Reunification therapy

During mediation my attorney suggested reunification therapy. Like an idiot I agreed and signed the papers. He chose the therapist from a list my attorney provided. I paid half of the retainer fee which was 1000.00 he paid the other half. That gave him ten sessions to try to fix his relationship with our son. During reunification our son repeatedly told the therapist he does not want to see his dad. Mind you our son is 15. Now all sessions are done but she wants us to sign up for more. I don’t have another 1000 laying around to pay for him to fix his relationship with our son. I just paid $2000 for a forensic analysis on his girlfriend cell to prove he was cheating because he’s suing me for alimony and PSS and to pay his attorney fees. What can I do. My attorney is not responsive at all. Do I have to continue to pay even though our son repeatedly says I don’t want to talk to him. I don’t want to see. While the therapist is threatening our son with you have to or you might spend the majority of your time with him. Which I don’t believe it to be true. Does the 10 sessions satisfy the agreement or is this going to go on and on.
Mind you after she spent an hour with my Ex she diagnosed him with narcissistic personality disorder

If your custody agreement requires you to continue with the reunification therapy until released by the therapist, then you will have to continue paying for it and continuing to send your son (assuming the agreement requires you to pay for a portion of it).

If your custody agreement is in a court order, then you may be able to file a motion to modify or review the reunification portion, but it may be difficult to discontinue the reunification therapy if the reunification therapist is recommending additional sessions. However, you may be able to change the payment terms to shift more of the financial burden to the father and away from you.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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.

We don’t have a custody agreement. We only had one mediation session. In that session it was presented and agreed upon. But I did not realize that it could indefinite.

And what if my 15 year old refuses to participate any further. He did 10 sessions and he still does not feel comfortable to see or talk to his dad

If there is no signed and notarized custody agreement (whether by court order, separation agreement, or memorandum of separation agreement), then there is no obligation to continue the reunification therapy.

If there is a signed and notarized custody agreement, then depending on the wording, you may have an obligation to continue with the reunification therapy. Usually such agreements state that the reunification therapy must continue until the reunification therapist releases the parent/child from the therapy or upon the mutual agreement of both parents.

If your child does not want to participate any further, then you may have to renegotiate the custody terms or file a motion in court (or file a custody action in court). A child not wanting to participate in reunification therapy is common, and should be addressed with the child’s individual therapist.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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.

Thank you for responding. This is not part of a custody agreement. This was a suggestion during mediation that I signed and now entered in the court system. I have one more question.
The RT told my son that he will not get in trouble if he does not want to have a relationship with his dad. But he will get in trouble if he does not participate in the reunification therapy. What kind of trouble is the therapist talking about.

The minor child cannot get in trouble for not participating in reunification therapy.

It sounds like you have a court order entered by consent which requires reunification therapy. Assuming this is correct, then your son is not a party to the court order, so he cannot get into trouble by not participating in reunification therapy, nor would a judge hold him responsible for not participating.

You, however, are a party to the court order and you could be held in contempt for not having your son participate in reunification therapy. But, you cannot make a teenager do something that he does not want to do. Your obligation under the court order instead is to encourage him to participate, make sure he is available for the sessions and/or has transportation for the sessions, and to not actively discourage the reunification therapy or actively discourage a relationship between father and minor child.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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.

One more question. I know that my son don’t mind the telehealth reunification meetings and he’s learning to open up about his feelings and anger towards his dad. But he does not want to see him in person or go have lunch with him. Can the therapist force him if he does not want and refuses. What would happen if no matter what I say he refuses to go.

The therapist can recommend in-person or face-to-face virtual meetings between your son and his father, but the therapist cannot force him to do anything.

You may have to return to court to revisit the issue of custody/visitation if your son refuses to attend the reunification therapy sessions no matter how much you have done to get him there. You cannot be held in contempt of court for a willful violation of the court order if you have done everything in your power to encourage and to get your son to attend but he, as a teenager, simply will not.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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.

You are the best. I wish I hired you and your firm for my case. You have answered my questions more than my own attorney. You are a blessing

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You are welcome. We are here to help!


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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.

I have one more question I hope you can help me with.
My ex husband’s dad gave us a 4 wheeler years ago. At least that’s what he told me. Not sure if he registered in his name or stayed in his dads name. Needless to say it’s been over 7- years since that ride has been either in the garage or in the backyard. His dad never once asked for it. I got an email from my Ex that his dad now wants to ride it. But his back is out of shape so he and his friend would have to come get it for him. I don’t believe him. We have not been to mediation over equatable distribution yet. I think he wants it so him and his girlfriend can ride it. What rights do I have? I have possession of the ride and the keys. And it’s on my property that he has not lived in for over 21/2 years.

You do not have to give it to him until the equitable distribution process is complete. During the equitable distribution process, it would be permanently decided which spouse would end up with the marital property/assets.

If you don’t want to keep it permanently, then you can go ahead and give it to him now (it would be easier to give it to him now than having to worry about storing it or selling it in the future). The value of the 4-wheeler would be assigned to him in equitable distribution as he would be the one keeping it. However, you may have a strategy reason for not giving it to him now and waiting until the mediation.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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.

Even though he might not have registered it in his name. I know the plate on it expired a long time ago. Since it’s been at the house since 2011 or 2012.

Title does not matter except in some instances for real property. What is important however, is when a piece of property was acquired.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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.

So now I got a text from him that I have 24 hours to respond to him. Otherwise he will report it stolen and sue me for attorney fees.

I am so frustrated. My attorney just told me that I have to continue forcing my son to attend the reunification sessions. This has been going on since March. We had 20 sessions already. And he still refuses to talk to his dad. By the end of August we would have completed 28 sessions. Where does this end. What court on earth thinks a parent should go broke paying for this. Is it true that I have to force him?

You must follow the current court order until it is modified or it expires. If the current court order requires you to pay for part of the reunification therapy and/or requires that you ensure your son attend the sessions, then you must follow through with the court order.

The next time you are in court you will likely be able to show the judge that the reunification therapy is not working and that you cannot afford to keeping paying. The reunification therapist may be able to provide valuable testimony about the progress or lack thereof in reunification therapy.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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.