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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102347
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I am divorced with 3 children. I have visitation rights defined

Customer Question

I am divorced with 3 children. I have visitation rights defined by the court (first and third Saturday of each month for 5 hours each). My ex wife insists (without any court defined rule) that I must take all three children or I may not take them at all.
One child is profoundly handicapped and there are occasions that I would like to take the other children to activities made impossible with the presence of the handicapped child.
Can my ex wife legally make this demand?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; (B)If you receive a phone call offer while we chat, know that this is an automated test feature the site is running. Due to possible ethical issues, the site allows experts not participate in phone calls and I normally decline them. Unless the phone call offer you receive literally states "THIS OFFER IS FROM ELY" (which means I personally initiated it), please do not entertain any such offer; and (C) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
I am sorry to hear about this situation. So to clarify, you DO wish to take the handicapped child, but wish to do so alone separate, and alternate between him and the other children as you see fit. Correct?
Finally, when you say you have tried the court for an answer - what do you mean - did you file something (what) or what exactly did you do?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will generally take the three children together, but occasionally (perhaps once every 2 month) would like to take the other 2 for an activity that would be impossible with her along.After a child support hearing, I contested and was told that I could not argue this in court, but that my ex wife and I could go to the next room and talk to an advocate. The advocate chose not respond to my direct question, instead saying that she had only 3 minutes for us- the office was closing for the day. She said I would hear by mail, but I didn't. That was about 4 months ago.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize. Thanks in advance for not "shooting the messenger."
Believe it or not, there is no guidance in statutory law about this. This means is it on a case by case basis and is up to the Judge.
Honestly, there is little case precedent, too.
What someone in your situation wants to do is to file a MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION with the Court, serve the ex, and have a quick hearing. Then the Judge would make a decision clarifying this situation and explain if visitation may be exercised only on partial number of the children. Alternatively, one can file for a MODIFICATION of the custody decree all-together asking for this to be formally modified, but this is a lengthy process unless she agrees. As such, CLARIFICATION may be a faster attempt.
Until this happens, the two parties may argue back and forth but without an authority (Judge) making a ruling either way, the argument would simply not end, since neither party can point to statutory law to back it up.
Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I want to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.
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