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Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31590
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My daughter has been basically abandoned by her husband. He

Customer Question

My daughter has been basically abandoned by her husband. He had an affair and moved out on short notice. They have two year old twins. He has been invited to visit at the family residence since his departure- he has essentially spent less than 4 hours per week with them since he left (about Mid July).
His leaving has been a complete shock, there was no warning, in fact , he was speaking about a joint family venture with myself and my husband in September ONE day before he decided to leave. His behaviors have been erratic. My daughter does not believe he is mentally stable and in fact they agreed that he would only come visit the children at their home under supervision (which he has done,but as stated this has been minimal contact even though my daughter has encouraged more).
He is continuing the affair with the other woman, which of course he has that right. However, he and my daughter had agreed (verbally) that there would be no visitation allowed by either her or him with any significant other during the term of their separation (which in VA they must be separated for a year before divorce).
After several weeks of VERY little visitation, he is asking to take the children out to dinner (likely with the other woman). My daughter feels very uncomfortable about his mental state as well as is uncomfortable about him taking them out with another woman. Not for her,but for the children, the confusion.
He is behind on his agreed upon payments to her for child care, there is no written separation agreement at this time(my daughter's lawyer suggested waiting on this for a few months to see if the marriage issues would resolve)
She wants to say no, is this detrimental to her? She has been very forthcoming in inviting him to be part of their life (granted under supervision because of his instability). She has solid documentation of all of the offers, his last minute calls to cancels visits and no shows and documentation of lack of responsibility for payment of care
Looking for some advice on how she might move forward.
Could she say no, that he could come visit as agreed upon (verbally) and that until they work out a written agreement, that this is the way it will be?
How might she go about getting courts (lawyers) to understand her concern for the mental state of the father and the safety of her children.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Hi - thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.

Is there a custody/visitation agreement in place ( I know you said there's no separation agreement, but that wouldn't necessarily deal with child custody and visitation)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no,there is no custody agreement, can you do that during the separation?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the agreement (verbal) was that he would visit in the home
Originally he said he would visit Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays for 4 hours each, he later said he could only do Tuesday and Saturday, 4 hours each
he has done about 4 hours total (possibly less) each week
in the home
they agreed verbally
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Ok. Thanks.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

If there's no court order in place, then it's not technically illegal for her to refuse anything because she has uninhibited rights to the child (as does he) unless there's a court order to the contrary.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

That said, if he's unstable or has mental issues, she could file for a restraining order to keep him away or at bay so the child isn't placed in danger.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
although technically not illegal for her to refuse, could this be held against her? Or is the fact that they made a verbal agreement, which he apparently understood,because he has come on some of the Tuesdays and Saturdays (but has called off several)
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

No, it shouldn't hurt her to withhold visitation if she believes the father isn't mentally stable. It's probably better for Ber to refuse than to allow him to take the child and put the child in danger.

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