Visitation obligation - no agreement in place


#1

My son’s Father moved to FL last month by personal choice (to live with his new girlfriend). We do not yet have a signed custody agreement. He says that I must answer the phone when he calls, allow him to SKYPE with our 2 year old and allow him to take our son when he returns to visit.

I am hesitant to allow him to take our son anywhere. He has returned from FL once to visit and he stayed in a hotel locally. I had no problem with it.

Am I required to let him take our son for visitation out of town prior to an agreement being in place? Am I required to answer the phone so he can talk to our son on the phone or SKYPE? I have done so previously but his behavior has become so erratic I’m hesitant.

I do not want to put myself in a position of being the ‘bad guy’ when it comes to custody. I want to protect my son.

What are my obligations prior to an agreement being filed?


#2

Technically, unless/until you have an order or agreement in place, you are free to allow or not allow whatever visitation and/or phone calls between your child who is in your care, and the other parent. If the other parent is unhappy with the time he is getting, he can file for custody or visitation on his own. However, keep in mind that it will strengthen his case immeasurably if you withhold reasonable visitation and telephone requests. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are worried that he will take the child to live in Florida, you can file an action for emergency custody yourself. It is normally best for all parties involved to draft an agreement or have an order in place because these informal arrangements don’t usually work out long-term. I would suggest you consult with an attorney to create a plan of action, and perhaps you can work out a consent order with your ex.