Q: Who is responsible for transportation for visitation and can lack of visitation/comm. be grounds for rights termination?
In my divorce decree, it does not state specifically only states "Transportation costs shall be agreed upon by the parties or left to the discretion of the court." My ex doesnt currently have a car. He also isn't paying child support and is $8000 in arrears. He lives 2 hours away. We have 4 children together under the age of 7. I can't afford the transportation costs without his child support. He only saw them 7 weekends last year, 3 of those visits, I was able to transport because he was finally making child support payments. He is back to not making payments but still wants me to transport and I can't afford it. Will it hurt me in court that I do not bring the children to him? Also, he hasn't called them in over 6 months. Not one time. He messages me that I need to have them call his, but I tell him he can call whenever he has time. He never does. I'm pretty sure lack of support, visitation, and calls are all grounds for termination of rights yes? My husband would like to adopt them.
A: You should meet with an experienced local family law attorney. Preferably one who also has experience with stepparent adoptions. It seems like you would want to follow contempt of court for failure to pay child support. Ask the court to establish an arrearage amount of $8000 in Make him start paying on that monthly in addition to ongoing child support. The court could consider your transportation requirements separate from child support. Therefore you would want to seek to modify the requirement that you transport based upon his failure to comply. Based on information provided you probably do not have enough to win and abandonment case at this point. An experienced lawyer can help you with a good strategy.
Financially supporting a child when child support is been established is crucially important for all parents. I hope that he will step up to the plate and do the right thing by the children.
Wishing you all the best.
David A. Carroll
Pensacola Child Support Attorney
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