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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3720
Experience:  I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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My child has visitation with her father. I have full custody.

Resolved Question:

My child has visitation with her father. I have full custody. He has filed for a visitation modification, he wants 'more quality' time with his daughter. He works 6 days/week, 5 are 12 hr/days and one 8-hr/day, 7th day optional. Child is with step-mother more than any body. He has Ohio standard visitation, every other week in the summer, every other weekend during the school year. Can he get more time with her when he's not there now, or if he is there he sleeps, he works midnights, 7p-7a, or days 7a to 7p. These visits are greatly affecting our child, I have her in therapy because she hates going and I have to make her. She's greatly disturbed about these visits, it's really sad. She can't show her father her emotions because he's an angry man who explodes over nothing. So he thinks she's 'just fine'. She's diagnosed as having an adjustment disorder with anxiety. I know her father is only doing this to 'get back' at me, using her. He refuses to communicate whatsoever, which is very frustrating, for me and for child. I need some kind of proof that visits are harmful for her. Please advise, and thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.

texlawyer :

Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your question.

texlawyer :

Did he fight for more custody when the original order was put in place?

Customer:

no, and that was 11 years ago

texlawyer :

The question here for the judge is what's in the best interest of the child. Your ex does have the right to attempt to modify his conditions, but that doesn't mean he will necessarily get what he's asking for.

texlawyer :

If he actually does file and you have a hearing, you will have an opportunity to put on evidence about all the things you've told me about: his work schedule, temper issues, poor communication with the child, etc.

Customer:

Here in my county, it is not what's best for the child. They are so for the father and his rights, he prevails everytime... not the child.

texlawyer :

Also, your daughter is getting to the age where the judge will put weight on what the child wants. The older the child gets, the more and more weight their wishes will carry.

Customer:

my attorney is saying we need an expert testimony from a psychologist, which will cost me $3,000 for an evaluation and report. My child's present counselor does not have a PhD., but she has great rapport with my child and I will not jeopardize that.

Customer:

last time my child spoke to the magistrate when she was 9.... all he said was "no 9 yr. old is going to tell me how to rule my court"

texlawyer :

How long ago was that?

Customer:

2.5 yrs. ago, she's 11.5 now

texlawyer :

That is helpful, but ultimately, it is up to the judge regarding how much weight to put on the child's testimony.

texlawyer :

If you have an unfair judge, there isn't really any advice I can give you to overcome that.

texlawyer :

The best thing you can do is put your best evidence forward and hope the judge understands. Past that, your fate is largely in the judge's hands.

texlawyer :

Of course, you do have the right to appeal any of his decisions, but that can be very expensive.

Customer:

how can I prove there's harm with visits? also, he will not let her do any acitivities whatsoever when on "his" time. And refuses to let her communicate at all with me when he has her, because it's "his" time and i'm not to interfere at all!

texlawyer :

The psychologist will help proving the harm.

texlawyer :

You should be documenting as much of this as possible.

texlawyer :

Keep a journal of all of your daughter's complaints and things you find out about.

Customer:

He has also filed a motion to show contempt. child missed a visit in february because father came to get her, she was vomiting and upset, he was in a rage so for her safety I wouldn't let her go.

Customer:

Also, she had a tonsillectomy on "his" weekend and missed that weekend visit.

texlawyer :

Given the reason for her not going, that motion for contempt may backfire on him. The judge will get to hear the reason she didn't go and the effect of going to his house has on her.

Customer:

This is true, didn't think of it that way.

Customer:

I have to give her an anxiety pill so she'll calm down enougth to go, the father doesn't know this.

Customer:

Prescribed by her pediatrician, which wasn't easy to get from him. It's very mild though.

texlawyer :

If she's not prescribed the medicine, you don't want to bring that up in court.

Customer:

It's prescribed, I don't give her anything without docs ok, even over the counter

texlawyer :

OK. I just wanted to make sure. You'd be shocked what some parents will do.

Customer:

But there is something at the end of one or our orders, we have like 10 of them! Saying that we're to keep each other informed at all times and he

Customer:

oops.. he's entitled to participate in all health care decisions. Child doesn't want him there, so I tell him after the fact so he doesn't interfere with the doctor's decisions.

texlawyer :

That is just something you will have to explain to the judge when and if it comes up.

texlawyer :

I'm sure the judge will understand once you explain your reasoning.

Customer:

The thing is... he's representing himself, he gets to talk all he wants. I have an attorney, who talks, I can't.

texlawyer :

Your attorney can ask you whatever questions you want.

Customer:

Also, there has been a couple times on fridays when child was sick and wouldn't visit, the father said 'o.k.' I'll get her tomorrow.... can he use those days against me for contempt? He okayed it.

Customer:

Pickups are on friday 6p.m., he's at work at 7p.m.

texlawyer :

No, if he consented, he can't use those against you. If possible, in the future, you should get that consent in writing for instances like the one you are facing now.

Customer:

it's on texts... like i said, he won't communicate, unless he's in a rage, but sometimes will text.

texlawyer :

OK. Be sure to keep the texts.

Customer:

It's really frustrating when the other parent refuses to communicate, is there some kind of action I can take to make him get along??? for our child??

texlawyer :

Unfortunately, there isn't a court order that can make someone be a decent person.

Customer:

That's too bad... thank you for your assistance, he makes me feel like such a bad mom, our child excels in school with high honors and is a great kid, I don't know what more he wants.

texlawyer :

I know it is frustrating.

texlawyer :

If there isn't anything else I can do for you, please remember to "rate" my answer before you go. Have a good night.

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX a good night too.

Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3720
Experience: I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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