A useful letter to notify the other parent that you intend to exercise your legal parenting time (visitation) with your children.
If you have been illegally denied visitation or residence time with your children, you might consider using the form below on a regular basis. The form is written notice of your intent to exercise your legal right to visitation or residence time with your children. Copy this or print this out and mail a copy to both the custodial parent and the court clerk (see below).
Return Receipt Article (number)
To: (your ex's name) From: (your name) Date: (today's date)
Re: Notice of intent to exercise visitation.
As per our (divorce decree, custody & visitation orders) I am writing you to notify you that it is my intention to exercise court ordered visitation, as outlined in the court order, (page #, section #, paragraph #), on the following dates and times.
Pick up: (Date, time, place, and person picking child up) Return: (date, time, place, and person returning child) Contact information: (Number where she can contact YOU and child during your period of possession).
Should these dates and times present a problem for you, respond via U.S. Mail by (date) with alternate dates and/or times so that I may have sufficient time to adjust my schedule accordingly to the alternate dates and/or times. If I receive no response to the contrary, I will assume these dates and times to be acceptable to you.
Reference: Case # (Divorce case number, found on the front page of the divorce decree or in the custody or visitation orders)
The letter sent to the court clerk should have the following changes:
The top "Return Receipt Article" number should be the Return Receipt number for the copy going to the court clerk.
Under "CC:" fill in your ex’s name, address, and use the Return Receipt Article number from the Return Receipt of the copy you sent to your ex.
In addition to the copy you send to the court, enclose a simple letter stating that because you have/are encountering problems in obtaining visitation with the child as of (fill in the date problems started) you wish to have the enclosed copy of the letter that you sent to your ex placed in the court file. (Be gracious and polite and thank them for their trouble, make no accusations, just request they place the letter in the court file and give them the Case number in as many places as possible to make it easy for them.)
The trick here is that she must respond by US Mail. If she calls, you tell her that if she wishes to change the dates, to put it down on paper and send it via U.S. Mail so that there is no misunderstanding about dates and times. Failure to do so will be construed as denial of visitation.
If she denies, then you send a letter to the court stating that on (date) at (time and place) your ex refused to produce the child for visitation and did so without notice of a change of dates for visitation and reference the appropriate letter (the one you wrote stating the dates and times and requesting notice of any changes by your ex via US Mail).
It’s even better if you take along a few witnesses of call the police for enforcement (which we all know they won’t do, but then you'll have a badge number and name and dispatch log record and you can even note the license plate number of the patrol car.) It will then be up to your ex to provide return receipts to prove that she notified you of changes to dates.
After enough of these show up in the court file, it won't look good for her. When you take her back to court, the pile of "refused visitation" letters are going to be tough for her to explain away.