My husband’s ex-wife tells his daughter’s coaches and staff leaders to not give him information regarding her sports or extracurricular activities.
There is no court order against my husband that says he can’t give given this information.
Sometimes, his ex even changes his daughter’s last name so that we cannot attend her games or see her perform.
Is this violating his rights as a father? Can his ex do this even though there is no court order against him?
While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.
It certainly depends on whether there is a custody order in place. In many times, until such time as a custody order is entered with the court, it is presumed that both parents have equal rights to a child both in terms of physical and legal custody.
This means that each parent can spend as much time as they wish with the child and must make all major decisions with regard to the child’s health, safety and welfare together as well as receive any and all information with regard to the child.
However, if there is no custody order in place, there is nothing for the court to enforce in a situation where one parent is not receiving information they are otherwise entitled to.
Please note that in some states, when determining a custody award, the paramount concern is what is in the child’s best interest. The court will take into consideration many factors when determining what is in the child’s best interest.
The factors include such things as what parent will promote an ongoing and healthy relationship with the non-custodial parent, who has been the primary caretaker of the child, how far apart (distance) are the parents residing from one another and, dependent upon the child’s age, what the child would want in terms of a custody schedule.
Typically, a parent’s rights to custody of his or her child will not be terminated unless the court finds that the child’s safety would be in danger if that parent has custodial time, or unless the parent voluntarily terminates their rights. Again, until such time as a court order is entered, each parent has equal rights to the child.
In order to determine each parent’s custodial rights, both physically and legally, it is important to obtain a court order. When a court order is entered, it can be very detailed, thus there would be no question about what obligations the parents have to each other and to the child.
Further, if either party violates the order, the other parent can seek to have the violating parent found in contempt, which is considered willful disregard to obey court orders.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.