Do I have legal right to know what my ex-husband does while my daughter is with him? I have physical custody.

Asked over 1 year ago - Corona, CA

He has visitation every other weekend. We share legal custody.

For instance, he took her, with permission, on vacation to another state for a week to visit family, but I found out that he actually flew his girlfriend out there on a separate flight (so I wouldn't know) to stay with them. My 8 yr. old daughter accidentally told me and then looked frightened. I didn't react badly in front of her. It's not her fault. But he obviously had told her not to tell me. Do I have any say-so about her whereabouts or who he's with when she's around? What about his telling her to keep secrets? I didn't pry; she was telling me about her trip and accidentally mentioned her dad's friend. I am concerned now that if he tells her to hide this from me, what else could he be telling her to hide?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Martha Bronson

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . I am sorry to hear of your situation. However, as long as the girlfriend does not present some type of danger to your daughter no court is going to give you a court order prohibiting the girlfriend to be present during the father’s visitation with the daughter. With respect to the apparent comments made by the father to the daughter regarding keeping things secret, it is entirely inappropriate conduct. You should review your court orders for visitation and custody very carefully and see if there is one in there prohibiting the parties from involving the child in the divorce or discussing custodial/visitation issues with the child. If so, his conduct in trying to secret what they do and with whom from you would appear to come under those headings, and present a contempt of court situation. We do not recommend filing a contempt of court proceeding, in general, because of the high burden of proof, but it may be worth entertaining the idea and letting him know that he continues to place the daughter in the middle of the marital strife, he will force you to seek that remedy to protect the child. If you have found this helpful and/or the best answer, please let the attorney know by checking the appropriate box below. It will be greatly appreciated. Thank you and best of luck to you.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is... more
  2. Nadine Marie Jett

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . If the orders are temporary, without court approval or written agreement between the parties, the child cannot be removed from the state. If you already have a final judgment, then it depends on what the judgment ordered.
    Regarding the girlfriend, absent something really terrible about th is woman, he has a right to associate with whomever he wishes to, and can include your daughter.
    It is sad your child feels the need, or has been told to lie about it or keep it a secret. This is an issue you should bring up with her Father, and let him know, you would rather know about it, than have your child feel bad about it.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is... more
  3. Isileli Tupou Manaia Mataele

    Contributor Level 19

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    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Unless you suspect they are violating a court order there is nothing that needs to be done. The other parent cannot control who is around the child while with other parent unless they present a specific threat not simply not a good person.

    This is not a comprehensive answer and it is impossible to provide a meaningful response without a consultation.... more

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