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Can my ex husband keep changing visitation to suit his own needs? He threatens me with lowering his support constantly.

New Jersey |

I agreed in divorce to allow my ex 2 weekday evening visits each week as his agreement because he used to work a lot of weekends and also ft 5days a week & my kids are under 5. He lost his job day after divorce so instead of 5pm - 7 pm he would take them 12-7 one day and 2-6 another...but even then he changed it constantly whenever he wanted, coming late, bringing them home early, etc. He finally got another job f/t weekdays and I want him to conform to every other weekend & one day weekly. He refuses to keep a set schedule claiming he works djing friday nights and some sat nights. When I tell him he needs to deal with that when its his time with them he threatens me that because he has to work a judge will side with him. Please help. He threatens to get his support lowered all the time.

Attorney Answers 3


It's almost never a bad idea to be flexible with parenting time and to promote a good relationship between the children and their non custodial parent. That having been said, scheduling is a two way street - and there are times to just say no - especially when the children have other planned activities.

As to child support - remember, it's the court that reviews such requests, and if he's working again it would be hard to justify a downward modification.

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You need to get a court order that lays out his visitation times specifically. The way to get a court order is to file a motion. (If you already have an order, then he's obviously violating it, and you need to file an enforcement motion).

Kids need structure, and you need piece of mind. I would recommend filing a motion. We can handle this for you. I am a certified family law attorney in New Jersey. Please feel free to contact me. We have offices throughout the state.

Mark S. Guralnick

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As with the other two answers, your husband has no legal right to change visitation schedules on a whim and he certainly has no right whatsoever to change the amount of child support. The next time he makes any threat whatsoever, remind him that you can ask the court to incarcerate him if he stops or lowers the court ordered support. Finally with this type of man, you need an order to set a schedule for visitation. One suggestion made is that if he misses the pick up time by 30 minutes, you have no obligation to provide the children. Finally if he is messing up their school or sleep schedule, you need to get a letter from their pediatrician that this needs to stop,
On my profile there are several legal guides. I recommend reviewing the following which may be helpful to you:

Hiring a lawyer; Is it Legal? Is it Illegal?...Understanding the different court systems;
Introduction to Legal terms used in litigation; Limitations on a Lawyer’s License: What a Lawyer Can and Cannot Do……………………………..…………………………..

Divorce and Legal Separation in General and How It's Handled in New Jersey
Financial Dos and Don'ts after a Divorce (written by Attorney Gabriel Cheong)
US law on parental kidnapping: Please see 28 USC s. 1738……………………

LEGAL DISCLAIMER…………………………………………………………………..
Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information about this issue.

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