Child Care

I am assuming you have joint custody with her being primary custodial parent with visitation rights for you. If so, then your visitation schedule should be pretty clear on the days you get your kids. If she is violating the order, then she is in breech of contract. It all depends on the wording of your agreement as what you can bring before a judge. Living in a pigpen is irrelevent unless the kids are in physical danger. Plus you can’t have your kids do the talking with their mom. That has to be between you and her. It sounds as if communication isn’t the best.

Bottom line…if she is not in direct violation of the agreement you have, then you can’t take her to court for breech of contract. If you want the agreement changed, you’ll have to request a change through the courts if she won’t agree to one.

do you have joint LEGAL custody - if so she should be informing you of some of these things. I would tell her that in the future you will stick to the visitation schedule that the court has drawn up unless she is willing to compromise with you and “give” you make up time with your children.

You also have the right to get information from the school. Talk to his/her/their teacher(s). Get in the loop about their educational milestones as well as on possible setbacks. As far as sports, if the child wants to be in the program, sports does wonders for self esteem as well as getting physical activity. Plus, it gives you the oppritunity to see your kids more. There are games, practices, and other team related functions that are prime bonding times with kids. You don’t just have to be involved on “your” weekends. Although you may not get to see them everyday, there are other ways of supporting your kids and their growth. As for the way she chooses to keep house, there really isn’t anything you can do about it, until it poses a danger to the health of the child(ren).

I would also echo what trbotina said about getting in the loop w/ teachers. All schools have websites now so find out how to get in touch with teachers, take a look at the school calendar, plan to attend parent teacher conferences on your own or with your ex. We make an effort to call and e-mail all teachers so they know we want to be kept informed as well. Most are very agreeable about this.

Another tip on schools. In my county, you can call the school and add your phone number to the broadcast announcement list if your school district uses this system. You get a canned phone call or message from the principal which tells of upcoming events. I did this once I moved out and it was a lifesaver because my STBX wasn’t sharing that information. I show up at ALL their events and games. They’re public events and she can’t say a word about it.

In order to change custody you will need to prove to the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the date of separation and that that change of circumstances justifies a change in custody. Many things can be evidence of a change, a major change in one parents ability to care for the children, drugs and alcohol problems, a change in the needs of the children, alienating behavior towards the other parent.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Over the last few months the “ex” has on two occassions needed the kids on my weekends and then scheduled things for them on the weekends I have them. Said no way to seeing them on Mother’s Day for 2nd year in a row and not given me a chance to see them on Father’s Day and said nothing about child getting awards at school assembly. Decided on her own that child would play a type of sport without talking with me etc. etc.

What type of items would a judge need to change the custody order ? My oldest almost had a heart attack when i to them that we needed to talk with his mother about sport thing and said they will just do what she said. Also the place they are living is a pig pen.