My husband was told by his ex-wife's husband (who happens to be a police officer) that he was not allowed on their property (after receiving custody papers that we filed) putting a damper on dropping off his daughter. Is it considered trespassing walking his daughter to the front door to drop her off? Should he just drop her off on the road and not walk her up?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Legally, entering someone else's property without permission would be considered trespassing. So if the daughter is old enough to walk by herself from the street to the house, your husband will have to abide by the ex's husband's wishes. He can certainly watch from the street to make sure she gets inside safely. It's sad that this individual feels he must act vindictively in reaction to your husband's filing for custody. He's only harming the child. When the matter comes up for a hearing on the custody, I'd certainly make sure the judge knows about this, and even if you don't get custody, you could ask the judge to enter an order allowing you to come to the ex's house for the purpose of exercising your visitation rights.
Technically you cannot enter into or upon another person's property without permission or risk charges for trespassing.
Of course there are reasonable bases for the child to be walked to the door or at least to a lighted area or near the house. You do not mention the age of the child and this may influence the matter.
You do not mention whether the ex-wife/mother is supportive of the decision to keep your husband off the property. This issue may be relevant to any future hearing to change/modify custody.
Lastly, has this so-called peace officer alledged trespassing? He appears to be operating out of spite and not reasonable precaution. Are there bad feelings that could result in an altercation between your husband and his ex-wife or her husband?
You may want to seek a judicial order that permits him to walk her up to the house especially if there are safety concerns.