Family Law (Divorce, Family Relations)/Visitation with no court order
My son's father and I were never married, and do not have any court-issued custody or visitation (we live in Alabama). He is not listed on the birth certificate, but we did establish paternity. My son is 9, and his father only became interested in visiting him a few years ago, and now he sees him maybe once a month or less. My son lately has started saying that he doesn't want to go to his dad's, crying and telling me he yells a lot, makes him feel bad, and is upset that his dad doesn't have a bed for him so he has to sleep on the couch (ex lives with his mom). I don't believe there is any abuse, but I know my ex is not very nurturing.
Since there is no court agreement, do I have to make my son still visit him? I want them to have a good relationship but it's not looking like that will happen. If I don't make my son go, could it be held against me in the future if my ex decides to try for shared custody? I don't have the money to get a lawyer to have this set up officially.
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY: I AM SOMEONE WITH EXPERIENCE DEALING WITH FAMILY LAW ISSUES: HOWEVER, BEFORE YOU GO TO COURT OR RESPOND TO ANY LEGAL MATTER CONCERNING YOUR ISSUE CONTACT A PROFESSIONAL FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY IN YOUR AREA.
I would recommend seeing a Professional Attorney: I am unsure with reference to 'forcing your son or making your son' see his father: However, they have established a relationship: Maybe you can talk to the father to see if he would be ok if "you both" went together on the next visitation: That way you can observe what is going on, and make an informed decision.
Sometimes children tend to way towards the parent that gives them more of everything: I don't know your situation but maybe the child is just testing the waters: Try working with the father as I suggest so you can 'observe' the behavior of both.
Otherwise most lawyers will allow a 1/2 hr consultation and give you options on how to pay the bill.