Visitation Problem

Dear bakers:

Greetings. First, if you do not have the funds to pay for an attorney, your ex may not care about your leverage…since all negotiations with him will be empty threats. Depending on your separation agreement, you may have a lot of negotiating power. I would suggest that you have an attorney, over the telephone or in person, advise you on the terms of your separation agreement and what negotiating points you have. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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.

I have full physical and legal custody of my son. He lived with me for 15 years, then decided to live with his father. I agreed to this, though it was never put in writing and our separation agreement was never changed.

Recently, I moved to work in California for about 9 months. Our separation agreement gives my ex and I each 2 holidays of the year. My ex also requested, and was given, 3 holidays a year for about the last 10 years. In fact, in the past fifteen years, I never kept my ex away from his son and daughter (now an adult) whenever he wanted to see him. This is a fact my ex will not dispute.

Our son will be 16 next month. My ex has refused to send my son to see me. Though I presently make less than minimum wage, and my ex makes well over $100,000 a year, I have agreed to pay to fly our son out, and even agreed to put the two of us up in a hotel near where I work (as my ex argued that he “didn’t like the idea” of our son staying in my single room) for 6 days. I have also agreed to take our son with me when I work for two of the six days (at a National Park), and keep an eye on him every minute.

My ex has taken our children all over the world. Last year he left our son in an apartment in La Paz,Bolivia, for two weeks with minimal supervision, while he traveled elsewhere in Bolivia for work. And yet, San Francisco is too “dangerous” a situation according to him.

He also fiddled around with his child support payments when he was paying them, and did not pay the correct amount according to our separation agreement.

Do I have any leverage? I know I have rights, but if I can’t afford a lawyer, especially at long-distance, what can I do?

Thanks so much.