You know that you are getting divorced, and you and your spouse have officially started talking about it and even taking steps in that direction. That said, you know well that divorce can take months and may take up to a year, so this isn’t going to be over any time soon.
Meanwhile, you are both still parents to your children. What are your rights? Do you retain full parental rights? What happens if your spouse leaves the home, takes the children, and tells you that you can’t see them?
Has there been a court order?
The biggest question to ask here is just whether or not there has been a court order. That will define your rights. Until you have one, they remain unchanged. You still have full parental rights.
Therefore, if your spouse is refusing to let you see the kids, they are violating your rights. This can directly impact your divorce case. For instance, the court may see it as a reason that their preferred option of joint custody is not going to be realistic, and they may give you full custody instead.
The court order can deal with every aspect of your rights, from your ability to make decisions for the children (legal custody) to the time that you get to have the children live with you (physical custody). But this is not something that you or your spouse can simply decide on by yourself. Even if you work together to come up with a solution, it has to be approved for your case to be resolved.
You may be in for a confrontational process
If you’re already in this position and you’re not even in court yet, it’s clear that your divorce may wind up being highly confrontational. You absolutely need to know what rights you have. If your spouse violates your rights, before or after the divorce is finalized, you also need to know what legal options you have to protect those rights and your relationship with your children.