Need advice on a visitation case before the weekend ends!

Rachel - posted on 06/14/2015 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I'm a stepmother to a 12 yr old boy, Collin. His father has had full custody of him since he was one due to an injury that the boy received when his mom left him with he boyfriend who was high on drugs.
The original agreement stated that she could have visitation on Tues but no overnights unless they were supervised. It also states that she can't bring Collin around her boyfriend (who caused the accident) and that she can't use drugs.
Since then, his mom has been in and out of his life. She lived in Florida for a time, came back, had a warrant for her arrest for selling drugs and fled to Utah, then finally came back and went to jail. When I came into the picture she had just gotten out of jail. We let her see Collin every other weekend until it was discovered that she was using drugs and bringing the kids around the old boyfriend. She ended up back in jail. She got out and has made very minimal efforts to see him since then. (about two years)

Suddenly on Friday before his birthday party, she has her mom call and threaten us with the old visitation order unless we let her have Collin over the weekend. He hasn't spent significant time with her (over a 15 min visit) in nearly 5 years!
My husband never had the old visitation order changed and we don't have time to go to the court house before Tues (her scheduled day) comes around. Do we have to let her have him on Tues? Isn't there extenuating cirumstaces since the order is old and she's been in violation of it's terms? (drugs, old boyfriend) I don't want to get in trouble legally-especially since it would look bad if we didn't comply for future court cases-but this amounts to blackmail.
As a side note-she insists that we are keeping her from her son, but if she's had this visitation order the whole time and could enforce it, then how have we kept her from him? We have reached out several times but she has refused to meet with us to discuss visitation.
I starting to feel like we made a big mistake not going through the court system from day one. But my husband really had no idea how it all worked and thought that she would be the one who would have to file for a new visiation agreement after she had been in jail.
Any advice would be appreciated!

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Dove - posted on 06/14/2015

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He can certainly go to the court house on Monday and attempt to file for an immediate ammendment, but chances are very good that the Tuesday visitation will have to take place if she shows up for it. Good luck!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/14/2015

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as long as your husband has documented every time he's offered to let her have her scheduled visitation, but she didn't show, then he'll have evidence. However, if she's got documentation of requests that were made regarding receiving her ordered visitation, with responses from either him or you telling her no...that's also going to be evidence for her case.
As long as everything played out as you say it has, and attempts for contact have been documented, you should be ok, but as another stated, an emergency injunction may not be able to be obtained by Tuesday.

Jodi - posted on 06/14/2015

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If that is the only visitation order you have, then yes, you need to let her have her visit on Tuesday or you could be in contempt.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/14/2015

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If the old order is still in effect, and your husband hasn't had it legally changed, then he's got to abide by the order. Why did he NOT take the necessary steps to have the orders amended when she started acting up?
So, at most, he's got Monday to get an attorney, have the attorney enter an emergency request.
Good luck.

Ev - posted on 06/14/2015

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So there is an old court ordered visitation for just Tuesdasy or no visitation at all ordered? Besides this, if you need to get an emergency change in the court orders your husband is going to have to take time from work and go file for it with a lawyer. You might not make it Tuesday but get it done ASAP.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/14/2015

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Oh, and Rachel...Good luck with everything!

Jodi - posted on 06/14/2015

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She will need evidence to demonstrate you have stopped her from seeing her child during her allocated visitation time. If your husband has evidence that he has attempted to set up visitations and been flexible, keep it handy - that will be your evidence in court.

Rachel - posted on 06/14/2015

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Yeah it's the only court order we have and it's only for Tues from 8:00am to 8:00pm. Which is weird, but maybe that fell in line with her work schedule 11 years ago?

He should have changed it. It was stupid to make assumptions. I didn't really know much about it until now. I had thought he had sole custody and she didn't have any defined rights.

Sigh, the worst part is she's telling everyone who will listen (and no doubt she'll tell Collin) that we have stopped her from seeing him this whole time-when in fact we've tried to set up visits but she didn't want to see him on a regular basis, only once in a while when it was convenient for her. And the few ones we did set up (like for his birthday last year) she ended up canceling.

Maybe she won't follow through this time either. But it's definately time to get a lawyer.

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