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Can my ex-husband have my son removed from academic competition because i did not inform him when my son started math club?

Covina, CA |
Filed under: Family law

we are divorced and my son is with me majority of time.he sees his father every other weekend and is supposed to be with him on vacation for 2 wks a year(hasnt happened in 5 yrs).needless to say his father and i don't speak.we share medical,educational and religious decisions.i don't feel like my son being in math club is something i need to tell him of.he went every tuesday for most of the school son has to call him right after school every day or else he will shave his head so i figured that he would have told it was time for the competition and my son had not mentioned it to oldest told him two days before and he decided to call the teacher involved and yell and scream and let him have it and as a result my son was replced on the team and extremely hurt by it!

Attorney Answers 3


I highly doubt any judge I know of in LA County would take dad's side on this one. It seems pretty clear to me that dad totally overreacted to the entire situation and caused your son to be deprived of an incredible opportunity to advance his academic career.

At this point, I'd file an OSC asking for sole legal custody over educational decisions. Nothing was gained by dad's calling the school and making a complaint. And if this is his pattern of conduct, I would bring it to the court's attention immediately.

I agree with my colleague who stated that the relevant question is: did the math club interfere with dad's custodial time? If not, no harm, no foul.

Should you have told dad about the math competition? Perhaps. But even if you didn't, his actions were punitive in nature which demonstrates how unreasonable and difficult he probably is to co-parent with.

No judge in the world is going to say that being involved in math club is bad for a kid. I'd guess most would be supportive of this "extracurricular activity" if you want to call it that.

I suggest you hire an attorney to help you present the facts to the judge in a way that doesn't make you look like you are overly controlling, and does not allow dad to take advantage of the situation and spin the facts in his favor.

Good luck to you.

If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Good Answer" button at the bottom of this answer. By answering this question, the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not intend to form an attorney-client relationship with the asking party. The answers posted on this website should not be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not make any representations about your family law matter, but rather, seeks to provide general information to the public about family-law related matters. You should consult with an attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case. Thank you.

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I'm sorry that you're going through this. Coparenting is the responsibility of both parents. If your son is in an extra-curricular activity then the father has a right to know about it. It doesn't matter if you two don't get along. The best interests of the child is the standard in California. I could see an argument that your son's math club is not an educational decision per the court's order although if it's a learning environment, then realistically it is. I know that I'm telling you something that you don't want to hear, this is a decision that you ought to have notified the father. The result is here is that your son is really the one who is paying the price for it.

What I would suggest that you do is speak with the father and the school regarding how your son can be in math club. Be polite. Get the father's consent. If it's really important to you and he won't agree, get a court order. If he's really good at it and it could affect his college applications, for example, it's important. If he is being abusive, these are fact that ought to be brought to the court's attention. Try to work it out first.

What is this if your son doesn't call the father, the father is threatening to shave his head? Am I reading this correctly? It's your child although that doesn't seem inappropriate. If the father is yelling and screaming at the school staff, they do have certain responsibilities. That's also inappropriate.

If you feel that the father is interfering with your son's education or otherwise intimidating him inappropriately, hire a skilled family law lawyer in your area.

Ms. Johns is a lawyer although she is not your lawyer unless you have consulted with her and signed a fee or letter agreement confirming her representation of you. This post does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationship results.

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Hillary Johns

Hillary Johns


My office does give free consultations. The telephone number is (866) 402-4038. You are welcome to call if you wish.


I'm having trouble seeing what the problem is with your son being in math club. Are you saying that Dad's only problem with it is the fact that he wasn't told about it? Does the club or the competition interfere with school? Does being in math club interfere with Dad's custodial time? When Dad called the school yelling about son's involvement in math club, what was he yelling or complaining about that led the school to its decision to take your son off of the team? Again, was it simply because Dad had not been given notice? I'm not sure I agree with my colleagues that math club would fall within the parameters of your legal custody order regarding education, medical and religious decisions. What does your judgment actually say in that regard? Whether math club is covered by the judgment may depend on the nature of this club - when it meets, where, how often, what are the involved activities, etc.

Based on just the facts as you have stated them, I'm seeing a lot of inappropriate and unfair behavior on the part of Dad that is not in the best interests of your son. I'm particularly concerned with the reference to the threat of head shaving. I highly recommend that you consult with an attorney.

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Hillary Johns

Hillary Johns


Ms. Waxman is right. The Dad sounds very inappropriate and the reference to head shaving is especially concerning. Please call a lawyer who can assist you. I also agree with Ms. Waxman about math club. That sounds like something to be proud of, not discourage.

Jemal K Yarbrough

Jemal K Yarbrough


It seems that there is a lot left out of this situation, notably what Dad was upset about. My best guess is the timing of the competition. My suggestion would be to see a mediator specializing in family matters before running to court and spending money on attorney's when that money can be better spent on your son. This way, your son can get back into math club and both parents can be involved and proud of his accomplishments instead of further alienating dad.

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