Visitation question


#1

I have an order in place (judge signed agreement/order) where I have visitation rights for my out-of-state 16 year old son that states 20 consecutive days every other month with me, his father. Yet, it stipulates “input from the child” in determining the dates.

His mother’s interpretation of this apparently is that my son can choose whether or not to spend the entire time with me, ie., going on trips with friends’ family overnight for a week out of that period(which of course is becoming very appealing to my son).

Although I am not opposed to him spending time with friends’ families, this clearly takes time away from me, and puts me in a stressful position of either saying ‘no’ or agreeing to alter an agreed court order. Doesn’t seem right at all. Any thoughts?


#2

I would encourage you to find an appropriate balance in allowing your son to have some independence and choice, while still maintaining a relationship with him which includes visitation.


#3

Thank you for your reply. I agree. It is so easy for someone else to say “stick to the order” but if he truly wants less time with me, I’ve got to deal with it.

On the topic, we spoke in the past about alienation. I am the dad who was told to “get out,” and did so, only have my son and his mother abandon the MR to live with parents in FL once I did the “get out.” I am now back “in” and did not file emergency custody, like you had advised months ago. Now I have a son who has been so alienated by his mom and g-parents that he thinks I “left” him, since I didn’t care enough to stick around a very bad marriage. Never mind they live 1000 miles away from home, I am now the bad guy who’s had less than 2 weeks with my child in 8 months. In spite of the order, my son is now “involved” in all kinds of camps and activities in FL which will no doubt hinder visitation efforts.

The short of it, you were exactly right. I should’ve filed emerg custody months ago, before alienation of my son. Now my attorney thinks we should pursue damages. This is the same atty who discouraged emerg custody, and from what I read, alienation is very difficult to get results in NC.

Is this so? Think I would be pursuing in vain?


#4

In my professional opinion seeking damages will only further alienate your son.