Child Custody & Long Distance Visitation

by Jeremy from Fairfax, Virginia

My ex girlfriend and I have a daughter age 11. She and I both lived in Virginia.

Right before she was born I went to Jail for 4 years and my ex moved to North Carolina.

From jail I took a paternity test and she is my daughter.

I got out and couldn't find them and gave up, but my ex contacted me a few days ago from Florida. I have four kids now with my wife.

I agreed to pay child support until we got a court order. She wants full custody though and I want visitation for a few weeks at least in the summer in VA where I still live.

Is this possible if she doesn't agree? I missed my daughter the whole time, I didn't know her and want to get to know her now. What steps can I take to get visitation?

Answer to Florida Custody & Visitation Question

Dear Jeremy,

My first question is how did you take a paternity test from jail?

I can understand that you could have taken one somehow, but it is my understanding that the results from the father have to be compared with the results from the child.

How could that have happened if you had no contact?

To answer your questions, in order to be
granted visitation you must first be named as the legal father.

If you are, in fact, on the birth certificate, or signed an Acknowledgment of Paternity affidavit, that may be enough. If not, you may need to file a Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief, form 12.983(a).

This petition asks the court to establish your legal paternity so that you can exercise your parental rights.

If there is an existing court order or other document that already establishes your paternity, then you can file a Supplemental Petition for Child Custody Time-sharing Schedule and Other Relief, form 12.905(a).

Either way, you need to file a proposed Long Distance Parenting Plan form along with it.

These forms and other family law forms are available on the Florida Supreme Court's website,

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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Long Distance Visitation Paperwork
by: Patrick from Wheeler, Texas

I have a child that lives in Florida and I live in Texas and we both agree on visitation but I dont know what forms I need to fill out to make it legal?

--It all depends on how and if child custody & visitation have already been established by a Florida court. If there is an existing court order, then a supplemental petition filed along with a long distance parenting plan may be the way to go. Otherwise, you or the other parent will need to file a Petition instead, such as the Petition to Determine Paternity. --Staff

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