Wednesday, April 2, 2014

When is it considered abandonment?

Q:  my ex is telling me she is going on vacation and wont be around and will not give me any other details. but the way she is talking to me makes it seem like she will not be around for a long time. we have shared custody but I have primary placement. Parenting time is about 58% me 42% her. but I just don't want her in and out my child s life. she makes it sound like she will be away for years and told me not to tell anyone she is gone or that I even talked to her. I just don't understand. I just don't want her to come back in 1 year or longer and expect the visitation to be the same. I mean I am all for her being a part of her life but I just don't want my daughter use to just having me and then all of a sudden she comes back and I have to tell my daughter oh by the way this is your mom.

A:  David's Answer:  Adoption law considers more than 6 months to be legal abandonment. That said, visitation law does not have such a "bright-line" rule. You should ask her when she's returning & ask her to provide the itinerary. If she refuses to do so, move to modify the custody order & ask for sole custody. Speak to a Family Law attorney in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

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