Parental Rights & Obligations

questions & answers

Question: I'm a victim of domestic violence and my ex wants to see our daughter and I don't feel safe being around him or him seeing our daughter because then he will not return her. Will I get in trouble with the judge if he hasn't seen our daughter in a month? Do I have to file for sole custody of our daughter in order for him too see her?

Answer: It's not clear from your question if there is an existing, court-ordered parenting plan. If so, then it would be a mistake to simply ignore it - no matter what your concerns. In such a situation, and depending on both: (1) the passage of time since the last order, and (2) the severity of the current situation, you should ask the court for permission to withhold parenting time. That is accomplished through a post-decree petition to modify parenting time under Family Law Rule 91. If by "ex" you mean "ex-boyfriend" (i.e. someone to whom you were never married), and no court case has ever existed, then it's a question of considering how much trouble you will make for yourself by withholding the child. In other words, you need to compare the likelihood that Father will cause problems in the absence of a judge's order with the hard work and headaches associated with litigating a family court case. In general, it's good to have a court order that sets out the rules, unless the father is someone who isn't really invested in the child and habitually disappears.

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QUESTIONS

  • I'm a victim of domestic violence and my ex wants to see our daughter and I don't feel safe being around him or him seeing our daughter because then he will not return her. Will I get in trouble with the judge if he hasn't seen our daughter in a month? Do I have to file for sole custody of our daughter in order for him too see her?

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