Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Hi and thanks for your question.
There is no "standard visitation" for parents that live out of state - the court will consider all of the factors it deems relevant to determine what arrangement would be in the best interest of the child. The court is also going to look at who is the most reasonable person in that courtroom, and the fact that mom will not be reasonable or flexible about allowing dad visitations will play a part in this. It sounds like mom is not encourage time with dad - you could make an argument that she is discouraging the father/daughter relationship and discouraging father's involvement, which is clearly contrary to the best interest of their daughter. It will be important for you to highlight and have examples of times when dad wanted to visit and mom refused and how dad hangs in the balance and his visits are completely controlled by mom. This situation can be disruptive to the child and only results in instability of her not knowing where she is"supposed" to be from one week to the next.
Since you do live some distance away now, a reasonable schedule to request would include every 3 day weekend (where she has a Monday or Friday off of school), beginning the evening before - so that if she has a Friday off, the visit begins on Thursday after school, so she has time to get to your house, get settled, then wake up with almost 3 full days of a visit), the majority of the school vacations (still leaving a shared holiday plan in place) and at least 1/2 of her summer vacation. It's important to acknowledge that she needs stability with school to stay at her mom's house during the week, but also important to acknowledge that she does have a father, which relationship is just as important as mom's and it's important for dad to have quality time with her as well.
Although I understand that distance is a concern and it's a pain to drive and travel, you won't want to focus on this too much, as the court will consider it dad's "choice" to move/relocate further away from daughter. I'm not saying I agree with this and I understand that life happens, but it would not be the strongest argument to make at the hearing. It's important to stay focused on what's best for your husband's daughter, and that includes her and her father's relationship and their continued involvement and stability together.
I hope that this answers your question; if so, please click the green Accept button. Thanks very much and I wish you the best here.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).