he wants to attempt to develop a good relationship with her. She is 2 and yes, she will have separation anxiety with anyone other than you, but she needs to learn to cope with that. It’s part of every healthy child’s life. She has the right (and so does he) to have a relationship with her dad/his daughter. You must abide by the agreement, and if this is his weekend and it happens to fall on a holiday, then allow him his time. Is there a clause that says persons of the opposite sex can’t stay overnight while the child is there? That may be an issue if he’s breaking that rule. But no…you can’t sue him for your hotel bill. That is rediculous. You are making the choice to go-it’s not a requirement.

Dear Leighasmom:

Greetings. Your option is to let the child go, try to negotiate a new schedule and a phased in schedule with him, or file a lawsuit to set child custody. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My ex husband and I entered a seperation agreement in April of 2006. In that agreement it states he is entitled visitation the 1st and 3rd weekend of each month commencing May 5th 2006. Then is has the holiday vistation etc listed.

He picked her up from my care on May the 5th 2006 only to call me on May the 6th at 6pm stating he could not get our daughter to go to sleep or to stop crying. She was 14 months old at the time. I drove in a horrible thunderstorm the 45 mins to where he was and picked her up when he called again at 8pm with the same complaint.

He since then has not excercised his visitation rights, making it 11 months since he has last seen his daughter. Now we are divorced as of 3/21/07 and he wants to pick her up for the first time since May 06 and take her out of state to VA to visit his new girlfriend. My I add that I gave birth to our daughter while he was on deployment in Iraq… He came home when she was 7 months old, and left me for another woman when she was 9 months old. From 9 months old to the ONE visit in May he did not see her at all. Always blaming various girlfriends and drunken nights. He drives a Corvette, has numberous speeding tickets, and I truly fear that not only is she in harm being in the front seat of his Corvette, but she has never had an overnight away from me at all. Nor has she interacted with him since May.

Is there anything I can do “NOW” or do I have to let him take her while I wait on my Motion to Modify Custody? He has gone through 9 girlfriends during our seperation period and I feel this is just not a safe situation for my child. I have contacted the local police department (as he told me he would call them if I refuse him the visitation, per sep agreement) And they said there is nothing I can do, they would let him take her. I also want to add it is not only his weekend but by chance his easter as well. I’m not against him having a relationship with our child. I’m against him taking her out of state. The problem is, it was never stated in the sep agreement that he could take her. Is there anything I can do?

head in a tizzy
Ms. Crystal