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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. To be clear, this court date next week pertains to a modification of the visitation arrangement?
(and is it an emergency hearing?)
it is a modification, they said I could not do an emergency because the assault & battery was not on me
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Technically if you do not send the kids, you are in contempt, however judges often will treat these situations favorably if you have a good reason to be in contempt.
that is, if you are waiting for a hearing to modify the court order, based upon a situation or condition that would potentially materially affect the health and/or well-being of the children, then that would be a good reason, and a minor violation of the visitation order would not be viewed a serious by the judge.
In any event, in a contempt situation, the first step would be for the other party to file what's known as a "motion for contempt and to show cause", where he would be asking the court to order that you explain yourself. Since you are having a hearing next week, you would be able to explain yourself then, and while it would technically be a contempt of court, it probably would not be one that would really get you into trouble, given the circumstances.
The key is to be able to properly document the situation, and that you were reasonable in your refusal to allow him to see them. That is, if you're willing to meet in a public place, and supervise the visitation, then that probably would be reasonable, and a complete refusal could likewise be reasonable under the circumstances. Given that you're going to court so soon, you can show that the "harm" that he suffered (a single weekend without the kids) was not significant or substantial, and like I said, I doubt the judge will have a serious problem with it.
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but would a complete refusal 'probably' be reasonable because of the assault & battery? it depends on the judge?
Yes, it probably would be reasonable, but you're correct, it's up to the judge.
is my being afraid a reasonable reason?
sorry, don't mean to keep you waiting, I'm just confused & worried as to what to do.......
Not of your fear is unreasonable. That is, it could be an unjustified fear, but if you can show that it is reasonable under the circumstances, then it could be a good reason.
Of course if your actions are to protect you and the kids, and the actions taken are reasonable under the circumstances, then most judges won't "throw the book" at you, but find your actions excusealbe.
how do I show it is reasonable? I have the police report, I have 'incidents' that I have reported to the police before,
he has a violent history, assault & battery & restraining orders on him in the past, but not from me
That helps, but testimony as to what actually happened, with any witnesses (if possible) as well as the kids testimony as to what happened (if they saw any of it).
... would be additional information that would be beneficial
see, that's the problem, I've never bothered to get anyone to be a witness & certainly not the kids - things are stressful enough for them.....
I'm afraid I may have to send them........they don't want to go, they are scared themselves
I understand. your testimony would absolutely be enough, but having the statements of witnesses who witnessed these actions would be even better.
Ultimately, you do what is in your opinion in the best interests of the children, and be able to back up why you did that. Again, if it was reasonable, then the judge almost certainly won't throw the book at you.
ok, I'll try it, he gets away with lying in court all the time, I'll be telling the truth, have as much information as I can & we'll see what happens.....
Again, I do wish you and your kids the best of luck! Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!
You're welcome, and again, good luck to you!
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