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Rocket Lawyer Family law

Ask a Lawyer: Can the police help enforce my child visitation rights?

Every week we invite guest attorneys to our Facebook page to answer your legal questions. Issues surrounding child custody disputes are common. This week we answered a question from a woman whose son is paying child support but being denied visitation rights to his children who live in another state.

Child custody laws vary from state to state and can be complicated. If you are in the middle of a child custody dispute, it is probably a good idea to find an attorney who can sit down with you and look at your individual case.

If you have any legal questions for our guest attorneys, stop by our Facebook page every Wednesday from 10:30am -12:00pm.

My son is divorced and hasn’t seen his children since march 2011. He sends them gifts and pays support. He also gets calls asking for money and she says she will let him at least talk to them if he sends her money, and then after he sends it, he doesn’t get to talk to the kids. They live in Georgia and he lives in Florida. He can’t afford a new lawyer and didn’t have one for his divorce because the one he hired couldn’t practice in Georgia. I tell him not to send money except what is taken out of his pay check but he says maybe she will really let it happen this time. What scares me is that when they separated his daughter that left with him age 6 and what mom tells her about him not seeing them. His ex says she returns the gifts to the stores that they come from.

My question is can he get a police officer to go to the home and demand to see the children? He was told they don’t get involved but his court papers say he is to have them all summer and every other holiday plus one weekend a month. He can’t afford a new court cost and now she won’t let them talk to him or of course see him. -Kathy L

This sounds like a tough situation and one where a lawyer (not the police) should be involved. If your son can’t afford a lawyer, there are resources that can help. Every state has legal aid organizations, where attorneys provide their services pro-bono (without charge) to people who need help and aren’t financially able to pay for an attorney.  Here are a list of legal aid resources to pass on to your son:

To answer your question, he can ask the police, but in many cases, they won’t get involved unless it’s a criminal case. Also it may not be the best option for the children to have the police show up at their home – and that could make matters even worse with the mother. More than likely, your son will have to go court to enforce the visitation, which is why talking to an attorney is a good idea.

One Comment

  1. Joyce Shirey says:

    Bringing the police into the scenario is not good. That would make the situation tense and stressful especially to the child. In my opinion, calling the cops is only a viable option in cases where there is kidnapping or otherwise holding the child in custody against the latter’s will and it is attended by force, intimidation, or violence.