Calling bullsh*t on custodial parents who let the children decide their visitation

Posted Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 by Gregory Forman
Filed under Child Custody, Contempt/Enforcement of Orders, Litigation Strategy, Not South Carolina Specific, Of Interest to Family Court Litigants, Of Interest to Family Law Attorneys, Visitation

When I first started practicing family law I would encounter a number of visitation enforcement hearings in which the custodial parent tried to excuse his or her failure to have the children visit with the other parent because “the children didn’t want to.”  Occasionally, and much to my frustration, the judges would sometimes accept this excuse and not find the custodial parent in contempt.  Early in my career I didn’t have an effective counter to these parents’ claims other than to hope the judge would enforce the order rather than buy the custodial parent’s excuse.  It has been my more recent experience that, absent evidence of abuse, the court doesn’t accept these excuses as frequently.

However, in the interim, I have developed what I believe is an effective cross examination technique for a custodial parent who testifies that he or she won’t force the children to visit the other parent because the children don’t want to.  I ask them what other things they expect their children to do that they don’t require them to do when they don’t want to.  Can the children refuse to do their chores/eat their vegetables/practice their violin/brush their teeth if they don’t want to?  Can their children drink bourbon for breakfast when they don’t want to drink milk?  Can their children have sex with their boyfriend/girlfriend when they don’t want to spend the afternoon studying?  Can their children go to the beach when they don’t want to go to school?

There’s a heck of a lot of things that parents force their children to do because they’re the parent and they decide what’s good for their child.  Visiting the non-custodial parent–assuming the child really doesn’t want to visit and also assuming there’s no abuse going on–is one of those things the courts should be forcing upon the children and custodial parent.  If the situation with the non-custodial parent gets bad enough, it should be the custodial parent’s obligation to seek an order reducing the other parent’s visitation, rather than simply denying visitation and expecting the court to not enforce its own orders.

Only one time in my career have I seen a child refuse to visit the non-custodial parent when the custodial parent supported the visitation and, in that case, the parties eventually agreed to forgo the non-custodial parent’s visitation when it became clear in (court-ordered) counseling why the child didn’t want to visit.  I was hoping that the courts were getting away from letting children, with the support of the custodial parent, decide their own (lack of) visitation and that the courts were gradually seeing that this unwillingness to visit was frequently tied to the custodial parent’s disregard for the other parent.  However, just today, I have discussed or been involved in three situations in which visitation has been denied because the custodial parent supported the child(ren)’s decision not to visit.  It may be time to dust off my “bourbon for breakfast” script.

589 thoughts on Calling bullsh*t on custodial parents who let the children decide their visitation

  1. justin says:

    STATUS UPDATE :
    Therapeutic visits last year…..cancelled because the mother ended up back in prison, determination from councilor, “this is not healthy for and will not benefit the child”
    Judge ignored

    This year, supervised visits through casa ordered
    Took child to every visit, child refused to visit, last visit the mother didnt show up, result-casa cancelled visits

    Last month, review hearing, judge vacated the mothers motion because she didn’t show up to court, but left it “open” for mother to take me back to court.

    This women has been gone for 15 years, why are we do concerned about making her happy?
    Child doesn’t want to see her, mother been in amd out of prison, has had zero contact with child since birth, when is enough enough

  2. William says:

    I’m a single father of three under 10. Twin boys 8 and a 10 yr old girl. My daughter refuses to see mother after mother sent terrible adult based text to her daughter. Mother does get when she supposed to ever and hasn’t held a permanent residency or job for the duration of our separation, 5 years. She wants them when she has money or its convenient and it never for proper time. I as guardian am inconvenienced always and have to change all free time or schedule appointments when it her visitation time. I’m frustrated cause my little girl doesn’t feel safe nor does mother have adequate sleeping for all three. I’m stressed and saddened and about to burst with stress all the time

  3. Angela Kirk says:

    My two sons, ages 12 and 13, don’t want to go back to their dad’s for visitation. They tell me he makes the sleep on an air mattress in a shed outside of his travel trailer. He smokes weed in front of them and every day of their visitation, he tells them horrible lies about me. They are afraid to say anything to him out of fear that he will become angry and violent. After 17 yrs of mental and physical abuse from this man myself, i know the damage he’s doing to them emotionally. In Florida, do they have the right to refuse to go?

  4. JL says:

    Angela- according to the buffoon who wrote the article they shouldn’t have the say.

    William- I hear you as I have very nearly the identical situation. Sadly the family judicial system in this country is completed screwed up. My hope is to allow my son a year or two more of getting a taste of his mom’s shenanigans and have him meet with a judge privately to let him decide who will maintain custody when I relocate. Good luck.

    1. Concerned says:

      JL – the “buffoon” article writer didn’t decide at minimum 4 years into an admittedly physically and mentally abusive relationship to have not one, but two children. Then stay with the abuser for God knows how long subjecting the children to it, but now FINALLY knows the damage he is doing. Does that sound like someone qualified to impartially decide visitation? Fact of the matter is, courts can step in and halt visitation when abuse is evident, but sadly most of the time missed visitation is a vindictive parent using children as a weapon.

      William, keep your head up, keep diligent. I finally got my order modified so my daughter doesn’t have to see the mother. Document all you can and make sure your children know it is ok to call the police immediately if they feel unsafe, even before calling you. An officer testifying goes well toward getting visitation modified, but the flip side is true as well, so make sure they aren’t just trying to get out of visitation and there is actually an issue of safety. The courts require proof sure, but when you have it they will do their best to help you protect the children.

  5. The Court of Appeals agrees with me that custodial parents can be held in contempt for failing to force the children to visit: Noojin v. Noojin.

    1. NN says:

      Does that apply if the children don’t want to visit an alcoholic parent and a court order allows the children to choose to visit or not, but the alcoholic parent doesnt accept the court’s decision of consent and constant calls the children trying to make them feel guilty . When the children dont answer their phones, he blames the mother and threatens to take her to court.

  6. Angela Jones says:

    I family court system needs to be changed. I have been divorce for 5 years and have to go to court every year sometimes twice to protect me child. This last time we had two therapist say supervised visits and that he needed pychychologist eval. The judge back in chambers decided as long as the visits where in the county then the child was safe. He said it was a free county so he couldn’t order a pych eval and I forgoed a month of child support to pay for counseling bc he was just going to order unsupervised. He didn’t hear about how he got fired for abuse with children how he yells at her on the phone or when he had her last. The system is based on old mean fart judges or magstitrates with no care for the truth but for what they think they know. And then I can’t even ask for medical because that wouldn’t look right to the judge.. He actually told me I put my money where my mouth was when I said I would pay for he therapy. I have paid 25,000 in lawyer bills trying to protect my child. I never bad month him and as soon as he get the child he spends all his time mentally abusing her. It is ridiculous and cutout just like the rest of the government.. My rights for people who hurt people and the victims get to live with it and try and pick up the pieces.

  7. Ted says:

    I’m calling bullshit on your calling bullshit. That’s absurd. You’re making a blanket statement that assumes the majority of situations are reconcilable.

    My ex-wife has been an on-again off-again alcoholic for ten years. My twins are 14. So, essentially, their entire lives have been spent being a caretaker and little guilt-laden worriers.

    She started her drinking career by downing half 750l of Vodka and quickly advanced to doubling down with Xanax and Klonpin. 10 years, 3 CA5150 mandatory holds, 3 stints in rehab, the near auto death of my daughter.

    5150 #1: The first big “holy cow, is this happening to us?” happened when she killed a bottle vodka and chased it with a bottle of wine to wash down a few Xanax in a tub, just before she cut her wrists. My then 4 year olds, found her, screamed, I pulled her out of the tub–just in time.

    She’d been admitted. The doctor said she wasn’t an alcoholic, just very depressed. Gave her some pills. Gave her the number of a pysch and on her way. Oh we worked together. We went to counseling. We had trial separation. We reunited and we went to church and recovery groups a LOT.

    5150 #2: 8 years later and after a half dozen or so periods of sobriety she decided to pound some Absolut (from the bottle) and head to the store to grab some more. BAM! DUI. That was the wake up call. She lost her license. She lost her dignity. She was stripped bare. She had hit rock bottom. No way would she do it again, or maybe she would.

    7 months later. License in hand. Seeing a counselor, AA religously–our kids had faith. Mommy was going to beat it this time. Until she didn’t.

    She decided she was going to get hammered, pick up the kids and take them to her parent’s house. She attempted to convince my then 12-year-old daughter to get in the car. Thank God my kid is smart. Passed out behind the wheel is how I found her. Drug her out of her car and into the house…only to realize that her car wasn’t in park and she could have run my daughter over. I went to CPS. So did my kids’ psychologist and apparently the police. After rehab they called in “inconclusive.” But that was okay. Because she knew, this time was it. She needed to get straight. She needed to be there for her kids. And she knew it was serious because the doctors said, this time, if you ever drink again, you’ll be dead. Her liver was shot, he said…well she said, he said that. So this time was for real. I mean, if CPS doesn’t worry, should I?

    So as a father who believes that two good parents are better than one, I really urged my kids to see her in recover and healing. That they should “lovingly detach”. And though ala-teen, they heard that they shouldn’t be a doormat. They can not be a savior.

    5150 #3: Just two years later. This time something seemed off. But you can just never tell, because everyone, especially the kids will believe anything they hear to convince themselves that mom is getting better. They will listen and believe that she has finally handed it over to a higher power. Until they come home, find her unconscious and not breathing. They call 911, they have nervous breakdowns as they watch their grandparents perform CPR on her while waiting for the paramedics. This time, she’d told the kids the the few nights leading up that she’d taken her Xanax on an empty stomach. That’s all.

    30 days in and 30 days out. I have taken full custody, but did it through stipulation. My attorney and I agreed that a stipulation and supervised visitation would be easiest for all vs. an ex parte court hearing. We’re now 60 days from the last “episode”, “event”, “incident”, “relapse”….convenient words to marginalize what actually happened. She attempted suicide AGAIN, with the full intention of having my children save her.

    Now, she’s out. She’s getting in touch with herself. She’s working on herself. She’s taking responsibility. She knows that she can never take another drink or even a pill. Her boyfriend of six months, with whom she’s now living, has been a rock. He doesn’t take her bullshit and is there with tough love. She knows that she can’t do it on her own and that her only prayer in life is to have peace for our children.

    What she hasn’t realized is that for the last 60 days, our children have had peace. My 14 year old stopped wetting herself. My autistic son came out of a shell. He actually completed a triathlon. They’re getting along. They’re dealing with their hurts and going to counseling on a regular basis. THEY ARE SLEEPING AT NIGHT! Yah, because they haven’t actually slept a night in 10 years, because every night the go to sleep is a night that they can’t be there to protect mom.

    CPS did their second visit today with her. I wonder if it’s conclusive yet?

    Am I for her having the right to see them? Absolutely. If, of course, she’s doing all of the things she said was doing the last three “relapses”

    But, my kids don’t want to see her. They are thriving. They are choosing to break the cycle of alcohol and abandonment. They finally feel strong enough and empowered enough to make an informed deciscion. It’s not like their 8. They are in high school. It’s not like there haven’t been a hundred chances to get it right.

    So, if you want to be the advocate for people like my ex-wife…please tell me who will be the advocate for my children. CPS? I guess we’ll have to see.

    And, if my kids are forced to see her against their wills and their trust continues to be built up and destroyed….their confidence that parents can actually protect them is eliminated….or see a healthy relationship…their self-worth an guilt eat them up inside… so much so that when they’re 28, with a child of their own and the gravitational pull to that bottle are so strong, they just can’t resist.

    So, God forbid, if this horrific cycle repeats itself. Will you be there, to help them see their kids when they have an “incident”. And how much will you charge them for your sage advice?

    And if the most unimaginable, but not beyond the realm for reality, thing happens they fall victim to the ultimate consequence of alcoholism, will you, Mr. Forman, pay for flowers for their grave. Justice is blind, sir and so are you.

    1. Lauren says:

      Bless your heart and the BEST of luck to you. This joker’s article is an INSULT to you and many, many other GOOD parents.

    2. Chris says:

      Ted,
      Your situation is one of horrible circumstances for the children and honestly, attempting suicide in the presence of children could be considered mental and emotional abuse. The problem with your situation is that alcoholism is considered to be a disease and therefore treated as such, by the court. I can tell you I understand because my daughter’s father, who by the way wanted nothing to do with her until she was 7, is a raging alcoholic. 4 DWIs and a 16-month stint in prison wasn’t enough to teach him. Fortunately, she understands that she should have no expectations from him because he’s only loyal to himself and his alcoholism. The bright side is that she sees consequences of drinking and driving, like the night he ran the family van into someone’s private lake and had no clue what happened, so she has turned away from that behavior and loves him at arm’s length. Just don’t think that if he was ever in trouble she wouldn’t be there for him. Mistakes or not, I have raised her to be forgiving yet not to be used. You can be there for someone without bending over backward. I am hopeful your children will see it the same way.
      In no way do I believe the author of this article was suggesting that in a situation like yours, should the children be forced to stay with mom. Honestly, a simple ex parte can keep that from happening, at least until the full order goes to court. I also know this because my husband’s ex-wife filed a complete bogus ex parte against my husband and he couldn’t speak to or see his children for several months. They even missed Christmas. However, there are no consequences to filing a false ex parte. Not sure who the genius is that decided that should be law. In addition to that, there is such a thing as parental alienation, which is our situation. Mom constantly says derogatory things about dad to the kids, coaches them, manipulates them, buys their affection, discusses things she shouldn’t with them such as court, refuses to abide by the joint legal custody order of the court. The youngest son has refused visitation for months, though the order specifically says both parents recognize the children do not have a choice whether to visit or not. She does not behave as a parent by having control over them, as she should. This also limits his control over them as a parent and thereby makes sure they are invariably, out of control. Teacher assaults, juvenile officer, kicked out of public school, suicide threats, suspensions for both already this year, in home intensive services though CPS, allowed to curse at dad over the phone at ages 11 and 12 and yet, they still live with her two hours away. Why you ask? Because unless the juvenile office or CPS decides to take them from her we would have to again, continue to pay child support, GAL fees, attorney fees, court costs, and we have already been doing so. So, when you ask the question “will CPS protect my children?” The answer is no. Not unless mom is making meth in the garage, an actual hotline reporting criteria question, or beating them senseless and a mandated reporter calls it in. Fortunately for you, your children haven’t been turned against you in any way so you are only fighting your ex and her behavior instead of fighting her and your own children. So yes, there is a place for what the article author is describing. I imagine we all have different situations and it should be up to a competent judge to make the proper decision since attorneys do not have that power. The author is correct, that for the most part, these situations are due to a vengeful parent using the child as a pawn to hurt the other. I am simply horrified by the terrible personal comments some people are making about the author, just because it doesn’t apply to your situation. By making those horrible remarks about a person simply documenting what he has been witness to begs the question, exactly how “good” of a parent are you if you can’t see beyond your own circumstances? I am not trying to offend anyone, just provoking thought.
      Justin, he is not living in a “old school” way of thinking because for the most part, mothers have traditionally been given sole legal custody of children, meaning you probably wouldn’t have had custody at all, if this was in fact, “old school.” You are correct, fathers do have rights, but they are much more difficult to come by. I imagine you would agree with this, since you are have presented with several legal battles. Kudos to your attorney though because we all know, everything is a matter of perception. Truth has no bearing in our legal system as it stands now. Morality and law are two complete ends of the spectrum yet law was created based on morality. Prayers and continue to do the right thing.

    3. Kim says:

      GF(this site) said: except in cases of abuse. Being that messed up is abuse. He,I assume,is referring to the multitude of times that a parent(often the mother) inflicts parental alienation on the child. I am witnessing this first hand and to watch my caring,thoughtful spouse go through it is hell. I am a caring teacher who raised her two sons as a single mom before I met my husband(and despite their father living with 8 different women during their 18+ years of raising made sure they still saw dad every week….still do AND he never missed a visit and often made their events-to his credit). I have let my spouse set rules,etc. and just backed him up,but still his 13 year old is barely coming(my spouse has 50/50 custody) even her 11 yr. old sister doesn’t know why and she says “I don’t know” when her father asks. Her mother is extremely manipulative and remarried. This lawyer is correct in his comments. 95% of cases one parent has other motives to “I can’t make them go”. Please people understand he is not referring to legitimate reasons.

  8. justin says:

    Dont fret ted, this dude obviously has no fckn clue what he’s talking about, im a single father who has won every legal battle ive been presented with. Please see my previous posts to catch up on what I’ve been through.
    This Gregory foreman dude is completely fckn clueless and living in an old school way of thinking.
    Although court systems are still biased towards fathers not being able to raise children, sometimes it works out, people like mr foreman profit this and will continue to do so by taking you is not possible.
    FATHERS HAVE RIGHTS, IM LIVING PROOF

  9. justin says:

    Dont fret ted, this dude obviously has no fckn clue what he’s talking about, im a single father who has won every legal battle ive been presented with. Please see my previous posts to catch up on what I’ve been through.
    This Gregory foreman dude is completely fckn clueless and living in an old school way of thinking.
    Although court systems are still biased towards fathers not being able to raise children, sometimes it works out, people like mr foreman profit this and will continue to do so by telling you is not possible.
    FATHERS HAVE RIGHTS, IM LIVING PROOF

  10. Collette says:

    I got divorced 5 years ago and I had primary custody of my 4 kids. Dad left and for about 2 yrs had no contact with the kids. He only came back into the picture because he had to pay child support. During our marriage I was the one that took care of the kids while he was out having affairs. We didn’t see him for weeks, months at a time. He just got custody almost 2 yrs ago. Reason he got custody is because he lied several times on the stand and I had a crappy attorney. If the kids don’t want to come visit me he doesn’t force them to. The police officers will not force the kids to come. I have a 16 yr old daughter that has been in & out of behavior hospitals since March of this year and each one happens to fall right before my weekend visitation. She went into one this past Sunday and dad did not tell me until Wednesday. He is refusing to add me to the list to where I can call her or talk to her. She was suppose to go to a day treatment program but was discharged because he came up with the excuse of he ran out of PTO (paid time off). My ex is a major control freak. Telling me what I can and can’t do and can & can’t say. He thinks everyone is wrong and he is right. He will lie to get what he wants. He has brainwashed my kids to hate me. My kids are 19, 18, 16, & 15 and none of them have no jobs and doesn’t want to learn how to drive. All they want to do is watch tv and play video games and play on their phones. Dad does not believe in discipline or corporal punishment when they were little. I wish I could afford to take him back to court but I can’t. I’m having to work 2 jobs just to survive because he is making me pay child support which he doesn’t even need it. All he cares about is money. He is using the kids. He doesn’t want them, never has.

  11. Mary says:

    Growing up in a divorced family, I know parents can sway children from going with the other parent or hinder the relationship between parent and child. However, I don’t think the issue should be a one size fits all issue. Children are people and just like a it take time to develope a relationship with with an adult, the samething applies for a child. I have three kids. 2 with my exhusband and 1 with my partner. I was upset when my ex got visitation! But that was due to the fact he never spent time with the kids and didn’t want them till he was offered monitary value for them by his mother. He doesn’t stay with the kids and only comes for them because the divorce decree says he has to come get them and I won’t give them to anyone else. I do this because that 40 minute car ride is the only time they will see him before he ditches them with someone else. In cases like this I don’t think the kids should be made to go. My kids are learning they can bought and sold, this is having a very negative effect on them, ecspecially my daughter.

    1. Christopher Andexler says:

      Mary

      So correct, visitation is not a one size fits all, yet I feel more well intention parents become victims as a result of selfish parents who don’t want to be parents or because of an ex who is more bent on their personal revenge then they are doing the right thing on the behalf of the children.

      My feeling is both parents should have 50/50 access to their kids as well as full access to their medical and educational records and should be listed as contact should something happens to the child unless the parent has been convicted of a criminal act that would put the child in harms way and if it is sexual abuse it should be zero contact permanently. The biggest problem is the other parent has a tendency of using the kids to micromanage the other parent’s parenting skills, rules and home boundaries and share that with the children in order to create a dependency on them and a distance on the other. It doesn’t mean the other parent is wrong just the one causing the problems can see the bigger picture because the hatred is their disease.

      As in your case I feel for kids like yours who the parent wants really nothing to do with them but does so simply because they have to pay child support. This too is something that is completely out of hand with the judicial system and would need a solution and I don’t know the cure all for that. There needs to be a baseline and that cannot start at zero and unfortunately is what most judges start at and try to work their way up. It needs to be looked at as both parents are fully qualified and work down from there.

      I commend you for seeing the bigger picture and doing what you need to do for the kids. Keep up the good work!

      1. Katy says:

        So, when a “diseased parent” uses the kids as a “weapon,” “pawn,” or “controlling mechanism,” is a “legal” druggie, has no respect for education, by allowing kids to skip school when they want, doesn’t matter that they have failing grades, nor that the 18 year old still living at home brings drugs into the house with a toddler around? Allowed to play video games from the time they arrive home until … whenever! The kids have no ambition to get their driver’s license, get a job, do any chores around the house, cook, clean, blah, blah, blah. This parent should have 50% visitation privileges [PRIVILEGES]???

  12. Tisha says:

    My ex and I have been divorced since May 2010. He married his very young Adulteress with a few month of our divorce. Faithfully (with a smile and encouragement) I make my children go see their father. My Children are currently 12 & 15. Every single visit the 15 y/o asks me, “at what age can I stop going there. They are so mean to my Jack, I hate seeing it. I have learned play their little games and they leave me alone now, but they won’t him” “Mom he never does anything right in their eyes and they yell at him all the time.” As a mother this kills me. I have had them both in counseling, I don’t know what to do or where to turn. I can’t go against the court order, but I am very tired of this behavior. When I have said something to them, the behavior towards the 12 is worse, like they are trying to prove a point or something. Everything is emotional, they wouldn’t dare hit either of them because he is a police office. But where can I turn, what can I do for them? I sincerely believe, because they treat the 12 badly, because he just like me. :(

    1. Christopher Andexler says:

      Tisha-

      I am a father which my ex-wife claimed that of my kids but the kids never said that to my face. That doesn’t mean that they did not give me a hard time as they would tell me to my face or complain about everything I did or didn’t do for them. I would take my kids out to eat, shop spend time with them and just be a father. She would then take them to a counselor who did not have the courage to talk to me after every visit to manipulate and scrutinize everything I would say or do and claim everything I did was bad and tell the kids this. Then the next visit would become more difficult than the last. The judge even picked up on this and had great issue with it bad mouthing my ex and the counselor yet never doing anything to resolve the problem or to remedy the relationship. Yesterday marked 3 years since I have seen or talked to my 4 kids. One of them are now in college, 2 in high school and the 4th in his last year of middle school.

      I am not a proponent of removing the rights of any parent unless there is someone is charged with criminal activity, but I do find that your kids, being teenagers (preteen) need appropriate help both in counsel as well as needing to be heard for their best development. This does not necessarily mean stopping visitation is the answer.

      Here is something that you will need to look at and may need professional help and even a conversation with the children’s father is finding out the true story of what is going on. Currently you are getting one side, which their concerns may not be expressed to their father and may need to. In your case what may be profitable is to have a conversation with the ex, a counselor and the judge and let the judge know that there is some contention the kids have expressed, but removing the visitation may not be the answer. You may want to suggest that maybe a parental counseling needs to happen until the relationship becomes healthy again. He/she may move to have a more restricted visitation whether monitored or limited.

      Now here is one thing you will need to look at. Your kids are teenagers and they are going through a lot of transition and trying to adjust with a divorce and 2 homes on top of their own identity, who they are, what their interests are and simply the feeling of independence is hard enough but add in the instability of 2 separate homes and rules on top of that is beyond comprehension. The other thing to take into account is because they are giving just their side how much of what they are saying is true, how much is their perception of being true and how much is exaggerated. You will need to weigh that out and be a little open minded to the bigger picture and this is where a counselor will help you organize and weed that out.

      I hope this helps and best of luck!

  13. Jen says:

    Sometimes there are valid reasons a child does not want to go visit the other parent. Yes we make our children do things all the time they don’t want to do like chores and go to school but do you MAKE your kid sleep with light off if he Is scared and wants it on? Should you MAKE your child play a sport that he or she doesn’t prefer? There are always circumstances not always known in each custody case.

  14. Lauren says:

    Oh,….wow. I am sick of being BLAMED for my daughter not wanting to visit her father. She is 13 and her “dad” was NEVER there for her. All he wanted to do was smoke dope and play video games. Yep, GROWN MAN….loved his weed and video games more than his kids. She is 13, she has a MIND OF HER OWN. She is a human being. Making her visit her “dad” is doing NOTHING but making her hate him even more. Whoever this genius is who wrote this is a complete moron. Actually, he sounds a lot like my ex. Reading this made my skin crawl. Sounds like a narcissistic, mysoginistic JERK.

    1. Debbie says:

      I was the custodial parent of my son for 13 years, I was the parent that did everything while his dad got to be a Disneyland dad, I never had my son skip any of his visits with his dad, he was giving 1 dinner visit a week and every other weekend, I used to let him see him whenever he wanted cause I thought I was doing the right thing, yeah not so much, I am now the non custodial parent, and I have not seen my son in 3 months, My son will not even speak to me now, I had to fire my lawyer as it was getting to expensive to pay for a lawyer and rent. My ex does not even make a effort to bring my son to his visits. I was giving half legal custody, I couldn’t even tell you what my son did for the whole entire summer. I am literally at the end of my rope, and feel like just giving up.

  15. nicki says:

    My ex and I have split custody. He gets 3 hours on Wed and every other weekend. My daughter is now 13. She hates her time at her father’s house! When she is at his house she stays in her room as much as possible. This week alone he told her she needed to start doing her homework at the dining room table instead of in her bedroom because it is disrespectful! He doesn’t allow her any electronics at his home because it’s disrespectful. He is now trying to prevent her from going to a sporting activity because she brought her tablet to his house because she uses it to help with her spanish homework. So what are we supposed to do? She is now talking about running away from his house on his weekends….

    1. Chris says:

      What you are mentioning is his style of parenting. Seeing you both are no longer together you can’t get involved. It would be no different than him criticizing what you do under your own roof regarding your daughter. Allow him to have his own rules in his home. The hard thing is you may not be getting the full story as you are only getting her side. She may have done something wrong and has given consequences for her actions.

      Remember, children like to bend the rules and in a divorce/separation they will play both parents against each other to take the heat off them and get what they want where most of the time they don’t have a clue of what they want other than consistency.

      My suggestion to you is this. Let her know the ground rules in your home and express to her that whatever rules you have are yours under your roof and what rules her father has are his rules. This is the teaching time to show her how important it is to respect the rules where she is regardless under your roof, her father’s or a friend’s house. It is important for her to understand that you both are there to be her parents and there are times she may agree with the rules and times she may not. You can also teach her the importance of negotiation if she doesn’t agree with something but not in an argumentative way.

      I hope this helps.

      1. Nicki says:

        Sadly I wish it was just her stretching the truth on the situation. He and I have spoken and he has told me he doesn’t think that school should give her so much homework and it’s disrespectful for her to do homework at his house on his time! This is a child that is making A’s and B’s in school working her butt off and taking an online class because she would like to get ahead (note she does not youch the online class at his house because he has no wifi). She understands every house has its rules but they have to make sense as well telling someone they can’t do their homework because that means you’re not spending enough time with your family is a complete BS rule.
        She has tried going the other way on things and inviting him to stuff like player parent meetings for volleyball to which he responds and asks if he required to go because he doesn’t want to. Then proceeded to tell her how he wastes money to come watch her play sometimes so she should be happy about that. (Wish I was kidding, this was via text between the 2 of them) because yes while electronics are not allowed at his house you best believe he calls and texts her on her phone and then calls me flipping out about why she didn’t respond to him immediately!

  16. JoAnn Vegas says:

    This is ridiculous. My 3 children and I lived in an abusive home until their father was incarcerated. We were finally free and trying to get help so we could heal, stop the nightmares. We tried many different medications but it was a long slow process. The children were constantly reliving the abuse inside. The gun pulled out on us, hiding in the woods in the dark, hiding in the dark attic, locking doors to keep out the monster, their father, until he ripped all the doors off. After 18 months, their father was released and the children got worse. We were living in my family home yet both names were on the deed so he could come back and I couldn’t stop him Thankfully he didn’t but we were forced to see him or there would be no money. That’s when the cutting got severe, even on the hips so I wouldn’t know. My beautiful girls were hurting themselves to release the pain. Both girls wound up in a institution for a couple weeks but he insisted that they see him. He caused problems there and security was called. We moved without telling the court or their father and he found us. Calling the house at all hours, sometimes 10-12 times in a 15 minute time frame, leaving threatening messages, giving his girlfriend our number so she could harass the children. When the person that is supposed to protect you curses at you, throws things at you including a vacuum, breaks your windows, toys, doors, threatens your pets, hits you and your mom, deals drugs, etc. BUT the courts still say you have to see him even after 2 child line findings of abuse against the children. So how does this work? We were finally granted a 3 year PFA against him for stalking and two cases of abuse, yet in the best interests of the children, the master says he should have visitation. This will help the children as all children need both a mother and a father even if he abused them. That’s our wonderful court system.

  17. Amber says:

    What if the child is 16 and wants to spent more time with the non costodial parent and when the child asks to switch weeknds or spend more time with the non costodial parent the costodial parent punishes them by taking their phone away and making them do more chores around the house then they already have to do?

    1. Chris says:

      What you do under your roof is between you and your son. What your ex does with your son under his roof is between the two of them. If either parent questions the parenting style or the boundaries they have understand their own roof. If you want to parent correctly you don’t want to get involved. You will need to draw the boundaries with your son and if he is in trouble for something you MUST allow your ex to be a parent to his son otherwise you are damaging him by running screen while he needs to learn how to problem solve and communicate properly. You need to ask yourself what would you do if your son brought the problems he has with you and bring law them to his father to fix on his behalf because he thought you were being unfair? Getting involved will allow him to learn how to manipulate you and I promise it will backfire in a bad way.

      I hope this helps and I know it is tough but the truth is seeing you weren’t there to understand the full story you will not have the ability to give a full unbiased opinion and that would be my out. ‘I wasn’t there and maybe you need to talk to your father how you feel.’ Keep consistent on that and you will see your son grow.

    2. darrin says:

      I have the same problem. Looking for help and a solution

  18. Try2C says:

    Well do I have a story. When I was younger I didn’t like going to see my dad and refused to go. I told my mom and she told me to tell him myself. Of course I didnt want to it’d be mean, but one day he came to pick. My mom announced that he was here and I harshly said ‘what does he want’ not knowing he was by the door. (normally he just honks or whatever) I think he stopped looking for me by then.
    I didn’t like going by my dad cause he constantly spoke ill of my mother and flooded me with his financial problems and mainly cause we had nothing in common. I’d just go there and sit around, there was no abuse just no interest in creating a relationship.

    Also My mother didn’t say i could go by my father. She was pretty lax with the divorce, didn’t drill when I came back from dads. Now when I tell her stories of when I was by dad I’m surprised she was unaware. Instead she just didn’t want us to be tangled in the court affairs. She said it was something of a nerve wrecking place for children.

    In all your articles tone seems personal as though this is something you’ve dealt with, but as logical as your article may seem situations like these have issues that can’t be handled with logic but with emotion and feeling which isn’t as quite dependable. Most of the time parents divorce it come out of nowhere to the child, and now they are not able to to settle into the situation but be passed back and forth between homes that lack a consistency of rules. Why can’t the child choose a parents lifestyle they choose to follow?

    P.s. (I’m quite curious why this matters to you. Do you just wish to win a case or whatnot? Also you can’t compare a choice in a lifestyle to bourbon for breakfast.)

    1. Try2C,

      You make some good points and ask a good question when you ask why this matters to me. Parental alienation is not something I have personally experienced but it’s something I encounter in my practice. Sometimes I represent a custodial parent who is alienating the child from the other parent: sometimes subtly; sometimes unsubtly; sometimes wittingly; sometimes unwittingly. Other times, I represent a parent who is a victim of such alienating behavior. In either situation, I try to get the behavior to stop.

      The first step in doing so is to get the child to speak to someone he or she can open up to. The goal is to understand why the rift has occurred. Sometimes it becomes immediately clear that the custodial parent has made the child believe that loyalty to that parent demands the child have no relationship with the other parent. In that circumstance one needs to break the custodial parent of that behavior and the threat of jail (or a change of custody) if the visitation doesn’t commence immediately is the best remedy.

      Sometimes the child reports serious abuse (which can be mental, physical or emotional) by the non-custodial parent. In such circumstances, if the non-custodial won’t forgo visitation while the counselor addresses these issues, the best remedy is to have the custodial parent file a visitation modification case and allow a family court judge to determine whether the custodial parent’s behavior is sufficiently bad to justify stopping visitation and developing a plan for how visitation should resume.

      Finally, there are circumstances in which the child has minor but real complaints about the non-custodial parent’s behavior. That appears to be the circumstance you describe. In these cases, I like to see visitation continue but non-custodial parent see the child’s counselor (sometimes individually; sometimes with the child). The goal is to have the non-custodial parent understand how his or her behavior is undermining the relationship with the child. Typically, if the non-custodial parent addresses the child’s issues, the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent should improve. If it doesn’t, that’s a sign that the custodial parent is discouraging the relationship and that needs to be addressed.

      In all but abuse situations (and, with treatment, even in some abuse cases) the goal is to allow the child to have a relationship with both parents. A child having a good relationship with both parents matters to me. It matters to most family law attorneys. It matters to all family law judges. One could be crushed by the weight of studies demonstrating that children do a lot better when they have good relationships with both parents. Almost everything a parent might wish for a child is highly correlated to that child having a good relationship with both parents. Socioeconomic status is highly correlated with good outcomes for children, but even that isn’t as highly correlated as a child having a good relationship with both parents.

      As hard as it may be for the general public to believe, most folks who become attorneys do so because they want to help make the world better in some way. I practice family law with the goal of helping families in distress get out of distress. A child who has chosen not to have a relationship with both parents is a child in distress. I want to fix that.

      1. Aline says:

        With all due respect you can’t understand a situation I have been on both sides of the coin. I have been in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic that denied he was doing alcohol and drugs still with all the proof and a protective order the judge wanted to be done with the case asap and in the order gave 50/50 visitation. He has already violated the order on the first two visits first two chances I gave him he is full of revenge shows no interest in the children what so ever his ex-mistress now his wife supports him under the table and he lied of where he lives his address is fake, he told the judge he was working but would no reveal where because he was in security she let that slip because she wanted to end the case and screw me over. The judge threatened me not to appeal at the end of the case saying it would get much worst if I went up because they were not family oriented, to say the least my experienced lawyer in cases of family abuse said she went through hell as well and her ex simply didn’t want to do the work and it has been 12 yrs that he stopped seeing his daughter she recommended I let him see them and show that I no longer have any feelings bad or good for him because abusers want that but so far it’s been terrible he didn’t care about my son’s health problems and respiratory condition drove him very far away while my poor 2 year old was bent down and couldn’t breath when I picked him up he could hardly catch his breath was really in bad shape and he denied it he didn’t let me talk to my daughter and I know if I go to court they will still tell him that he can still see them. The court system and from everything I’ve heard is not protecting the children which should be the highest priority how do you let an abuser that is an alcoholic with a bad driving record and use of drugs take these children and drive them wherever he wants without telling the mother or letting the mother ask for supervised visitation! Just because he took a class and during that class he violated the protective order but the court said he did what the judge asked and now just because of that he can keep having me as his victim have full communication if he wants to as long as is in regards to the children. Well this is insane is like giving a criminal the keys to the victim’s house or car again so he can crash us as a family. It is a horrible experience I find my loving family members and I crushed every day and in tears and having to put up with my ex’s threats it is unjust and wicked! If this was the case where he had ever been a good father or shown interest in his children it would be different but he’s even abandoned a daughter in his country of origin and the law here says they don’t care about his past because it didn’t happen in the U.S. his daughter was sexually abused and he didn’t care completely stopped calling her or helping that’s when I knew he would never give a F** about our children but the lawyer said I couldn’t even say a word about his daughter back in his country because here that didn’t matter! I agree with all parents that have suffered this in their own skin I’ve seen friends having to be the child that suffers and has to go see their abusive, drug addict or alcoholic parent and can’t do anything about it but endure it! It has no logic if the other parent is toxic in the mother’s life and it’s been proven he is toxic for the children and the worst example for children why can’t child custody laws understand that simple fact? This is completely insane! I would gladly let him stop paying child support as he has said in court he didn’t want to support the children and they keep extracting it from his Work! He is only doing the visitation out of hate and wickedness towards me and my family and that is the reason why criminals keep killing because they are not stopped on time and the law is on their side in this country.

      2. Aline says:

        With all due respect you can’t understand a situation I have been on both sides of the coin. I have been in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic that denied he was doing alcohol and drugs still with all the proof and a protective order the judge wanted to be done with the case asap and in the order gave 50/50 visitation. He has already violated the order on the first two visits first two chances I gave him he is full of revenge shows no interest in the children what so ever his ex-mistress now his wife supports him under the table and he lied of where he lives his address is fake, he told the judge he was working but would no reveal where because he was in security she let that slip because she wanted to end the case and screw me over. The judge threatened me not to appeal at the end of the case saying it would get much worst if I went up because they were not family oriented, to say the least my experienced lawyer in cases of family abuse said she went through hell as well and her ex simply didn’t want to do the work and it has been 12 yrs that he stopped seeing his daughter she recommended I let him see them and show that I no longer have any feelings bad or good for him because abusers want that but so far it’s been terrible he didn’t care about my son’s health problems and respiratory condition drove him very far away while my poor 2 year old was bent down and couldn’t breath when I picked him up he could hardly catch his breath was really in bad shape and he denied it he didn’t let me talk to my daughter and I know if I go to court they will still tell him that he can still see them. The court system and from everything I’ve heard is not protecting the children which should be the highest priority how do you let an abuser that is an alcoholic with a bad driving record and use of drugs take these children and drive them wherever he wants without telling the mother or letting the mother ask for supervised visitation! Just because he took a class and during that class he violated the protective order but the court said he did what the judge asked and now just because of that he can keep having me as his victim have full communication if he wants to as long as is in regards to the children. Well this is insane is like giving a criminal the keys to the victim’s house or car again so he can crash us as a family. It is a horrible experience I find my loving family members and I crushed every day and in tears and having to put up with my ex’s threats it is unjust and wicked! If this was the case where he had ever been a good father or shown interest in his children it would be different but he’s even abandoned a daughter in his country of origin and the law here says they don’t care about his past because it didn’t happen in the U.S. his daughter was sexually abused and he didn’t care completely stopped calling her or helping that’s when I knew he would never give a F** about our children but the lawyer said I couldn’t even say a word about his daughter back in his country because here that didn’t matter! I agree with all parents that have suffered this in their own skin I’ve seen friends having to be the child that suffers and has to go see their abusive, drug addict or alcoholic parent and can’t do anything about it but endure it! It has no logic if the other parent is toxic in the mother’s life and it’s been proven he is toxic for the children and the worst example for children why can’t child custody laws understand that simple fact? This is completely insane! I would gladly let him stop paying child support as he has said in court he didn’t want to support the children and they keep extracting it from his Work! He is only doing the visitation out of hate and wickedness towards me and my family and that is the reason why criminals keep killing because they are not stopped on time and the law is on their side in this country. Very sad! That it doesn’t protect victims even when they have fairly demonstrated the harassment and evilness of the toxic ex! Visitations should be decided by the custodial parent and the child without being forced! The toxic parent should only be thankful to god if the child allows them to take a glimpse in their life but really toxic people should not be allowed anywhere near the most precious loving thing that a good respectful and caring parent has their children.

      3. Try2C says:

        I have another question out of pure curiosity. I’ve seen this question only once and a recent comment from Alan on December 1st made me want to ask.
        What if it is not the custodial parent that is refusing visitation, but the child. Lets say the child is a teen or preteen ,just an age of understanding, and they refuse to visit. Alan on December 1st stated he didn’t want to push to the courts because his kids may resent him, and that is a factor.
        (Hypothetical question)
        So what do you do ? The custodial parent is ok with the visitation, and not discouraging the relationship, but the kids refuse and putting the custodial parent in contempt would ruin any good future with the non-custodial.

        I also understand you’d prescribe to have the non-custodial meet with the child’s counselor, but in Alan’s case he doesn’t seem to be doing anything odd to keep away his kids. So can the kids be held in contempt?
        (I’ve overheard that some kids were sent to juvenile detention centers for refusing but how does that help?)

        As for the comment I left before thank you for responding very professionally. I’m happy you choose a career based of the need to help others. (although I can’t relate I think I’m a bit apathetic.)

  19. Mary says:

    Wow. This is completely stupid, and so are the child custody laws. Personally, believe it or not, I am for both parents having time with the child or children. IF and only IF both parents are proper parents.
    I have 11 year old twins (boy/girl). Neither one of them want anything to do with their dad and for very valid reasons. However, because I will not “Force” my kids to go with him, I am the bad parent….Are you kidding me!? Here’s some facts for ya. My ex has verbally, physically, mentally and emotionally abused my children to the point that my 3 year old potty trained son began defecating in his pants, many times a day. The doctors say it’s all in his head and that whenever what is going on at home stops, he will eventually stop. Problem is, thing going on at home was the abuse from the father, the neglect from the father, the fact that no matter how hard I tried to keep the father in their daily lives, he had other plans. There was never a real relationship formed between him and the kids due to him only spending a few weeks or months in the home before leaving again for another few weeks or months at a time, just to come back, completely disrupt the home again and turn around and leave, yet again! My son is now 11 years old and STILL has an issue, the only time it gets better is when he is away from the “problem”, however, it has not completely stopped yet because he is still under constant stress when the car is vandalized, or he shows up for visitation the kids won’t go on, or when I’m forced back into court and threatened for not letting him abuse my kids. It’s completely out of control and I’m worried about the long term effects it’s having on his insides, not to mention his self esteem.
    As a mother in an abusive relationship I had the burden of trying to figure out what I should do, how I should do it and when I should do it. Not only for my kids well being but for mine AND his as well. So, not only am I scrutinized for staying in an abusive relationship for so long but I’m scrutinized for getting my kids and I away from it also. Ever hear the phrase “can’t win for losing”? I can understand that for a person that has never been the victim of abuse, has a hard time understanding why the victims do the things they do, or don’t do, but, for a judge, a magistrate, or an attorney, weather they have been a victim or not, they have been around enough victims to be able to see when someone is truly a victim or just trying to play one.
    Every case is different, and should be treated that way. I am looking at jail time, a fine and possible loss of custody to this abusive father, because I will not “force” my children to “visit” him. Forcing a child into abuse is no different than if you abused them yourself. Will a judge tell me I have to take my kid outside and beat them over the head with a bat!? They might as well!
    I asked for supervised visitation, due to the abuse, the lack of a relationship, the fact that the father’s brother is a sex offender, the fact that the father has admitted to being an alcoholic/drug abuser among other things. Before we even went to court, I once again tried to have an adult conversation with this man to come up with agreed visitation times, but all he wanted to do was fight with me because he didn’t want the divorce, EVEN THOUGH he was already living with another woman less than 3 weeks after moving out the last time! Again, I’m the “bad” parent for even mentioning supervised visitation. It was overruled, and the standard order was issued. My children were terrified when they found out they had to leave with him, this woman and her 14 year old son, even more so to find out it was for days and weeks at a time.
    I complied as much as possible until they started coming home with scratches from the dog, bruises from the 14 year old beating up on them, unidentified rashes, blisters on my daughters feet from being forced to walk on hot pavement barefoot, more rashes that where blistered up and oozing yellow puss, extreme sunburn from being taken to a beach in 90 degree weather with no sunscreen (but the adults had sunscreen on), the badmouthing of me from the father, the lack of required or allowed hygiene while there, more bruises from an ATV with no helmets or protection, the taking of their phone and denied contact with me while there, deleting of all contacts from their phone (except his), deleting of all text messages sent to me or from me, and them being told that “the point of visitation is to get them away from me” and the only family they have ever known and loved. Not to mention the 11 tiers in a two year period that where cut and destroyed, break lines cut, ignition wires cut, a hole punched in the radiator tank, battery terminals loosened, and the list goes on! But, I’m the bad parent! None of these things or the proof has been allowed in the court, but his contempt complaints where. His word was taken and accepted when asked if he would refrain from drugs and alcohol while the kids are with him, even after my daughter called me to tell me they where on school property and “dad and girlfriend” where in the car smoking a “funny cigarette”, I immediately called the police and once again, NOTHING was done or said about it. Everything I have said in court has been dismissed, overruled or completely twisted by the magistrate, to the point that I really feel like someone is paying her off or something. Things were mentioned in this last “decision” by her that was never allowed to be seen or discussed in the court. She didn’t even see it, the attorney for the other party saw it. I showed it to her in a private room, just her and I after court was dismissed. Things that make you go HMM.
    I’m so over this. This is not about the children or what is in their best interest, It’s about him continuing to have control, continuing to stalk, harass, vandalize and abuse and get away with it, at the expense of the kids I carried for nine months, that I raised and supported mostly by myself for 11 years and love with all my heart and soul, just so he can get his jollies off, and yes, it pisses me off to no return, that the magistrate is too dumb, blind or flat out careless to see that there really is a problem here and visitation with man is definitely NOT in their best interest.
    To the complete moron that has the nerve to compare forcing a child to go to school or brush their teeth to forcing them into a car to spend hours, days and weeks at a time with a completely unfit, inadequate parent is SO not even close to being the same thing. Would you Force a child who is being bullied at school on a regular basis to spend hours, days, and weeks at a time unsupervised with said bully!? Yeah, stupid question, I’m pretty positive that you would. Get a clue and a new job, in fact why don’t you run away with crackhead magistrate on my case. You’re clearly a match made in hell!

  20. Aline says:

    Mary I understand you and it makes me wonder if there is a way to start an organization or some sort of plead against this evil child custody laws that allow abusers to keep abusing it’s victims and children. I feel like we should start a movement this is terrible!

  21. Elizabeth says:

    My daughter is 15 years old and has never met or even seen her sperm donor. He got me pregnant Feb Of 2001 I found out right after we broke up. I did not want to get back together with him as he was toxic to my mental health. He moved on and became engaged to a much older woman with 3 kids. 1 Of those children he molested (she was 6) and another he abused so badly for bringing home a D in his report card that the boy (age 9) ended up in the hospital. Sperm donor adamantly stated that I don’t know the entire story in regards to the 6 year old and that I didn’t understand. I don’t care and I don’t want to know any more than court records have published.

    My daughter was born Nov 26 2001 and he was out in prison shortly after her birth (I had alerted the hospital staff to his possible presence and my fear of his showing up). He was released in December 2007 and started attempting to contact me to arrange joint custody. I was in a very strong long relationship for 2 years by then and the man had stepped up and moved and cared for my daughter as though she were his. In 2011 he started contacting me every few days staring that he was in the process of getting visitation and that I would be hearing from his attorney soon. Jump ahead another 5 years and after a year of hearing nothing (I never was served with court papers not was anything ever even attempted. I have contacts within our small legal system here in Sheboygan and Manitowoc, WI) he has contacted me again staring that he will have supervision in Sheboygan soon and I can look forward to hearing from him.

    He has never met her. He has never seen a picture of her. He has never held or or been a part of anything in her life. Is that my fault? YES. I was molested as a child and refuse to put my child at risk of it possibly happening to her song to wouldn’t be allowed at those visits and have no way of ensuring her safety. In 2011 I explained her biological father to her and showed her the court records. In 2014 she asked to see them again to better understand them. She asked me what a few words meant and I pulled out Websters dictionary for her and showed her the definitions. She asked for clarification of a few things and I gave it to her. He is now calling me names and telling me I had no right to tell her what he did or why he was in prison. Was I supposed to lie? I can’t do that. Am I supposed to Just shush her and tell her to not worry about it? No. She is an intelligent young woman and has the right to know why iI hadn’t let her see him.

    She is now at the age where she can make an informed decision as to whether she wants to know that side of herself or not and I FULLY intend to support her choice no matter which way it goes. She understands that. Are you really going to tell me that the courts should be able to FORCE her to see him no matter her fears or concerns? I’m not okay with that decision. Tell me what you think should be done because I fully intend to do whatever it takes to make her feel safe and secure no matter what choice she makes. By the way, as of now, she doesn’t want to see him or even speak to him.

    1. Rob says:

      Referring to the father of your child as “sperm donor” tells everyone, including your child, what you still think of him.

  22. Alan says:

    This is such a great post. There are lots of negative comments but those people have exes who are abusive, dangerous or stupid. That’s not what Mr. Forman is saying.

    For a family with relatively normal parents, it has to be in the best interests of the kids to regularly visit with the other parent – even if they don’t feel like going sometimes.

    I admit I wasn’t the greatest father in the world . I was the sole breadwinner working 50 to 70 hours a week and didn’t spend as much time with the kids as I should have. But I’m trying now. It’s an uphill struggle but it would go a lot smoother if the ex-wife didn’t allow the kids to choose (even if they’re teenagers).

    But what choice do I have? Take legal action to force the wife to comply with the court order? I worry then that the kids will resent me more for doing so. Sigh.

    1. Lynn says:

      You were supporting your family by working so much. Now, if you spent your time off treating your wife like a 24/7 babysitter and hanging out with your buddies all the time, that’s wrong, but sometimes parents HAVE to work long hours to take care of their children. The kids understand better than we think they do.

  23. Angela Jones says:

    I am curious to Try2see. I am in that very situation. I have been going to court in total for 7 years with my ex husband. Due to things that have happen between my child and her father she has refused to go with him this Christmas. I have asked him to go to counseling with her but he refuses and demands that she go with him for the holidays. She is tired of the drama and lies and when she tells him he just acts like he doesn’t hear it or says I am putting her up to it, or now the therapist is. She doesn’t want to see him because of he things he has done yet she has no choice but to go with him and get hurt again? When he has taken no responsibility for what he does or try and work with a therapist to build their relationship. She doesn’t trust him, yet im suppose to just hand her over so he can hurt her again? I have some custody but I hate being put in this position because if you use it for the child well being and refuse visitation then depending on the views and mood of the judge then I can be in contempt. I don’t want to keep her way from her father but I do think I should be able to protect my child from further harm… So do I have sole custody and can make all the decisions to do what is in the best interest of my child or is it yes you have to do everything but when I want to hurt her and manipulate her then u have to give her to me and if not I am going to have a stranger here the case in 5 minutes and manipulate them as well and tell them that I am not being giving my rights and that my exwife is alienating me and my child is a spoiled brat. I’m sorry but it isn’t right. The kids have their own feelings and should have a right to say no or yes when someone they trust hurts them. We are raising them to be adults… So u can’t think for yourself until your 18?? Come on.. They have to learn to make decisions for themselves and to trust their instincts and not be forced into something they know isn’t right. If the patent is sore about maybe he/she should ask the child what they need from that parent so that she could trust him again. I know that’s all mine is wanting right now from her dad and yet he will do the complete opposite bc he has the right to see her… And she has to talk to me on the phone. Kids are not possessions, they are a gift that we r not entitled too. I’m ranting and apologize.

  24. Kimberly G says:

    If visitation was black and white kids would be happier and lawyers would live like blue collar workers. My situation is complicated and I have been to court with my ex 4 times in 8 years. I have finally been awarded custodial and residential parent, but the kids fight me every time he shows up. I have 3 boys and they were 3, 6 and 10 when this started. At 11, 14 and 18 they finally have a voice because I loaded them up every time when they were younger…no matter what. Their dad, on the other hand, has cancelled for parties, friends, women, sports and everything else that was more fun. Now he has decided to get married and wants to look more like a dad. He is threatening contempt of court and I am convinced he is going to file. I let the boys stay home one weekend because he was taking them to a party and he ALWAYS drinks and drives. How do I prove they are put in scary situations without putting them in danger with him? They have offered to video tape him drinking and I say NO…you will get in trouble. My older son is 18 and hasn’t spoken to him since his 17th birthday…when the court stopped controlling him. Is that healthy? No, but lawyers like you don’t listen to the kids…this is about the dad having rights at the expense of innocent children. With some men, It is about control and not about spending time with the kids…sad, but true. My 5th grader’s Christmas paper started with I BELIEVE and they had to write 10 things that define their personality. Three of the 10 were about his dad. I believe courts should not force me…I believe parents shouldn’t drink and drive…I believe parents shouldn’t abuse their children (he used to hit my older son, but never the young ones). They have not been hit, but they had to witness the abuse of my older son…confusing…Yes…healthy…NO.
    I was the product of a divorce so I understand the social events and friend time that you miss, but I also loved my dad. If they put you first, you will want to visit. It is time to listen to the kids.

  25. Lynn says:

    If a child does not want to see a noncustodial parent, they shouldn’t have to. End of story. Even preschoolers shouldn’t be forced to see someone when they don’t want to, or the other parent isn’t interested.

    For every child who benefits from seeing a NCP, there are several who don’t. Ask the kids; they will tell you the truth. Why do you think a huge percentage of those couples split up in the first place? It’s because the NCP wasn’t interested in the kids. (Notice that I deliberately made this post gender neutral.)

    1. Kim says:

      We have a situation…..like many according to several professionals I am familiar with and studies I have read….where the other parent is manipulating and trying to control this young teen. I feel bad for her,but will say after 2 expensive court battles with this parent,my spouse is done fighting. He is going to enjoy seeing his children when he can and we are going to pray for the best. This narcissistic borderline personality has done and is doing untold damage to her children,does not care,and will continue to do so. These are the people we are all talking about.

  26. Michelle says:

    My mom made me see my dad when I didn’t want too. It was a huge mistake, it made me resent my father more and have bitterness towards both of my parents. I was a teenager and my mom wanted me to have a bond with my dad. I didn’t want to be around him because of his life style, he cheated on my mom several times and wasn’t a very good father by talking bad about my mom. I didn’t want to see my dad was a number of reason abuse not being one of them. I just didn’t want to see him, he abandoned me for awhile and fought the child support my mom tired to get to help me get school supplies. And yes I know the whole story because I sat in the court room during the hearings until the judge kicked me out when he found out who I was. My dad is a head engineer for HP and could afford child support but preferred hi 18 year old girl friends over being a good father. Making me see my dad caused me to hate him to the point where I stopped talking to him all together, the best thing that ever happened to me was me walking away from my father by choice. After my mom stopped forcing me to see my dad I became a much happier person. Overall don’t make a child see a parent they don’t want to see, no matter how hard you try you can’t force a parent child bond.

    1. Kim says:

      Hi Michelle,
      I’m sorry your dad made the choices he did. My sons had to deal with the same issue with their dad,but faithfully went every week and now have a relationship with him that helps complete their world. I’m glad you have no regrets not seeing your dad,but quite a few kids are used by vengeful exs to hurt their parent and unwittingly go along. We all have to do things we don’t want to and perhaps a shorter visit for those situations is better.
      You would be amazed at how many people turn their children against their parent.

  27. Real parent Dadcares says:

    I read every single comment on here, and I’m not seeing anyone write something that I have learned/ or came to understand over my five years of petitioning for a divorce ! And that is what the hell does it matter how a parent feels about the other if no violence was ever reported then more likely than not there was never a victim of violence, and paired with that should be that if the violence did happen and was only mentioned after the request for a divorce then being the children’s safety is supposed to be the number one concern of the court and more importantly the number one concern for a parent being children depend on their parents for them to protect them and guide them and more importantly I do believe even though I’m not qualified to say but will still say as a realist more likely than not would agree ! I highly without any doubt believe a parent that says horrible things about the other parent such as, ” I am a victim of abuse by the other parent or the other parent verbally abused me or the children was always scared of the other parent or the other parent did drugs or drank alcohol , and let’s not forget one thing here before I do get more real and call out the truest and most honest bull shit period and point blank !!! Two things should be considered with the laundry list just quoted that is USUALLY USED WHILE UNDER OATH WHICH MEANS IF A PERSON LIES THAT SHOULD BE CONTEMPT !!! AND BEFORE A SMART ASS POPS OFF ABOUT I DONT KNOW WHAT IM SAYING I SHOULD STATE I AM NOT A LAWYER BUT A LAWYER IS A LIAR NOT ALL BUT THEY ARE MANY THAT ARE BUT ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT ALOT OF PEOPLE ARE SKILLED AND LOVE TO CONSTRUE AND CREATE BULL SHIT WITH SOME DISTORTED DEFINITIONS AND WORDS THAT MORELESS JUST CREATE A BUFFER TO PROTECT A BULL SHIT PIECE OF SHIT HUMAN THAT SHOULDNT EVEN BE A PARENT BEING THEY CANT SET A TRUE EXAMPLE AS A PARENT AND ONLY REALLY HAVE A CONCERN TO BENIFIT THEIR SELF BEING THEY PROBABLY ARE A PIECE OF SHIT AND MORE IMPORTANTLY DO TRULY LACK A PARENTAL SKILL TO MORE THAN LIKELY MAKE OUR COUNTRY INCREASE IN MORE PEOPLE THAT ARE DISHONEST DISRESPECTFUL AND HAVE A COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR ELDERS LAWS LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CAN CARE LESS ABOUT WHAT THEY DO OR HOW THEY TALK THEN WAY TO GO U.S.A. WE ARE ONLY GUARANTEED TO HAVE A MORE WORSE FUTURE THAN WHAT WE LIVE NOW NOT TO MENTION A WORSE JUSTICE SYSTEM !!!!!! Few Ok. To. Those. Two. Sayings. Or should. I. Say. True. Sayings ? Wow. I. Like that. It’s probably getting to hot for all them fake pice of crap bull shifting parents/people reading this that are boiling over and ready to pop off with your bull shit about this post and give your Lori g ass excuses or criticism but that fine that why we are Americans right but not to lie bull shit and hurt or disturb other Americans peace !!! Anyways. I was saying those two true things are that. # 1. it takes one to know one and you can use any bull shit law library word to counter that but the truth is the truth and # 2. Is…. DRUM ROLL PLEASE. wouldn’t it be correct ? for all people/court judge ect…. to simply say if a parent was a victim and never said or did anything about the abuse and only spoke of it once the divorce was served or attempted to be talked about by the person wanting the divorce then at that point the so called victim that essentially is pissed jealous and really can’t Handel the fact they have just been told it’s over !!! /they are being divorced for you constructive construing complicated piece of crap people reading and here’s to !!!! Then why on gods earth would anyone especially a fact finder put a parent that has completely disregarded their own children’s safety for how ever many years to a person that’s not even considered the safety of their children until a divorce proceeding ???? Ok go ahead fire away but honestly evidence is evidence and without clear factual proof/evidence. !!!! Then frankly to be honest the person that is crying victim is a criminal and is abusing the process and shouldn’t even really be a parent !!!! Ain’t this the truth. ? Can’t wait to read comments from educated liars and abusive bully’s because this country is going to get more unless the fact finders start doing their job that they are bound to do by law. !!!!!! be real be a parent stop the B.S you cowards!!!!

    1. Lynn says:

      Dude, learn how to use punctuation.

    2. Try2see says:

      I’ve read your comment and understand that you’re stating parents should have equal visitation unless proof of actual wrong doing. I haven’t read all the comment on this site as you have, but some do say that the NCP have done harm to the child in whatever way they listed and that is a fact you haven’t expanded upon. I get what you mean liars are liars and they are wrong and should be put in contempt, but what if they’re a good liar, there is threatening involved, or there’s a corrupt judge what then. Anyways, that aside I asked a question before and I believe the site owner maybe too busy to answer could you answer my question?

      1. real parent dad says:

        hello thank you for being honest and seeing something for what is trying to be said, rather than criticizing it on typos and me not using punctuations correctly, luckily we are Americans or I might be jailed or crucified lol, anyways I’m sure if you are self representing you are tired of hearing this but if you are just trying to hang in there and finding asking for help/info/ideas/or at least maintain your loving relationship with your child/children, I have to tell you I am not a lawyer, OK that’s over I might know of something/information that assuming it is what your looking for or saying, I want to point out that what I am saying is our system has failed us in most cases and the truth is the truth NO court is to rule under some distorted attempt to create a favorable situation and that is what’s happening some fallacies have only opened the door for more and with that said hang in there and sue the entire court and your spouse as you can do are entitled to do but is or can be expensive to do but there is a fact that anyone facing these dirt bags that lie should continue to do don’t forget ” IT’S A CRIME TO LIE UNDER OATH AND IT IS ABUSE TO USE A FALSE RESTRAINING ORDER AND ATTEMPT TO HAVE THE RESTRAINED PERSON ARRESTED OVER AND OVER ” and that is the bottom line these people crack me up fear is something your scared of and if your scared of someone so bad that you fear your life are you going to save your children if their life was on the line ? chances are they wont this crap cracks me up. but it’s really not that funny !!!! to bad some don’t love the way they hate and abuse then there would be less divorces well maybe JUST maybe!!!

  28. Frustr8dnMissouri says:

    My husband is a good father. He pays his child support. He spends tike with his children when his ex wife allows him to, but that is rare. We’ve been married for almost 5 years. In that time, she has used many excuses to keep the kids away from him. She finally found an excuse that she really likes which is, “they don’t want to come.” In the last year, he has seen his children a total of 4 times for the oldest and 6 times for the youngest. The two times that the oldest didn’t come with the youngest was because she went to a friend’s house instead. His children (ages 14, & 11) both have cell phones provided by their mother. They both text their father. The oldest will text him and yell at him about all the terrible things her mother told her that he said (except he has never said any of those terrible things.) They generally don’t text him when their mother is home. His oldest often texts me more than she texts him. Their mother doesn’t want them to have anything to do with me (she became irate when she found out that they had been calling me mom at our house, that’s when she started reducing the number of visits originally.) Now when she does allow him to see them, he has to drive farther to pick them up, is only allowed to have them for a few hours, and then has to drive that extra distance to drop them off. She will tease him with possible visits by asking if he has plans for a certain day or weekend and when she finds out what day or weekend it is, then she’ll offer to let him have his kids that day or weekend, but they can’t attend whatever his plans involved, so if he wants them he has to give up the plans (this isn’t fair to any of our children or our families.) She uses this against him, not just in court but also with the children, telling them that their father doesn’t want them or love them (when really it is just their mother manipulating situations.) She has told the children that when they are 12, they can decide if they want to visit their father or not, yet she’s been using the excuse that they don’t want to since well before the oldest ever turned 12. She has convinced the children that they have head lice and that they will continue to get head lice so long as they visit their father (the oldest has very bad dandruff, I’ve sent dandruff shampoos home with her a few times.) A few years ago the children did in fact pass head lice back and forth to each other during one season, but not since and she’s still using this excuse. We honestly can’t afford an attorney to take her to court to even try to have her found in contempt or to modify the custody arrangements. My husband is so beaten down and at the end of his rope over this that he has even considered signing over his rights as their father. When he mentioned this to his ex, she immediately told the children that he doesn’t love them and that he was going to take them to court so that he would never have to see them again because he doesn’t want anything to do with them. (Of course this is the farthest from the truth. But the children believe her, because WHY would their mother lie?) Meanwhile, my husband will not do or say anything that might upset his ex in any way because he’s terrified that if he upsets her in the slightest way that she’ll keep the kids from him, but guess what? She keeps them from him anyway. She has told him he isn’t getting them anymore until “this” happens or “that” happens, but it doesn’t matter if it happens or not she won’t let him see the kids and all under the excuse “they don’t want to.” Nevermind that the last time they were visiting they told him (told all of us) that they keep asking their mom to let them come but that she says no. They said we want to come. They asked when their dad’s next weekend is, we told them (happens to be this weekend) they said, we want to come. He text his ex at lunch today to ask if she’s going to let him have the kids this weekend, she texts back that they don’t want to come.

    1. Kim says:

      This is the problem. Studies have shown narcissists only need 50% custody to alienate their children from the other parent. They do anything to control their kids and punish the other parent who has the gall to be happy. I am so sorry for you both. It is so hard for me,who has so many memories with my boys(who are men now,actually :)) and to know the girls will never get this time back with their dad.
      I will never understand this because as much as it hurts those of us alienated,it is devastating for these kids.

  29. Real parent Dadcares says:

    Frustr8inmusuri and try2see First to turn to see I am not qualified to say but sounds like if you look up ” Verbal abuse ” you will find what I think you are talking about and if those charrcteristics identify what your saying I think there is a law suit in such a case because if that is a pattern in the definition of verbal abuse that you recognize and the person dealing with it seeks a counselor that thinks you can be going through Post traumatic stress then I do think there is a tort in such an instance be careful verbal abusers are in my opinion a real whack job ! And frust8inmisuri isn’t it odd that someone would separate the kids you say one child visited 4xs and the other 6. That is not in the best interest of the children to separate them, I think all fam courts are under the same rules as far as that goes ! Hang in there goes to show us how our system is a disgrace

  30. 1st Year Law Student says:

    From my own personal experience, fathers have to jump through hoops to get courts to consider them as a viable alternative to a mother. I have spent 10 years working in education and have taught thousands of students. My daughter has been abused by her mother for years and there was even an attempted kidnapping. DHHS refused to intervene because I was acting in a protective role, but stated that if I was to allow visitation between our daughter and her mother knowing that she has been abused and will likely be abused again, they would open a case for failure to protect on me. They won’t pursue her mother for abuse, but just come after me. DHHS fails to adhere to the Child Abuse Protection and Treatment Act. My daughter has testified twice against her mother. First time she was allowed to testify was for a Protection Order. It was ultimately granted for one year but required a reunification plan to include therapy with her mother’s therapist. Not an independent therapist… but the therapist of the perpetrator. During a visit, my daughter was pushed into a wall by her mother’s friend and received a bloody lip. This was during the active protection order which allowed Saturday visits. Upon testifying again, my daughter told the judge she was completely finished with her mother. She couldn’t handle it and was fearful of abuse again. Just denied the contempt and renew of the Protection Order. First day my daughter was required to go to her mother’s after the protection order expired, she ran away from home. The police called me to come pick her up. My daughter has resided with me for a year and a half now. She is almost 11, yet I am still required to work on reunification even though my daughter is adamant about no longer having contact with her mother.

    Children are routinely treated like chattel by courts. Imagine a court ordering a woman who was physically abused by her boyfriend/husband to rekindle their relationship. This is essentially what many courts are doing. From a mental health perspective, many therapists suggest that a child that has been abused by a parent will be further harmed by engaging in therapy with the abusive parent. They also suggest that reunification should be at the discretion of the child in many situations, especially when the parent show no remorse for their actions. A child cannot heal without validation and a sincere promise that the abuse will not continue. For many children, the healing process doesn’t begin until they are 18 and can make their own legal decisions.

    I have seen just about every dirty trick parents pull in court in order to get custody. I am a first year law school student because I have learned first hand that proceeding pro-se is a bad idea. Courts won’t take you seriously. Fathers need to educate themselves and fight back.

  31. darrin says:

    I am in kentucky and my exwife refuses to let my son visit since he has turned 18. She says it is his choice now that he is an adult and he does not want to come. I have never heard this from him and I have no way to contact him now because she blocked me from his phone. I still pay child support because he is in school and do not mind that I just want to see him and see how he feels.

    1. 1st Year Law Student says:

      Darrin,

      Is your son still in high school or college? Is there a visitation order? Even though my ex wife has abused our daughter, she still has rights to access her school records.

      1. darrin says:

        Yes he is still in high school. We have a visitation order but she says that she is not bound to that since he is eighteen. Also, the last time he spent the weekend with me before his birthday we were planning him a birthday party the following weekend. We had no problems at all. He has always looked forward to being with me. I do have access to the school and his records. His mother is very controlling and has been trying to alienate him against me for a couple of years. I am not afraid of any physical abuse but I am very concerned with what he is being told when it comes to why he is not seeing me because I know it is not his choice.

    2. Lynn says:

      Why can’t your son call you? Is he on social media? Does he drive?

      I think there’s more to the story that you aren’t telling us, or may not know yourself.

  32. Angela jones says:

    Darrin are u kidding me? He is 18 if u really wanted to visit u would find a way. Get him his own phone…. This is a bunch of excuses… This is what is the problem!!?! Oh whose me my ex is controlling and won’t let me… In the meantime they are living there lives make a freakin effort instead of excuses. This is exactly why u don’t see him, excuse, blame, excuse blame. Give me a freakin break! Call a spade a spade and find sympathy in another place instead of using your kid to get it!

  33. Jenny Moses says:

    Angela, you would be the alienating mother…get a grip. Darrin I feel your pain. It is awful. Go to the school and see him without letting her know.

  34. 1st Year Law Student says:

    Angela,

    While your comments have a shred of validity to them, who are you to judge this guy? It sounds like the boy’s mother is very vindictive and now that the child is 18, she is happy to continue alienating the child outside the confines of a custody order. Unless there is evidence of abuse by Darrin towards his son, interfering with their relationship is nothing more than revenge. It’s hateful, irresponsible, and it signifies that more than likely she was alienating and abusing the son for many years. It sounds as if the mother is actively preventing phone calls to go through to the son. Yes, there are other ways for Darrin to get in contact with his son. You blame Darrin but the mother is beyond criticism? You contribute to the abuse and alienation of his son by your ignorant comments.

    If I was in Darrin’s shoes, I would write a certified letter addressed to the son. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1703 If the mother prevents the son from receiving it, it would appear that it’s a federal offense.

    But I don’t know his specific situation nor can I provide legal advice. However, a parent who is alienate without credible evidence of abuse, in my opinion should lose their custodial rights.

  35. Angela jones says:

    I have every right to judge! He put it out there. This women he said is doing things but there are two sides to every story. The boy is 18 is she holding him locked up in his room- no! With today’s technology u want to tell me he can’t talk to his son.. Come on. I am judging because I find it all to common for the noncustodial parent to blame everyone especially the custodial parent who is RAISING the child by herself. And instead of him calling her names and saying poor me maybe just maybe he could ask her how he could help and actually listen to the mom and the child instead of just thinking about himself and his feelings. 1st year law student you are absolutely wrong about the letter it would be impossible to prove… Freaking stay in school and quit giving advise when u yourself out judging the mother, me, the kid.. Freakin hypocrite!

    1. 1st Year Law Student says:

      Just out of curiosity, are you in anger management therapy?

  36. Angela jones says:

    I am by far an alienating mother. You have no idea who and what I have done to primote a relationship with my child and their father. He needs to get off his lazy, excuse ridden butt and ask the kid and mom what would be necessary to have a relationship and freakin LISTEN!!

  37. Angela jones says:

    Actually I found your comment hilarious! No but I am tired of people excuses.

    1. 1st Year Law Student says:

      How long were you married to Darrin, if you don’t mind me asking?

  38. Angela jones says:

    A Darian type for 10 years. He was suppose to visit my daughter this weekend and cancelled because she didn’t want to spend overnights with him. He didn’t get what he wanted so he just didn’t come. Didn’t tell her or me he wasn’t. I’m the one that has to explain why her father didn’t show up. I have made more excuses for him then I care to remember just so she doesn’t see her father as bad. Darian should drive to the school or outside the house whatever and wait and see his kid period. I would never alienate my daughter from him but I don’t believe most of these noncustodial parents when they say the other parent is mean and controlling. Just because they don’t get what they want from a relationship they created with words and actions doesn’t make the custodial parent controlling. It means they are trying to protect their child from someone who is continuously making promises and then breaking them. The custodian parents have to put all the pieces back together, I don’t have time to be controlling, mean most custodial parents don’t.

  39. 1st Year Law Student says:

    Angela,
    1. Unless there is abuse, a 10 year old can’t make those decisions to sleepover or not sleepover. You can’t contribute to that decision either.
    2. The fact that you said that “I’m the one that has to explain why her father didn’t show up” makes me question your motives. It should be the father that explains to her, not you. This also indicates to me that you have had some extensive input in how your daughter views her father.
    3. “I have made more excuses for him then I care to remember just so she doesn’t see her father as bad.” I doubt this. The fact that you are making excuses…. aka lying to your daughter means you are willing to lie to anyone about your situation. It is much better that you tell your daughter you don’t know why specifically, and ask her to ask her father the next time she sees him.
    4. Trying to protect the child from your interpretation of what will harm the child is different from the child actually experiencing harm. You could potentially be adding to that harm and their relationship even if it was not intentional. Custodial interference covers quite a bit of things. You chose to have a child with this man, you should be choosing to facilitate a relationship….. unless there is physical or emotional abuse or severe neglect.

  40. Angela jones says:

    Ok mister law student.
    1. Because of my ex forgetting her in two different places (crackle barrel and mettle beach theatre) and because he says one thing and does another the JUDGE has in the custody order that my daughter gets to decide if she wants to come home or not. Yep MY 10 year old.
    2. It would be great for her father to explain that to her if he would do it. Which he never has except to blame anyone else but himself for it.
    3. It not really excuses I make for him it’s more giving her hope that one day her father will do what he says he will do. You call it what u like.
    4. Emotional abuse is just is bad as physical abuse. It last way into adulthood.
    5. You don’t really want to learn from this u just want your own sympathy in whatever your issue is.
    6. I pray that when you do finish law school, something I would luv to do but I have made the decision that spending quality time with my daughter is more important then getting another degree.
    7. Good luck in law school hopefully you will learn that there are two sides and that you don’t know everything-no one does. You are wrong about me. I don’t alienate anyone, I’m just the parent she counts in and is always there with no excuses.

  41. Mom2ThreeBoys says:

    What constitutes abuse? Emotional, physical or verbal are very subjective. My 11 year old has severe anxiety so verbal abuse is enough to cause him to be afraid. His anxiety stems from my ex, his dad, physically abusing my older son while the other 2 watched. He had never hit my younger children until recently…explain that level of crazy. My older son just turned 18 and has cut off all communication. For the first time last weekend, my ex hit the 11 year old. Everyday my son talks about the hitting and how he doesnt want to go next weekend. He is afraid he will get hit again because he told me about the hit. Of course, my ex denied EVERYTHING. Do I force him to go???

  42. Angela jones says:

    Mom2threeboys,
    I am so sorry for u and your kids. I would absolutely not let the kids go. I would get them in to see a therapist or better yet psychologist that is willing to testify in court. So many of these abusers just say it is different parenting styles. Complete Bull! If the children are scared or have anxiety there is a reason. I want my child to grow up and be independent and think for herself. So many adults treat their kids as objects “the seen but not heard” way of raising a child is just a way for old minded men and women to play controll games with their children this causes the kids to make poor choices when they become adults because they have never had to think for themselves. My prayer are with you.

    1. 1st Year Law Student says:

      Angela,

      I agree with everything after your first two sentences. The psych, the different parenting styles argument, the seen but not heard argument, and even the argument that it is just conflict between the parents, not the abuse.

      However, I am not sure what the mom means by “hitting.” A closed fist punch to the face, or an open hand spanking. It makes a difference. Parents have a right to discipline within reason. You may not find it reasonable, but the majority of people may.

      1. Mom2threeboys says:

        Angela,
        Thank you for your support. I am absolutely getting a therapist involved in my case so I do not have to be the only one speaking in court. I had a psychologist meeting with my older son when the hitting started and he confirmed that this was not a gray area and it was child abuse. Unfortunately, our GAL took away some visitation, but not all. It has been about 2 years since he hit any of the boys and last weekend was the first incident so my kids are reliving the abuse of their brother.
        Closed or open makes no difference at all @1styearstudent. It is intent to discipline or intent to harm out of anger. Do your research on child abuse before you question anyone’s motive on this site. If you have an 11 year old boy and you have not been a full time parent since he was 2, is not the right time to start corporal punishment? My son said his dad was “raging” and seemed out of control. Hurt, not hurt, mark, no mark, closed hand, open hand…it doesn’t matter. It is scary for a child and very hard to understand.

        1. 1st Year Law Student says:

          @mom2threeboys

          My degree is in sociology with a specialization in families. I’ve worked with children for 10 years. In many states, open v. closed hand, whether it left bruising, and the location of the hitting is all relevant for determining abuse or not abuse. Feel free to check with DHHS records of how physical abuse is defined in your state. A doctor or psychologist can testify that it is abuse from his/her perspective but that is just an opinion which needs to be weighted against the laws of parental discipline in your area.

  43. Angela jones says:

    Omg 1st year law student! Are you kidding me! I swear I should go law school if this is the garage u are learning, just so the court system has some chance to protect our kids! No one should be spanking a child across the face. What about you, sounds like your the one that needs anger management if that is how you disclipine. Your suppose to teach them how to be adults- what kind of adult is that teaching them to be? You think being s bully and hurting a child is the only way to disclipine? There are so many ways to show your child the right way of doing things. Controlling, hitting, that is exactly what I am talking about. It isn’t a different way to parent it is child abuse mental and physical. I think u should go to school to learn how to discipline your child instead of law school. So far I am not impressed by your first year studies. Please say u will not be a family court lawyer….please, please.

  44. Angela jones says:

    Mom2threeboys
    Please do not listen to 1st yr, he is all rules and no experience or empathy for that matter. I have fought for my child for 6 years in the court system. I have sole custody and bc of his behavior my daughter can decide when she wants to come home. She has a phone watch and just calls me when he is acting crazy. It’s the gizmo pal u can get on eBay for $60 and there is no contract just $20 a month. The court ordered that she has to wear it at all times and I can even spot check on them. It has been hard road to get to this point but I am not going to let someone hurt her, period.

  45. 1st Year Law Student says:

    @mom2threeboys

    1. May I recommend mental health counseling for you? I believe you may need it.

    2. Thank you for explaining that you child was hit across the face. At no point did you mention the location of the hitting before now. Yes, DHHS would consider that abuse. That is why I asked about the open or closed hand, location, and whether it left a bruise or not. This is not from a legal perspective but a DHHS child abuse perspective.

    3. Your assumption that this is how I discipline my own child crossed the line. It is spiteful, ignorant, and defamatory. This tells me a lot about your personality, how you treat your ex husband and also indicative of parental alienation on your parent.

    Hope you find a good lawyer.

  46. Mom2threeboys says:

    I would say chances are good that mine has crossed the line and I do not need a law degree to come to that conclusion. Good luck with your studies.
    Emotional Abuse
    Almost all States, the District of Columbia, American
    Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico,
    and the Virgin Islands include emotional maltreatment
    as part of their definitions of abuse or neglect.
    Typical language used in these definitions is
    “injury to the psychological capacity or emotional stability
    of the child as evidenced by an observable or substantial
    change in behavior, emotional response, or cognition”
    and injury as evidenced by “anxiety, depression,
    withdrawal, or aggressive behavior.”

  47. 1st Year Law Student says:

    I was wondering if you are aware that child abuse and neglect statistics show that biological mothers are 8 times more likely to abuse their child than biological fathers. Let that sink in for a moment.

    False allegations of abuse are also more likely by a mother than a father, with domestic violence agencies coaching both the mother and the child in order to facilitate the deprivation of rights from the father. It’s a money game. It’s sick and perverted.

    1. Lynn says:

      I thought a person could get in almost as much trouble for knowingly making false abuse reports as a person can for committing abuse.

  48. Mom2threeboys says:

    Reread the statement above @1st Year Law Student. I never said any of those things. You may want to back up your truck and apologize. Better yet, don’t you have some work to do?

  49. 1st Year Law Student says:

    Apologize for what?

  50. Mom2threeboys says:

    I DID NOT SAY ANY OF THIS…
    @mom2threeboys

    1. May I recommend mental health counseling for you? I believe you may need it.

    2. Thank you for explaining that you child was hit across the face. At no point did you mention the location of the hitting before now. Yes, DHHS would consider that abuse. That is why I asked about the open or closed hand, location, and whether it left a bruise or not. This is not from a legal perspective but a DHHS child abuse perspective.

    3. Your assumption that this is how I discipline my own child crossed the line. It is spiteful, ignorant, and defamatory. This tells me a lot about your personality, how you treat your ex husband and also indicative of parental alienation on your parent.

    Hope you find a good lawyer.

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