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JaxLawyer, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Over eight years of practice in several practice areas.
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I am recently divorced. I am the custodial parent to our 4

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I am recently divorced. I am the custodial parent to our 4 year old daughter. my ex husband has every other weekend visitation. He has allowed his girlfriend to take my daughter out of state overnight alone without notifying me. he has allowed his girlfiend to shower with my daughter. He is demanding his girlfriend have rights to pick up my daughter from preschool. I believe this behavior is inappropriate and possibly damaging to my daughter. I want to take him back to court but am afraid a judge will not think this is enough to warrant a change in custody
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  JaxLawyer replied 7 years ago.

If you feel the actions are inappropriate, don't be afraid to take it in front of a judge. As long as you explain yourself, the judge will not think poorly of you, even if he doesn't agree with you. The actions you have described would not be enough to take away his visitation but you can ask that the custody order be modified to prevent him from doing these things.


It isn't unreasonable, though, for you to object to your ex allowing his girlfriend to take your daughter out of state. He shouldn't be allowed to take her out of the state, or let someone else take her out of the state, unless you have been notified and give your consent. You should bring this up with the judge and if necessary, modify the custody order to make it clear that the child cannot leave the state without parental consent.


Likewise, it isn't unreasonable to object to the girlfriend picking up your daughter. She is not family and you have no idea what her background is. If she was his wife, it would be different but she is just a girlfriend and you are perfectly justified to be concerned about a "stranger" picking up your daughter.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thank you. I believe he is already in contempt since the divorce agreement states that if either parent goes out of state, then a landline phone number must be provided, which was not provided to me considering I called the girlfriend myself and she refused to pick up the phone nor tell me where they were located. This is not the first time this has happened. I agree that I am justified in not allowing her to pick up my daughter, especially in light of her taking her out of state and not answering my calls. However, my ex claims that this girlfriend is going to be her 'mother too' and 'there is no such thing as a mother/daughter bond' so therefore she should have the same parenting rights as I do. I just feel this is incredibly damaging to my daughter.
Expert:  JaxLawyer replied 7 years ago.

Then yes, if that is what your divorce says, he is in contempt and you should bring a Motion for Contempt, asking for sanctions and also asking to revoke overnight visitation because he has violated the agreement. The court may not agree to revoke his visitation upon the first Motion for Contempt, but this will lay the groundwork so that if he does it again, and you bring another Motion, the court may punish him more harshly by taking away visitation then.


And he is wrong about claiming that his girlfriend is going to be her mother too so she should have the same parenting rights. The fact of the matter is, she is not his wife yet. And even if she was, a step-parent has no legal rights concerning the child, and is certainly not entitled to the same parenting rights as you. You should make it clear to the school that you are the custodial parent and you are the only one with the right to give authorization to third parties to pick up your child. The school should not give you trouble on this.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

thank you. yes, I have made it clear to the school. My only other concern with going to court, is what my ex will come up with agaist me, which would be lies, but I do not want to risk for some unknown reason, having a judge look unfairly upon me and god forbid award him more custody away from me. My ex makes a lot of money and can hire whomever he wants to represent him. Although interesting to note, his last high profile attorney has chosen not to represent him in this latest incident. I just do not want to risk one minute of my custody being jeapordized?

Expert:  JaxLawyer replied 7 years ago.

I cannot predict what will happen in court. However, custody modification is only allowed when there is a "significant change in circumstances" since the order was first entered. Your ex violating the court order could be seen as a significant change in circumstances (because it was not forseen that he would violate the order). I don't see how he could be successful in having your custody taken away with unsubstantiated lies. It is much more difficult to modify a custody order than it is to modify a visitation order. He would have to have some pretty substantial proof against you showing you to be an unfit mother in order to take custody away.


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