Here's the deal. Most parents are unwilling to do what it takes to get substantial custody, once it's been removed from them.
The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that the judge in your case is the only one you will have, unless he/she retires or gets sick, etc. So, when the judge makes an unfavorable order, it means that he/she is sending you a message. You may not like the message, and you may not think it's fair, and it may not be fair...but, if you don't hear the message you will never get anywhere, because family law, frankly, is the place where rationality, common law and the Constitution of the United States all go to die.
Family court judges are stuck with a system that is not intended to deal with people's emotional problems. Nor are judges great Oracles who can predict the future of a child.
But, they are told by the legislatures to "figure it out," and then they're left to their own devices.
What I'm getting at here is that, unless you have HUGE financial resources, fighting with a family law judge's decision may as well be fighting with the ocean tide: you either learn to surf the waves or you will be drowned beneath them.
So, if the judge won't let you have visitation because you're living with your girlfriend, then guess what the answer to your problem is?
Right. Move into your own pad, so that's no longer an issue. Or, marry your girfriend and establish a conventional home.
Don't like those answers? Then, my friend, you're not listening to the tide, and you will just tread water until you sink into the abyss.
If you need a cheap lawyer, you'll need to check out your state bar association's pro bono programs or the legal aid society, or maybe a law school in your area who has students in an extern program.
Family law attorneys are not cheap, so thinking that someone will just jump to rescue you is, well, once again, not listening to the tide.
You can learn to "do it yourself," but it takes a lot of time and effort, so if you're not prepared to do that, then you're back to square one: Do exactly what the judge says and your situation will improve -- otherwise it won't.
I swear, I could have written that response for you -- I've heard it so many times before.
You're not listening to me. It doesn't matter how the mother can get away with it. What matters is that YOU CANNOT GET AWAY WITH IT, because the judge has told you so by making orders adverse to your wishes.
You have to fix YOUR situation first, and then, when you're s*** don't stink, you can start name calling against your opponent.
This is not the forum for me to give you a continuing lecture. You will have to decide what you want more -- time with your kids or the continuation of your relationship with your girlfriend under the same roof (unless she's your spouse).
Can't have both -- so get over it.
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