My ex-wife moved our daughter to her rural home. What do I do?

father daughter
The first step would be to talk to your ex-wife about visiting your daughter.

What you need to know:

  • It would be wise to handle this matter with the sensitivity it deserves so that you avoid exposing your daughter to any psychological trauma. 

Q. I am a frequent reader of your relationship advice and I salute you for the good work. In mid 2015, I separated with my ex-wife and by then we had a 6-month-old daughter whom I adore dearly. Our separation was motivated by ill advice from her friends who corrupted her ways, so she left with our girl and instantly subscribed to a new marriage which I presume collapsed after a year. I disengaged communication with her until recently when she called me asking for support for the baby’s need, a suggestion I adopted. To my dismay, she took our girl to her mother at her rural home citing work engagements. The issue is I need to raise my girl on a daily basis but due to frequent travels in-line of my duty, I find it untenable and so does her mother. How can I approach this dilemma and get to raise my girl? Or rather, how can I get my daughter to reside with her mother in an area within my reach for convenient access to her. In the interim, is it wise to visit my daughter at her mother’s rural home while I sort out this issue?

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A. Thank You for your compliment concerning relationship advice on this platform. You separated with your wife and I must commend you for still wanting to cater for your daughter’s upkeep as her father. Now, the first step would be to talk to your ex-wife about visiting your daughter. Let her understand the fact that your child is far and this makes it very difficult for you.

In case she insists that the child must stay with her grandparents, then you will need to look for another option: legal process. Currently, as there is no court order in place to allow your visitation, at this point, it would be best for you to file for divorce and obtain a temporary order establishing custody and visitation while the divorce is pending.

Please know that in the meantime, you should consider visiting the parents of your ex-wife and request them to let you visit your child. If they may seem uncooperative, you may consider using a family mediator or do the request in writing to help you establish with the court that you have been attempting to see the child, with no success. 

It is important that you keep up your maintenance payments, making them on time and in full. This  will in turn show responsibility for your child  and will eliminate at least one legal hold your ex might have over you. If possible, I suggest you create a co-parenting plan with your ex. This can help head off any future problems and means you really are putting your daughter  first.   

It would be wise to handle this matter with the sensitivity it deserves so that you avoid exposing your daughter to any psychological trauma. By and large, keep her out of the problems that you and your ex have. Wishing you success.


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