Dealing with a gatekeeper mom can be very frustrating. It can be difficult when you are basically being told that you can’t be in your kids’ lives when you so badly want to.
Even though you are divorced from their mother, Florida law still entitles you to half the time with the kids as long as you are a fit parent. Once you are ready to contribute positively to your kids’ lives, you are entitled to be a part of it.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can leave the woman alone with the kid for the first 5-10 years of their lives and suddenly show up wanting to be a part. Don’t think you can go before a judge and suddenly go from having no time with the kid to having half the time.
The going can be very difficult though when you have to contend with a gatekeeper mom. However, if you are committed to being a part of your kids’ lives, there are some things that you can do.
Now, if your kids were born out of wedlock, you should know that the law does not recognize your right to be a part of the kids’ lives. Out of wedlock means you had the kids when you and your ex were not married.
Under Florida law, you are not entitled to time with or access to the kids. You are not even allowed to contribute to any decisions on the kid’s life. You can only spectate from afar.
If you want to be a part of your kids’ lives, then you first have to establish paternity. You need to show that you are the father of the kids and let the court know this too. You would have to follow the legal procedure for establishing paternity.
Go to court
You are entitled to time with the kids under the law. And you can enforce your rights in court. If you have no issues with paternity or after establishing paternity, you can file a custody lawsuit with the help of a competent lawyer.
Barring any sort of decision that you are an unfit parent, the court could rule in your favor. This is especially because the courts are very heavy on gatekeepers. You would have time and access to the kid and contribute to decisions in the child’s life. However, how much time you can get depends on the court.
Be there from day 1
Even though the court could rule in your favor, the best thing you can do is be there for your ex and kids right from day 1. Don’t leave your ex alone with charge of the kids and then drop in out of the blue, seeking time and access.
And if you couldn’t be there from day 1, start right now. Show your support and actively try to be involved in the kids’ lives. Don’t think that it’s too late for you to get involved. It’s not too late if you start now.