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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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My ex wife is in Kansas with my kids. We have joint custody.

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My ex wife is in Kansas with my kids. We have joint custody. She is remarried. I told them that I do not give permission to touch (spank) my kids. He said that he would, no matter what I said. Is there anything I can do to prevent that from happening?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 5 years ago.
Hello there:

Thank you for entrusting me with your question. Corporal punishment of a minor child is legally permissible in Kansas if done with permission of a parent and if it does not cause injury to the child (e.g. bruising). So if there is no court order to the contrary, a step-parent, with permission of the parent, may spank the parent's minor children.

What can be done about it is the custody order can be modified. Upon request, the court can modify the existing custody order at any time in the best interest of the children, and that includes modifying it to disallow corporal punishment of the children. Violation of a custody order is criminal contempt of court and it is grounds for further changes to custody. The courts are usually disinclined to prevent a parent from spanking, but they will usually be happy to order that no step-parent or any other non-parent shall spank the children. Obviously, this is not an instant solution, but the other parent has rights too and this is how our system resolves these kinds of disputes; do what is necessary to protect your children.

I understand that you may have follow-up questions. Let me know if further clarification is needed. Thank you.
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