Making Child Visitation Easier for Your Children

focus on being a parent to your children. 

While it’s normal to have negative feelings about your ex, you’ll have to resolve those issues privately, and not around your children.  Your goal should be to create a more peaceful life for them after the legal battle is over.  With a little practice and effort, you can help your children cope with the new living arrangement:

  • If you have nothing good to say about your ex, don’t say it.  Try to speak about your ex in positive terms when you are around your children.  If that’s not yet possible, then make it clear to your children that your issues are between you and your ex, and do not involve them.
  • Avoid heated arguments with your ex when your children are around. 
  • Do not use the children as couriers for information you should be discussing directly with your ex. Communicate by email or phone with your ex about matters pertaining to your children such as the monthly support and pick up times. 
  • Don’t use your children to gain personal information about your ex. 
  • Establish a regular routine as well as house and safety rules in your own home to bring some stability in the lives of your children.
  • Resist the urge to react negatively when your children rave about the other parent or about the things they do in the other home.   
  • Do not promote anger or hatred for the other parent, even if the separation was the other parent’s own doing.  Anger can prevent a child from maintaining a close personal relationship with the other parent.   
  • Reassure your children of your love, care and attention regardless of the situation.  Avoid using the threat of abandonment (even if it is an empty one) to instill discipline upon difficult children.  It is common for separated parents to see their children act out their emotional confusion and distress by being problematic or undisciplined. 
  • Be careful about misleading children into thinking that reconciliation between their parents is a possibility.  Some children find it difficult to adjust to the separation of their parents when they cling to the illusion that their parents will be back in each other’s arms someday.
  • Develop your own ways of displaying affection towards your children.  A hug or a pat on the back can bolster the verbal assurances you give your children. 
  • Acknowledge your children’s feelings for the other parent.  Allow them to express their emotions by crying and talking things over with you. 
  • Take time out to relax with your children.  Playing with your children also helps them heal from the psychic wounds inflicted by the separation. 

10 thoughts on “Making Child Visitation Easier for Your Children

  1. cookie

    hi,
    I would just like to ask if the father can obtain visitation rights, even if I will not allow it. We were never married which makes our son illegitimate and giving me full custody since he is still 4 years old. However I really don’t want his father to see him this time maybe when my sons 8 years old or so already, this is fir the best interest of my son. I do not have any intention of keeping him from his son its just that the kid is too young to understand and i want to make sure he wont be confused, because right now I’m married to a different man who loves my son so much and we don’t want any confusion on child’s part on whom to call Daddy since he calls both of them dad, and one instance is he was crying when his real biological father went to his school and wanted to see him while I was there with my husband the child looked confused and cried a lot. So I wanted to ask if I have the right to say no to visitation rights just in case the biological father would ask for it. He never gave any financial support and my sons using his last name.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Cookie: Legally, the illegitimate child’s father is entitled to reasonable visitation and the confusion you cited may not be considered a ground for depriving him of his right to see his child. From experience, the confusion is only temporary for as long as the child’s biological father is consistent in spending time with his son and for as long as the child is made aware that the man you are married to is not his real father but who still loves him, nevertheless. I also suggest that you let the child see a child counselor who can help process any issues arising from his situation. It may not be “confusion” as we know it but some other anxiety that a child psychologist can determine. I hope this helps.

  2. ibibah

    Hi! I just wanted to ask, if I can ask my ex husband to give financial support to my daughter? We’ve been separated to 5 years now. We have two kids. The eldest is with him while the youngest is with me. Before I asked him to give financial dupport to my daughter but he told me that I’m not giving any financial support to our eldest. Am I obliged to give support to our eldest? I don’t want to ask money on him but i think I need to do that. He already have 3 other kids with two different women. Please help me.

    1. Atty Post author

      Ibibah: Will send reply via email. Please check.

  3. Anna

    Hi atty,

    Me and the father of my child are both ofw, never married. And our daughter is in the Philippines with my parents. Previously when we were still together, we have agreed on the 60-40% share of my daughter’s expenses, however after we separated, he insist of the 50-50 share, i never agreed. And now he left me with no choice, he said 50-50 “take it or leave it”. Since my pride was hurt and im angry i said “leave it”. I was thinking of filing for sole custody for my daughter with no visitation rights. Will it be possible? If i also file for the financial support will my previous comment matters? And how long will usually the case lasts as my daughter will be travelling here with me soon. And is their any way thay i can file an agreement (for the meantime) in our Phil embassy?
    Thank u

    1. Atty. Post author

      Anna: If the child’s father has acknowledged paternity, he may be entitled to reasonable visitation even if you refuse to accept support from him. Support and visitation or even custody are separate issues and will not depend on the other to exist. If you intend to file a petition for child support, it’s best to file it soonest while both you and the child’s father are in the Philippines. If you have plans of leaving the country soon, then you may have to accept a middle ground to end the case quickly and obtain a court order in your favor before you leave the country. There is no such thing as waiver of child support and the amount is variable ( meaning, it will depend on the child’s needs) so your previous statement refusing to accept support will not prevent you from filing a case later on behalf of your child. I suggest that you negotiate the terms of a support agreement under more calm circumstances for you to arrive at a well thought out decision and arrangement for the benefit of your child.

  4. danielle

    Hi atty,

    Im 21 years old and im 6 mos pregnant now. My ex broke up with me when i got pregnant because he has a gf and they’re living together until now. So since then im not getting any support from him financial or emotional support. Though i have a job, i thnk its unfair for us not to get any support from him. I did everythng to avoid me from doing some legal actions against him but i dnt have any other choice since he’s starting to make threats that he will take my baby away from me. How am i going to start?i would like to make some agreements regarding visitations. Like he’s only allowed to see my bby when im around and with my consent as well otherwise he will not see my baby anymore.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Danielle: I suggest that you wait for your baby to be born before you discuss any agreement for support and visitation with the child’s father. The whole process can be highly stressful and may affect the health of your baby and your self. Besides, any agreement for support and visitation presupposes the existence of a live-born child. Hopefully, by then, the future father will have a better attitude towards your baby. I hope this helps.

  5. La-La

    Hi! My boyfriend has a kid from another woman. They’re not married and they broke up before the child was born. However, the child’s mother agreed to use the father’s surname. The child is with his mother. Before, they would go to us or fetch them depending on the circumstances. After a year, the mother got married to another man. Every time we ask the mother if we can visit the kid or bring with us, she would say ‘yes’ but after that she wouldn’t appear or text/call us about it. We are always waiting for nothing.. My boyfriend (the father) is always upset and frustrated. they don’t have a formal schedule so my boyfriend can’t visit his child on a timely manner. Also, the mother’s husband is claiming that he’s the father. What I mean to say is that he posts the child’s pictures on Facebook saying “my son”, “my kid” etc. Also, he doesn’t allow the mother (his wife) to communicate with us regarding our visitation. We only want to have formal visitation schedule. What shall we do?

    1. Atty. Post author

      La-La: First, the child’s father must try to write the mother about his desire to set a regular visitation schedule, making it clear using positive words that he does not wish to disrupt their new life. If the child’s mother doesn’t respond to this first letter or email, then the child’s father may go to a lawyer to seek appropriate advice and possibly legal services to start the process of obtaining reasonable visitation. A demand letter may be sent, barangay proceedings maybe initiated, it all depends on the actual circumstances of the case which the lawyer must be able to assess. If the mother ultimately refuses visitation, then the lawyer may even go to court for that. Incidentally, if the child does not use the father’s surname, then it’s possible that the biological father did not acknowledge paternity on the birth certificate. He may have to execute a separate acknowledgment for that in order to file a case later. I hope this helps.

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