Question #66: Hi, My daughter is married and has 2 children, ages 4 and 7. She and her husband are separated, they lived in NY and when they separated, the father moved back to Maryland where his family is. He left the marital residence. My daughter has been very flexible on visitation, lettting him come up and stay in her apartment to visit the children, bringing them down to Maryland 1/2 way so the father doesn’t have to do the whole ride. The thing is, in her separation agreement, does she have to agree to make the drive for visitation, or is this his responsibility to figure out how to visit his children? He has not been cooperative and the more she does to facilitate visitation, the more he asks for. He has stated that he does not care about the children’s weekend, activities and does not want to participate in them (they have missed Soccer games and Church because he will not take them). I just want to ensure that she protects herself in the separation agreement. Thanks….

The Answer to your question should be expressly spelled out in the Separation Agreement you refer to.
Get a copy and take a look to see what it says about non-residential parent’s responsibility regarding visitation.
If it is silent regarding this matter, your daughter should not have any obligation to bring the children to him.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #61: I looked at your very informative website and thought I could ask a brief question. “My wife (we are currently going through divorce proceedings) recently moved with my son out of New York State to Pennsylvania. Although I am living and working in England, my issue lies with the fact that she has not given me an address where they are living or who is living at the location?. Is this fair and reasonable for her to withhold the address and information?” Thanks.

If you have joint custody or even visitation or communication rights with your child, which in most cases
The non-residential parent has, you should be entitled to know where your child is, how to get in touch with the child,
And whether the child is located in a safe environment. Unless there is an order of protection against you which expressly
Denies you access to the child and to know the child’s whereabouts, you should be entitled to know that information and be kept abreast of any changes
In such information. If you are presently in the midst of a divorce proceeding, you may make a motion to the court to force your spouse to provide you with this
Information on a regular basis by email or otherwise.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #58: My fiancé and I have been together now for 3 years. He filed for divorce 5 years ago and even after 2 lawyers he has not been able to get anywhere in the case. His wife just refuses to settle, and keeps adding more and more claims for money, and still refuses to allow him visitation of their now 7-year-old daughter – unless it is by “her terms”. She also has been constantly delaying conferences and production of receipts, etc. for the last 18 months. Finally last month the judge ordered that they had to come up with a settlement by the next conference (in 2 weeks), or it would go to trial in June. After all these years, we know that she will not agree to settle and so it will end up at trial in June. My question is two-fold. At the end of the trial, will the divorce be final (as we would like to get married asap)? And secondly, what is the chance that my fiance will have to bring a separate case to get proper visitation with his daughter, since the ex won’t agree to anything, and the judge does not seem to want to even address the issue? Last year, after months of trying, the judge finally granted him one weekend every 6 weeks, 3 hours on Friday, 8 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday – no overnights, no taking taking her away from the city her mother lives in, and no visiting with anyone else. The poor girl has not seen her grandparents since she was a newborn, as the ex won’t allow it. There has been NO reason for any restrictions, except that the ex is controlling and wants to make all the rules. I have 3 children, and my fiance is a wonderful father, and poses no risk to his daughter – I can’t understand why a judge would not grant him fair visitation, yet so far he has not. As it is, just to spend these weekends with his daughter he has to travel from Missouri to Minnesota, as they have both moved since the divorce was filed back 5 years ago.

1. At the end of the divorce proceedings, there should be an Judgment of Divorce which will finalize the divorce; but such order, at least in NY, will come only after all of the financial issues have been decided as well as child custody, support, and a detailed visitation schedule have been resolved .
2. You did not state what State the divorce is taking place in, but in NY as in most states in the US, the judges are very concerned about allowing the non custodial parent the right to see the children on a continuous, regular basis, with liberal visitation rights. It seems very unusual that the judge is limiting the father’s access to the children and restricting the grandparents right to see the child. There seems to be more to the story.
3. He should have addressed this travel issue as soon as it happened and not waited 5 years.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq/Divorce Solutions

Question #54: I am a seperated dad living in New York and have been seperated for almost 1 year with a legal written seperation aggreement in place since March of 2007. I currently have liberal visitation with joint custody right now for my 2 children of 8 & 6, that has been agreed upon in a written seperation agreement. I have my children every other weekend at this time and see them regularly in the am each day before school. I would like to know being that there mother has residential custody and I have always been the income provider for the family, she now works from a home based business and contributes to no bills whatsoever with her income. Anyway, What are the procedure with regards to kids school breaks and me having to take the children , or split these school breaks with her and If I am also required to take the kids for 2 or more weeks per year for vacation time for her. What are the guidelines pertaining to these issues , if any? I in agreeance with the seperation agreement am paying all the bills in the home including all utilites, mortgage payments, insurance, etc….while she has no financial resposibilties, at all. She lives expense free till kids are of age. As well as paying for a new car and all its expenses. I currently am also giving her maintance monies for 1 year and child support that has been agreed upon. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

These issues should have been discussed and decided and incorporated into the Separation Agreement.
there are no statutory requirements for visitation and you should try to work out a schedule with your ex
to cover the holidays , vacations and summer and be sure to reduce the understanding to writing. If you cannot reach an agreement, I would be happy to assist you in mediating the terms of the agreement and drafting the necessary provisions.
If you are located in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #47: I live in NY. My divorce was finalized December 2003. I have custody of our 4 children. I remarried in May 2005. My ex-husband has had supervised visitation since our separation in June 2002 because he is alcohol dependent. He has not petitioned the court to have the supervision suspended, thus showing he continues to abuse alcohol. His girlfriend who is a police officer is the court authorized supervisor. Over the past few years my ex-husband has continually interferred with my parenting of the children. The older ones are teens and have been cutting school, drinking and experimenting with drugs over the last couple of years. I have used all resources available to help them, i.e. counseling, rehab, tutoring, grounding. My ex-husband continually undermines every form of discipline I have implemented. He tells the children that I am a psycho, replaces things I take away from them and constantly tells them I am not a good mother. He tells them that they do not need to go to counseling. He has reported me to ACS in 2003 making false accusations which were unfounded. And as of last week, I am under investigation again. My children have been conditioned by their father to call him immediately if I or my new husband reprimands them. Then my ex-husband dials 911 to say that children are being abused. After explaining to the police the situation, the complaint states that I (as the complainant) had a verbal dispute with my child. Ultimately my ex obtains a copy of this and tells my children that I called the police on them, stating “what kind of a mother calls the police on her kids?” This has been the cycle for almost 5 years. My children are at this point, so emotionally disturbed that I see no end to their behavioral problems unless their father either backs off completely or by a miracle sees how detrimental his vindictive behavior towards me is to them. Counselors have tried to persaude my ex to work with me on parenting the children, but my ex will not allow the children to be accountable for their behavior. What recourse do I have to make him stop so that my children will have a chance to succeed in life?

If you have sole custody of the children ( not just the resident parent , but sole custody), you should hire an experienced matrimonial attorney in your area to petition the court to terminate your spouse’s visitation rights because he is interfering with your ability to fulfill your duties as sole custodian and undermining your authority with the children .

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #33: Question: I have been married for 8 years. My wife and I have a baby that turned one in August of this year. On July 4, 2004, I was asked to leave the martial residence and reside in our summer home. There was never an attempt to work things out or reconcile our marriage. Divorce is/was inevitable. My wife currently does not work, based on both of our decisions after the birth of our child. In the meantime I have fell in love with my best friend which has unfortunately made its way around the whole town. We have never been seen in public as affectionate but do spend plenty of time with each other. I go home at least once or twice a day to spend time with my child and have done so ever since July 4, 2004. Since the news of my affair has made its way to my wife, she has now threatened to never let me see my daughter again. I would like to know what my rights are, if in fact she can prove adultery. Does she have the right to never let me see my child, does she have the right to tell me who is allowed to be around my child and who is not? And is child/spousal support more based on a divorce by adultery? Thank you for your anticipated response in this regard.

Answer:

The affair with your best friend may affect the court’s decision regarding child custody, but it should not effect either the amount of child support or spousal support that you’ll have to provide to your wife upon divorce.

With regard to child visitation, unless there is some other reason such as physical abuse or socially unacceptable behavior, the court will not permit your wife to refuse to allow you visitation with your child.

If you’re living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment. It will be less costly, less emotionally traumatic, and faster than a litigated divorce.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #8: I am a thirty year old man seeking advice on how to handle addressing the problem of: if my spouse(soon to be X spouse) decides to leave the state where am I left at and what suggestion would you have for figuring out I can put into the mediation to keep my son close to me or at close enough to afford to see him on a regular basis. Thank you

Answer:
Most courts will be very careful to provide you with the ability to see your son on a continuous and regular basis and will not allow your spouse to take the child away from you unless there are extenuating circumstances which the court shall deem as being in the best interests of the child, that the child be relocated with his mother to a distant location.
If you are able to mediate this matter, the mediated resolution will be entered into the Separation Agreement as a provision of the separation in which it will describe in detail the exact procedure to follow upon one of parties moving outside the present area of residency.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #5: 1. Can a non-custodial Parent force a fifteen year old child to visit if the child has a stated desire not to visit this parent? 2. What are the particulars of Ohio laws and/or any related cases for this? 3. If taken into domestic court, would the judge, arbitrator, or mediator take the wishes, statements and desires of the child into consideration? 4. Is the custodial parent in contempt if they do not force the child to go with the visitation parent? If so, how does one force a child of that age to comply?

Answer:
I can not advise you about specific Ohio statutes or case law regarding your question about visitation rights but I can tell you that in general courts to take into consideration the feelings of minor children, especially teenagers who exhibit maturity of thought and mind, but such feelings and opinions of the children alone will not be determinative in every situation and it will be up to the judge to decide whether to enforce the visitation or not.
If the custodial parent is interfering with the ability of the non-custodial parent to develop a positive relationship with the child, which includes disparaging and negative remarks being made about the non-custodial parent, or is in any other way interfering with the relationship, the courts will take necessary steps including sanctions against the custodial parent.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions