I do not have child custody of my son and for a variety of reasons have not seen him in six years.
I am gravely ill and want to have a relationship with him before I die so he knows I am his father and I always loved him.
How can I force his mother to allow me to see him and form a father-son bond that we never had because of unfair child custody laws?
This answer only includes general divorce help for men since I am only licensed to practice in Oklahoma and am thus unable to provide any legal advice on divorce in your state.
If you were married to your son’s mother or you were judicially determined to be the boy’s father in a paternity proceeding, and the decree entered awarded you visitation but you’ve not been exercising it, you can simply notify your ex-wife that you’d like to exercise the rights of visitation you were awarded by the court.
Be mindful that she might object to this since it would appear you have not exercised visitation with him in quite some time. If you were not awarded any parenting time in the divorce decree, then you can move the court to allow you to modify the decree to allow for visitation.
If you were never married to your son’s mother, you were never judicially determined to be the child’s father, or you were never involved in any other court action regarding the child, now may be the time to initiate one.
You can file a paternity action, be judicially determined to be the child’s father, then have orders regarding child custody, visitation, and child support entered.
Keep in mind though that you may be asked to submit to genetic testing, you may be required to begin paying child support, and the child’s mother may fight you every step of the way as you try to establish your rights as a father.
Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For a more in depth discussion of fathers rights and advice on divorce, I urge you to contact a divorce lawyer.