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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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My son and his wife are devorced. He went through a rehab last

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My son and his wife are devorced. He went through a rehab last summer and has been attending meetings nearly everyday since. His wife wanted to go to school in Idaho, he lives in Washing to. He verbally gave his consent. Before she left she said he could see the kids if he took a drug test witch he did and was allowed to see the kids in her presents. She took a trip to New Jursey and left the kids in Washington with her parant this week. She said that Matt needed to take another drug test in order to see the kids, witch he did, but she will only let him see the kids in the presents of her parent. Is there anything he can do to improve his ability to spend more time with his kids or dose the mother have the last word on the matter?

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Brandon M. :

Thank you for your question. You mentioned that your son and his wife are divorced. Normally, a divorce would include a custody order for any children of the ex-spouses. Does your son and his wife have a custody order? If so, what does the order say about visitation?

Brandon M. :

I see that you joined the chat. Welcome. Are you able to see and respond to this?

Customer: She had papers drawn up and had my son sign them when he got home from rehab. I don't know what they said. I could call my son
Brandon M. :

Thank you for that information. Knowing that there was a custody order, I may be able to answer your question right now. Generally speaking, neither parent has superior custodial or visitation rights over the other unless the court has made an order related to custody and visitation. When the court makes an order, that determines the rights of each parent with regard to custody and visitation. If the court's order says that the mother has full physical and legal custody of the children and no visitation to the father except with the consent of the mother, that would be the limit of the father's custodial and visitation rights. So in your case, you may want to consider doing as you suggested by contacting your son to find out exactly what rights the court says he has.

Brandon M. :

That said, the second part of your question was whether there was anything your son could do...

Brandon M. :

Custody orders can be changed any time there is a material change in circumstances, as long as the change is in the best interests of the children. Usually, it's in the best interests of the children if they can have significant and consistent contact with both parents. If the current custody order is not in the children's best interest, either parent may go to court and ask for the order to be modified.

Customer: Thank you.
Brandon M. :

Certainly. Did you have any other question?

Customer: Is there any steps Matt can take to prove he can take good care of the kids if allowed visitations
Brandon M. :

Every situation is different, so there may be things that would work in his situation that might not work in others, or vice-versa, but some things that are sometimes helpful are taking a parenting class, getting experience taking care of other kids, and getting CPR certified. You mentioned that the mother has wanted him drug tested--do we have any reason to believe that the kids would be in danger if they had visitation with him?

Customer: No , Matt is a good dad and would an
Brandon M. :

Ok, so really, it sounds like there may be some issues with the mother being overprotective, controlling, and/or critical of the other parent's ability to take care of his own kids. The legal presumption is that kids need two parent influence, so unless there is an affirmative, evidence-based reason to exclude one parent, the court prefers to give both parents unsupervised visitation rights. It concerns me that you said the mother "had papers drawn up" that your son signed--the tone of that statement suggests that the agreement may not have undergone much scrutiny, or been examined by an attorney representing your son. Talk to your son about what is in the custody order, then you can look at taking the next step of asking the court to modify it so it can reflect what is actually best for the children instead of what the mother wants.

Brandon M. :

Does that make sense?

Customer: Take great care of the kids but she doesn't want to let him or anyone to have any say when it comes to her kids if I didn't think Matt had done all the right things since he left that rehab I wouldn't want him around the kids either. But it's been over a year and I think that he sould get a chance besides that the kids reaiiy want too see him more
Brandon M. :

A year is a long time. I have had plenty of clients who struggled with substance addiction. It's a factor of consideration, but the court recognizes that people clean up their lives even if the other parent doesn't recognize it.

Brandon M. :

Did you have any other question?

Customer: No thank you for your help
Brandon M. :

It was my pleasure. Let me know if further clarification is needed, and please feel free to leave a positive rating once you are completely finished (I work for ratings). Thanks.

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