Wife denies visitation "until I pay some child support"

Our divorce was finalized in September. Custody mediation ended in a stalemate and a hearing is forthcoming (not sure when). Now my wife is denying visitation “until I pay some child support”, which has never been addressed or determined but obviously will be. We’ve both "been paying child support) for 16 years as parents. She now has also removed one child from school (3 miles away) to closer to her apartment (2 miles away) saying it was to make sure he was within boundaries for where he attended school. He was and is, here or there. I don’t think the “cost of gas” and zoning arguments are going to impress anyone.

There is no order of any kind regarding either of us and custody, however, in a DVPO she stated I was forbidden from schools, her work,…the normal ridiculous stuff that the boys and I thought was funny. That order expired a week later and a similar order was begun that will expire in one year. But, in the second order anything regarding schools, etc. was omitted. The school says my name is not on the list of authorized persons to pick-up the boys, only hers and an anonymous other. My ex told me that if I tried to pick-up one of our three sons from any of their schools, she had instructed the principals to have me arrested, even though there’s no order saying either one of us have more rights than the other. Just my opinion I guess, but unless I’m missing some important detail, more and more I’m feeling like she’s been advised to set situations that could potentially hurt me and help her, as far as the custody issue is concerned. The money’s a non-issue and regardless of our differences, whenever she gets settled down from all of her “freedom” she’s a good mom. My entire problem with signing-off on everything was the fact that she forces our youngest to go with her to her boyfriend’s, though he doesn’t want to and asks me to help. She’s gone as far as secretly picking him up from my place or neighborhood and then ignoring my requests of if she has him and where are they, all while I knock on 270 doors in the neighborhood. The older two have put their feet down and she doesn’t ask them anymore, although there’s been a new car, money, etc offered to “just give the boyfriend a chance”. I know it’s not illegal, and I told the boys that even so, I’d be arrested and would have to work it out with the judge, not the officers who have a different responsibility than interpretation. Her attitude is why I declined a rather generous divorce settlement. I’m a dad, not a banker. I’ll fight if things are already this bad without an order. I’m sure they wouldn’t get any better after she had her paperwork. Just additional FYI, but the boys are here almost daily, and communication with her is approved for only that purpose. The 16 year old was sited for underage drinking at 0200 in the morning and when he and I discussed it and I asked what mom had said, he told me she had just gotten home. It was 0800. Again, not illegal, but since I cannot afford an attorney, what are my options?

First of all, your wife cannot withhold you children if you do not pay child support. This will look bad on her when it comes to court time so let her dig her own hole! Make sure you document EVERYTHING! Continue to ask her for you to visit with the children, if she keeps denying you, sorry to hear that, but document it. Do this via text messages, emails, etc. I think since there isn’t a custody order in place yet, that you can have a sheriff or police officer go with you to pick up your children since you or her have no proof when visitation is or isn’t. You might need to provide other documentation though (birth certificate, license, etc.) Regarding the pick up from school, etc. she cannot say that you are not allowed to pick them up since once again there is not a order in place! best of luck! Also, you really shouldn’t be discussing the case with your children. Also, you cannot control what your ex does with the children while they are in her care - i know this from experience.

Can’t argue with anything you suggested and man do I wish I could afford an attorney. How much would that weigh on a judge ruling over custody? Also, I agree with the kids not being involved, but in this case and other examples, my policy has and is to not discuss anything until it’s clear that they knew. For example, mom’s had a boyfriend for at least the nine months I’m sure of, and that was a biggie to them. I didn’t tell them about him, but my wife’s sister-in-law was instructed to break the news to them while they were vacationing over the summer, and then the boys told me while during the drive home from the summer, not knowing I had kept it away from their heads. Got the “You mean you knew, dad?”, question thinking maybe dad AND mom were okay with it. How Sensitive!

What’s up
Nut n honey
I guess you heard about moms divorce papers.
Excuse me?
Moms divorce papers.
You’ll have to speak-up a little.
Yeah she found someone else apparently.
C’est la vie. Life’s too short to be angry the entire ride. Sucks for our family, but I’ll have a sit-down with God and explain to Him my disapproval.
Yeah I’m not very happy right now, I can only imagine how you feel. This blows so much. I don’t think I’ve ever been more angry in my life
I hear ya, man. Just be cool and keep praying.
I tried my best dad but this is absolutely out of my control, I’m sorry.
It was never in your control, or mine. The only power either of us has is what we can ask God for with a clean conscience, and you’ve more than done your part. I need to explain some things to you tommorrow, and alone.
Yes sir.
Did she just tell you guys? Nothing before you left here?
Yeah, and she didn’t tell us ANYTHING before we left for the summer. In fact she was so scared to tell us she had to get aunt Tina to tell us. What kind of BS is that. Gets uNder my skin so bad
I’m sorry man. Don’t take your eyes off the Lord. Right now it feels like He’s not even real. Trust me, I feel the same way. It’s a trap for the weak.
Yeah I know dad I’ve just never felt more discounted from this whole situation in my life and I wasn’t expecting this. She told us she went on multiple dates with him while we were gone. It’s kinda depressing
You know what God says about it, and you also know that, like God does with us, you have to let people do things that are going to hurt. I love you guys, and keep your focus where it should be. You can be angry, but not ugly.
Yeah I understand, love you.
When do you expect to be home?
Around 3.
Okay. Does mom know you told me?
Yeah, she doesn’t have the guts too tell you, she said its none of your business. Its my business though because it’s affecting me, I thought you needed to know about it. I dont want any part of mom or her boyfriend, I’m just not going to put up with it.

It is good advice to document everything. If your child custody matter is not set for hearing, I would put it on for hearing as soon as possible. Even if she is digging her own hole, your relationship with your children is being impacted in the process, and you should seek the court’s intervention to make sure that physical and legal custody is set promptly.