You have to follow the agreement. He can’t demand more time and you can’t deny or restrict timing.

If he misses a visit, then you can agree between yourselves to reschedule, but under the same guidelines as the agreement already set (including the overnight stipulation)

Even if he has moved so far away that it is not reasonable, and the enviroment can not be verifiable healthy and safe? He keeps moving and I do not have a physical address where they will be? Also, with regards to how far it is…he doesn’t get the children Friday until after 8pm and it takes an additional 2.5 to 3 hours to get back to the town where he lives, and then we are supposed to meet for me to get the kids back t 4 on Sunday, and he is always dropping them off early at my mom’s or causing me to hae to change my schedule to meet him early which means he really only spends Saturday with them.

Ultimately, I am just not comfortable allowing him to keep the children overnight right now. He has before and it has always been a BAD thing. Our youngest has severe food allergies and asthma and always come back sick, and I am the one that loses time from work, loses income, etc. He is not a bad person, but he makes very poor decisions when it comes to the kids. I could go on, but this I think may give some insight into the situation.

Oh, also the agreement is notarized, but I was told that it didn’t mean anything legally without a judges signature.

If you are not happy with the agreement you have now (which IS a legally binding agreement if signed and notarized), then you have to have a new one created. If your agreement is just between you and the ex, and he is not willing to a modification, then you will have to legally take him to court and sue for custody. This is where the custody will be ‘court ordered’. Right now, it’s simply an agreement between the 2 of you.

Either way, your agreement as it stands now IS legal. A judge does not have to sign it. IF THE AGREEMENT IS COURT ORDERED, then yes, the judge has to sign it.

In a perfect world, custody, child support and all that would best be handled amongst the parents…with no court intervention (via signed & notarized agreements such as you have). But unfortunately, couples rarely agree to such terms, so the court has to get involved. It is costly, timely and unpredictable. You may or may NOT get what you want out of the custody issue if it were to go to court. It’s just a chance you have to take. Make sure you prepare completely with back up for all your concerns and allegations. The court will do what is in the best interest of the children. Your definition of best interest may not be the same as the courts OR your ex. Just be prepared for anything.

Do you have a specific concern about his relationship with this woman? Is there something about her that makes her dangerous to be around the children?

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

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780


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My STBX and I have a seperation and custody agreement that gives me sole custody of the children and him monthly visitation. Due to his unstable lifestyle he has been unable to see the kids in several months, now he is demanding visits for extended times. Our seperation and custody agreement will be incorporated into the divorce judgement, but this has not been filed yet. The children have lived with me since he left. Can I say that he can not have visits until the divorce is done, or can I limit his visitation at all? The agreement says that all overnight visits have to take place in an enviroment that we both agree is emotionally, pyschologically, and physically safe for the children, and if necessary that professionals may be brought in to deem such. He has moved around A Lot and now lives with yet another woman and I do not think this is exactly emotionally or pyschologically safe. What would my grounds be to say that he can not have the children overnight?