Educational Neglect

Have you talked with your ex about a possible trial change for a year? As an alternative to a court battle and spending a great deal of money. It may be that if you and your ex can agree that something needs to be done, that he may agree to try this out.
I don’t know if that would be grounds for emergency custody. Without knowing all the details I do know that a lot of schools will not consider a child to have “learning problems” until around 5th grade. They do not provide tutors before 3rd or 4th grade.
My two stepsons seemed to have traded acedemic personalities since last year. One in 6th grade, has consistantly brought home C’s, D’s and F’s and that was with a private tutor, but this years he’s making A’s, B’s, and C’s and hasn’t had a tutor. One in 3rd grade always brought home A’s with the exception of conduct grades and the occasional high B. This year, he’s bringing home C’s & D’s. What I’m saying is that it may be the environment, it may be your son’s ability to learn, but it also may be your son’s willingness to learn. I would talk with your ex and see if he’s willing to try a change for the upcoming school year and see what happens. The thing to keep in mind though is that your son may have trouble adjusting to a move that large so if you’re going to try this, make sure it’s well in advance of him starting school.

I have already asked the ex many times to do a trial custody change but she says over her dead body. She says she is the only one with his best interests at heart and myself and my wife have no idea how to parent an 11 year old. He does have ADHD and has always struggled with school. She says we have no idea how to parent a child with ADHD and she knows what is best for him. How can that be when she refuses to get him tutors and won’t look into any kind of ADHD therapy or ADHD schooling programs? Not to mention that she has made it perfectly clear that she will never let my new wife be a parent to my son. Even though I let her new husband parent him. Apparently that is different in her eyes. My wife and son have a wonderful relationship and have since they met when he was two. He loves hanging out with his step mom. Her new husband and my son, on the other hand, have a horrible relationship. Her husband calls him names and verbally abuses him daily. The problem is that verbal abuse is very hard to prove in court. My ex says that it isn’t that bad and that my son is exagerating. How can calling my son a di*k head be exagerated? My son should have no idea what that phrase is. Yet he hears it weekly. I am so frustrated with the whole situation and want what is best for my son.

I must apologize. I assumed that with the user name, you were the mother and the father had custody. My suggestion wouldn’t have been the same though. It’s always better to attempt to work things out between yourselve than to take it to court. Since you have tried that and the ex is unwilling to discuss anything that may help your son then I would suggest, if you are planning to try for custody, gather as much information as you can. Talk to your son over the phone and to your ex about this situation, record those conversations. Get her to make those statements to you on record. Make sure to inform your ex on record that you are concerned about your son’s progress in school. Talk to the school that your son would be attending and see if they have any programs set up for children with “special needs”. Get documentation of his school records from Texas if it’s possible…if you have joint legal custody you can get them.
My oldest stepson also has ADHD. He is on medication but this year, 6th grade they have a “study hall” in school for children like this. There are only 10 children in the class and it is at the end of the day. He gets more 1 on 1 attention so that he hardly ever brings home homework. This is so much better than last year when his father spent hours helping him every night that he was with us.
The courts want to do what’s in the best interest of the child and even if filing for custody does no more than get his mother more active and motivated to truly help him it would be worth it. I’m not sure where you would file though, since he lives in Texas.
As far as where your son picked up phrases and foul language, well, my stepsons pick it up from their mother, their father, their grandmother, TV, video games, older kids at school…There’s all sorts of places kids pick things up. I’m not saying that the stepfather isn’t using this and directing those comments to him and that would be considered verbal abuse, but as you said it’s difficult to prove. Get that recorder on your phone and call as much as possible. Get as much “dirt” as you can and then contact an attorney to find out what the next step is.

Sorry about the screen name confusion. My wife created the account and apparently didn’t realize that I would be using it too lol. Otherwise she would have named it differently:) Thank you for your comments. My son doesn’t use the language that his step father calls him. He tells me about it over the phone. That his step father called him something and his mother was right there and didn’t do anything about it. I have confronted her about it and she says that her husband is diabetic and when his blood sugar is to low he can’t control what he says. That is bull. My mother is diabetic and has never had a problem with her self control. It is just an excuse for her husband to use because he doesn’t like my son. My ex wife’s sister has told me as much. She has said that he is not a good step father and has told me other things that he has said and done to my son that are very mentally abusive. I am gearing up to take my ex back to court over all of this. I have threatened to take her back to court before thinking maybe she would do more for our son but all she says is I can go ahead and try but I will never win no matter what I do. It never gets her to do anything for our son. She is of the belief that since she has custody that a judge will never change it. I hope with all my heart that she is wrong. For my son’s sake.

With that situation you should get the recorder on the phone and discuss all this again, with the ex and your son. Talk to your ex-sister-in-law also but only about things witnessed herself. If you are able to file here in NC, I don’t see why you couldn’t, see if she would be willing to give a deposition to your attorney stating what she has witnessed. That is a difficult situation but you may need to remind her that this is for your son and what’s best for him and not for you or her sister. I am not certain of the law in Texas about recording conversations but in NC, as long as one party in the conversation has knowledge that it’s being recorded, you can use it in court.
You are correct in that diabetics can have control. I will admit that a diabetic with low sugar may get irritable and but that is no excuse for using foul language to a child. No if he had Tourette’s syndrome, that would be a different situation. If your ex’s husband truly cared for your son, regardless of the situation, he would be apologizing for being irritated and/or calling him names.
Get as much as you can. Contact his school in Texas and find out if there has been any incidents that you should be aware of. You are entitled to be kept informed of your sons progress or lack of. Start digging and recording stuff now. The end of school is only a few months away and if you time this right and can file in NC, then you may be able to get this done while he’s here over the summer and not have to send him back. Check out also. There’s some good stuff on those sites.
First step, get the recorder on your phone. Second step is to find out for sure if you can file in NC. Third, dig and document.
Maybe some of the other’s have some advice…

Wow. I somewhat know how you feel but the truth of the matter if your child as ADHD then how he does in school probably has little barings on the way the child is being raised but how the school is teaching the child. Almost any child that has ADHD cannot be in a normal class setting. They will need specialized teaching. My son has ADHD and is 14 years of age and for the first time he’s making very good grade but he’s not in a normal class room setting. As a paret with kids like these they need lots of attention, patience and support from their teachers and parents and untill you find teachers with patience and that understands your child then your child will continue to suffer. First thing you need to do is find out what type of class room setting does your child has. You really need to research his school activity.

That’s the problem. His mother refuses to get him into any other type of schooling. She thinks because he is in an expensive catholic school that he is getting the best education there is. She refuses to even research other options or look at the other options that I have found and emailed to her. My history with her shows that if it isn’t her idea it isn’t a good idea. I am in regular contact with his teacher and she says that they generally start their homework in class and then have to finish it at home. He almost never finishes it. His mother doesn’t make him and when he tells her that it is finished she never checks. It has been several years of this and she still won’t check his homework. I will even call him and ask him if it is completed and he will tell me that it is. I will then ask his mother to verify that it is done and she just yells at me that I have no rights 1500 miles away and that I can’t tell her how to parent him. it is very frustrating. I try my hardest and she just won’t listen or take advice. That is why I would like a chance to see if I can make a difference in his education. We have several private schools in my area that are specifically for children with ADHD. They have a 1-4 teacher student ratio. They are highly recommended.

It sounds as though your ex does not really have your son’s best interest at heart. To me it sounds like whatever you say is going to be opposed by her. Get all the information you can about those schools to take with you to court. The courts will basically want to know why they should take a child from the home they are used to. Why would it be better for your son to live with you? Except for the stuff about stepdad, you don’t try to prove she’s a bad mother, (let the recordings and her “track record” do that) but try to prove that you are a better father. You have researched ways to help your son deal with his disorder and you have other children that he will be able to get to know, along with an trying to improve his situation in school. Take pictures of “his” room, his neighborhood. Anything to show the courts what type of environment your son would be brought into and that you are prepared. Most importantly, get that recorder. Discuss a possible trial again with your ex and sorry to say, play dirty. Push all the buttons that you know will make her say things that will show her “true colors”. I have no doubt that she loves her son but I have no patience for any parent who will use a child to get back at the other parent. If she truly had your son’s best interest in mind she would do whatever necessary to make sure that he was well adjusted and that he was getting whatever treatment was available.
Consult an attorney to see what they believe your chances are…

Dear pixiedust:

Greetings. No, lack of educational support should not be grounds for emergency custody. However it may be grounds to transfer custody long term. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 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 but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

Is lack of educational support grounds for emergency custody? My ex
currently has custody of my 11 year old son in Texas. My son has failed second grade and repeated it, barely made it through third grade and is now in danger of failing fourth grade. My ex does nothing for my son and is unwilling to get him tutors or any other kind of help. Is this considered grounds for emergency change of custody? His educational needs are not being met by his other parent. He will be here in NC for the summer and I hate to send him back to Texas for another school year, which he will probably fail, while I fight for custody. I have a very stable home, am remarried, have two more wonderful children, make good money and am very willing and able to take care of his educational needs.

Thank you