Ex Won’t Force Children To Play Sports

georgia divorce lawyerQuestion:

My ex-wife has legal custody and will not push my obese daughter into playing sports or engaging in other extracurricular activities that could vastly improve her health and self-esteem.

My child’s doctor also says he is not concerned and that she will grow out of her “baby fat” but the fact is my child is extremely overweight with no weight loss improvements made in several years.

Is there anything I can do to attempt to get my ex-wife to force my daughter into a more engaging and healthy lifestyle?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Georgia divorce and child custody laws where I am licensed to practice.

There are typically four issues in a child custody situation that one parent is given legal custody, or final decision making authority, on:

1. Education

2. Extracurricular activities

3. Religion

4. Children’s health

I assume that your ex-wife was given final decision making authority in all of these areas during the divorce action. This does not preclude you from being involved in your children’s lives and in any of these decisions. It is important to keep a written dialogue between you and the children’s mother regarding the health and sports issues for your daughter.

Also, you should not be precluded from having your daughter see a difference doctor to get a second opinion. Just ensure you have an open (written) discussion with your ex-wife. If you are willing to cover the costs of this second opinion, hopefully she does not have any issues.

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The Importance of Legal Custody

Further, if you feel your daughter’s health is at jeopardy, you may file an action for modification of custody, wherein you may only ask for legal custody regarding the issues your ex-wife is failing in (health and/or extracurricular activities).

Make sure you are doing everything you can to engage in sports and other healthy activities during your visitation and parenting time with the children.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Atlanta, Georgia Divorce Lawyer Amber R. Piotrowicz, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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3 comments on “Ex Won’t Force Children To Play Sports

    Maybe because your child would be embarrassed to be in sports since she is obese and doesn’t want anyone to make fun of her. I would suggest other types of exercise first, maybe purchase an exercise bike for her so she can start at home to build her self esteem high enough to have the confidence to be involved in sports. If you live close to each other, maybe you could go for shared parenting to where you both have 50/50 rights and no one is superior over the other.

    Just my opinion. Good luck.

    In Illinois, Section 608a gives the custodial parent the same powers as stated above. However, there is one caveat: The noncustodial parent may petition the court for some decision making power if it is the child’s best interest. It’s rarely invoked — due in part to its obscure wording: “that the absence of a specific limitation of the custodian’s authority would clearly be contrary to the best interests of the child”.

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