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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17110
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I am seeking therapy for my son who is dealing with anxiety.

Customer Question

I am seeking therapy for my son who is dealing with anxiety. My ex wife and I have joint custody, but she is refusing to agree on a counselor. Can I get him seen by a therapist on my own?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. To be clear, does the agreement specifically state that you will agree on a counselor prior to him going to see one?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It was just agreed upon that we would get him into counseling. The court did not order a specific counselor or anything.
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 month ago.

Was the agreement verbal or anything in writing?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
34;The parties agree to pursue counseling for the minor child as they may agree between themselves." That is what is written in to the stipulation.
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 month ago.

And to be clear, she has not suggested any counselors of her own? She's basically saying "no" without any help or movement on her part?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
far, she has not.
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 month ago.

How long ago was this in court agreement? How often have you brought forward recommendations for a therapist?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
She states that she wants a "safe haven" counselor, which will block us from seeing his therapy notes. She has said she will not agree to any others than one who does safe haven. This was set in May of this year. I have recommended two therapists, which she then waits for weeks to schedule her own appointment to meet with the counselor and has so far not followed through on her appointments.
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 month ago.

Does she have primary custody, do you, or is it shared?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
We have joint physical custody with her as primary physical custodian, but we have shared joint legal custody.
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 month ago.

I see. Thank you for that additional information. Please give me a few minutes while I type a response. I am still here with you, but it does take a bit of time to type a complete response.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 month ago.

The problem is that you have "The parties agree to pursue counseling for the minor child as they may agree between themselves." The written order specifically states that the agreement is as you may agree between yourselves (indicating that you have agreed to pursue counseling and you will determine the specifics in agreement. If you were to pursue counseling on your own, without her agreement, that's an explicit violation of this order, as it's clear this order says "agree between themselves". Now that being said, she still has to act in a reasonable and good faith manner. If you're making suggestions, and she's shooting them down, but not offering suggestions of her own, the court may determine that she's not acting in good faith here.

So the way I see it is that you have three options:

(1) Sign him up for counseling on your own, and see what she does. Like I said the agreement said that she should agree. But she also has the obligation to act in good faith, which she has not done. So there's a questiion as to how the court would handle that, and frankly a risk. If she's a vindictive type, ready to go to court at the drop of a hat, then this is probably not the best option.

(2) File for a "clarification" or order. Essentially this is where you first go to court, say you can't agree on a counselor, that you've offered and she's shot them down, but she hasn't offered at all. Basically you'd be saying "we're here because of her" and hope the judge sides with you.

(3) Threaten to take it to court, to ask the court to find for you based upon her bad faith, and ask for sanctions against her because of her refusal to act in bad faith, unless she agrees to something or offers some good faith compromise on her own. This hopefully is the best option, as it puts her on notice that you've lost all patience and are ready to go to court. It makes it so that you'r not violating any court order, and ultimately puts the decision on the judge if she says no.

That being said, IF she is ready to go back to court, unless you feel confident about doing this on your own, you need to contact an attorney in your area that deals with family law cases. Go to www.lawyers.com or www.legalmatch.com to find an attorney in your area. You should be able to find one that will give you a free initial consultation and better advise you of your rights, any problems with your case, likelihood of success, how courts are treating cases such as yours in your area, and what you should do next.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

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Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 month ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 month ago.

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

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Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 month ago.

Hello?