My ex and I have joint decision making when it comes to our adopted daughter. My ex had told me she shared some info about our daughter’s biological family with her, but didn’t reveal the extent to which she did this.
When my daughter was with me, I found out she’s been calling her these biological family members. I am worried because I don’t believe these people have her best interests in mind, and I’m upset with my ex for facilitating.
What recourse do I have in this matter, and is there a way I can stop it?
Thank you for your question. While I do not practice law in your state and cannot speak specifically to that state’s laws, I can give you some general information about how child support affects custody.
With joint custody, for purposes of decision making, both parents are to discuss any and all important issues before a decision is made. A decision to provide your young daughter with contact information about her birth family is certainly a very important decision that should have been made jointly. Therefore, your ex could be found to have violated the custody order or agreement.
That being said, your remedies could include two possibilities. First, to prevent this from happening in the future, you could file a Violation Petition against your ex and seek sole decision-making authority. Depending on your current physical custody arrangement, this could also form the basis for seeking primary physical custody if you fear for your daughter’s well-being.
Second, you could potentially seek an order preventing your daughter’s birth family from having any contact with her. The difficulty here is that it is your daughter reaching out to them and not the other way around. Even with an injunction or order of protection, her birth family will not be in violation if your daughter is the one trying to make contact.
Considering your daughter’s age, you want to consider working with a child therapist to discuss the reasons you don’t want your daughter to have contact with her birth family until she is older. If you do choose this road, it would be important to include your ex as well.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including New York divorce lawyer Asa Neff, contact Cordell & Cordell.