divorced mom needing to know if i have the legal right to see where father is living

Amy - posted on 01/23/2013 ( 15 moms have responded )

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hello. i am a single mom who recently got divorced. i had a really nasty divorce, as my husband did a lot of awful things and lied about a lot. i know i have the right to know where my son's father lives, however before my son has overnights i want to make sure that his father lives in a safe environment. there are many reasons why i am skeptical of where he lives and he has been very shady about his lifestyle choices. i asked if i could see his apartment to make sure it was safe and he said no. do i have a legal right to see where he is living? thank you in advance.

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Jodi - posted on 01/23/2013

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So you have a parenting agreement and you agreed to him having the child overnight? If you didn't want to do that because you were concerned about your son's safety, you probably shouldn't have agreed to it.

"I think I should be able to see that he lives in a safe place, as I would expect he would need to know the same information in return."

Yeah, you can think that all you like, but quite simply, unless it is in the agreement, you don't have any legal right. As I said earlier, by all means ask, but if he denies you access to his house, you can't demand it in exchange for visitation. If you want that right, you need to have it in your agreement, or ordered by the court.

Amy - posted on 01/23/2013

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this was when we were drafting our divorce agreement. my lawyer and i were afraid that if my ex contested to anything and it went to court that he might decide he wanted more time....does that make sense?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/23/2013

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Ok, you're pushing it here. YOu have the right to know where your son will be staying, but you do not have the right to barge into his home and inspect it. Nor does he have the right to barge into your home. That's personal space, that's off limits.

And I doubt you're going to get any type of supervision based on "he lives in the bronx"...because that is a geographic area. Now, if you had good solid photo evidence of poor living conditions (bare wires, uncovered electrical outlets, mold, rot, ruin) you could request that someone check into that, but you don't ever have the right to demand entrance to his home.

I get that you aren't happy with his lifestyle choices, but that doesn't give you the right to start grasping at any desperate straw that you can to try to withhold the man's child from him. My recommendation would be to get a court liason assigned. That is, if you have court orders...If you don't then that's where you start.

Jodi - posted on 01/23/2013

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How is checking our inside his apartment to determine if it is a safe environment going to help if the problems are that his car got broken into (outside the apartment)? You already know where he lives and that the stripper and her daughter live there, so what exactly is it that you are looking for? If he has visitation rights, you don't really have the right, at this point, to dictate where he can have that visitation anyway. You can absolutely ASK him if you could please see his apartment just to put your own mind at rest, but you don't have the legal right to it.

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Amy - posted on 01/23/2013

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we never went to court. our lawyers talked back and forth until we were both in agreement with the terms..

Amy - posted on 01/23/2013

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this was when we were drafting our divorce agreement. my lawyer and i were afraid that if my ex contested to anything and it went to court that he might decide he wanted more time....does that make sense?

Dove - posted on 01/23/2013

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Why would your ex request more time when you are showing that his living environment is nasty? That doesn't even make any sense to me.

Amy - posted on 01/23/2013

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i didn't because my ex did not want a lot of time with my son. He only sees him once a week for 3 hrs (but he skips a lot). Starting this summer he will have overnights once a week. Once he goes to kindergarten he will get every other weekend. My lawyer and I agreed that this wasn't a lot of time so bringing the pictures to court could be a negative thing for me bc my ex could request more time...

Amy - posted on 01/23/2013

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I appreciate your comments (partially a bit abrasive considering you don't know who my ex is). You could have simply said "no you don't have that right," rather than insinuate that i am "barging" into his home. When I left our previous apartment my ex truly trashed the apartment. I left in May and he moved out in September. My upstairs neighbors called me several times complaining that it smelled fowlly. When I came over for him to see our son I noticed that he rarely cleaned the litter box. There was cat piss ALL OVER the apartment- over the shower curtain, in my son's pack and play and cat poop all over the couches and shower mat. i have pictures of all of this. Personally, I really don't care where he is living, but when it comes to caring for my son, I do. Lifestyle choices do reflect how a person lives their life, especially their home life. I just want to make sure that my son will be safe. My ex hasn't seen my son in a month and a half and shows no interest. I think I should be able to see that he lives in a safe place, as I would expect he would need to know the same information in return.

Sheena - posted on 01/23/2013

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Yikes! That would make me nervous as well! It would be hard to let my child go to be in that environment! Your definitly doing the right thing though! I wish you the best.. In regards to the cheating you should read the post I wrote and let me know what you'd do in my situation.. I'd really appreciate it

Amy - posted on 01/23/2013

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thank you for the replies. i asked my attorney about this and am waiting for a response. i truly don't trust that he lives in a safe environment. he just told me that his car got broken into. he lives in the bronx. not to mention- he and i got divorced b/c he was cheating on me with a stripper. and not to disclose too much but after i left our apartment i found out that he had been responding to craigslist ads to have men come to have sex with him. he currently lives with the stripper and her daughter in the bronx. p.s.: i found out about his cheating and spending thousands of dollars at strip clubs after my son was only 4 months old!

Dove - posted on 01/23/2013

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You certainly have a right to the address and contact information. As for actually going in the house and checking it out? I don't believe so as that is his personal living space.

Sheena - posted on 01/23/2013

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Of course! You have the right to know where your child is at all times. Consult your attorney if he won't disclose.

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