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FamilyAttorney, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1422
Experience:  Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 37 years
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I would like to know if half-siblings have visitation

Customer Question

I would like to know if half-siblings have visitation rights?
JA: OK. The Lawyer will need to help you with this. Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: ca
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: tons! i have a restraining order against the other mother in which none of the children are protected; the father to all the children has custody during certain times...of which the other mother will not allow him to have his child during that now my children do not get to see to their sister
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience. I specialize in family law and appeals, and I have many years’ experience with landlord-tenant issues, employment and contract law. I also have written hundreds of legal articles. I look forward to helping you today.

Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an attorney on this site.

At the end of this session, I will ask you to please rate me as that’s the only way I get credit for helping you today. Thanks! Please note: I want to help you but I may need some additional information from you.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Can you clarify a few things for me? For example, you are the father and you have one child with one mother and how many other children are there?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am mother #2, I have two children with the father. Mother #1 has 1 daughter with the father
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Okay, got it thank you. It was confusing the way it went through customer service.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Here is the state of the law re: half sibling visitation and sibling visitation:
The United States Supreme Court has not yet declared that siblings, per se, have a constitutional right to visit one another. However, siblings possess a fundamental constitutional right to maintain relationships with one another, and the right of siblings to associate with one another is equal to the right of parents to rear their children.

Therefore, most courts and states want kids to be together. Most courts do not want to split children up and will NOT split up kids. In my state, we try to schedule visitation when the half-sibling can be there at the same time as child #1.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The other mother is refusing to allow him to see his daughter when he has his other kids and he is not standing up tp her to enforce their court order....
What can I do?? My children miss their sister.
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Cal doesn't have a specific law on the books for providing for guaranteed half-sibling visitation. Because parents have the right to direct the upbringing of their children, Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745 (1982) (US Sup Ct), courts have generally held that in the absence of a statute a sibling or half-sibling does not the right to visit the sibling over the objections of the parents. A few cases, however, disagree.

In Cal, there is no specific statute and the only way kids, including half-siblings, can see each other is if the parent is deceased otherwise there has to be a court order. This is what a leading Cal case holds: Cal. Fam. Code 3102(a) (West Supp. 1997): If either parent of an unemancipated minor child is deceased, the children, siblings (this can include half-sibs), parents, and grandparents of the deceased parent may be granted reasonable visitation with the child during the child's minority upon a finding that the visitation would be in the best interests of the minor child.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

The father has a court order, and in the court order, are the kids allowed to be together at the same time? What is he not enforcing?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

What about that order is he not enforcing?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The court order with the other mother says he is to have his daughter every weekend. She will not allow her daughter to go for the weekend when my children are there....he's not putting his foot down and telling her there's a court order andshe cant withhold her daughter from him.
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

So Cal allows sibling visitation when a parent is deceased but other than that, there isn't a law which says yes, there has to be sibling or half-sib visitation, BUT an argument can be made that it's in the best interests of the kids to see each other.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what steps can i take to make that argument in court? What to file, who to file against?
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Okay thank you for that.

The way it's set up does permit for the sibs to visit! Okay, that's good to know, thanks.

This is what he needs to do. He needs to bring a request for an order (motion) to ENFORCE the order with the other mother. He will want to get an attorney for that. HE has to make that argument because he is the one with the order with the other mother and he has to get the court to enforce that order.

It's not up to you to make the kids get together except if it happens, that's great but you have to make HIM do it. He has to fix this situation. He's not helping himself or the kids here.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

It's not a difficult thing to do in court but it has to be done correctly. When done correctly, the judge will see that the mother is not complying with the order and the judge will generally order her to comply otherwise she could lose rights with the half-sibling.

Do you understand that it's his order and he's the one who has to do the court action?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Especially if he's not complaining about it enough or taking it to court, he needs a lawyer who can stand up to this woman! So he's going to need a lawyer to bring this motion for him.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He won't stand up to her, been that way for over 8 years :( I really do appreciate all the help. Thank you.
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

It's actually quite simple. There is an order which would put the kids together every other weekend or something like that....and he has to make a motion to enforce that order so that they can be together. He must be the one to make the motion. The court won't let you make that motion because it's his motion to make, it's his situation based on what you told me

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
will this convo be sent to my email?
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

He's letting the mother walk all over him, what a sad situation. Maybe you can push him to do it, gently? Show him the conversation and you can copy it to a word doc. I don't know if customer service sends this to email.

Does this answer your question? I am more than happy to answer additional questions based on this one if you want.

I hope this helps and clarifies. If you could, I'd appreciate it if you can rate me when finished. If you need additional information please let me know. Best of luck to you!

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Kindly rate positively so I receive credit for assisting you.

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Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

You will get emails based on our conversation. You can copy the emails but it might be easier for you to just copy this conversation and put it in a word doc.

Thank you in advance for rating me. It's actually a simple procedure in court but he has to want to do it!

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

I can understand that you're frustrated with the situation, but if he doesn't do it, there's not much you can do -- it's his order, he has to move to enforce it. He's hurting all the kids this way. Really sad. I'm sorry :(

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

I am, however, giving you the law as it is, and this is what he needs to do. I thank you for rating me because I work hard to make sure you have the right answer and that you understand the answer. I make sure my answer is correct and thorough. Thanks again for a fair rating.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Hi, just checking in to see if you still need help with your question and if my answer was helpful for you. Thanks and thank you for allowing me to help you.