If there are no custody arrangements in order through the court, what rights does my ex have regarding visitation?

UPDATED: May 19, 2011

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If there are no custody arrangements in order through the court, what rights does my ex have regarding visitation?

We have been separated for just over a year and the children live with me. The courts have not established anything regarding custody or visitation. He takes the kids on the weekends he is available. I gave him approximately 48 hours advance notice that I have plans with the children for the following weekend. He is now trying to get me to “confirm” (via text message) that I am “refusing to let him see them”

Asked on May 19, 2011 under Family Law, Wisconsin


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Custody and visitation are separate issues.  Your ex has a right to visitation.

If there are disputes over visitation, the court can set a schedule for visitation.  This would require filing an OSC (Order to Show Cause) (court form) requesting a hearing on the issue of visitation.  When the OSC is filed, the court will set a date for the hearing.  The Order to Show Cause should be filed with a declaration signed under penalty of perjury setting forth the facts regarding visitation.  A proof of service should be attached to the documents filed with the court.  The proof of service verifies the date the documents were served on the other party.  You can use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are over 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless otherwise specified to ________ (name and address of your ex-husband) on __________ (date).  You sign  and date the proof of service under penalty of perjury at the bottom.  The date you sign should be the same date it is mailed and the same date it is filed with the court.

As for custody, there is legal custody and also physical custody.  If custody is an issue, your Order to Show Cause and declaration can also address these issues along with the visitation issue, and one court appearance can address all of these issues simultaneously.

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