Shared Legal Custody


#1

STBX seems to think that this gives him carte blanche to tell me what to do. The children reside with me. He has every other weekend, shared school breaks, etc. We have shared legal, which as far as I was told, meant he could weigh in on decisions regarding education, religion and medical matters only. I have, of course, been ignoring the STBX but I’m getting to the point that I may have my attorney do something because it’s borderline stalking.

Am I correct in my definition of shared legal custody? He cannot tell me who I can and cannot have around the children. He cannot tell me what to do with my money. He cannot tell me what to do with my spare time. He cannot tell me what to buy the children and what not to buy the children. In essence, he cannot dictate to me and regarding religion, education and medical matters, he can weigh in his thoughts but this does NOT mean I have to abide by what HE says, is this correct? I can make my own decisions regarding the girls provided that it’s in their best interest.

Thank you, as always, for your time and insight.


#2

Yes, your understanding his correct. Joint legal custody does not give him the right to dictate anything, but only requires the two of you to work together regarding major decisions. You are free to make day to day decisions regarding the children on your own when they are in your care, that includes how you spend your time, and who with.


#3

Thank you. I just received a letter from his attorney stating (in essence) that he feels that my Father has little regard for my daughters’ well being and that if my Father’s “behavior” continues (telling him that he owes him money, my STBX considered that a threat so he had him taken to court … my Father was of course found not guilty … and now the STBX is trying everything he can to get my parents out of my daughters lives one way or another … The STBX has also been fired from his third job in three years and is not paying any money for child support now that he’s unemployed, even though he’s receiving unemployment).

He also stated that he was at the school when one of my daughters received a balloon for Valentine’s Day from my boyfriend (she also received balloons from me, my Mom, my Dad AND my grandmother … but not from her own father). His attorney states that he was “quite upset by this” and she states “I cannot believe that so soon after the separation (separated since November) the Plaintiff finds it appropriate to introduce her dating parner to the children. All of this behavior needs to cease immediately or we will be back in court very quickly to modify custody.”

This comes from my STBX’s attorney. He is the defendant. I left and cited abuse and an affair for my reasons for leaving. Does he have any type of case to modify custody?? As I stated, he was fired from his third job in as many years (first one for sexual harrassment, second one for not doing his job and third for not making his sales quota), he is not paying any money for child support. My boyfriend is helping me with some bills since the girls’ father certainly isn’t. The girls absolutely ADORE my boyfriend. They love spending time with him and they would be heartbroken if they didn’t get to see him at least once a week (which is basically how often they do get to see him). It isn’t like we’re living together. He doesn’t spend every day over at our house. They’re lucky if they see him once a week or every two weeks. He’s a good person, no drugs, no alcohol, not a negative influence.

My question is does the STBX have any type of case to take back to court to modify custody?

Thank you for your time.


#4

In order to modify custody he would have to allege and prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances affecting the well begin of the child. The child receiving balloons on Valentine’s day and begin introduced to your significant other hardly constitutes a substantial change in circumstances.