Custodial Parent's Legal Obligations? *Follow-up question*


#1

Just a quick question: What are the custodial parent’s legal obligations to the non-custodial parent, if any?

For background, my ex-wife refuses to update me regarding our two children or have them contact me, insisting I be the one to do everything.

EDIT: Just wanted to add that we have joint legal custody of the kids, with her being the primary caregiver, if that makes any difference.


#2

Unless the order states that the parties must give each other updates, they are under no obligation to do so. That said, I would keep track of the times you haven’t been informed as this is a common courtesy and shows a lack of co-parenting. If it continues to be an issue or there are other actions that would warrant a modification, this evidence could be used against him/her. You can read more about child custody claims on our site.


#3

Thank you for the reply. She did notify me of their move this month from Virginia to Michigan about a month prior, but otherwise I have it in writing (email) that she has no intention of notifying me of anything regarding the children in the future (barring a move, I’m assuming). In fact, her exact words were, “It is not my responsibility to report to you (I am not a reporting agency); therefore, you will not be receiving (any) updates. If you want to be a Father and be involved, it is your responsibility to keep in touch.” I’ve also never been sent – or even offered – any school pictures, “family photos,” or anything of the sort. Would that be admissible as proof of a lack of co-parenting?

In a previous post, I asked about a “statute of limitations” regarding taking our kids to live out of state without informing me in writing about 5 years ago; since then, she had her then boyfriend move in with her our children before our divorce was final, then a few months later married him – both without notifying me. Granted, we didn’t have a formal separation agreement, but is there anything that can be done retroactively (this was 4 years ago), or is it too late? Would the lack of any communication regarding that be admissible as well?

For the record, I’m aware that I let her walk all over me, and consider it a very hard lesson learned. :-\


#4

Is a non-custodial parent of a 17 year old allowed to sign for daughter to be married? (Parents divorced 13 years ago, one parent has sole custody). Thanks.


#5

not an attorney
don’t think so… I believe if the other parent has full sole custody… then it is up to that parent to make all the decisions for that child in what he/she does


#6

Yes, that email would certainly show a lack of co-parenting. You cannot obtain a custody order that is retroactive, but poor decision-making in the past can be used against a party to show alienation and as evidence as to why a custody arrangement should be changed.

As for the question about legal custody, if you have a document that indicates you have sole legal custody, the other party should not be able to make any decisions for the minor child, including authorizing marriage.


#7

[quote=“scarletmint”]not an attorney
don’t think so… I believe if the other parent has full sole custody… then it is up to that parent to make all the decisions for that child in what he/she does[/quote]

Okay, thank you. Once the child turns 18, they can do what they want, correct?


#8

Thank you.


#9

not an attorney

When you turn 18 you become a legal adult no matter if you live with your parents or not…not sure what NC age is but yes I would say at 18 the child who turned age wise 18 into an adult can do whatever he/she pleases…but if marriage occurs owing child support I believes ends even if still attending high school…the married couple are taking on life under the assumption they can,live on their own…


#10

When a child turns 18, they become an adult and can marry freely.


#11

Kathleen,

I actually have a follow-up question: Even though my ex-wife said she will not provide updates, should I continue to ask for them? I’m thinking if I ask for an update once a week or every other week and she continues to not provide them, that can only strengthen my case, correct?

Thanks for your help!


#12

Yes, the more you can show a lack of communication, the stronger your claim will be.


#13

Thank you again, Kathleen.