If you didn’t get a chance to spend time with your kids during Thanksgiving, you may be pretty upset about it. You may also wonder if the Christmas holidays will be any different. More importantly, you may wonder why your ex is being so evil and why she feels as if she can intimidate you by conditioning your time with the kids.
It may be because she can. As a matter of law, unmarried mothers have sole legal and sole physical custody of a child they give birth to. Because of this, mom essentially has the authority to determine who may see the child and when the child may be seen.
For some moms, especially first time mothers, this may be a function of “gate keeping” since they may not trust anyone around their new child. For others, it may be a function of revenge against a father who wasn’t around during pregnancy or denied that the child may be his.
Regardless of the reasons behind it, an unmarried father must petition a court to obtain legal and physical custody. For fathers who are being denied access to their children, this is an important step. As we alluded to earlier, time with children may be thwarted by a vindictive mom. Indeed, this may be wrong and unnecessary, but it is basically allowed by law until a court order (temporary or otherwise) is issued that details when and how often parenting time is sanctioned.
If you have questions about the process, an experienced family law attorney can help.