Temporary Order & more visitation


#1

My formerly beloved filed a lawsuit against me for custody of our son. I filed a counterclaim in response. He has been gone for seven months. During the seven months I have been very accommodating regarding his visitation with our son and Skype/FaceTime sessions daily. I did not however allow him to take our son to FL where he relocated to be with his paramour.

We had our temporary custody hearing in New Hanover County yesterday. I relocated from Raleigh after his departure from our family. It turns out that the judge ordered his visitation to be less than what I have previously allowed.

He has already started asking me (four times since yesterday) to have our son more than the judge ordered. My question is, if I allow him to see our son more than the judge ordered will it hurt my future permanent custody case?

Because of his instability regarding his living situation and relationship (he has gone back and forth almost monthly, having even become engaged and then packing up 3 weeks later to return to NC and then back 2 weeks later) the judge ordered the following:

This coming weekend - Fri - Sun in New Hanover County only
26 - 31 Dec in New Hanover County only
The third weekend of of each month Jan, Feb & Mar - Fri - Sun in New Hanover County or Hilton Head Island where his Mother lives
April - one week to be determined allowed anywhere including FL

My offer prior to court had been every other weekend, one night per week, half school vacation, half holidays but I wanted his visitation to be in either Wilmington or Hilton Head with my permission and NOT with his paramour. In the past seven months I have allowed him to see our son every time he came to town and I’ve even taken him to Raleigh to visit with him when he was there for work. I did not allow him to take our son to the mountains on Labor Day weekend with his paramour and her daughter.

As you can see I was much more flexible than the judge. It is my thought that the judge is holding off on FL until April thinking that his situation will change by then.

So again, do I need to follow the letter of the order? If I allow more visitation will it hurt my permanent case?

Thanks. You guys have been excellent guidance here. If I had been in Raleigh I would have hired you!


#2

You can follow the Order to the letter and refuse to allow any other visitation time. That is entirely up to you. All he is guaranteed is whatever the Order allows for. If you do allow additional time, it could potentially be used to show that whatever concerns you allege in court aren’t really that concerning to you or you wouldn’t give him the extra time. It’s more of a matter of establishing a pattern than it is about letting him have additional time here and there. If you consistently grant him extra time, then it’s possible the court will note that and allow him extra time in the permanent Order too.