This brief article will focus on the trials and tribulations some fathers endure when attempting to gain custody or gain visitation/access to their child(ren) in child custody cases.
Some of the bitterness from the failed relationship sometimes spills over to the decision to limit or thwart visitation all together.
If you are a Father who feels you are wrongfully being denied access to your child(ren) you may want to consider getting the Court to assist you in doing so.
1. WHAT TO DO TO GAIN ACCESS.
An essential component of child custody cases is securing witness testimony on your behalf.
Testimony should be given to support your good character, to show you are a good father, and to show you have suitable living arrangements, and a suitable lifestyle for the child(ren).
You may want to consider filing a Motion to appoint an Attorney for the child(ren): this Attorney is called a Best Interest Attorneys (BIA).
b. Home environment.
Sometimes the Court will Order a Home Study be conducted in a child custody case.
The report will be generated after the completion of the Home Study. In the event a Home Study is not completed–and even if a Home Study is conducted—it is advisable to take pictures and have someone testify to corroborate the cleanliness and safety of the home and surroundings where the child(ren) will sleeping and spending time when they are with you.
In certain counties, the Court may Order that a Custody Evaluation be conducted.
c. Getting the child to/from visits (the dreaded pick up and drop off).
Another matter that must be discussed and one that you will want the Court to address in your child custody case is the pickup and drop off point.
Normally, the parent receiving the child(ren) will be responsible for the driving to the other parent’s home to pick up. Therefore, if Dad is spending time with the child(ren) he will drive to Mom’s home to pick the kids up.
When it is time for the child(ren) to return home to Mom, she will be responsible for coming to Dad’s home to pick the kids up.
Another alternative is a midway meeting point for pick up and/or drop off. Also, when feasible the parent may receive the child(ren) from school/childcare and return the kids to school/childcare on the next school day.
This may only work when the parents live in relatively close proximity to each other and/or the school, or the Court feels it is in best interest of the child(ren) that the school/daycare be the place to exchange in lieu of the parent’s home or some other place.
2. THE ISSUE OF CONTEMPT IF THERE IS AN ORDER
a. If the parent is in violation of the Court Order in your child custody case, you may file a Petition for Contempt and once the other parent is served, the Court will conduct a Show Cause Hearing where the parent must show that they complied with the Order and are not in Contempt OR show justification for not following the Court Order.
If the parent is found to be in violation of the Court Order, the Court may award attorney’s fees, change/modify the Order to address the Contempt, and/or in rare occasions, jail the parent in Contempt.
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If we believe we can assist you, we will set up a formal consultation with you to further discuss your matter.
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