Do I have to allow visitation?

Without a custody order or custody agreement in place, either one of you can “keep” the children. With your situation as it is, you need an attorney (as much as I hate to say that!) YOU need some sort of legal agreement since you both, at the present time, have equal rights to the children. If you let him have them, then it may look as if you don’t care that he is an abuser. If you don’t let him have them, then you look like you are trying to keep the kids away from him. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t! Get something in writing PDQ! But, keep in mind, the Court believes it is in the “best interest of the children” to see both parents…no matter what! Good luck!

I’m going to get some sort of written agreement before I let them visit with him. Thank you for your advice.

Unless there is a written agreement in place either one of you could take the children and keep them them away from the other party. It sounds like a custody action has already been filed and generally that makes it less likely that one party would take the kids and keep them from the other. If you fear for the safety of the children you may want to consider a domestic violence protective order.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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My ex called (after 3 weeks of zero contact) and wanted to have his kids for the weekend. I am fearful of brainwashing, programming, or whatever we should call it, if he takes them. He has done this for the last month before I moved out, and in addition, he recently called Child Protective Services on me.

I also fear that with no custody papers done, (he has requested custody), that he would be able to take the kids and keep them. I know there is no recourse if he does.

I realize the kids need to see their dad, and I would encourage this if we had not endured domestic violence and emotional abuse for many years.

I don’t know how to allow him visitation without worrying about it the whole time they are gone… whether he will keep them, brainwash them more, or even worse, abuse them. I am no longer there to protect them.

Is it going to make me look uncooperative if I don’t allow him to take them? Do I have to allow him visitation?