I have physical custody of my daughter, as my ex-wife is a recovering drug addict and in a rehabilitation program. My divorce settlement agreement gives me full legal custody, but gives my ex-wife visitation. Regardless on if Father’s Day falls on a weekend where my ex-wife has visitation, she must return the child to me by no later than 9 AM in the morning. Being that this weekend is Father’s Day I am concerned, as she will be spending Friday to Sunday morning with her mother. Due to the fact that it is father’s day I’m scheduled to pick up my daughter at 9 AM, but what if my wife fails to return my child by 9 AM? What can I do? How long do I have to wait before I consider it a violation? Should I contact the local police department or should I call the mother directly? I would not like to speak to my ex-wife, as she continues to consistently cause situations that are upsetting and derogatory.What are my rights in this situation? What can I do if she does not produce my child on time?
First of all, you must wait until at least 9 AM to give your ex a chance to produce the child. Depending on how long you wait, would determine what next actions you would take. If she is 5 to 15 minutes late, I wouldn’t make a big deal about it. Although the fact that she is in a rehabilitation program, there is actually no reason that she would be returning your child to you late, especially on Father’s Day. If you have a executed divorce settlement agreement, which covers custody and visitation, then you could build bring that to the police station and they will recover your child for you. The best thing you could do is seek the advice of an experienced family lore attorney and have them file a motion for contempt and a motion for attorneys fees. The contempt motion is for the fact that your ex did not return your child on time and the motion for attorneys fees is to make her pay for your attorney’s fees, as you would not have to be going to court and paying legal fees if she simply returned your child as directed by the divorce settlement agreement. There is no reason you should be paying attorney’s fees, because your ex broke the agreement.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723
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