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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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Is my ex-wife obligated to tell me that she has a stranger

Customer Question

Is my ex-wife obligated to tell me that she has a stranger (to me) living with her and our son?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Many court orders will specify that a parent needs to keep the other parent updated on who is residing in the premises; however, if there is joint legal custody, it is presumed that the parties will consult with each other since both parents have a right to make decisions regarding the child's upbringing-mental, physical and emotional.

A parent has a right to know with whom his/her child lives with, and if there is going to be a change to this situation, and there is joint legal custody, it is expected that the parents will communicate this proposed change, discuss it and make a decision as to what is best for the child.

However, unless the court order explicitly provides for this notice, it is difficult to bring a contempt action, as contempt requires a knowing and willful violation of a court order, and most courts interpret this to require the court order to very specifically preclude an event.

Yet, a new roommate constitutes a change in circumstances, which may be the basis for a request for change of custody/visitation.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

The legal definition is codified below:

(b) "Joint legal custody" means that both parents have equal rights and responsibilities, including the right to participate in major decisions determining the child's upbringing, including education, health care, and religious training.

at statute 518.003 here

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

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