Legal Questions? / Legal Answers!
Getting Visitation & Parental Rights Without The Control Issues.
Here Is Where Everything Starts!
"So you had children with someone who now has "physical" custody of them. If your going through a Divorce, chances are you have an Attorney who is handling things for you. As with any Divorce, if there are children involved, Child Custody issues are usually at the top of the list. But lets not forget personal property, disbursement of all debts, and real estate property. If your Divorce is complicated, having that Attorney is what is best!"
But if you have children, and you were NEVER
married to the "other" parent.
If there are no real estate issues, no personal
property to dispute. If all you need is help
with visitation and perhaps, help in understanding
what your rights are in reference to your
I may be able to help.
This section was written for the "other" parent. The one who really wants to be in their child's life but that control issue is always in place. They put up with if for years upon years. Why? Some parents I have discussed this with tell me they just can't afford it. ( Total Cost: Approx: $213.00 ) Others I have talked with say they don't change anything because, they have no idea what to do, or how to go about doing it.
Lets Explore Some Common Myths Related To The Separation Of The "Other" Parent
And Their Child(ren).
Some believe and are even told, that if your unemployed you have no right to see your child(ren).
Some believe and are even told, that if you don't pay child support, have no right to see your child(ren).
Some believe they will never be able to afford an Attorney to help them.
Some believe that because the Mother gave birth, she gets custody automatically.
Perhaps you think the "other" parent has all the rights to tell you when you can see your child(ren) ....or even if you can!
Perhaps the "other" parent who has the child(ren), has already gone to D.H.H.S. and started collecting State Benefits.
Perhaps the "other" parent already has a Child Support order against you, provided by D.H.H.S.
Perhaps you think : "There is nothing that can be done about it now."
That is so NOT true!
Keep this statement in mind. You May Not Think You Have The "Legal Right" To See Your Kids, But They Have A Right To See You!
If you were never married, the Parental Rights and Responsibility paperwork I will show you how to fill out and file, will spell out all your visitations and a lot more! You do NOT have to be employed or currently paying child support to file this form! People lose their jobs, it happens. I am pretty sure the extra stress you may get from the "control" over your children, is not going to help either you or them. Not being able to pay child support is also not a legal excuse to keep your children from seeing you.
"Some words of caution on that above statement. If you haven't paid any child support at all or have been on and off with your payments, the Judge / Mediator may want some assurances that current child support and past child support will be paid. The issue of helping to support your child is as important as your Parental Rights. If your not currently paying support, be sure you have a plan to do so, ready. If your wages are currently being garnished by the State, your paying your child support. Paying your child support makes this process move along quicker. Go get your Parental Rights."
So, why bother with filing this Parental Rights Order if things between you and the other parent are fine? Well, for a lot of reasons really. Are things fine because your currently paying your child support? Is that because D.H.H.S. garnished your wages? What would happen if you lost your job? How about if you don't agree with a decision the other parent makes? What if the other parent is going to move out of state and figures you don't have any say in the matter? What if........?
After you have filed this order and it is in effect, all of the above "myths" will not matter. This order cannot be changed without a Judge's Order to change it. Failure to follow the Parental Rights Agreement could result in a contempt of court charge against the offending parent. Filing this order really protects you "down the road," from the uncertainty of what life may throw at you. So, if someday you find it difficult to pay your child support. Maybe because of loss of employment or injury, that does not change anything about your Parental Rights Agreement. Your visitation schedule and all Parental Rights, are still maintained and enforceable until a Judge, not the other parent, says differently.
BTW - "If your lucky enough to have the other parent's approval of your Parental Rights, this paperwork can be filed for less money and less court involvement! You will still need to fill out all the paperwork listed below and one more, if this agreement is uncontested. I'll show you how to do so at the end of this page."
There are only a few subjects here to deal with:
1. Filing the Parental Rights and Responsibilities paperwork with the court.
2. Serving The Other Parent With The Paperwork
3. Going through the Mediation Process.
4. Dealing with D.H.H.S. as far as the Child Support issue.
5. If Needed, going through the Guardian Ad Litem process.
This Is Probably The Most Important Statement I Can Make.
"If you were never married, but both parents names are on the child's Birth Certificate, neither one has "legal" custody of the child(ren). The person who has the child(ren), only has "physical" custody of the child(ren). Now don't be stupid and figure this gives you the right as a parent, to keep your child after a visit, or disrupt your child's life with school, or friends. It doesn't! In fact, if you ever intrude on your child's lifestyle, most every Judge would take that as a sign that you don't really have your child's best interest in mind and you could be charged with Criminal Restraint. Listen up here! I was the example for that last statement thirty six years ago. I know this charge can be brought against you if you keep your child from the other parent. What did I learn as I sat in jail for 3 days, charged with Criminal Restraint? To do things legally and use the legal system to help you get what you want."
I would be willing to bet that if you were never married, nobody has filed for parental rights of the child(ren). The "other" parent may have "physical custody" of your child(ren). Giving them the right to collect benefits from D.H.H.S.
If you want to file this Order, and receive your visitations, but feel you will need some help, the V.L.P. and Pinetree Legal Services my be able to help you. See: Ideas, Advice PTL & VLP.
"By the way, most parents seem so concerned with their rights to visitation with their children, that the fail to also see what else may be included in your Filing of the Parental Rights & Responsibility Order. The issues of School Records, Health and Doctor Information, Relocation of the other parent and yes, even claiming them for income tax purposes, can also be decided."
I do need to stress something here. If your a convicted sex offender. If you are currently under a Protection From Abuse Order that also includes an / O.B.O. (on behalf of: the child(ren's name(s). If your past criminal record includes any instances of endangerment to a child, this website may not be much help to you.
Note: If The Protection From Abuse Order against you does NOT include your children, you may still be able to file this paperwork. You'll just have to make arrangements to pick up and drop off your children, in a location that doesn't include having contact with the other parent. That will have to be agreed on by the Judge. See: Filing A PFA .
If you have no past criminal charges that the other parent could use against you. And I mean think about it. People make mistakes. If your past situation doesn't involve hurting a child, or ever endangering a child, in any manner, I would still suggest that you try to get your Parental Rights. ( "For those of you who have had legal problems in the past, who are not sure if those problems would be an issue in your visitation schedule, remember, there are always supervised visits that may be able to be ordered." )
So Lets Get Started! - Instructions
"I have never assumed I have a right to see my children.... I have always believed that they have the right to see me!"
My Final Thought...
"I have included the instructions on how to
fill out the necessary paperwork to receive
visitations, school records, doctor records,
holiday visits, vacations and tax claims.
I am very proud of this document and happy
it has helped so many people since I first
uploaded it. Judge's like the fact that the
two parents work together and include each
other in their children's future. Remember,
once this document is filed with the court,
a Motion to Modify document would need to
be filed in order to change anything agreed
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