Over Thanksgiving, my wife and her family would not allow me to see my children. All I wanted to do was spend Thanksgiving with my sons, but I was told I was not welcome.
What are my legal rights in this situation to ensure I have parenting time with my children?
I can give you a general overview of the law regarding child custody and visitation, but I cannot give you legal advice on divorce.
Because there is no court order in effect addressing child custody and visitation, you and your wife may have equal rights and responsibilities as to the children depending upon the applicable law. Therefore, unfortunately, in this situation your wife can continue to deny you parenting time with the children until there is a court order in effect.
In order to ensure that you have regular visitation with the children, as well as visitation for the holidays, you need to have a court order entered establishing visitation.
You may first try discussing the issue with your wife to see if you can reach an agreement regarding visitation. If you cannot reach agreement, then the court in which your divorce case is pending can have a hearing on the issue of a temporary custody and parenting time.
Ultimately, in order to have legally enforceable visitation with your children, you will need to have a court order in place.
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If there is no pending divorce case, you will first need to file for divorce before you can seek an order for temporary visitation.
The specific approach to dealing with the issue depends on the facts of your case and the laws in your jurisdiction. You should contact a mens divorce attorney licensed in your area to discuss your options.