Where Are The Kids?

Where Are The Kids?

Is Your Ex Stopping You From Seeing The Kids?

Dear Lisa,

My partner’s ex has blocked him from seeing his children since they were 3 and 5. They are now 10 and 13. Initially, they had to be on a speaker phone when they talked to him. Their mail was read and taken from them. They were moved 2,000 miles away from their dad.The little girl was put on intravenous food because she could not eat, she missed her dad so much.When the children finally did come visit, they could not keep their hands off their dad. They stayed by his side.

Five years later, the children have had their name changed and their dad’s phone number is blocked. The children have been brainwashed. In order to stay in touch, we have created a Web site where we post letters to the children.We thought we should keep fighting for the children. Now we are not so sure. We no longer believe the system will help.

Here’s the question: Do we let it go? Lately his kids have been sending him hate mail.

Thanks, L.W.

Dear L.W.:
This is a very difficult situation, and unfortunately, it’s all too common, says Lynne Z. Gold-Bikin a family law attorney with Wolf Block Schorr and Solis-Cohen, which has offices in Philadelphia and other U.S. cities.

Don’t give up, says Brette Sember, a former family law attorney and author of How To Parent With Your Ex.” She says if your partner has a court order granting him visitation, he should enforce it. Denial of visitation can be grounds for a change in custody, so based on her actions, he could be awarded custody,” she says. He needs to hire an attorney and gather evidence of all the visitation denials and a court will listen to him,” she says.

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“If he does not have visitation rights, why did the court deny visitation? Did he not ask for it, or was it considered in the best interest of the children that he not see them?” she asks. If that was the case, and the situation has changed, he can seek a “change of circumstances” order. “There are many times when parents are able to do this and the children benefit from it,” Sember says.

Too often, when a mother resists granting visitation, a dad will throw up his hands and walk away, she says. There is a lot you can do and I would urge parents who are granted visitation not to give up because the custodial parent has made it difficult. The best thing you can do is fight to make yourself a part of your child’s life.”

Dr. Joyce Morley-Ball, a psychotherapist and author in Atlanta, Ga., says your partner should petition the courts to order a psychological evaluation of your children. An impartial psychotherapist would then work with the children and make recommendations to the court about what’s best for the children. A psychotherapist could also try to reverse the negative thoughts and beliefs about the children’s father, she says.

You might want to read the book, Children Held Hostage: Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children,” by Stanley Clawar. You can buy it from the American Bar Association. You might also want to visit www.stepfamilytalkradio.com and listen to the interview “How To Avoid Divorce Wars.”

Take care and keep us posted.

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