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No matter the bitterness or difficulty of the divorce, nothing that happened between you and your ex can stop you from being a parent. You have a right to visit your children—that is the law in New York State. As part of the final divorce and custody arrangement, a schedule will have been drawn up and agreed to by both you and your ex. If your ex has refused to honor this agreement, if they have kept you from your kids, then you have grounds for taking them to court.
It is best for all concerned, especially the children, if you and your former spouse are able to maintain a calm and constructive relationship with one another. This is an important part of raising your kids in the healthiest and most life-affirming environment possible.
You may be trying to do your part in redefining the relationship with your ex so that the children are not made to suffer. But this feeling and effort may not be reciprocated, and you may find yourself on the receiving end of plots and schemes designed to undermine your credibility as a loving and safe parent.
Only a judge can withhold visitation rights, and they can only do it if the non-custodial parent has been shown to be unfit in some way. Neglect, abuse, drug and alcohol usage, mental instability—these are just a few of the many behaviors that will prompt a judge to take such an extreme action. Your ex may claim that you are a danger to your kids. They may even introduce anecdotal evidence that is convincing enough for a judge to buy.
At the first indication that such a move is being attempted you must make every effort to stop it. Hiring a child visitation lawyer is your best move in this situation. Such a lawyer will have extensive experience and expertise in handling such cases. They will have seen move like the one you have to deal with before and know how to push back against them. The worst thing you can do is allow the claim to go unanswered. You make think the charge completely ridiculous. But if the evidence is not challenged before a judge the decision may go against you.
It is best not to take that chance. It is best to act aggressively against any and all moves to keep you away from your kids. You are the only person who can ensure that you are allowed to be the parent you want to be. No one can strip you of that right without good cause, and you must be constantly vigilant to ensure that it is never put in jeopardy.
Another matter that you must be careful of is an attempt to move your kids away without your consent. The law states that your children cannot be moved to another city or locale without your express permission. It should not be made difficult or overly burdensome for you to see your children. Just because your ex has custody doesn’t mean she can just up sticks and move. You have a say in where your kids live, and you also have a say in whether you can bear to be parted from them for even a small amount of time.
Trying to remain in the life of your children if you are the non-custodial parent is hard. However, you should not allow yourself to be stripped of your parental right to visitation.