Why Do I Have To Go To Family Court To See My Child

My client asked the Family Court Judge why did he have to go to court, “I just want to see my child”.  Those words were spoken right after a parenting agreement providing for joint custody, primary residential with the mother and the father having a specified parenting schedule of their less than one year old child.

My client who is a good father, in the military and scheduled to be deployed in the next few months asked the Judge why he had to spend so much money to be able to make the mother let him see his child regularly before deployment and then by video while overseas for approximately one year.

My client, the father, was absolutely correct.  The mother needed to be court ordered to provide him with a substantial schedule while he is still in NY and then to maintain contact with him while he is on the other side of the world, to keep him advised of the development of the baby, informed and consulted regarding all major decisions and to allow his parents (the grandparents of the baby) to have time with his child while he is stationed overseas.

All too often one or both parents mistakenly think that the child is theirs alone or that if they permit the other parent time with the child they are being “generous”.  Of course were the roles reversed, they would be outraged at the restriction of their contact with the child.

The Judge answered the client’s question and said you are both here because you don’t communicate or effectively communicate with each other.  While I agree with that, it often is only part of the problem because there also needs to be respect for the other parent’s right and desire to be involved and to be an active parent.  The Judge told the parents they can move forward with mutual respect and recognizing the importance of the child having two involved parents or they can spend the next 20 years in and out of Family Court.