Saturday, February 21, 2015

How can I let my child's mother have long distant visitation without changing my custody decree or legal leverage?

Q:  I have had sole and legal custody of my child for over four years. The court gave me custody with the explicit instruction that my child’s mother is to have supervised visitation—the court gave me the power to designate the supervisee. Now, my child’s mother lives several states away. It is difficult for her to have visitation when she lives so far away. (I don’t believe she’ll put him in harm’s way.) She does not have any legal or customary visitation, aside from what I mentioned. How can I let her have visitation over the summer without being in contempt of court, and still maintain my leverage? I am doing this because my son wants to see his mother, and I’m tired of battling her in court; It’s becoming expensive. I am willing to hire any lawyer for a reasonable price.

A:  David's Answer:  You'd either need to agree on a supervisor of the visits while the child is with her in the other state, or you'd need to go back to court. You can always be the one to file the modification petition - and she can potentially file a request to appear by phone. Schedule a consult with a NYC Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

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