After a divorce or other family separation, it’s difficult enough to move on from the chaos it caused without additional stressors. The family is adjusting to new routines, absences, and other routines in life that have now changed. So, what happens when a non-relative comes to you and wants visitation with your child, even though they have no legal relationship? There are a few possible scenarios.
Allow the Child to See the Person with Modifications
Only allow the child to see the person if you know them and trust them. Place firm boundaries around the time allowed. For example, suppose the non-relative is a former step-parent with whom the child has had a previous relationship. Now that the other parent is divorced, separated, or perhaps passed away, the child no longer sees this person.
If you know the person and had a good working relationship with them in the past and feel safe allowing your child to see them, and you think it’s beneficial for the child, feel free to let your child see them. However, always make it clear they are only coming for a visit. You can even place the requirement that you both spend time at their house for a visit, and you both leave together when the visit is over.
Deny the Person Access to the Child
If the person is not related to your child and you have no legal court order in place to force that child into a visitation scenario, you are not required to allow your child to see that person for any reason. As the child’s parent, you have control over what type of relationship, if any, you want the child to have with the other person. Tell the other person “No,” and let it be. Do so in writing if you must, but keep the written statement short and sweet without any hint of emotion or accusation towards the other person.
Go to Court Over It
Any person who feels they might have a legal right to have visitation with the child can petition through the court for visitation rights. However, they have to make a compelling case for these visitation requests. The court demands strict proof to convince the court because the person is not a relative.
Consult with Family Law Orlando
Never hesitate to consult with family law Orlando-based for any questions or concerns you have when a non-relative seeks to enter into or maintain a relationship with your child. Many qualified Orlando family law attorneys understand the ever-changing nuances of what is allowed and what is not. They can instruct you on how to handle your situation.