Do I have to let child leave with step-parent?

This is a discussion on Do I have to let child leave with step-parent? within the Child Custody & Support forum, part of the FAMILY LAW, DIVORCE, CUSTODY category; In the state of Virginia... do I have to release custody to the step-parent when the parent is unavailable? For ...

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Old Apr 16th, 2007, 08:50 AM   #1
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Question Do I have to let child leave with step-parent?

In the state of Virginia... do I have to release custody to the step-parent when the parent is unavailable? For example... my ex and I have joint custody. We are both remarried. We each share a week on/week off custody arrangement changing custody on Friday after school. If the ex (child's father) is unavailable to take over custody at that time, do I have the right not to release custody to the child's step-parent (ex's wife)? Are there any forms, documents that I will have to have filled out, signed by judge, etc. to make that happen? Child does not want to be with step-parent alone without her father's presence because she is frightened of the step-mother's temper... step-mom has grabbed child and tried to pull her out a door, grabbed child's wrists and pulled her around, squeezed child's face and shook her head, kicked over a gate on their house, slammed doors, etc. Oh - and child is 8 year old. Any help would be SOOOOOOOO appreciated - and in a hurry! Thanks!
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Old Apr 16th, 2007, 02:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Do I have to let child leave with step-parent?

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In the state of Virginia... do I have to release custody to the step-parent when the parent is unavailable? For example... my ex and I have joint custody. We are both remarried. We each share a week on/week off custody arrangement changing custody on Friday after school. If the ex (child's father) is unavailable to take over custody at that time, do I have the right not to release custody to the child's step-parent (ex's wife)? Are there any forms, documents that I will have to have filled out, signed by judge, etc. to make that happen? Child does not want to be with step-parent alone without her father's presence because she is frightened of the step-mother's temper... step-mom has grabbed child and tried to pull her out a door, grabbed child's wrists and pulled her around, squeezed child's face and shook her head, kicked over a gate on their house, slammed doors, etc. Oh - and child is 8 year old. Any help would be SOOOOOOOO appreciated - and in a hurry! Thanks!
stepmom is asking for trouble. she should NEVER NEVER lay her hands on someone else's child. if your child comes home with any bruises or marks, photograph them, and call the dept of children's services. also, that may be proof enough to have dad's visitation restricted to where stepmom wont be allowed around the child. but to answer your question, if dad wont be there when its his time, you do not have to let stepmom take the child, the visitation is not for her, its for dad.
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Old Apr 16th, 2007, 06:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Do I have to let child leave with step-parent?

Thank you for your help. Do I have to have any paperwork or anything to prove to the dad that I don't have to release custody to his wife? If not, can anyone find me a law or anything that I can print off and use as proof?

One more added bit of information... not only has the step-mom physically been agressive with the child, but the step-mom has also in some ways put the child's health at risk. The child has a mild disability which dictates what types and when the child can eat foods. While in the step-mom's custody, the child was left alone (actually she was place in solitary confinement in her room only allowed out for meals and bathroom breaks). While the step-mom was busy with her infant, the child was left alone to roam the cuboards and ate foods on NUMEROUS occasions (the child has admitted to this) that could have caused her to go into a coma or worse.
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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 05:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Do I have to let child leave with step-parent?

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Thank you for your help. Do I have to have any paperwork or anything to prove to the dad that I don't have to release custody to his wife? If not, can anyone find me a law or anything that I can print off and use as proof?

One more added bit of information... not only has the step-mom physically been agressive with the child, but the step-mom has also in some ways put the child's health at risk. The child has a mild disability which dictates what types and when the child can eat foods. While in the step-mom's custody, the child was left alone (actually she was place in solitary confinement in her room only allowed out for meals and bathroom breaks). While the step-mom was busy with her infant, the child was left alone to roam the cuboards and ate foods on NUMEROUS occasions (the child has admitted to this) that could have caused her to go into a coma or worse.
id just take your current custody papers and show your ex that his wife's name is NOT on them, therefore, you do not have to release the child to her.stepmom does not have, and will never have or be able to get any kind of custodial rights to the child. she is a legal stranger to the child. dad's rights do not transfer to her. if he isnt going to be there, then she cannot assume his visitation.

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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 05:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Do I have to let child leave with step-parent?

I agree--we had the same situation in my family and that is what we did
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Old Sep 5th, 2007, 09:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: Do I have to let child leave with step-parent?

I hate to hear that this child is being treated so poorly by a step parent. I myself don't have that kind of issue with the step parent of my son. She is a very nice person and I trust her with my son. It is my responsibily to make sure we get along as best I can. If something were to happen to me...she will be my sons mother for the rest of his life.

However, I have two step daughters that I love dearly and we get along so well. As a matter of fact the youngest (9) has asked me why I continue being nice to her mother when (her mother) couldn't be nice to me.

Their mother is trying to do this same kind of thing to me. She doesn't want to allow me to pick up the girls if their father is late coming home. Keep in mind they want to go with me (we have a wonderful relationship). I have never tried to be the girls mother..and I have often said that to the girls. I want to be their friend, and yes they do have to mind me when they are with me. I am still an adult even though I am not their mother. There is no yelling in my home and we have family dinners almost every night. I attend all sporting events, do homework, work on projects and go on field trips if their mother isn't able to go. Obviously, she is to have that opportunity and option first, she is their mother. I so wish we could get along. I have tried everything I can think of. Now the oldest daughter has asked to come live with us. She is 15 and has had a very rocky relationship with her mother, from what I understand, since she was 4. There is constant screaming at their home, name calling by the mother and door slamming by both. The 9 year old has often expressed her feeling of stress about this and comments that it isn't like that in our home. We have arranged and paid for therapy for both and the therapist has agreed with the daughter it would be best she lives with us (she has spoken with everyone in both homes). I know she (the mother) is angry...she has always has a negative attitude toward their father and I. I just try to stay out of the way and out of the picture to keep down tention. I just don't know what else to do...this is breaking my heart.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 03:47 PM   #7
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Question Re: Do I have to let child leave with step-parent?

What about a situation, when I'm TRYING to be the parent and my ex and his new wife are asking for custody. They have more money and more 'stability' than me. But I've arranged my life and my world to be available to my daughter full time. I moved closer to her school and have sacrificed all other relationships for her.

Now I face a custody battle because they got married first. Am I just being immature? Help!?



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I hate to hear that this child is being treated so poorly by a step parent. I myself don't have that kind of issue with the step parent of my son. She is a very nice person and I trust her with my son. It is my responsibily to make sure we get along as best I can. If something were to happen to me...she will be my sons mother for the rest of his life.

However, I have two step daughters that I love dearly and we get along so well. As a matter of fact the youngest (9) has asked me why I continue being nice to her mother when (her mother) couldn't be nice to me.

Their mother is trying to do this same kind of thing to me. She doesn't want to allow me to pick up the girls if their father is late coming home. Keep in mind they want to go with me (we have a wonderful relationship). I have never tried to be the girls mother..and I have often said that to the girls. I want to be their friend, and yes they do have to mind me when they are with me. I am still an adult even though I am not their mother. There is no yelling in my home and we have family dinners almost every night. I attend all sporting events, do homework, work on projects and go on field trips if their mother isn't able to go. Obviously, she is to have that opportunity and option first, she is their mother. I so wish we could get along. I have tried everything I can think of. Now the oldest daughter has asked to come live with us. She is 15 and has had a very rocky relationship with her mother, from what I understand, since she was 4. There is constant screaming at their home, name calling by the mother and door slamming by both. The 9 year old has often expressed her feeling of stress about this and comments that it isn't like that in our home. We have arranged and paid for therapy for both and the therapist has agreed with the daughter it would be best she lives with us (she has spoken with everyone in both homes). I know she (the mother) is angry...she has always has a negative attitude toward their father and I. I just try to stay out of the way and out of the picture to keep down tention. I just don't know what else to do...this is breaking my heart.
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Old Mar 21st, 2008, 07:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: Do I have to let child leave with step-parent?

The court should try to establish a situation where both parents can be part of the child's life--even if the parents don't get along.
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Old Mar 21st, 2008, 09:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Do I have to let child leave with step-parent?

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but to answer your question, if dad wont be there when its his time, you do not have to let stepmom take the child, the visitation is not for her, its for dad.
I call bullcrap on this. Please cite the law that says a parent cannot ask another person to pick up a child. The visitation is his, to spend as he chooses, and if he chooses to have another relative pick up the child then that is his right.
If when the visitation is over, you send your new spouse or one of your parents or someone else to bring the child back, would it be ok for him to refuse to release the child because you were not the one picking him up? Or say he brought the child back to your house but you were not there, only other family members. Would it be legal for him to return to his house with the child because you were not there?
Before you go denying visitation, you better make sure you have a law to support your decision.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 12:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Do I have to let child leave with step-parent?

We have seen it both ways in many jurisdictions; if a pattern develops that a parent is not the one picking up the child and spending time, the court will often side with a the parent complaining about that.

And frankly it depends in part how the order reads as well. It can state specifically what must occur or it may not address the pickups at all. If it says nothing then a relative etc. often will suffice at least until the other parent can show a problem or issue and take it back to court.
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