What to do if I want visitation with my stepson?

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What to do if I want visitation with my stepson?

I would like visitation of my 14 year old step-son and I don’t know how to get started. We got our civil-union. His mother and I split a year ago and I have been able to see him every other weekend, but she is controlling me by saying she wont let me see him any more if I do “xyz”. I don’t do these things and then she accuses me of undermining everything she has is trying to teach him and threatens to not let me see him. I would like to get out of her control and have something saying I can continue to see him regardless of what she thinks I do wrong. It is not good for him to see me being controlled and not good for me to have to walk on eggshells to continue a relationship with him.

Asked on August 25, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation. You sound like a truly wonderful Dad.  Did you legally adopt your step-son?  I am thinking "no" because then you would be referring to him as your "son" instead.  Unfortunately you have no legal right to visitation with your step son and his Mother can indeed control that issue at this point in time.  Do you pay child support,  which would be voluntary here?  If you do then you could make an application to the court for formal visitation and see if it is would be granted.  It would not be mandatory for the court to give it to you.  What I would do is to find a way to speak with your son about the situation with out pointing fingers at his Mother or making her look like "the bad guy" here.  It will be hard.  But if you try and explain that the law does not give you many rights becuae legally you are not his Father.  But that you consider him to be your son regardless of what the law says.  And if you are not permitted to see him as much as you want it is not becuase it is your choice.  Good luck to you all. 


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