Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Visitation is a Right, Not an Obligation

I have been working on a pro bono case for about a year now, which started out in a positive manner, but has devolved rather quickly. The basic scenario is that a father wanted a court ordered visitation plan to see his children because the informal arrangements that he and the children’s mother had been using just weren’t working anymore. He’s a veteran of the Desert Storm and seems genuinely concerned about seeing his children.

So as the case progresses, the wrinkles begin to pop up. Even though the Court has set up an initial schedule to see his children, there is always an excuse why he can’t make it for his scheduled time. As a result, I check in with him each week to see how the visitation went, and each week, there is another excuse as to why he couldn’t see his children.

It should go without saying that the judge is now not happy at all that a preliminary schedule has been set and the father seems to never make it to see his children. Last week, at our most recent court appearance, the judge vented his frustration at the current situation and my client’s seeming inability to actually see his children, despite the preliminary schedule.

With that, a whole new schedule has been set up, one which my client is not a fan of, but which will require him to “RSVP” if he actually intends to exercise his visitation. As the Court advised him, his visitation is a right, not an obligation, but he should find a way to exercise his right if he really wants to see his children.

It’s turned out to be a very tough case to participate in because for each step forward, it feels like we take two steps back.

For more information regarding visitation with your children or to schedule a consultation, please call me at 718.568.0221 or 908.698.0417 or visit my website,, for more information.

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