If a father pays child support, what rights to visitation does he have?

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If a father pays child support, what rights to visitation does he have?

My fiance has a 7 year old daughter whom he not been allowed to see for 3 years. His ex-wife refuses to let him visit saying, “She needs more time with her mother”. She also states that he must tell her 30 days in advance if he ever wants to see her. He has done this many times and every time his ex-wife is “too busy” for him to come. He has tried calling to talk to his daughter but his ex-wife will not allow it always making excuses such as “she is not home” or “she is busy” or “she can’t talk”. He does pay child support. What can we do?

Asked on June 26, 2011 under Family Law, Arizona

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Child support and visitation are separate issues.  The father has a right to visitation.  He should file an Order to Show Cause (OSC)(court form) and supporting declaration of the facts signed under penalty of perjury with the court on the issue of visitation.  When these documents and an attached proof of service are filed with the court, the court will set a date for a hearing on the issue of visitation.  Since the parents are unable to agree on visitation, the court at the hearing will set a schedule for visitation.  If the ex-wife violates the court order, she could be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties.

When the father files his documents and attaches a proof of service, the proof of service verifies the date of mailing the documents to the ex-wife.  The proof of service can be a court form or the father can write his own.  If he writes his own proof of service, it would just say that he is  over 18 and that the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless specified otherwise to _________ (name and address of ex-wife) on __________ (date).  He signs and dates the proof of service at the bottom under penalty of perjury.  The date he signs should be the same date as the date of mailing and the same date the documents are filed with the court. 


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