Originally Posted by StephandOwen
I would be very careful of this. In most states that I've heard of they make it very clear that money (child support, etc) is in no way tied to visitation and a parent can't deny a parent visitation because they haven't paid the support. When ex and I first went through court he was dragging his feet on starting to pay support. I asked my lawyer about this and she basically said there wasn't much I could do and let the court deal with it but I could in no way keep ds from ex because he wasn't paying the support.
HOWEVER, I fully agree with not letting him take the kid for extended visits without having first established a relationship (phone calls- would be great to have them daily, short weekend visits, etc). I think it's bogus that some "dad's" expect to just pop in and take the kids for weeks at a time but completely ignore them for months between those visits.
You can definitely bring up the fact that he hasn't completed the mandatory batterers counseling, or established routine contact with the kids, or that he hasn't exercised his weekend visits in months. And I would absolutely mention that you offered reasonable visitation months ago and he never responded. But I would not mention anything about financial matters. As bad as it sucks that's very likely to get your hands slapped by the judge and from the sounds of it the normal judge is a real tool anyway. Best leave that part out.
As far as the week goes, you can offer it or withhold it given that he is filing in court. But if you are going to offer it, I would go ahead and just offer the 10 days your attorney has recommended to you. It's 3 more days, KWIM? If you can come out looking like a golden child in all of this, that will help you that much more and make him look like that much more of a jerk. I would definitely get something in writing, notarized, by him that the week or ten days is something that you BOTH agree on and if the kids aren't back in your custody by the stated date and time then you will proceed with custodial interference charges. IIRC, he refused to give you back the kids after a visit one time didn't he? And the police said there was nothing they could do??? I would speak to your attorney about that and find out what he needs to sign so that if the kids don't come back then he goes to jail.