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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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From PA. I have a 1.7yo child with a person I was with for

Customer Question

From PA. I have a 1.7yo child with a person I was with for 10yrs. We've bith made mistakes and one of mine was Percocet addiction. I attended a rehab and have been sober since. However since then, about 5mo, she has not let me see him until I found a job and "helped her out". I have stolen food for him in the past just to do what I had to but now that I won't its a problem. There is no court or legal custody agreement. We have equal custody. I don't live there anymore. I've been trying relentlessly to find a job and help her and it means nothing to her. She badmouths and harasses me every time we talk and won't let me or my family see him. What can I do to see my son?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I am a licensed Pennsylvania professional and will be happy to assist you with your concerns.
I am genuinely sorry to hear that you find yourself in this situation. Have you considered filing for visitation or you are worried that it will create a custodial order and child support obligations?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We've never involved the courts. I wish you could understand how rude and mean she is towards me. My question is what's to stop me from seeing my son with equal custody in the eyes of the law? She's filing false pfa' against me as well. Completely unfounded. I've never done anything to hurt her. I just wanna have a civil convo with her and I just get called names and sent pics of her and my son with other guys. It's not fair. Just because I haven't found a job on her timeline and won't steal his food for her she feels she has the right to keep him from me.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your follow-up.
To answer directly, what's to stop you is her. Please permit me to explain.
On paper both of you have equal rights. And that does happen to be true. That means both of you are equally responsible for care and maintenance of the child and both are free to see the child whenever you wish. BUT...
Because you rights are equal, neither can trump the other. That also means that if the child is with her, she DOES NOT have to give you access or allow you to see the child, much the same way that if you physically have the child you can then deny her access. On that basis she does have a right to keep the child away from you, just because you cannot force her to provide access.
As far as the PFA I cannot comment as I do not know the facts, but you do have a right to challenge it. Still, if she asked you to stay away and you failed to do so (or continued contact to try to get to see your son), then arguably she has a basis for a PFA since you are now in the eyes of the law harassing her...as you are engaging in unwanted attempts at communication. If that is not what took place, then disregard, but that is typically what PFAs are filed for.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So just because one parent has the blessing of living with the child and one does not that means that she can keep him from me forever if she wants? The pfa is an emergency pfa. She's only doing it to make things hard for me. They only last a couple days. I've not seen her. Only text. Because she won't let me or my family see him. So what happens If I get him and don't give him back? Like she is doing.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your follow-up.
In essence, she can hold this child away from you indefinitely until there is a court order in place that trumps her position. If you get the child and won't return him, she may be able to file an ex parte petition for emergency custody and claim that as the child lives with her and she is the the one with whom the child has a bond, she is entitled to the child's return. If granted, and you do not return the child, she can then claim parental abduction and potentially criminally charge you as well as send you to jail. You can likewise file for this emergency order but because you do not have the child with you or raised the child, the courts won't see a basis for your motion. You would be better off filing something if you have proof of abuse, drug use, neglect, or something damaging to the child.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have proof of anything. And I don't care to make anything difficult. All I wanna do is see my son who essentially is extorting me the see him. She says she wants $450 to see him for daycare costs. If I was working Id have done that but I've yet to find steady work. I have proof of many interviews and the like but she don't wanna hear that. She just wants money now. How, with equal custody, do I see my child if I don't live with him?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
You do not, if she won't let you. Right now you do not have equal custody. Right now you have equal custodial rights, which is different from custody (as custody is granted to you by the courts). The courts can trump her position but until the courts step in she is able to withhold access if she has the child with her.
I am sorry, but the courts are your only avenue here, which can then create a court order for support.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So how can she get support if I dont work? And how would the courts view me if I'm not working and entered rehab with no job as of yet? What are your opinions I do with no job and living with my mother that I could get equal rights to see him? Idk what else to do. I can't talk to her. She don't answer the phone and if she does she only talks shit.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Even if you do not work, you still have to provide support for the child. Typically that would create arrears which you would have to pay back once you are able to finally work. To be frank the courts likely won't see you too favorably, but what they would favor is the fact that you are attempting to be a responsible parent at least as far as contact. Typically the courts won't bar access, but may require supervised visitation at first.
As far as contacting her, if you want this PFA to be upheld, then contact her...but this just strengthens her position. That is not a wise option if you are seeking parental rights.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not seeking parental rights. I don't want these problems. She's just creating them. I have evidence of my interviews over the past couple months. It sucks that I can't be on her timeline but o don't have a car and I can't do too much without some help. All I wanna do is talk to her like a normal human but she won't allow that. So I will cut off contact. But it is completely legal for her to say I can't see my child without any court interference? Really think about it. If you were me what would you do?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry but I cannot tell you what to do as I am not your attorney. Having said that, I am telling you what the law allows you to pursue in circumstances that you described. It is up to you to pursue it or not but I cannot create options or avenues for you that do not exist. And yes, it is completely and utterly legal for her to refuse to let you see the child if there is no court order in place. I realize that it is not what you hoped to hear, but it happens to be the true answer here.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So how would it be legal if I had him in my custody for me to give him back to her?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
You wouldn't have to. I explained that she would have to get a court order to get him back. By default anyone who has the child without a court order has the right to withhold access to the others.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
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