Concerns about an Ex's behavior when they have the kids

Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney, shares advice for divorced parents on what to do when you worry about your ex's behavior when they have the kids
Divorce And Children | Concerns About Ex's Behavior With Kids
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Concerns about an Ex's behavior when they have the kids

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I think one of the things you really need to do when you’re raising these concerns is examine whether they are genuine concerns or whether it’s some kind of a retaliation or maybe even just something that’s been magnified, because you know your ex-spouse. If what we’re talking about is recreational drug use, something that maybe you did together and you know that he or she still does, it’s probably not something that’s occurring when the children are with him or her. That being said – if this is something that really concerns you, most likely it will manifest itself in some way, hopefully not when the children are with your ex. Either a drunk driving arrest, some kind of rehabilitation, some kind of crying for help, whether it’s at work or at home, other family members you might want to get involved and have kind of a semi intervention. Depending on the age of your children, they may at some point come to you and say, “Look, we’re really concerned, because when we’re over at dad’s, we can’t wake him up when he’s sleeping, or he talks funny.” These are the kind of things to kind of look out for and again, very importantly, try to think of any other remedies that you can before bringing it to court. Because then you’re going to be dealing with escort sheriff policy. So if you need to say, “I’d really feel more comfortable if when the kids are with you, we send the nanny, we send your mother, we send even a monitor that I paid for, just to be there to make sure that everything’s okay,” your ex may say, may intuitively know that you’re serious about this and you’re trying to take the path of least resistance and may agree. If you’re met with just complete “I don’t want to hear about it” denial, you may have to take the next steps. And that would be really sad. I would always caution to wait, not only because of the emotional problems that you will experience with your ex for making these accusations, but the time and money that you will spend going through this court battle and there is a risk that you don’t win. Now you’ve burnt a bridge and you’ve also spent a lot of money and not effectuated your goal at all.

Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney, shares advice for divorced parents on what to do when you worry about your ex's behavior when they have the kids

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Laura Wasser

Family Law Attorney

Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

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