Thank you dave for your advise,allow me to explain ,
I was married for two years from (May 2010- April 2012)in Loudoun County VA, now in divorce process, I have two step kids from this
marriage, one daughter will be 10yrs in 1months time and son 12yrs old, I have a very close loving relation with them and they see me as their mother ,even after the separation I have been in their life consistently from their b'days to daily routine life as I have been having visitations with them, at times my daughter will stay with me as well . They don't have any other mother figure in the US apart from myself ,their biological mother is abroad and has not seen her kids for the past nearly 3 years and she can't even come to US as she has no status to come on . Me and my ex agreed to have a legal separation agreement but one thing I didn;t legalize was to put
visitation rights in it, as he had verbally promised me that he would allow me to see and give me visitation rights.
But time to time out of revenge and mental abuse he emotionally tortures me by not allowing me to see my kids or even not allow to speak to the kids on the phone. Its been one year now since our separation and now my ex wants to finalize the divorce as a uncontested divorce but same time since he has not abide by his verbal promise due to which he has again stopped me from seeing my kids .
I have decided that I am going to fight in court to get visitation rights as a person who has legitimate interest . So my question is can I contest a divorce on the basis for visitation rights for the kids where the divorce will be finalized in court or do I have to separately file for visitation rights in the Juvenile and domestic court in Loudoun county VA to get visitation rights. I have a family lawyer already who wishes for me to file petition in juvenile court for which I am not 100% sure so wish to get a second opinion on this matter as I feel it is a very delicate and complicated case and want to make the right decision.
As for going through Juvenile Court it means It may take some time before my case is heard in Court which means till then I will not be able to see my kids. I am thinking by contesting my divorce in court , I have better chances of getting my case across same time to get visitation rights . Any how please advise me on this matter. And yes just to let you know I have done a lot of research and study on the rights for that third party visitation rights so I am aware of my chances .
What have I tried so far?: I already filed a petition in Juvenile court Last year around November2012 and they told me they not taking any cases till april 2013 and the intake officer told me that the Loundoun county Juvenile is not very keen in giving visitation rights to third parties no matter what the circumstances are. My family lawyer opinion is still to file again at the juvenile court for visitation rights.. and not finalize the divorce yet till the case at juvenile is heard. My Ex is now ready to face the contested divorce as that is what I want, just waiting on me to pick a court date which will be in Mid June. I am confused and don;t know what to do now..
Lastly Dave,If I do go to the court to sign off not agreeing to the divorce , should I take the attorney with
me or at that time there is no need as the judge will be assigning another hearing or may be meditation correct ??