By Julie Garrison
Special to DadsDivorce.com
My previous article “Is Your Ex-Wife Ignoring Your Children During Parenting Time?” addressed a common situation when a divorced dad feels his ex-wife is not properly caring for the children during her parenting time.
Frequently cited examples include mom increasingly leaving the child for longer periods at daycare or with babysitters to spend more time with her new boyfriend, and that mom has begun going out later, drinking more than normal, and sometimes picking up the children from daycare after happy hour.
Here are 6 actions a father can try to remedy the situation and help his children when he believes his ex-wife is being neglectful to their children during her parenting time.
1. Begin keeping a log of his ex-wife’s new activities that detract from her parenting time.
2. Continue to ask the ex-wife for more parenting time and document each time he talks with her.
3. In the example provided, ask the daycare provider to write a letter or declaration detailing the mother’s irresponsible behavior with alcohol. All government-subsidized daycare providers are mandated to report child endangerment and neglect to the appropriate state social services agency assigned the task of protecting and advocating for children. The dad can request that the daycare provider report the mother’s frequent alcohol use to the authorities.
4. He can ask his ex-wife to go with him to a collaborative law attorney and work out a more fitting parenting time schedule and have the schedule made official with the court.
5. If the wife doesn’t agree to sitting down with some type of collaborative attorney, the dad has no choice but to hire a mens divorce attorney and take his ex-wife back to court for a modification of the original child custody order. Most states will require the parents to work out their parenting-time schedule with a mediator, anyway.
6. If the alcoholic behavior of the ex-wife is an issue in the mother maintaining her parenting time, she may have to undergo random drug/alcohol testing as a condition of any amended custody arrangement.
Any action that a dad with shared parenting undertakes is bound to create tidal waves in the world of his ex-wife. She may weigh her options and end up behaving more responsibly, especially if she feels that her custody of the children is going to be put at risk.
However, a father should not feel guilty about putting his children’s wellbeing ahead of his ex-wife’s – even though she is the mother of his children.
If you think you have a case for a child custody modification and more parenting time, contact the divorce lawyers for men at Cordell & Cordell.
Julie Garrison has been writing articles and short stories for the past 10 years and has appeared in several magazines and e-zines.