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need advice about visitation

Started by 2weary, Sep 13, 2006, 04:45:38 PM

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MY DH has 2 sons from a prior relationship, age 13 and 9. They boys live with their mother in WA state (about 250 miles away from where we live.) There has never been a visitation schedule.

Their mother (X) is very vocal about how boys need their dad, how he's "abandoned" them, but when it comes down to it, she is extremely controlling and expects him to visit the kids at her house (she doesn't drive) which DH doesn't want to do. X is critical and claims the kids don't want to stay the night with us (they've only stayed at our house 2 weeks in the last 5 years, but they were fine) and that DH doesn't know how to take care of them. DH has tried to make plans to pick kids up for visits a couple of times, only to be told the kids aren't available at the last minute. He hasn't seen his boys for 2 years, and before that he only saw them a few times a year, for a day or two at a time. He pays all child support on time and sends them gifts and letters on a regular basis. He's very stable and doesn't drink or do drugs, has never had any problems with the law and has a steady job.

DH wants to have regular visitation with his sons. My question is: how should we go about this? Is it too late to try to set up a visitation schedule? What is a reasonable amount of time to ask for? We don't have much money, do we need an attorney? I know X will say that he doesn't know his boys well enough and they don't want to visit him at his home. Is it reasonable for DH to request visitation at our house, or would be expected to visit them in the city where they reside? Can we ask that X be required to provide at least some of the transportation, even though she doesn't drive?

Any advice would be helpful.


DH and I live in PA and SD lives with BM in FL. Our schedule is pretty much every other school break, half of xmas and most of the summer and any weekends DH wants so long as he gives notice and it is in BM's town.

Seeing as that you live closer, you can probably do more with weekends and half the summer.

There is no reason you should have to go to BM's for visitation and there is no way she should be able to keep them from staying at your home.

The problem is that there is no agreement. Reasonably, she should not be able to do what she is doing, but it is legally fine until you get the rule put on paper. You will more than likely be able to get the visitation at your home and more visitation, but unless she's willing to sign an agreement with those things you want, you will go to mediation if not court.

I really is worth it. We went through similar stuff a couple of years ago. I would say, get a good father's rights attorney to represent you. It will make a big difference, especially if the divorce was in her state. Be ready for retalliatory crap though. Expect child support to be reevaluated.

The reason I say it's worth it is because SD now can go on family trips with us. She gets to know her family here (her only family) including not only me and her dad but grandparents, aunts, cousins. This is going to make her into a better person than if she was secluded in BM's world.

To get an idea of what you might get in terms of visitation, call the county court house where your husband got divirced and ask if they have a standard visitation schedule. Yours should look very similar after court with some adjustments for distance. Ours is almost exactly the standard schedule for the county the order is in.

Good Luck and keep asking questions!!!



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Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it... we will start looking for a good attorney right away!


There are many of us in WA dealing with various counties.  Which county is BM and the kids in?

All the family court forms are online for free in WA. You can work your way to them by visiting the //www.NWJusticeproject.org website.

We are in WA. BUT we have a 253 mile round trip in-state to see SS. Most judges will allow for a set parenting plan. ALSO they may wish to see a phase-in of visitation before allowing a step up and time at your home out of state.

You can request transportation costs be split - it is standard to split it according to the CS percentage of each parent (CS worksheets specify the percentage on line 6 of the worksheets. You also have to request transportation responsibilities be split in the parenting plan.

I am not an attorney. I am just a long time user of the WA state family court system.
A true soldier fights, not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves whats behind him...dear parents, please remember not to continue to fight because you hate your ex, but because you love your children.