if truthful visitation with son...


            Posted on Mar 9,2008

            If you're truthful, visitation with son is likely.

Q. For three years before I moved out of our Somerville house in September 2006, my wife and I argued about fights she had with our 9-year-old son. One example: A month before I left, our son pulled a large kitchen knife on her, an incident I reported to his therapist and DSS.

The day after I left, my wife got a district court Chapter 209A domestic relations restraining order after falsely claiming I threatened her and our son. At the hearing, the judge believed her, continued the order for a year, and told me to get a lawyer, which I can't afford because I'm on disability. How can I get to see my son?

M.J., Springfield

A. The Lord helps those who help themselves. Our system doesn't give you a free lawyer. Try calling the Middlesex or Massachusetts bar associations to ask for a lawyer to represent you at a substantially reduced fee.

File a divorce asking for visitation and telephone contact with your son. To minimize interaction with your wife and provide witnesses in case of trouble, ask to pick up your son on Friday and that your wife pick him up at a McDonalds or Burger King in Springfield on Sunday afternoon.

Your wife will claim you're a danger to her and your son. The court will appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to investigate. If you told the truth, the GAL's report should result in your getting visitation. After that, if your wife interferes with visitation, don't react badly. Instead, file a complaint for contempt against her.

But, here's the rub. Your story doesn't have one word about more violence between your wife and son after you left the house. Something doesn't ring true. I'd need a great deal more information and your taking and not failing a lie detector test before I'd take your case.