Notification of Child's Well-Being


#1

The definition for joint custody is whatever the parents/courts make it in specific cases. Some parents have joint physical custody but still only get their children 3 days a week. For others it’s equal time. Joint physical custody is whatever is spelled out in the agreement or order.

As far as the definition for well-being, that means that if there is something going on with the child you must inform the other parent. This does not mean that the other parent needs to know where your new boyfriend/girlfriend works or lives. This is not directly related to the child. It does not mean that the other parent needs to know every detail about your days and every interaction that the child has while in your care. It only means that you must keep that parent informed if the child is sick, or if there are major issues that have long term affects, academic progress, if the child wants to take up an afterschool activity that may interfere with the other parents time. These are all things that should be discussed and normally agreed on. If you share custody then you should include the other parent on things that are directly related to the child.

The other parent can demand any information that they choose, it’s up to you to determine if that information is needed. If you do not believe that the information being asked is necessary for the other parent to do their part in raising the child, then do not give it. You take care of the child while they are with you and expect the other parent to do the same. You have to trust that the other parent is doing their best. That is the only way that joint custody will work. If the child is being fed, getting sleep, getting help with homework and/or life issues, being clothed, then those are the day to day activities that make up custody. You physically and emotionally care for that child during your custodial time. The other parent does the same. If any of that is not being done, then the other parent has the right, with joint custody, to step in and question that.
Hopefully some of the others have some input also…


#2

Stepmother,

That was the basic mindset I have been working off of. My stbx used the DVPO hearing yesterday to try to get the name of my housemate. The judge shut his atty down 4-5 times stating I did not have to disclose the information.

They tried to use threats in the DVPO hearing telling me they were filing contempt of court charges against me in the other county where the custody order is in effect. (I have moved over the past year.)

I am very frustrated and would very much like to find some guidelines or caselaw to help me in this. I know that he will continually use the well-being clause to continue to harass me and demand information about my new life without him.

I am just trying to breath and handle this all as level headed as possible. (Hopefully the divorce will be final w/i the next 2 weeks… he was served the first week of August via certified mail so the 30 days is this week and he has not requested a delay yet - so hopefully it will be all done soon.)

So anyone with some caselaw or a direction to shove me in to find direction and my left/right perimeters, please let me know.


#3

You are correct there is no specific definition for either of these terms. I encourage my client’s to use the common sense standard. If something comes up with your child that you would like to be notified about if the child was not in your care, then you should share that information with the other parent.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
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#4

I have searched the NCGS for a legal definition of well-being and I cannot find it.

If the custody order states: “The Plantiff and Defendant are hereby ordered to keep the other party informed of the general health and well-being of the minor children, to inlcude illiness, medical treatments, and appointments.”

What type of information is specifically required under the well-being portion? How much information can be demanded/required by the other parent before it is seen as them just being intrusive and attempting to still practice/exert control over the other parent and using the child to do so?

I cannot find and clear definitions in the law. There isn’t even a clear definition in NC for joint custody.

Thank you.