I share joint legal custody with my ex-wife and want to know what to do if I suspect my children are victims of domestic violence while with their mother.
My child has told me she is scared of her mother's boyfriend because he abuses my ex-wife.
I'm wondering if I could take my child to talk to a counselor about this without letting the mother know even though we share joint legal custody and would normally probably have to agree on such a decision.
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Indiana divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
If you are concerned for the immediate safety and well being of the children while they are with their mother due to possible domestic violence, then you should contact the police or a department of child and family services. They will investigate the claims of abuse in the house.
If the claims of abuse are substantiated, then you may be permitted to send the children to counseling without input from the mother.
Can She Do That?The Importance of Legal Custody
However, until the claims are substantiated, since you and your ex-wife have joint legal custody, the decision to send the children to counseling should be discussed between the parties. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, then one party may bring the issue before a judge for him to decide.
If you suggest counseling for the children, you do not have to inform the mother that it is because you suspect abuse at her home.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.