Joint Legal Custody 161

Traditionally, there are two types of custody in family law matters – legal custody and physical custody (also known as parenting time in some jurisdictions).  Both types of custody can be established as sole or joint custody. While much attention is given to determination of physical custody (where the child will reside, when and with whom), legal custody is vitally important and has the potential to cause future problems in high conflict cases.

Sharing Major Decisions

Legal custody gives you the right to make the major decisions that will affect your child’s life.  Joint legal custody is a situation in which both parents share responsibility for those major decisions. These might include decisions about education, health and dental care, emergency care, religious practices, extracurricular activities, and more.

Family law courts determine custody (both physical and legal) based upon the best interests of the child. Most courts will presume that both parents are willing and capable of working together to make major decisions for their child’s health, education and welfare. If one party or the other would rather have sole legal custody (sole decision-making authority), the onus will be on that party to demonstrate to the court the reasons that sole legal custody would be in the best interests of the child.

Parents with joint legal custody do not necessarily need to be friendly but should be able to set aside their differences to make good decisions for their child. If parents have an extraordinarily high level of conflict or refuse to communicate with one another, the court may award sole legal custody to one parent (but may still require consultation with the other parent before making a major decision). If abuse, neglect, or violence involving the child or spouse has occurred, courts are unlikely to award joint legal custody.

Day-to-Day Decisions

Even in situations of joint legal custody, day-to-day decisions will be made by the parent with whom the children are at the time the decision is to be made. For example, a father with weekend visitation can decide what the children will eat and wear during that weekend. Both parents should be able to make emergency medical decisions for the child without consulting with the other parent if time and medical needs require immediate decisions. (The other parent should be notified of the medical situation as soon as practical.)

Inability to Agree

If one parent excludes the other from the decision-making process in a joint legal custody arrangement, the other parent can file a motion to enforce, a motion for contempt and/or a motion to modify custody based upon the refusal to abide by the custody order.

In the event that parents with joint legal custody cannot agree on a major decision involving their child’s health, education or welfare, they can seek the assistance of a mediator – a neutral third-party who will help the parties reach an appropriate compromise or decision. In some jurisdictions, the parties may ask the judge to enter his or her order regarding the disputed issue after hearing evidence and argument. This can be extremely time-consuming and expensive however. In order to avoid those costs, the court may appoint a special master or arbitrator to hear the matter. Other jurisdictions might appoint a case manager to handle or decided day-to-day disagreements in high conflict cases.

Specificity in Parenting Agreement

Court orders of joint legal custody are generally fairly broadly written, referencing the vague notion of the child’s “health, education and welfare” or some similar language. Parties can use parenting or settlement agreements to attain more specificity in the responsibilities attendant to joint legal custody.

Some of the issues which might be covered are the requirement to notify the other parent of non-emergency medical care; of the identity of the child’s teachers, day care providers, and health care providers;  and of any school, church or extracurricular activities to which parents are invited.

Parents are urged to approach the major decisions affecting their child’s life with the child’s best interests in mind – and not whether mom or dad “wins” a disagreement. The most successful joint legal custody situations do not require overly friendly exes – just mature parents who put their child’s needs first.


  • Sarah

    My husband and I share joint custody of my daughter who is 16 years old. She has been continually psychology abused by her stepmother going as far as locking her out of their house for periods of time. The courts have done nothing to protect her so far. I have been back several times and is becoming too costly to continue. We live in different locations and she is to go to school at the district her father lives in. She has stated to both of us that she no longer wants to reside in that school due to the fact that there is too much drinking and drugging from other piers. She wants to come and live with me and go to school here. Her father doesn’t see it this way. He now has sought out a new school for her in the town next to them. Without my permission her stepmother has enrolled her in that school. Since when does the stepparent over ride the paternal parent? My daughter will also be responsible to get to and from school which is 15 miles away. School starts in 3 weeks and I don’t have the time frame to get into court to protect her from this. What do I do????? Someone please help me!!!

    • christine

      my step son has joint custody he gets baby every other week. He started college which is 40 miles away and commutes when it’s his week. The mother is trying to get him for contempt because she said she didn’t know he was going to college even though she sent child support papers to his college. She has been filing court papers and getting rejected and each time she comes up with a new claim. What can i do to get her to stop harrassing and follow the order?

  • Renee

    I have a 10 year old daughter living in North Carolina. My ex-husband & I have joint legal custody and I have primary physical custody. She spends every other weekend with her father and we divide holidays. I have been seeing someone for the last year and we are discussing living togther. He is a well respected, hard working individual in the community who adores my daughter. He has a 17 year old son that he shares 50/50 custody with his ex-wife. Is there any law that would restrict me from living with someone or that my ex could use to re-open a custody issue.

  • Cindy

    My daughter just got divorced due to domestic violence (his second offense) he will be going to trial soon, they have joint custody of my granddaughter who is 4 yrs old, while he had her for visitation he enrolled her in school without notifying her mother, how can she fight this???? the school is over 50 miles away from where she lives now, he lied and said he wanted her to go to family reunion so her mom let him take her this weekend and now he is refusing to bring her home because she has school in the morning.

    • Shelly

      Call the school and find out when the first day of school is, pick up your child from the school prior to entering and give the school the legal paper work. Legal custody does not mean one parent can just do what they please without notification to the other parent and consent. File charges in court of what this x spouse did and ask for a GAL.

    • Tasha Bates

      ? I am trying to see if my sister that is 21 and she is kind of slow and has a baby by a 52 year old man that has diabetes and can hardly walk and lives alone my nephew is 5 months. My sister wants to give me custody of my nephew but the dad is mad that my sister doesn’t want to be with him and now is trying to get custody of my nephew. Just wanted to know if there was something that I could do to keep the baby in our family. I informed the father that he could still have all rights and get him as much as he wants but all he keep saying is that he wants his child i personally think that he is doing it to get back at my sister. Can someone give me some advice on this one?

  • Clancy Jones

    I am divorsed male I have 2 kids and would like to get joint custody I want to have them 6 months and she have them 6 months, how do I do this I feel like I have no rights, I only see the boys at her convenience.

    • Jorge

      Dude, you need to fight this in court. Do not settle for an agreement where she gets residential custody. Fight her to trial to get residential but make sure you can provide and be there for the kids. In the meantime file a motion with the court. I am going through this right now but refuse to give in to her demands to have residential custody because she is never around and she makes it impossible for me to communicate with my son. We will be going to trial.

    • honey

      If you want your children for 6 months, that is not joint custody that is shared physical custody. Don’t get tricked! I am doing an essay on this for my college class, so I looked this stuff up. With joint custody, you do not get equal time, you get equal say in major decisions. Good Luck!


    • vet 78

      You are forgetting one basic goal of the court, and that is what is in the best interest of the child. Doing what you suggest, which courts have been known to agree, means having a child attend two different schools, not have friends, and become isloated from each parent for a long period of time to satisfy your objectives.

      Ask your self is what you want for your convenience, revenge or retaliation, our just a ‘want’. I have seen too many cases where decisions are based off of what is in the best interest of the parent, and that is when they lose in court.

      Also ask yourself, what will you do with the time that you have your child. Will you be active in homework, enroll them in afterschool activities and participate, be active on field trips and reinforce learning while the child is in the home? did you know that having a child involved in activities supercedes visitation? If the child has a game the same time of your visitation (because that is all you will get) then the child attends the game-without regards to being with you for six months. That is parenting no matter which one does it-it is both your responsibility. custody and visitation are one in the same with regards to what your responsibilities are to your child when they are with you. Too many fathers schedule fun activities, that they otherwhise would not have done if they were still married, give gifts, money, toys, but that is not parenting. weekends are not supposed to be for the child to be left at a relative’s house to accommodate weekend activities of the parent who has the child. Are you willing to committ yourself to ‘mothering’ your child? participating in their education, nightly?

      If you cannot prove that you are ‘parenting’ there is no judge that is going to allow any type of custodial agreement to meet the convenience of the parent. Place yourself in your child’s shoes, would you want to be away from your mother or father for such a great amount of time, would you want to switch schools and friends every six months?

      This is why courts only allow a split year agreement. Most cases involved employment relocation of the custodial parent or children of militray member stationed overseas.

      • Dad Prime

        This is all true. No bad advice here at all however there is a problem. The problem is the very real, very prevalent discrimination against men in family court. The bias is always slanted towards the mother and the father is always left in a defensive position. I get along with my ex well enough and when we went to court she was shocked at the treatment I received. The arbitration people were vicious, pointing fingers and telling me to shut up. Never even asking me one single question. The judge asked if I would like joint custody (legal) and then asked my ex if I was a drug addict or if I was a criminal. As if my ex is the person to ask. I was lucky that she answered “No he is a really good dad” and not “Sure!” I decided, with her that a 5yr old boy needs to live with mom for a while. I have him every weekend, regardless of the visitation agreement. We work hard to do the right thing by our son. We are adults and love him far more than we dislike each other. That has been key in dealing with each other.
        Child support was another matter. I got screwed and will not be able to save for retirement at this point. I make 25k and she makes 70k+ as a state employee…. I pay her more than 400 a month and I feel this is totally unfair, seeing as I pay for clothes, shoes, school supplies and more. The child support guidelines for MA are not followed at all and there is no due process to anything. If the judge thinks you smell wrong your totally screwed and that. is. it. Oh and I live in VT and drive there and back, 120 miles each way every weekend. My son is worth it.

        • Mommy123

          I have a son who just turned 5 and will be ready for kindergarten this coming school year. His father and I share both physical and legal custody through a court order. It was very hard in the begining, but as the years past I’ve realized it really is what’s best for our son. We have altered our schedule a few times based on what we felt would suit ours son’s needs better, and until now haven’t really had any problems coming to amicable agreements. Now the problem is that we both live in different school districts. We both mutually agreed that we felt it was best for our son’s stability to keep him at one house during the week while he’s in school and be with the other parent on the weekends. We decided to test drive the proposed schedule this year with pre school and make sure it worked well for our son, before he was in Kindergarten so we could make tweaks if needed. At the time we made the agreement we mutually agreed that the district my ex lives in would most likely provide the best option both in education and extra curricular activities as our son grew up. So we agreed that we would put him in school there, dad would have him during the week and Mom on the weekend and any school holiday that backed up to a weekend. We also agreed that due to the fact he would be wioth dad much more for school mom would get the summer. Not to say dad couldn’t have a week or so for vacation or a weekens here or there. Aslo the school year if dad wanted a weekend we agreed no issue and if mom needed a weekday as long as appropiate arrangements were made for school no issue. Just wanted the basic schedule so our son knew what would be the norm. Now suddenly halfway into this dad say I changed my mind I don’t want to not havew him in the summer. I said ok gave three options that I was ok with. 1 dad having three or 4 day blocks every other weekend during the summer, with 1 full week for family vacation, 2 a two week with mom one week with dada variation, or 3 a 5 day straight rotation with either parent. He say no to every option and the only thing he will agree to is he gets every weekend. I think due to the large amount of time I have agreed to give up for our sone to have stability this is very unfair and don’t agree its in our son’s best interets. He’s not thrilled with the current situation, he was on week on week off before and doesn’t quite understand why we think one home during school days willl be better. What suggestions can you offer for a summer schedule that would afford my son and I a little bit more quality time but maybe still appease his father? I felt I was being fair, but he obviously doesn’t. It is a goal to be amicable because I truly believe that is in our son’s best interest but I really think his father is being a bit unfair.

      • Telling it like it is

        Wow — this is the first thing written here on this blog that actually makes sense!! It’s good that some people get it — that it’s about the kid and not about “my time” and “your time” — the child isn’t property and the child has feelings and needs. Keep posting good stuff!

    • Kev

      You don’t…

  • mila

    I am 21 with joint cusaty of my son with my mother. my son lives with my mother. my mother is really my step and lives with my real father who drinks and hits my 14 yr old sis. infront of my son my step drinks and is known to argue. my sis wants to move out but wont leave my son behinde scared of what whould happen. when is it ok to remove my son from her care and when is it ok for a child to choose where they want to live.

  • janet

    I have joint legal custody with the children residing with me. My husband refuses to take my teenage daughter and hides my son during visitation. He is a severe asthmatic. My husband will not provide medication since he does not think he needs it. He threatens me constantly to call the police (he is a cobb county detective) if I don’t do what he says. My children are dual citizens of italy and he told us he will never sign passports for my children to see their family members overseas. Can he not tell me where my son is (I think he has taken up residence with a new girlfriend since he has not been in his residence for 3 weeks) can he refuse to let us visit outside the country?

  • Karen

    My ex husband vindictively pulled my daughter from her school and enrolled her in his district without telling me. We have joint legal custody and I was the primary parent for years. He hardly knew our daughter until age 5 when he viciously lied about me. He completely neglects her during custody. I have been completely undermined now as a mom and the court granted him the school he wanted despite his contempt of my joint legal custody. What can I do?

    • concern

      I’m basically have the same problem with my fiance and his baby mamma

  • Erin

    I have a 10 yr old son who lives with me fulltime. The court papers say me and his father have joint legal custody but i have primary placement. We live in wisconsin and his dad hasnt had anything to do with him most of his life. Hasnt seen him in over 9 months but never denied if he asks. I want to move over 250 miles away. Can he stop me? How do I go about doing this?

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  • Richard

    My ex just left the state of utah with out me knowing she moved to ND i just found out to day in the courts here in utah we have joint legal custody. she took my 20month old daughter. she will be 2 in nov 29 my lawyer told me need a town where she lives before he can do anything. i getting very worried for my daughter capri

  • Massachusetts Ret

    My ex GF has physical custody of our soon to be 14 year old daughter, but we have joint legal custody. I heard through the grapevine that they are planning on moving my daughter into her grandma’s home and placing her into another school 4 towns away. They are doing all of this without my permission or without even having consulted me. What can I do? I am alright with it so long as my daughter’s Mom is moving there too, but not if they are moving my daughter into her Grandma’s home. In the past grandma has convinced my daughter that her Mom’s home is too dirty for her to live there and has taken her into her home (again without my knowledge). This could be what is happening here this time too. Any suggestions?

  • ryan richardson

    i will be attending court soon i applied for joint custody, what questions will the judge ask me, or would i have to show the burden of proofs on my behlf and does it matter if my child support is not up to date?

  • Intellectuser

    My sons is 10 with ahistory of ADHD took himm off meds 2 years ago and this year he is having major difficulty so I decided to restart non narcotic meds when son and I meet with doctor. My sons father and I just finished mediation ( 2nd ) time we do ot talk I le him know what I was doing due to joint custody and he says. No!!!! So now what???? Its ridiculous he only wants a power control teacher and doctors know this is a problem he just has to make it hard I’m pissed!!

    • Carlos

      It sucks, I know. Being that you are in mediation; you know the procedure. If you guys can’t sort it out in mediation; then it will go before the judge. Sounds like the judge would probably favor you and potentially dissolve the joint custody to sole. But I’m no lawyer, just basing on my experience and what is written above.

  • gloria

    I am wondering if you could answer a question for me. My daughter just won sole physical custody of her two children, ages 7 and 8 after a 10 year marriage to a controlling, bullying and abusive person in which she endured physical, emotional, verbal, and mental abuse. He is assaultive and aggressive and conflictual. He even threw her into a doorway when she was pregnant and bruised her face and pregnant belly, not to mention many many other instances too numerous to mention! There is some documentation and eye witnesses. When the custody battle started a year ago she chose a therapist who claimed to be an expert in domestic violence. The dad refused to bring them to this therapist but finally did and played the victim to her and convinced her that he he not abusive and that my daughter just overreacts and is mentally ill. He is known to play the victim well and is a salesman. I cannot believe that a therapist cannot see through his facade! This therapist acted as a hostile witness to my daughter in the custody trial and has never believed my daughter when she has tried to tell her about the abuse and actually told her she didn’t want to hear anything about it. My daughter did bring them to another therapist when the kids were having serious violent behavior and after a year of therapy were actually getting worse and having many more problems. The new therapist was great and was very positive she could help them and was very open and unbiased. Then my daughter was told she could not switch counselors unless it was agreed upon by the dad, as they still had joint custody then. So my daughter was forced to continue therapy with this counselor who was not helping the children and making things worse. After sessions with her the children would act out and be even more violent towards each other and emotionally upset. She seems very enamoured with the dad, to the point where she broke down in tears when his name was mentioned and my daughter tried to tell her that she wanted her to release them from her care. She even called him from her private cell phone after hours to report to him that my daughter was going to take them to another therapist. She has been very biased towards the dad and therefore my daughter cannot continue to take the children to her. The judge said he was not going to order continued counseling for the children and mandated only 5 more sessions with this counselor. Even though my daughter has sole physical custody they both still have joint legal custody. The dad insists that he is going to continue to bring the kids to this therapist against my daughter’s wishes and my daughter intends on switching to the other therapist as soon as the 5 mandated visits are over.

    My question: Considering my daughter now has sole physical custody does she have the right to switch therapists after the 5 mandated visits? Considering they both have legal custody does he have the right to continue to bring them to the old therapist? It would not be good for the children to see two therapists. How can this biased therapist be forced to release them to the new therapist? She actually told the kids that they will continue to see her unless both parents agree to end it. How can we be free from this nightmare therapist? Is this an ethics violation?

  • Rach

    My boyfriend has had sole physical custody of his two children for the past four years. Up until last October everything was fine, they had their own agreement on when she would get the kids, so and so forth. Then she applied for Joint custody and it was granted in July. The courts agreed she would get tues/thur afternoons for three hours and the first three weekends of every month. Now, just the other day, she asked if it were possible if she could have the kids every other weekend instead of the first three (ultimately giving up the extra weekend- the extra time she fought so hard for).. she originally had tues/thurs afternoons for a couple hours and every other weekend. I advised my boyfriend to not so it and take her back to court but seeing that we dont have the money for that right now, i advised him to get a written agreement signed by her so it doesnt come back to bite im in the butt. Any suggestions on where to begin with his agreement. I’m not sure what to write. Or does anyone have any advice they could give me on the matter (that would help me in writting this agreement)?? Any help would be tremendously appreciated….. help please?!!!!!

  • jen

    i am wondering what the laws of joint custody are i was just divorced Oct 2011 and now my ex husband and i are bf and gf we were married for 14 yrs together for 19 and i have bipolar and i had episode i walked out so now i want to make things right I want to see my daughter not just when were together but when i can how do i go about telling him i want to see her or do i go back to court cause the judge was in a hurry when he granted the divorce that he really didnt ask how we were going to do it so i am really confused and frustrated about it all its the holidays i have yet to see her only when he and i are together oh by the way she is 14 yrs odl

  • Jang246

    What if you have parental rights but not custody, do u have any rights- visitation never addressed in court!!!?

  • cece

    I am with my 16 mth. olds father we live in Florida. We are living together he makes a decent amount more then I, but I do not make very much. We are not married. He has a 6 yr. with another women who has now filed for an increase in child support, with false claims such as how much she pays in rent, she does not have a rent to pay since her home was forclosed… it is increased to nearly 80% of his pay. He does not have any kind of custody worked out to have time with him but we have been actively talking about having him around and wanting an agreement set up but she is difficult. What can be done about this server increase with false information that is possibly going to cause us to move out of our home and us struggle to support our child?

    • Telling it like it is

      He should have thought about that before he had a baby with this woman. And you should have thought about it before you had a baby with him. The child he had with her is entitled to some support — be real.

  • Lisa

    I have a son and his dad is out of town. he has visitation but can my son’s grandma be watching him while he is out of town? Yes his weekend and yes its father’s day weekend but he isn’t home so does that give her the right to take my son on his visitation?

    • Dad Prime

      Guess what. It’s totally fine for your ex to make decisions about who and where your child will go and be with. If you have a problem with his grandmother then you need to file a motion with the court and explain why it’s a problem. It’s his time for the decision making. Just like when you go somewhere and don’t even consider asking for his thoughts or permission. Is your son neglected? Abused? Or just at nanna’s house while dad is away.

  • Tiffany

    Me and my sons father have joint legal custody. hes been threatening me to go to court if i dont give him my sons social security number, doctors number and physcologists number. i feel that there is no reason for him to have any of that information, i was just making sure that i was right or not? do i have to give him that information or is it not necessary? please let me know. i dont see why he needs that information, i thought all he needed to know about is if there is a big decision to be made.

    • Amber

      he is the father why cant he have that info? It really is none of your business why he needs it, do you tell him when you are using your child’s ss#? Probably not so why should he have to tell you why?? Just wondering

    • khi627

      I can’t believe you even questioned this. Of coarse as the father he should be aware of & know EVERYTHING about his child !! I realize this comment was a year ago, I just couldn’t help myself to comment back. I do hope all is straightened out and you understand why a father is just as important as a mother.

      • momce b

        i am bringing up an important issue she may be dealing with, as I have with my ex husband. I am sick of hearing girlfriends and new wives back up their husbands without knowing the full story. Wise up ladies…the man you are now with could be using a kid’s ssns to get credit, etc. And if the child has been abused, the father can and usually still gets partial legal custody, unfortunately. this makes it very difficult to protect your child. My son wants my ex to have no information and is terrified of him for good reason, we all are. But the courts can’t do anything because they are always encouraged to give partial legal custody, in case something happens that is an emergency during a visit, even supervised visit. I have had to deal with this and it is awful not being able to completely protect your child, especially when they look to you to do so, and are trusting that you will! Do you have $2-5,000 just laying around to go to court every time these issues arise? I bet you don’t even think about this. Stop defending abusers and find out the information before making statements. Everyone knows that an abuser demands psychology records, medical records, birth certificates and ssns in an attempt to control, it is part of the actual profile of an abuser. A parent who is a not a problem, will be able to obtain this information in the divorce process, as both parents usually have to produce that information, and it is on the divorce papers!!! He should have already had it. His demands are from him losing information from being careless, using information maliciously for financial gain, using it to intimidate the ex or the child themselves.

        • andrew madrid

          thats dumb i have join custody and physical have my kids 50 percent i pay 560 to her a mo i asked for there info for reference because my son had a seizure i dont kno nothing cause remember you only get one copy i got my kids right now and still pay so don giv me that i think she is more worried about him having as much control as she does.

          • Megan Valdez Sapien

            I think you need to read between the lines because like she stated obviously there is a reason why.. now if the man who has legal custody only got one copy then you could take your happy ass right back to the clerks office and get that information-now as far as your timing is concerned-these rules apply to both parties.. if you want the social randomly and a why is followed-you need to say why because it is illegal on both sides to withhold information from each other! Yah all need to grow the fuck up!! You people act like the child is a damn meal ticket.. and power play shit.. You know the length of my situation-I had been sexually assaulted-abused-mentally and physically-but because what happened-happened to me and not my daughter-my ex has 50/50 legal with enough rope to hang himself if he fucks up.. everyone needs to keep journals and document everything-screen Shot text messages -etc.. If you are the parent and want information and can not obtain it yourself-you are a fool! Either both parents work together for the best interest of the child -meaning lose the power trips- or file motions to enforce-motion of contempt and back to court ya go.. if you have documents proving you have 50/50 legal then you can obtain information you need.. quit relying on the ex who did everything for you to produce everything! Again if the social is required the other parent has every damn reason to know why and in the event where opening a savings account for instance can bring undue pressure onto a home with physical custody under federal housing-can fuck that up.. and then in turn fuck up the stability of the child.. there is a problem there! The other parent has every right to partake in ANY legal affairs-hospital trips-doctors appointments etc… You guys need to stop thinking about your wallets and start thinking about your behavior and how it effects the child. It is called a credit report for a reason-meaning you can call all three major reporting bureaus and access a report by talking to someone directly to make sure nothing comes across that number and if so you have a record of it! I called ahead of time.. So if my ex uses it for anything other then the well being of our daughter he hangs himself.. this flip flops for women too because men yes also get abused… What a shocker that both parties could actually be accountable for their shit.. All I’m saying is think of the children and remember at one point you and your ex got along once upon a time… Quit being petty because a child’s best interest should never be neglected or sacraficed for the control play game and they should NEVER be made to choose between the love of both parents PERIOD… (This text is in response to everyone and not just you -thanks) If you feel your child’s life is in danger of being neglected-get smart and resourceful TRUST-there are ways about going about this… Both legal parties must share info-if the other parent doesn’t bring the child back after their visitation hours-doesn’t pick them up-breaks order regulations-like calls and they are not supposed to unless in event of emergency… These things can be documented and enforced and amended! For 18 years the tables can shift and pull so you are not getting rid of the ex completely unless the court orders it.. It is also called parental kidnapping if the non custodial parent flees with a child and or refuses to bring a child back past their visitation orders.. Call the police!! File a motion.. Figure it out and do it right!!! Good luck to you all.. If you fear for your child-set that child up with a phone which legally the other parent may not take away! Especially in event of distress outside the peramiters of child abusing phone privileges (if the child wants to talk to the other parent at any time on whoevers time-They can!!! If the child comes back with horror stories document and call the police to make a statement if necessary! (For example) One party has legal but is told the child may not be around alcohol /the party can not drink 12 hours prior during visit and no third party may either!) if the child goes somewhere and states that alcohol is present -the other party can call the cops-get an escort and pick up the child-the child can take pictures and so can you-those record features come in handy with any phone-if you can’t afford a cell phone-get life line if you qualify it is free.. 9 times outta ten if you can’t afford a phone then you qualify… All I’m saying guys is talk with your children if possible-get to know whose likely going to be around your child. Journal journal and then write some more-follow paper trails and get copies and keep copies and records of EVERYTHING!!!

          • Megan Valdez Sapien

            Also remember you have both physical and legal the other party may not have both or either.. Get real specific people because those are two totally different things..

        • Jen

          Amen!!!! Momac b, well said!

        • Seekinghelp

          Momce B –

          I am very sorry for the abuse you’ve endured. If everyone knows an abuser is requesting medical records, school records, psychology, and any other records regarding their children, you are right there is a reason. In my situation, i have to request with each facility involved with the care and health of my children. Weird, huh? Well, the mother is the abuser in my case and her refusal to produce records is her way of preventing my involvement regarding their care. If what you say is true, than I am an abuser seeking control, and opening lines of credit and ruining my children’s future all because I choose to be an informed and involved father.

          Well, I guess that settles it. The mother in my case who refuses to jointly parent and plan the kids best interest should have a statue next to Lincoln in DC.

          Again, no woman deserves any form of abuse or control. I won’t be visiting your planet anytime soon.

          • Elana Dingler

            Sorry but just going to say that the credit files can be fixed with a few things! When the child reaches 18 years old they contact each credit bureaus and check to see if any account is on their file under the SSN. If one is listed then the can have it removed and file fixed and wiped clean to all they have to do is send a copy of birth certificate and SSCard to each bureau. It happened to my oldeast. He got it fixed and and all the d files with the company’s were cleared also by the bureau sending a letter out to them.

          • Megan Valdez Sapien

            Right… It is also illegal to open anything in a child’s name (1 savings account exception to physical custodial parent only and at age of 12-They may also deem money to be able to only deposit without withdrawals until 18 to protect account) and in fact by obtaining a report shows all places where used-simply calling the company and saying “I don’t know why you would open a line of credit -etc when the person is not of age to legally obtain credit.. you send them as you stated birth certificate information and watch how quickly that is reversed.. But as a side note to parents thinking they can take advantage of this.. Oh it will just get removed.. The company can counter sue if their is evidence and findings as to who established that credit and used it. It is illegal and a federal crime-phelony to use anyone’s credit number one under the age of 18 and because under 18 means that the child is indeed a minor-it becomes a whole racking up of brutal charges from neglect-endangerment-fraud-identity theft etc.. trust you just rather stray away from doing this if you dont want to be locked up.. or fined or made to take court ordered classes…

    • hernjo9

      This is old but to repond to this….no u do not have to give him your kids social # i too had the exact situation with dad begging and tried tricking me to fill out paper work and had people call me to say i need to fill out the paper work and give my kids social# , i was tired of him trying ways to give it to him i went to see a lawyer and he told me know he does not need to hav it if the child lives with you and dad gets visition that means your the primary legal guardian you are in charge to protect your child’s identity….

      • Dr.McClain

        There are so many kids which are confused in today’s society due to his or her parent being still hung up over the fact that it didn’t work or what did I do wrong. Why did he or she do me like this. Get over yourself it’s not about you its about the child. Men give the women problems in being a father because they are hung up on the woman. Women give the man problems because they are either hung up on the man and they don’t want him to be successful without them getting what many so call”Getting What’s Due “.Stop trying to live off a man’s money and keep him at a negative and the men should put there feelings and emotionns for the woman a side and both of you step up and be parents. I know not in today’s society every one is looking for that so called come up and the kids are swiftly being pushed down.

      • Shapiro

        Hernjo9. I would like to lend a helping hand.
        The primary legal guardian does have multiple jobs that are mostly to take care of child or children. There is NO law stating the father in the case does not have the right to his kids doctors offices, schools and SSN.

        Myself I have a 7 year old daughter. I have all the information listed above. I have to have all of it for my Health insurance company, I also like to be able to contact her Doctor if I hear of any issues. Then when it comes time to file my taxes every other year when I claim her.

        All I can say is it seems to get easier as time goes by and it’s not cheap. I spent a little under $50,000 in a two year period. So I do know legally it can’t be kept from the other parent unless the court sees the parent is unfit.

        • Megan Valdez Sapien

          The phrases “joint custody”, “primary custody”, “legal custody”, “shared custody”, “50/50 custody”, etc., don’t appear in the tax statutes. Rather, when discussing dependents, the custody that matters is actual physical custody counted on a night by night basis, regardless of what type of custody is granted in a divorce or separation agreement.

          In 2012, 50/50 physical custody is possible because the year has an even number of days. However, even if each parent had a child 183 then neither would be a custodial parent, because neither would have had the child more than 1/2 of the year.

          The one who had custody for more than 1/2 of the year can claim the child as a dependent, child care expenses, earned income tax credit and, if eligible, Head of Household.

          The custodial parent can transfer the exemption to the non-custodial parent by providing them with a signed copy of Form 8332. It is their choice to do so. If required to do so by a divorce decree or child custody agreement, and the child’s other parent does not follow the agreement, your recourse is in the family court, as the IRS will not attempt to enforce such agreements.

          (I just wanted to throw this out there for people wondering how taxes are settled between parties of who claims the child and who cannot)

      • Sunshine Christy

        The dad can go get it from the social security office. This is plain B.S.. You women need to grow up with your baby mamma drama. I’m watch my fiance who just found out he has a son only because ahe is on food stamps. She uses that sweet boy as a pawn. His teeth were rotted and he was impacted and anemic. She didn’t take him for his vaccines and once he got him he took hum and got his teeth fixed and now he is a healthy little boy but mom refuses to pick up his meds or even keep him clean. I’m so tired of all you women think you are entitled cause you carried the baby for 9 momths. You were an incubator the dad gave you the child it came from him.

    • Doogie

      Tiffany, you are precisely what is wrong with the entire system. Another entitled mother trying to maintain control and serving no repercussion even when directly manipulating and disobeying the court order. OFCOURSE the child’s father needs that information! What is more important than knowing your child’s doctor?? And a SS# is vital information across the board! He should have been privy to that information since thr child’s birth. In fact, that’s exactly what joint-legal custody entails. You’re ignorance is appalling! And I’d bet you’re unfairly looking him for alot more support than you deserve…

      How about you try this on for size? Try cooperating! I know, I know…such a foreign concept. I feel his pain though. Sounds like you and my son’s mother are cut from the same cloth. You’re a selfish, self righteous, controlling and ignorant woman, and I pray you lose every last right to that kid. All I can say, is one day you will get what you truly deserve, and you won’t be too happy about it…

    • 4FATHER

      I am a father of two and i needed it for filling out paper work for my job, so if hes needs it for a good reason then yes he should have it he is the father. If hes a piece of crap dad that is only using it for himself then i would not give it to him, Just don;t be on a power and controlling trip like my X.

    • Carlos

      Based on the reading above and without judgment; legal joint custody would mean you would have to let him know the doctors and psychologist that your children are seeing. The social security numbers? I don’t know but as a legal parent he can just request them.
      He can ask the courts to enforce this and/or modify or create an agreement on the details of your join legal custody. All of this depends on the judge and jurisdiction (as mentioned above).
      Weather he is using the social security numbers for credit or not would become a different concern (i.e. filing taxes and both claim the children, IRS would handle this as you both can’t). But to answer your question bluntly, yes, he can take your to court.



    • Jessica Oakley

      I’m going through a similar situation, is that allowed?

    • Carlos

      The best thing is to go to court have all this documented as to how the custody will work out with your children. File for join custody and have the details documented as a court order. If you or your wife don’t abide by it you can get it enforced.
      In my opinion, because it looks like she is the primary, that it’s ok for her to move the kids to another school district. This is natural and makes sense. You will have to prove to the court other wise or become the primary custodian of your children.

      NOTE: I’m not a layer.

  • TeenSituation

    So I’m not a parent, but I’m 17yrs old and I’ve started college. I want to start a week by week schedule but my dad argued that I have to keep the current schedule until I turn 18 which is in November. Do I really have to, or can my parents just agree and start the new schedule without going to court?

  • Keisha

    A women I knw went to court she was award sole physcial custody and get to make day to day decisions the dad in mom share joint legal custody n dad get visit its every other weekend.But question is if the mom been making all decisions since the kids was born should she contest the judge granting joint legal custody and especially since the dad was arrest in court for having an warrant for his arrest


    My daughter & her boyfriend live together & just found out they are expecting a baby. Her boyfriend already has a 4 year old son from a previous relationship. The ex girlfriend is very immature and vindictive and she is trying to turn his son against him. John is a very good and loving father who pays for pretty much anything his son needs and yet the ex is always threatening to “put him on child support”. He probably spends more on his child than the court would order but, he is afraid to try and do anything about any sort of egalitarian custody because he fears she will do something to cause him not to see his son. The ex is always tweeting lies about getting back with my daughter’s boyfriend & trying to make her think he is cheating with her behind my daughter’s back. My daughter did not break them up & yet the ex tries to blame her for the break-up. She is totally psycho! What legal avenue does my daughter’s boyfriend have in this sort of situation. It is very stressful for my daughter in her condition and I don’t like to see her under so much pressure. Help!

  • WorriedGirlfriend

    My boyfriend has 2 children from his previous relationship. And the children’s mother is a vindictive woman. She wants what she wants, regard less of the children. He pays her monthly “child support”(not legalized by the court, but to insure his children are taken care of). And since we have been see each other, she has been demanding more money not allowing him to go and get his children to take them out to see his family or have their own personal time without her bantering him asking for things or money. He believes she does not use the money he gives her for the children, because she lives at her with her parents(she is 20) and they pay for the children’s clothes and things like that. My boyfriend pays for all doctor bills for the children, but their mother has been requesting he pay for hers too while she was pregnant and for the delivery of his 2nd child because “it is his kid that is causing her to be in the hospital”. He would like to seek out a lawyer to get everything court approved but he fears the court will be bias towards the mother. He wants to seek getting primary custody of the children due to the conditions he has found the oldest child in at times, she bares bruises most times he sees her because her mother does not have a child safe home. And she neglects to watch her with full attention. How can he go about getting primary custody of the girls and allow the mother visitation rights?

    • Carlos

      There is no way around but to got to court. It would be in his best interest to also have an experienced lawyer in the same jurisdiction so that lawyer knows the laws and how the family court system works there. He should have receipts for every penny he gives the ex. If there is abuse he has to have proof (i.e. police report, pictures, child protection agency report and/or representation).
      I am not a lawyer, but for him to win a custody case he would have to prove that the mother is unfit and he can manage the children and/or provide the best home for them. You have to have facts. Also note that fighting for custody will cost a lot with lawyer.
      If he does not win primary custody, he will have to pay child support and sort out visitation. Everything will be documented as a court order which can be enforced if not followed by either parent. If the mother is as difficult as you say, get every detail of visitation, school, medical, sorted out. Finally note that in this case, child support is paid to the mother and he has no say on how she uses it.
      Hope this helps.

  • Darren

    I have a 3 year old daughter. Live in MN. Ex gf’s parents just moved to Michigan and now she wants to move and take my daughter with her. She wants to do this month by month custody were I have her a month then she has her a month… Never brought anything to court to sign anything, but I did sign the papers that I am her biological father, and I do pay child support. Is there any way I can make it so she cant leave the state?

    • Carlos

      In my case and state, that was the first or basic rule in joint custody; no parent can take the children out of state without the other parent’s ok. This didn’t cover the scenario that one should move and/or have to move. I think in my case, it’s about protecting parents from adducting their own children. In the end, I’m no lawyer, so you have to go to court and voice your concern and get this stuff documented. The judge will decide.

  • Jonathan

    My wife and i recently seperated without any formal paperwork being filed and she decided to take my children with her on a train to what her parents said was program to help single moms get back on thier feet…bla,bla,bla. Anyhow i want to know what kind of laws she is breaking and what course of action should i take?

  • James

    Myself and my daughters mother have split physical custody of our 3 year old daughter.. My situation is i want to join the military but they are saying i would have to sign over my physical rights.. What does this exactly intell and would i be able to take her back to coart for my physical rights when i finish my term in the military?

  • jessica

    I’m bringing my daughter to Italy to see her father and his family. We ( me and my daughter) are U.S. citizens and my ex husband is not. I did everything for the divorce in the USA and got full custody with visitation on my terms. Can he legaly do anything to take her from me when i am there?

  • mandy

    About a Month Ago, My husband just got joint custody of the kids we got every other weekend and shared holidays and vacations. Now the Order states that they are to make all major decisions together well last week at child support she had notified my husband that she changed the kids schools into a new school district a week ago. which is further out we already have to drive 30-45 min to pick up the kids. she also relays messages constantly through the oldest refuses to talk with my husband, and she trys to controls when we can and cant pick up the kids she also did not notify us that the youngest has to have a EPI PEN due to a severe allergy and he is also on a special diet. what do we do HELP!!!!

    • Carlos

      The bottom line is that you have to go to court and voice your concerns. If you have the money get a lawyer who is experience in this so they can argue your case. At the very least, the lawyer can tell you exactly what you can do. Without a lawyer, just submit a case to enforce the joint legal custody situation. Make sure you prepared and know exactly what your issue is and it’s in the best interest of the children.
      The mother changing schools could be raised as a concern as it’s supposed to be a joint decision; unless, she moved. You can motion how visitation schedule can work out to so no one can control. And not notifying you of any child’s medical condition is definitely something the court would interested in.
      Note, as said above, if the judge sees that this is not manageable the judge my remove joint custody as they see fit.

  • Danielle L

    I’m having to file my own petition for custody and I’m trying to find a free sample I can go off of. I gotta. Do this quick as possible for my daughters sake.

  • Danielle L

    I dont have that money upfront for an attorney, so I’m goin to file a petition for custody on my own. Im pretty sure it’ll be done right but I really want to get a sample that I can refere back to if I need to. It be taking a lil stress off me. Where can i find and get a free child custody form to use if I need to

  • daniel

    my question is this its a book but i need some answers…im 28yrs old i have a almost 1yr old son..every week my time comes shes herassing and threatening me we made agreement to meet half way due to everytime i go to her house her and her bf verbally assualt me and threatens me physicly im a strong man but im more of a legal way…i have more herassing messages then my phone carrier can keep up with i have a picture of the guy with a 9month old baby in his pants with no see;ing of any thing under neith but the shorts he has on i have a text message of him calling himself a baby toucher. i have been noticing with each week of my son doing diffrent things a parent would not aprove of from humping the floor to litarly choking toys or me…his mother has a violent passed of verbal assults and physical harm to others..she has bypylar and some other stuff…i have police reports of breaking court orders im trying to find a lawyer i get laughed out of court or herassed by the judge of me taking her to court for breaking the order…i just want my son out of that mess does anyone have any answers for me like what i can do do i have any type of a case to go for full custody? im so stressed out as it is with all this happening..

  • Shelly

    I am going through the replies one by one and reading horrible stories, than good stories on what is happening to these children and my heart is so full of sadness. Our system is a failed system and these children grow up having so many emotional problems from years of mental and physical abuse from bad parents, or from one parent taking out anger on the child. These children grow up thinking it is alright to treat another person the way they have been treated and a lot turn to drugs, drinking, sex, anything to escape the pain they feel inside. For those who have joint-legal custody who do not put the children in the middle, good for you and your child as children in this type of situation flourish from set boundaries, love and a family bond–these children do well in school, do not tend to drink, smoke, use sex, and lead well rounded healthy lives.
    For the lady who replied about her x-husband asking to go to a family reunion and then instead enrolled the child at a school 50 miles away. Shame on this father for using this child as a weapon to cause mom a pain in the chest (a true manipulator) usually men who are like this have a lot of psychotic issues. You could always call the school and or drive to pick up your daughter on her first day and have her get into your car and drive her home. Then send the school your legal paper work of non consensual enrollment.
    Our court system needs an overhaul on what to do with children who come from broken marriages. How to deal with controlling parents who have figured out ways to abuse and use the system all while causing such great harm to these children. These children grow up and have emotional problems and enter into such unhealthy relationships.
    For those who have a parent in which has done so many dirty things and caused you unwanted pain, made your child pay the price. Here are some tips.
    1) have your child carry a cell phone with GPS
    2) enter your child into counseling where the child can state the issues and concerns of the parent
    3) speak to the child counselor through school
    4) notify the courts in writing the other parent is using the child and how
    5) communicate with the other parent only through email, this way you have record. Shared documents need to be mail certified.
    6) tape record all phone conversations, if they are in person use your cell phone to tape record
    7) hire a private eye to follow your x
    8) look online for prior arrest or assaults in another county or state
    9) close all joint accounts associated with anything you have online, such as email, your favorite store, notify these account holders of your new address, your new email and do this will all school in your own community
    10) make a trip to the police station and show records of what your spouse has been doing to harm your child
    11) take records of these same documents to child protective services
    12) make sure everyone (police, fire, schools, child services, the courts) etc, have a copy of the awful things your x spouse is doing to your children, and make sure your bank and all your personal accounts are notified, give copies to your own parents (just in case)
    13. have all your children finger printed and photo’s taken every single year
    14. take photos of your children prior to leaving your home for visits and pictures of what you packed. Upon return take more photos
    15. Inform doctors of the mental and or physical abuse or both. In form your own doctor and make sure these places have on record of what your spouse is doing
    16) bring in a friend to meet with the GAL and tape record the entire meeting, always tape record everything in any meeting to have on file
    17) meet at the local police station for pick up and drop offs
    18) petition the courts for supervised visitations
    19) if you do not have a good attorney, fire them and look for pro bono attorneys as every town has these attorney’s and a good letter might catch the eye of an attorney who has not completed his or her share of pro bono work for the year
    20) document everything in writing as you would if you were keeping a diary or journal and make sure to write down the date and time always and include photos if you need to

    You are your child’s voice and your children are worth you screaming if this is what it takes prior to something awful taking place.

    • maria

      thank you so much this has helped me.

  • sds

    my 17 yr old daughter wants to get married….her dad and i are divorced but share legal custody….can i give her consent to get married? or does she have to have both of our consent? any options to get around this if so? Thank you

  • Needanswers

    I just need a simple answer… My daughter lives with me, if I take her to my boyfriends house with me am I required to give her father an address? It is NOT out of state!

    • jsrmfl

      I don’t think you can legally withhold that kind of information from a custodial parent. If he asks where his kids are you have to tell him.

  • Mom with questions

    My ex husband and I share legal custody of both of our sons, but share 50/50 of only one of our sons. That son who is 14 years old is now requesting to attend school in the district where I reside for educational and class availability reasons, but his father is not being reasonable and just says “no”. We all live in the same county approximately 10 minutes away from each other and changing schools will not affect our visitation schedule as I simply drove my son to school on the days he was with me and his grandparents have offered to drive him to school on the days he is with his father if he changes schools now. Could I be held in contempt if he and I cannot come to an agreement and register my son at the new school anyways?

    • Assuming you share legal custody with the father, then before you enroll your son at a school without the father’s consent you’ll want to be sure you can prove the father is being unreasonable by withholding his consent. In that case you’ll want to talk to a lawyer. Be careful as you don’t want to come off as the parent who just does what she wants when the father has legitimate concerns about something like changing schools. You may also consider the less expensive of co-parenting counseling, to help you arrive at a mutual agreement with the father.

  • evelyn

    Can a parent take another parent to Court if they do not want the child every other weekend? Will the parent who doesn’t want visitation get in trouble with the court and be in direct violation?

  • Lucy

    My childs father has started a new relationship. i dont know this person but i do know they have a baby on the way. my child’s father is no longer working, has lost his apartment and has moved out of he county to his parents home. he used to provide health insurance thru his job and now wants to add my child to his girlfriend/soon to be mother of his new child health insurance.. is that legal? (they are NOT married, Not living in the same home or county. and last my child lives with me and i am her sole provider)

  • anonymous2014

    Need answers. I am a stepmother, I am in college, I have no criminal record, no drug
    record, and I do not have a drinking problem. I have been married to my
    step-daughters father going on 2 years. What are my chances in court concerning
    a custody battle? Because you know I will have to go to the stand to prove that
    I can take care of them and so. I never been to court for anything other than a couple speeding tickets when I was younger, but I stay out of trouble. I do not have time for all that nonsense. Can
    I have someone like a lawyer stand in for me to defend me on my behalf?

    My husband was given custody of his girls about 3 yrs. ago. They have been living
    with us. Their mother signed over custody; she got in trouble and was in jail
    at the time over several violations. She signed over custody and it was given
    to my husband at the hearing, we have the documents to this. Their mother
    had to show up in an orange jump suit. Anyway’s, she keeps saying that
    she wants to take my husband back to court to fight for her girls. According to
    my husband, she still has not paid off all her fines from that time in court
    and all the violations. She has a criminal record about a mile long, she is a drama queen, and has major anger management issues.

    I would attempt to adopt our girls but she will never let me do that. I know I
    can take care of them, they would be in a good environment, their needs will be
    met, they are loved, and I just want them to have a future. I am tired of all
    the arguing and fighting. I just wish I did not have to feel that I have
    to stand by and let them go through this. They love their mom, this makes it
    even harder, but they get let down and hurt. They will probably never
    admit to that, our youngest is too young to understand and I do not want to
    expose her to the drama. But my 11yr. old seems like she seen too much for the
    past two years, yet she still loves her mom. I wish there was a mutual ground
    we can stand on. But their mom is sooo mean and complicated. We try to be reasonable, cordial and so. It is not like that with her at all. It is the complete opposite. I am not as aggressive
    as she is and but that has nothing to do with the case at hand. It is a lot to
    do with the children, aggressive or not, I got to try.

    So, to sum it up I am fixing to get my Bachelor’s in Health Care, by the spring of
    2014. I have no violations and no criminal record. I do not do drugs and I do
    not have a drinking problem. I am married to the father, going on two years. So what can I do to show my worth to the court? I am not working yet though, my husband is the provider of our
    household. I plan on or hope to have a job in the near future. Right now I am
    just a stay at home step-mommy that is going to college, going on almost 4 yrs.

    Any legal and useful advice is greatly appreciated and it will mean so much. I just do
    not know what to do or who to turn to and wanted to explore my options. Thank You, anonymous2014

    • anonymous2014

      To add to this. I read the information above this, to try to understand more on this topic. From what I understand the x-wife falls under the Inability to Agree section.
      We also take care of all our children’s health care needs, school needs, registering, I mean we do everything. The x-wife has been unstable, moved from place to place, job to job. The most recent job she has as far as I know of, she kept. But it was not like that with her other jobs. Anyway’s, what do you all think? I wish I can talk to a lawyer about this, so I can hear what he or she has to say.

  • anonymous

    My ex-ife and I have joint custody of our 11 year old daughter. She has primary custody during the week, but lives with her boyfriend in a small apartment while i own a house where my daughter has her own room. Is it legal for my ex-wife to live with her boyfriend with my daughter in the same apartment?

    • hernjo9

      Sorry but yes it is just because you have a house doesnt mean anything if your daughter has shelter and food and a place to sleep she is fine beimg with her mom unless moms boyfriend abuses her or does any harm than you can fight that but until then you cant do anything about it…..

  • cramer

    My husband and I have Joint custody of his two girls and our oldest just told us that she wants to live with her mother full time and stay with us every other weekend. We are having a hard time with this because she is 12 and just started middle school and has told us that she wants to stay with her mom so she can see her friends more. ( her mother lives in town, we live 10 minutes out of town.) As far as I am concerned that is not a good reason to only want to see your family 4 days out of the month. Needless to say she has been talking to her 7 year old sister that now says she to wants to stay with her mother. We have told her no but I am worried that she is going to resent us for it, and just not want to be with us at all. Please let me know your thoughts on this. We could use some input. Thank you

    • Rose88

      You are selfish listen to your child!!!!

    • Telling it like it is

      It’s none of your business — you aren’t her mother. So that fact that “as far as I am concerned” — who really cares what you think? The child should have some say in her own living arrangements. Or are you worried your dear husband might have to pay more support?? So often this is all about money……And is your husband a dolt? Why so many women on here asking the ?’s for their husbands when they are not even the parent??

  • Tam

    I have shared parenting with X husband (divorce 2009, five kids and 2 at
    home age 12 & 17), he refuses to communicate over phone, in person, via
    email or text, literally does not communicate with me at all (last communication
    was approx 6 mos ago), often ignoring kids texts and phone calls too. He
    does not utilize outlined schedule, complains often to the kids, its too far 15
    miles one way to pick them up, although he left family built home in which the
    kids and I reside (of 22 years) and mortgage/everything for me to “handle” he
    then filed bankruptcy last year incl the mortgage and now foreclosure sale is

    Thurs nights as outlined in share parenting, where he takes kids every
    Thursday, stopped last year when school start times were further apart (high
    school & mid school) and X wanted to drop 7th grader at school 1 hour
    before school start. So I suggested kids not go on Thursday night to X
    home, to prevent the 7th grader being put in an uncomfortable situation (school
    told X not to drop off son more than 30 min before school start)

    Me and the kids need to move and I tried before school start Aug 2013 but
    could not find a rental that was affordable with good schools. The area in
    which we reside has new schools and high rated schools, however its rural area
    1-2acre lots and kids families have moved out, also the middle school 7th
    grade wing was closed this year (lack of students) my son has about 12-15 kids
    in each classroom at best, our neighborhood, many vacant homes and

    Housing rentals (northern palm beach county) are expensive in an A or B
    rated school for a 3/2 rental and very hard to find, adding to this are few
    jobs available to support the high rent(>$1700). I cannot afford to
    put kids in private school, which I understand from many realtors that’s what
    parents are now doing since they have moved to areas that are less desirable
    for school, but more affordable.

    It’s my intention to move over winter break (tried before school start but
    my realtor could not find rental) and things are not looking up in this area
    with job market & housing is few, with no new builds. Now, Im seriously considering a move to the Jacksonville FL area which is 250 miles north of X husband.
    When I mentioned this to him (via email or text) 2012 fall, again in the
    spring 2013, he called me names and swore, “Not taking his kids” was the gest
    of the message. What are my chances, or
    more so, how long does it take to petition court for change of shared parenting
    more than 45 miles apart?

    Thanks -Tam

  • khi627

    My husband & I are trying to get severely needed counseling for my step- his daughters. His exwife & he share custody. His ex wife won’t sign for it & we need her to sign to allow it. Ugh!!! How can we get these kids help?

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    princess ola recently brought my fiancée back to my life, after we have been composed for 8years. We have stayed living favorably without any delinquent. I always converse about matrimony with her but she replies me with yes, And promise me that we will soon get married. I was shock on a faithful day when she called me and told me that she is no longer interested in the relationship, because she met another guy, and they were almost getting married. I was stunned and dizzy after hearing that from her. I was so drained and tried to get back to myself because deprived of her it was dreadful because I truly love her with the whole of my emotion. Until I was fixed up to princess ola whose email is greatprincetessolaspell@gmail. com I communicated with her and she guaranteed me that my wish will be settled unto me after 10 hours, and she told me to count on her words, and she gave me every purpose why I have not to be worry any longer. So that was how princess ola came into my marital life and fetched my girlfriend back to me after 10 hours asprincess ola guaranteed me, and now here I am affirming of her virtoriuous works. And she also cast money spell for me that really well-ordered out for me. So I will recommend you to contact her once you are in need of magic spell. she is sincere and real to help you out..

  • tamera

    Not sure what to do my ex and I have 50/50 custody of our boys. He is court order to take them to the dentist and doesn’t do it. I end up taking them. Then I find out his girlfriend told my son’s dr and dentist office that she is the stepmom when they aren’t even married. I even received a text from her telling me that she was changing their dr and dentist and taking them to counseling and wouldn’t inform me of any of the information. That she was adding them to her insurance. what can I do I want what is best for my son’s but feel as they are trying to remove me from the picture in the well being of my sons

  • Brenda Marie Bowles

    Shared parenting……My husbands ex keeps playing this game where she is too sick to run the kids during her time with the kids and says it is then his responsibility…isn’t it hers if they are at her house and it is. Her time with the kids? And if she gets confronted with things she doesn’t want to do or can’t afford she involves the kids and makes it sound like I have to do those things even when it’s her weeks to provide for them. Isn’t that her responsibility, we both have to work to pay our bills and provide those things on our weeks and we don’t get a break from them when we are sick. What should we do? The worst thing is she is on the phone with the kids involving them every time she doesn’t get her way.

  • Stepdad trying hard

    Cobb County GA, can a partial settlement agreement be filed in the court, providing both parties agree to child custody modification, based on the wishes of the 15 yr old child? It has only been 19 months since previous modification. Child thought she wanted to love with her dad out of state, realized she was wrong, now both the child and dad wish for her to move back with mom in GA.

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  • Candy B.

    I need some legal assistance, i was manipulated into giving my childs father joint custody. We had domestic violence issues and he continues to make life threatening threats to harm me and my child I recently filed a motion to modify the court order but I refuse to let my son leave with his father fearing that i will never see him again. What should I do?

  • janeth419 .

    I currently have sole custody of both of my children. Dad has alternative weekend visits, which he fails to follow most of the time. My current issue is that my daughter has a religious practice in three week, that unfortunately falls on Dad’s visit and he refuses to switch the weekend!! What can I do in this case if I have sole custody? Help!!

  • zzzSTORMzzz

    so i have a question my husband has joint and the mother made a appointment for Tuesday which she knows that we have him and now she is saying that she will refuse him when we pick him up we drive and get the boy all the time now for past to years and he pays child support as well while she sits on her butt and does nothing she lied that is is a doc app its a cps app for a physicist because she is accusing him of abuse which we have all we need to prove wrong. so can we call the police to be out there to pick the child up?

  • Stepmommy12

    my husband has primary physical custody of my step children but they share joint. she keeps them every other weekend. She has been to prison multiple times (drugs, theft, vandalism) and even has neglect of a minor for one of the children. So my husband asked for primary physical because she is unstable. They haven’t been to court formally since she has been home and she doesn’t fight the visitation (she likes her free time I imagine and she is still on prescription pills that are not hers) My husband wants to get a job out of town because it would better our lives and the lives of the children. Problem is that the mom would complain that why aren’t they with her since he’s gone all week and home on the weekends. Why will they be with me when I’m just the step mom etc, However I have known them since they were born and I have helped raise them. In 2010 I was in their lives permanently and have been ever since. She has been in their lives for the past 3 years. In no way do I want to keep them from seeing their mother but we just don’t feel that they’re safe. Also we have a son together and all he has ever known are his big brothers living with him. Their mother had another child and yes he knows that they are his brothers but he is used to only seeing them every once in a while….. Do you think a judge would be okay with them still living with me (step mom) while dad is away? I am the one that takes them to their sport practices, I am the one who takes them to the dr etc. Dad has even worked nights so they stay with me during the day and nights alone on severeal occasions…

  • Bailey

    My husband had standard custody of his daughter. We get her the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend of every month. He just started working out of town here recently. It’s our weekend to get his daughter and her mother won’t allow it. With me being his wife is that okay if I got her for the weekend? She’s very much like my baby as well.

    • H_Ann

      Are you serious??? Why should a step child have to visit a step parent if dad is out of town? Do you even stop to think how it would make mom feel? Stop playing mommy with someone else’s child!

    • H_Ann

      And she is NOT your baby. Period. Some other woman carried her in the womb for 9 months. And cared for her as an infant and stayed up with her if she cried at night ect.

    • zimm

      She is not playing mommy to someone else’s child. That is a member of her family too. She is expressing love for the child, as I’m sure the child has love for her as well. Who cares about the mother, your concern should be with the child.

  • Katherine Leymeister

    My Ex and I have joint legal custody of our daughter. I however do not get told about Dr appts. I am not told about school functions. Also I am not on the emergency list at the school. Our daughter is 8 and informed me that her father that has physical custody. Is planning on moving her to FL on the 20th of this month. In our court papers it states that she is to resided at a specific address. What can I do to stop it???? He does not talk to me and has been in FL for the past few months. And has left my daughter with his mother. Not only that but she has seen him a total of 1 week since Christmas. Someone please help me? I am the only parent that has always had contact and been there for her. I can’t allow her to move to FL

  • james

    I had court today I filed for joint custody placement for my son I already have joint custody me and his mother didn’t show up at court will the court make a decision for us or do I have to open back up my court case

  • christina

    I have joint custody of my son and my son called me crying that he wants t
    o come to live with me and said hes happier with me and said he’s feeling left out at his dads with the girlfriend and her 3 kids and I just found out he’s getting counseling and doing bad in school and is depressed and he has ahd and his dad aint working and hasn’t been able to buy him his meds and don’t have any kind of insurance so what be good advice for me to do

  • Amy

    My sons father always argues with me when I try to talk to him nicely cause I know our son dont need 2 fighting parents. I feel hes trying to boss me around rule me . I have primary placement but we have joint custody. He wants to take him to a doctor cause ppl are telling him theres alot wrong with our son. Im aware he might have spectrum autisum n I made a appointment for him the 24th of june and I told him about it nicely n he justt blew up at me hes just started accusing that someone was hurting our son which there are no marks of abuse on his body. He thinks if our son turns out to have a disability he can get custody of him. He complains about not seeing him not play with the toys he gave me for him. He also claims im letting both my sons in the same bed when there twin beds with railings pushed together cause of the size of the room. Hes always been agianst me trying to find stuff wrong instead of working together with me as a co parent I told him about our sons swimming lessons n yes our son a little scared of water but only if u try to get his wet he start blowing up at me about having him in swimm8ng lesson when hes scared of water. What can I do about this sitiuation does anyone know what my options are? All the help I can get would be great thank you 🙂

  • Amber

    My step daughter is moving in with her dad and I in the next couple of weeks. Her brother is going to stay at his moms. They have joint custody of both kids but his ex wife is the sole guardian. I guess what I want to know is there anything that needs to be done with the legal documents before we enroll her in school?

  • Concerned Father

    Can you say I don’t agree
    to school expense to avoid payment? The agreement states we must agree. Is
    signing the enrollment and sending our child to a private school an agreement?
    and when she objects and said I never agreed is this a false statement? Her
    actions are contrary to her statements? When asked about the obligation she
    states, “I didn’t agree…”

    What constitutes agreement? I feel like I’m having a
    conversation with a 10 year old on a playground?

  • Jess

    So my husband and I jave joint custody of my Step-daughter. We see her 50/50, a week on and week off. Now my husband is possibly facing jail time. If so I still want to be able to see my stepdaughter. I do not know what rights I have as a step-mother, being that we have the 50/50 custody. Does anyone know how that works?

    • T

      It doesn’t. She’s not there to see you. She’s there for visitation with her dad. You won’t see her unless her mother wants you to.

  • Alexandria

    I just need some advice. Ive been with my boyfriend for almost 9 months, we both have a daughter from different relationships. My daughter is almost 3 and has an absent father. His daughter will be 2 in december. Him and his baby mother have it set up where, they split the week. He gets her thursday evening – sunday morning. She gets her sunday evening – thursday morning. He does pay child support. Sunday morning we finally decided it was time for our daughters to meet. He came over my house and we took the girls to the park to play. His BM is now having a huge fit. She said she doesn`t want her daughter around me or my child. Can she get it court ordered that I am not allowed around her daughter even if she cant prove I`m a danger to her daughter?

    • Alison

      Nope. Its none of her business. Just don’t get involved in the argument. It’s his job to deal with her, but you shud be supportive. And don’t be offended. She obviously has control issues that have nothing to do with you.

  • Julie

    My ex husband and I have joint legal custody. It was not a good marriage and the divorce process was bitter. The hatred has not subsided in spite of many attempts to reach out to him. Yes, begging too. Our only remaining minor child was very recently assaulted in broad daylight. She was immediately treated, her assailant identified and locked up. Part of this treatment is ongoing particularly an HIV blocker. She is in a different state with her father now.

    He will not communicate on any level with me if she is receiving follow up care, who I can provide medical records to, or if there is counseling set up with a specialist. He is passive aggressive with others like police with this information. He will not even update members of his own family. My phone is blocked from being able to call to speak with our child. This block is only removed by him when he feels we should be able to speak. During those times our child is very guarded as she is aware that he has his pc set up to record our calls.

    Our child is 14 years old. In addition to all of this she is bipolar and may be approximately 3 months pregnant. No one can do anything to assist with this. The persistent advice is to return to court which creates more damage for the child. Even if I managed to save enough he has the means to pay for ongoing legal representation. Reality is in family court, the focus is not on the child or working together. The focus is on purchasing a certain brand of justice by the parent who has money to spend. So the viscous cycle of control lives on even many years after the divorce was final and we are all left to be worried sick about this little girl.

  • Jessica

    Right now I have a really bad situation. I went to mediation in 2012 with my sons father, and signed it and really didn’t know what was actually on it. Now years after I’m still having to deal with what was on the mediation which I never agreed to. his days are Monday Tuesday minds are Wednesday and Thursday, and we alternate weekends. lately I have been speaking with my son and he tells me all he does is spend time with either his grandmother or his dads girlfriend. he complains me all the time that his dads girlfriend yells at him and all that. so I want full custody because me and his dad are constantly arguing because of this. There’s a mediation order already set so I just need to know how I could change it and if in the process of changing it I have to abide by the mediation??

  • stressedout

    I’m newly married. And my husband’s ex wife is claiming that even though we are now married that I’m not allowed to pick up my stepson from daycare.. I myself have 2 children of my own and unlike her . I get along with my ex. We work well together and even have an amazing relationship with his girlfriend . To whom is so good to my babies. His ex is irrational and over bearing. And this is her latest ploy to cause drama. What are the actual laws pertaining to step parents picking up child when the parent is working???

  • Guest

    My sons father is threating to pick up our son from the babysitter while I’m at school an take him out of state an I won’t see him we don’t have custody decided haven’t been to court we do t live together an he don’t pay child support. It’s 175 to file for right an I’m still 175 short 🙁 an I have to get a lawyer An I don’t have much income bc I’m a college student. An everyone I called said I can’t file temp custody until I get money for court any advice

  • Erica Garcia

    My sons father is threating to pick up our son from the babysitter while I’m at school an take him out of state an I won’t see him we don’t have custody decided haven’t been to court we do t live together an he don’t pay child support. It’s 175to file for right an I’m still 100 short 🙁 an I have to get a lawyer An I don’t have much income bc I’m a college student. An everyone I called said I can’t file temp custody until I get money for court any advice

  • mary contrairy

    ok so i have a question,I have joint custody with my ex and he has primary physical due to school and i have them on the weekends.I recently found out that he put his girl friend as my kids mom and me as the non custodial parent when I went to see why I wanted to schedule a parent teacher confrence.This seems very illiegal to me sine I do pay child support and am active in the boys lives and live fifteen minutes away?

  • DJ

    can my baby’s father 50/50 physical custody of our 2 yearold? we were never married?

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  • Rose

    My ex husband and I been legally divorce the divorce was settle with annulment we have 50/50 custody but the kids stays with me around the clock he’ll see the kids one day out of a month won’t even spent more then 7 hours with them and to say his not financially helping me although his not doing his part…. I do everything on my own and I don’t make half of what his making everything I ask him for support he blow me of i don’t know what to do at this point. I’m seeking some wise advance from some experience people

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  • mike

    S I have a 3 week old so and my gf and I are livi g together. Unhappily I might add. she has been talking about leaving and going back up to northern california (we stah in socal). Can she move with my son without my consent? I have signed birth cert.

  • Jesse

    This may or may not be related to discussions below but I am desperate for any advice. My ex wife and I share joint custody of our two children, ages three and seven. I have been on prescription medications for half of my life. I was also on them during our seven year marriage. My original diagnoses years ago was bipolar 2 which has now burnt itself out and downgraded into a minor anxiety problem. The two medicines I am on take several months to decrease. My body is now rejecting these particular medicines and my doctor plans on starting a decrease soon down to nothing. My ex wife has demanded to see my prescription receipts every time it’s my weekend in order to see them. I was under duress when I agreed to add this requirement to an amendment to the seperation agreement for fear she would try to take the children from me. She does not believe that the illness has subsided to something very minor. I find the demand for my receipts an extreme invasion of privacy, I have had my children every other weekend, since seperation with no issues. I am an excellent father and always have been. I have never been hospitalized or in trouble of any kind, in fact nothing of my illness was even included in the original agreement. I feel she is trying to hold onto any information she can in order to one day take them from me given the opportunity. She has defamed me on you tube and was extremely abusive during the marriage at very difficult times triggering depressions severely. I feel this goes against my basic rights as a canadian violating human rights and mental health laws both federally and provincially. I cannot afford legal representation at. This time. She demanded a letter from my doctor to see if I was fit to have the kids which he did all the while stopping me from seeing them, after the letter she still witheld them illegally. Eventually she simply said, ok. There was never a court order issued for what she did and it was horrifying. Can she do this? Don’t I have a right to privacy? She is very open about my personal info with family and friends. I am so disturbed by this and it feels like something that would happen not here in North America. I feel violated, discriminated against, degraded nd beat down just as I was in my marriage. She is narcissistic and controlling. I need advice please anyone.

  • aruditsky

    My ex wife is getting remarried and in so doing is taking my three kids out of the area and although not leaving the state we live she is taking them into another county. The drive is a nightmare and my visitation with my kids will change. My kids have also shared with me their desire not to leave friends and their father. My ex wife has shown no interest in my concerns nor the concerns of my kids as her aim is to marry and start over. Regarding the move I have told her in writing of my unhappiness. She refuses to communicate with me about my kids welfare in general. It is not that she is evil but with regards to me she feels that she owes me nothing with regards to communication. .

  • Donnovon

    As a twenty six year old young man i have two kids with someone who is five years older than i an is giving me the run around with my four year old sun an two year old baby girl we now live in two different states im iAtlanta Ga and my kids are in southcarolina i really need help an advice please one loving fother fill like im being cheated out of my kids life it’s ben a year going on two i grew up with out my fother and just won’t to be there for my kids is all so if you can help i can be contacted at

  • KB

    I have a question, my boyfriend has joint custody of his daughter, the mother has primary residency, she does not have him as an emergency pick up at day care or school, and the court papers say to share vacations and every other weekend at 5, well she uses the as agreed upon so he cant see her stating he does not agree. So I told him to take his daughter from daycare, she should be with him for part of this vacation, he thinks he can get in trouble.. can he??

  • Lisa W-Dalling

    last monday i get a email from ex saying he talked to the local high school vp. but my son his homeschooled via connections academy whom he is doing wonderful A’s and B’s. so i go into the high school and found out that my EX went in and tried to enroll my son with out my consent. THEN. the next day i get an email saying he enrolled my son into another online homeschool. THEN the followind day after that email i get a call from the current school wanting to know why i am taking my son out of their school… which i never agreed upon this… we live in utah.
    is this allowed by the other parent to go behind my back and do such things? what can i do to stop this? we only have 3 weeks left in his current school until the semester is over… ALSO our court appointed therapist is on his side. and thinks that he should have the decision in their school now because he was not in town when we did once we moved here from another city….

    • Honesty1234

      There is no sides in this… Its the best interest of the child.. If you are thinking side then your mind is probably in the wrong place. If you moved to a new city and made all the decision alone… Sounds like you may have somethings that you aren’t telling

  • Rikki

    I have primary custody of my two children. My ex told me if I put them in any activities , such as soccer and he does not agree to it , in will be put in jail for contempt. This scared me. Can he do that? Have me thrown in jail ?

  • Janie

    My ex and I have joint custody of our 16 year old. Is it legal for him to block me from texting or calling and emailing him? There are things we need to discuss about our son and if there was an emergency I I Wouldn’t be able to reach him?
    Also does anyone know how I can see his taxes from last year?

  • Ann

    I have a question, hoping someone can help me. In the state of CT. is it true that a child cannot talk to the family court judge unless the child has a lawyer or GAL? Thank you

  • Jessie

    I have joint custody with my ex-husband and I am the custodial parent. I try to involve my ex in decisions but he never responds to me. It was court ordered in 2013 that her pediatrician be moved to a place in-between our residences and he won’t even talk to me about doctors he agrees on. It’s now 2015.
    He NEVER responds to messages about when he is picking her up or confirms the dates he has her outside of the normal court order.
    Can I just do things without his consent?
    He makes it very difficult to get anything done.
    Would this be a basis for full custody?
    I need help, I can’ t take this anymore I am going out of my mind.

    • CAM

      Jessie: This is a bit late but you can email (So it’s documented) that you’ve attempted to contact him about the Pediatrician, email him a list of Pediatrician’s that will accept the insurance and let him know that if you do not hear from him choosing one of the above pediatrician’s within a week, you will choose one as your priority is the child’s well being. He would have to spend money and take you to court to claim you took action without him but since he is not cooperating and your child needs a Dr., as long as you can show you’ve given him the opportunity to be part of these decisions, you’ll be fine. You may not have a basis for full custody as there is a greater burden of proof (See modification of time sharing custody for your state) to modify. The burden of proof is on the one filing so you should review the statutes for your state. Unfortunately, bad, uncooperative co-parents don’t lost custody/time sharing that easily. Just keep doing what’s best for your child and remember to keep your emotions towards the father out of it. It’s never about “winning” but about what’s best for our children. I’m not an attorney but have a high-conflict ex and I feel your pain. Once the Pediatrician is chosen, be sure you share that information with your ex as well as a copy of your child’s insurance card, in case of emergency while she is in his care. Document Document Document! Good luck!

  • Crystal

    So I share legal custody with my daughters father (never married to him) he is court ordered to see her 3 times a week and he has not seen her since Christmas of 2014 ever since his gf grand son was born. What can I do to get him 100% out of her life? I have called him and he don’t anwser gone to court and they always take his side and nothing changes. WHAT CAN I DO

    • Honesty1234

      Gone to court and they always take his side? He hasn’t seen her but will show up in court to fight for his right to see her? Can you elaborate?

  • Nick Love

    My son is with me for the summer and 2 weeks in the winter. I found out he has not seen a dentist since 2012 and it is 2015 now. I set up an apt for him to get in and now his mother is throwing a fit because she didn’t give permission before hand. I asked her and she is refusing to let him. Should I take him anyway and just deal with possible court?

    • Honesty

      Take him… If she take you to court for taking hime to a dentist more then likely you would be seen as the more fit parent… You shouldnt even second guess that.

  • Kc Scott

    My husband has joint legal custody of his 8 yr old daughter. Aside from the difficulties we have had with her mother from the begining. She does not consult him with ANYTHING involving there shared daughter. This includes but not limited to, School, medical dissions, church, and daycare. The daycare she attends is actually her grandmother from her mom’s side of the family. While his daughter was attending this day care one her (his daughter) uncle was charged and convicted of child molestation. There were a few different children that came forward. Her mother did not inform us of the insident, we were made aware of the issue by the media/news at this time she was 3. When we decided we wanted to take her to a dr/ theropist, the mother declind our concerns. She continues to bring her daughter there, yes he is in prison for now but it came to our attention the mother has another brother guilty of the same charges who is not in jail and visits the house frequntly. He has expressed he does not want her to attend that day care anymore since she (grandmother) has had her license to care for children taken from her. yet he still pays for daycare at that place threw his child support.Now our issue is with school. the mother enrolled her in a catholic privet school which my husband told her over and over he did not want her to attend, she went threw with it anyway. Then in her second grade year she enrolled her in another privet school without even letting him know. Now his daughter is 8 and going into 3rd grade and over her 2nd grade year she had alot of problems in that school that resulted in the school almost expelling her. His daughter has expressed to us over and over that she does not want to attend that school, and has told us what school she wants to go to. It just so happens that before she (his daughter) told us this, that we had talked about talking to her mother about changing school. When she told us that she no longer wanted to attend that school my husband texted her mother saying he didnt want her to attend that school for the 3rd grade yr. She with no explination said “i already enrolled her”. she will not disscus her going to a different school saying she need’s consistancy, yet she had already switched her school the previous year. Not only that but that school only goes up to the 8th grade, so she will have to change school anyways then. She (daughter) has no expressed to us she no longer wants to live with her mom because of many reasons, and that she wants to live with us. I have no clue what we need to do about all these issues, please help..

  • sonia

    I have joint custody my daughters grandma. Wants to take her out of town can i allow her to go with out her fathers permission. She lives with, me

  • Debbie Mays

    My Ex is suppose to have my daughter 3 weekends a month. he does not take her because she does not go. he is tiring to lower his child support will the take in to consideration I have her 100 % of the time when modifying support.

  • guest

    My ex and I have joint costudy. I have primary placement. He has had nothing to do with school from the time we left. I now want to put her in the school district we live in. Can I do that?

  • April Lasota-Szczesny

    Hi I have joint legal/ joint physical custody of my 4 yr old daughter with my ex husband. We are both in other relationships now but my ex refuses to let me meet his gf who is around my daughter every day almost that she visits him. I’m uncomfortable knowing some woman is around my child that I haven’t met. He lets her takecmy 4 yr old swimming, rides in her convertible jeep, things that could possibly cause harm. She is not a mother herself so she clearly doesn’t understand or care that I want to meet her. I’m hearing she speaks rudely to my daughter as well. Can I legally have him introduce his gf to me, who he is saying he will be marrying? Now I also have an 8 yr old that is not his who really hates his gf but I let her visit my ex occasionally as her biological father is not in the picture. I have made the rule his gf is not to be around my oldest. My oldest doesn’t even want to see her she wants visit with my ex and her (half) sister. Thanks

  • Mary Saavedra

    My husband and I got married a year and 3 months ago. We separated because he’s verbally abusive towards me we were in a relationship since I was in 7th grade I’m now 21 going on 22. He took one of my daughter’s(we have 2) and now he won’t let me speak to her for longer than 15 minutes and she wants to come home with me but he won’t let her. PLEASE HELP!! WHAT CAN I DO?!! I HAVENT SEEN MY DAUGHTER IN 4 DAYS AND HE HASN’T TAKEN HER TO SCHOOL BECAUSE HE DOESN’T WANT ME TO PICK HER UP(SHES IN KINDERGARTEN)!!

  • tiffanyk

    If my daughters dad has a history with drugs and violence, can he get custody? At the time we were I guess together he had or has a gf that Inew nothing about. When she found out she acted crazy breaking things and stuff and now that he lives back with his gf Iddon’twant my daughter around that . What should I do?

  • L C Foster

    My son has shared parental rights with his ex-girlfriend for their 9 yr old son but the child resides with my son. The child has his own bedroom and desk and computer for doing his accelerated classes. The mom has every other weekend by court ruling. She requested more time so my son has allowed her, on his own, to spend one day a week after the child gets out of school and after she gets off work. His mother now wants to go back to court to have the judge grant her one week with the child and one week with his dad throughout the school year. I am incensed! The mother lives does not live close to his school. She works until 6 every week day so the child would have to go to after-school care until she can pick him up. Then she would have to prepare dinner and help with his homework and get him to bed at a decent hour which does not happen when he sleeps over with her. She is notoriously late in taking him to school. She does not have a separate bedroom for the child who must share a bedroom with the 11 yr old daughter of her live in boyfriend. My son has arranged his work schedule so that he picks his son up from school every day and they have a set routine so that his son can get to bed by 9 pm for the proper rest. When the child sleeps over, his homework suffers and he comes home very agitated because the house is not very well organized and does not have a set routine. Plus the child confided to his father that he thinks the mom is again using pills because she is talking to him “with her eyes closed” as she was doing before the court ordered her enter re-hab for her addiction. The child has told his dad that he wishes he did not have to go with his mom on the extra day that my son granted to his mom to appease her. The little boy gets very upset when my son tries to talk to him about the possibility of having to live one week with his mom and one week back at his dad’s. I think that is just too much for the child. A well adjusted child thrives on routine and stability. Since the mother has talked to the child about coming to live with her, the child has wet himself, his grades have slipped and my son has received calls from the child’s teachers saying that he is not acting himself and he acts “distracted”. Does anyone know if the court is accustomed to making a” one week on and one week off” parenting schedule? It just sounds so disruptive to the little boy, my grandson, that has been doing so well. The mother is very high strung, nervous and has no qualms about crying on her little sons shoulder about how she misses him and wants him to come live with her. This is not proper or, to my way of thinking, responsible actions on the part of the mother. While in her addiction this mother kept using drugs during a second pregnancy which resulted in a very disabled little girl who subsequently passed away due to all her problems. The mother also cries to the little boy about the baby girl being dead and buried “in the cold ground”. This upsets my grandson and it scares him. If the judge doesn’t talk to my grandson to see if what we are saying is true, how can we assure that he will not place this child half of the time with his mother who, in my opinion, does not have the welfare of the 9 year old as her top priority. Since the wetting and calls from the teachers, my son has made arrangements for my grandson to see a psychologist. Does anyone have any other suggestions to protect this little boy’s mental health while still allowing him to see his mom without the added stress of having to deal with her problems on a day to day basis? Thanks, Very Concerned Grand mother

  • Hollie

    Recently my sons father and I have been having a custody battle for the first time in 5 years. Our son is now 7. I have had sole physical custody and we’ve shared legal for this time. Over this past week I received and email from my child’s teacher which includes our sons fathers new current girlfriends email in it. I emailed the teacher and contacted the principle informing them that she does not have my permission to discuss our sons education with his teacher. She is not his wife and by no means has any legal say in the on going of our child. I guess the father went down and signed a consent form with the current girlfriend to allow her access to this very private information about our son. I thought in order to give consent to a third party we both had to give permission as we share legal. Am I correct? Do I have a reason to be very upset that I feel like parent teacher confidentiality was broken? Shouldn’t the teacher of asked me if it was ok to contact her? Again I have sole physical and we share legal. I was very upset and the teacher and principle did state that all contact with this third party would stop. Do both of us have to be present and give permission?

  • Brandy

    Hmm. Lots of situations pretty bad. Mine? Domestic violence. Husband who controlled finances. Now that we’re separated it’s gotten brutal. He moved his gfriend into matrimonial home, (yet to be settled) set her up in school, gave her a credit card, bought her a new car. Now he wants 50% custody. Taken son on my time (vaca) wouldn’t let me speak with him. She ( gfriend) blasted me on the phone.
    Now this: has son in swimming lessons and didn’t tell me. Only ones allowed to know schedule is he and gfriend (just spoke with place of swimming) have to get my lawyer involved. Also hasn’t disclosed full financial picture, after request to disclose last 5 yrs. . Very frustrating.
    We go to trial in 7 months.

    Can anyone tell me why I shouldn’t be stressed? (Should also mention, his brother did over 10K in damages to my current residence, was arrested)

  • irisrhodes97

    my assistant needed to fill out Temporary Custody Agreement a few weeks ago and was made aware of a great service with a searchable forms database . If others need to fill out Temporary Custody Agreement as well , here’s a

  • Larissa Craft

    my ex lives in CA and i with our daughter live in OH, we have 50-50 custody, but doesnt see her that much given he lives in CA. He has been telling me that he gives his visitation to his parents for certain holidays. since he would be able to see her. can he do that? what are my rights as the residential parent?

  • susie

    my babys daddy is verbally mean to me and im thinking about opening a case for joint custody but i have a past issue with drug abuse..i fought for 2 years while in rehab and just got fed up with them constantly telling the courts that i wasnt ready..and i sighned my rights over to the foster mom..while in rehab i was givin 1 visitation a week and never missed a thinking about contacting an advocate cuz i know that hes gonna play dirty and use everything he can to sabotage me if i decide to fight..he has sole custody of two other daughters through another relationship and i know they will say whatever the father tells them to

  • Tracy Johnson

    My ex-husband and I have joint custody all the way around. He and I both have 50-50 say in everything according to the divorce decree. However, he will not allow me any say in any of the decision making regarding anything. In fact I found his girlfriend’s signature on educational papers that were given to me. But he is trying to get the reenburcment for the medical bills from the medical decisions that I have had no say in. In fact when I do try to voice my opinion he tells me that the decision has been made. And I have gone over and over my decree to make sure and I don’t know what to do.

  • Jane Smith

    My ex and I have 50/50 shared custody and he is moving in with his friend as roommate. After living on his own. he could have renew his lease or get another place on his own since he is a father now and 35 yo.
    I shared my concern to him and his mother that I don’t wishe my daughter, 18 months going to him half time living in a bachelor pad. I don’t wish my daughter spending 3 or 4 nights a week in a house with a man who isn’t her father.
    A 18 months old would want to be a baby, cry, run around laugh, play, be loud… how is a single guy would see that if his new roommate has a daughter? And who knows this guy deepeds, darkest thoughts? yes he looks good on paper and in the eyes of the world… as a mother I can’t help to feel that isn’t a good situation, I can’t help to worry for my daughter.
    He says he trust him, he is his best friend… the world knows, little girls or babies who has been raped, abused always happens with people that parents trusted and never though such thing could ever be possible.
    The real reason, my ex never wanted to grow up, video games, porn sitting online for nights through the weekend with making any effort to nurture our relationship that what got us here today.
    He refuse to have an apartment on his own because that’ll make him a responsible and he would rather have roommate.
    Honestly, I don’t care if he want to stay a kid the rest of his life, I just think he should rather be a father to his daughter and think of her or be a single guy. he can’t be both.
    I’m think seeking legal counsel and take action.
    Do I have a case here?

  • Bianca Carrera

    I recently just got engaged and my fiancé wants me to focus on being a mother and take some online college courses (exactly what I want) but his job is out in another state and I have joint custody. Let me first off say he is in the army, he doesn’t live in the same state as us, he doesn’t pay child support or doesn’t have my son on child care. My fiancé and I pay everything (we don’t care) he has sundays his days to call but only asks what I’m doing. He only calls once a month. Would I have a hard time trying to move to another state with my soon to be husband?

  • A worried Mum

    I have joint legal/pysical custody, however, the dad lives with his mum and has his mum look after our child whilst she is in his care. The grandmother makes all the decisions, organizes all afters chool activities and says i am not allowed to see my daughter at her activities, tells all the mums to message her in regards to our child and even signs all the notices or anything to do with education. What are my rights, and how is this fair? he has the custody, yet his mother is the one at home looking after him and our child and trying to exclude me at all times. help appreciated!

  • Crystal Saunier

    It is in our papers that we each are responsible for picking up the children on our time. He is responsible for picking up the children on his week or holiday and I am responsible for picking up the children on my week or holiday. Common sense…. if you love your child and want to see your child get up off your butt and go get the child on your time or holiday.

  • Tawny Darby

    I have physical custody of my 15 year old and joint custody pertaining to health decisions etc. our child is transgender and is getting ready to start hormones his dad has been aware of the situation and has said emotional verbal abusive things to our son while in his care and the gender therapist has recommended that the father has no contact with our son due to the emotional verbal and mental abuse so what I’m asking is am I able to make the decision solely on my own for my child with a current report from the therapist?

  • Beth Meadows

    Tiffany you are pathetic.

  • Tamara

    My fiance has joint custody of his son who is having many behavior issues We have taken his mother to court because she is not getting the right help for him . He has been placed in long term treatment against her will She is very mad about this and found out that she blocked my finances family from seeing him. Is there anything that he can do to stop her.

  • Bruce Simpson

    have joint legal custody of my daughter and her mother has physical custody her mother asked me to enroll her into school near my house because she was looking to move out near me and I did enroll my daughter already but now she’s not moving near me and is moving to Detroit instead and when she told me the school she would be going to I looked into it and found that the school is failing and it just has horrible reviews so I asked her could she stayed enrolled in the school near me and I would drive her to and from school and drop her off all week so she can go to a good school or if she doesn’t want to do that then maybe we both could look into finding a good near where she’ll be moving but she told me no! That it doesn’t matter how bad the school is she’ll be fine and I’m just concerning about my daughters education and feel her mother does not care and is unwilling to compromise with me for the betterment of our daughter so what can I do? When joint legal custody gives me the right to have a decision in her education but she’s denying me that.

  • Sammy Smiles

    Not sure if anyone would be able to give me any insight while I wait for my lawyers to draw up papers but I am having a situation of my own. About 4 years ago my son’s father took me to court to have papers drawn up for 50/50 legal custody and physical custody that mind you we had already had set in place for five years prior. We had never had any issues however his new girlfriend told him he should get it in writing. Since then he has been with three other women one whom he had a child with and she left him during the pregnancy because he is an impossible person to live with. My issue now is he has a new girlfriend whom he met online who is a teacher. We have a custody agreement that states that neither parent should unreasonably withhold the child from the other parent. Every year around Christmas I get laid off from work due to the weather because I work Bridge construction and every year for Christmas vacation I take my son during the day time until his father gets out of work so that way I can make up for time that I did not get to spend with him due to my long work hours to try to make ends meet because I have never gotten child support. This year his father decided to make things difficult and he is forcing my ten-year-old son to spend his vacation with his new girlfriend whom my son doesn’t like however with all of the women that have come in and out of his life he would prefer not to spend too much time with them in case they leave just like all the others. I tried to make this clear to my son’s father that I should have first choice to keep my son during the daytime hours while he is working he is refusing to allow this and holding my son from me. As I stated we’ve never had a problem with this in the past but how he hates that he is forced into relationships with his new girlfriends and it is making him very uncomfortable. As I stated also my lawyers are drawing up papers but I needed to hear if anyone else has had this situation happen so I know that I am not crazy for wanting to spend this time with my child instead of him being forced into another relationship that may not last. Does anyone have any insight I live in Massachusetts I know the laws differ state to state but I am at my wit’s end and just want to do what’s best for my son. Sorry this was so long

  • mary lames

    is it legal for my ex the mother of our son to contact my ex employer to ask questions about me without my knowledge ?