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Ex will not allow daughter to play softball because she doesn't complete all chores every 2 weeks. How can I change that?

Batavia, IL |

I am the custodial parent with Joint custody. Tryouts are Monday-Wed. She has played for 13 yrs. 16 yr old daughter has good grades and no trouble with school or the law. fYI- chores are equal to a wife or house keeper. Big concern of back lash with not trying in school or having 3-4 hours home along while we both work. Daughter get's along with everyone but her father. She has asked not to stay at his house. Can I get her a court advocate?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. No, you can go to mediation or hire a lawyer to get back into court but based upon the few facts you have presented, there is not much that can be done. You really need to discuss the problem with your ex. That is why you have joint custody. It is not unusual for a teenaged girls not to get along with either or both of their parents. If your lawyer brings a motion, perhaps the court will appoint a GAL but that is an expense that should be avoided given the situation as you describe it.

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  2. Custody and visitation orders often spell out that the NCP must make sure that the child attends all extracurricular activities. Your papers, apparently, do not. Too bad. Hire a lawyer to get the ex to get the child to extracurricular activities and to clean up your papers.

    Your daughter already has a court advocate: YOU! Hire a lawyer to get this taken care of. your daughter deserves it.


  3. If you are the residential parent take her to tryouts anyway. The joint parenting statute does not include having decision making in extracurricular activities. He can disagree but he has no legal basis unless your divorce papers say he does. I'm guessing they do not. If he then won't take her to softball games during his visitation time then you can consult a lawyer about your next step. Typically when kids are already 16 the court isn't going to force visits in a situation like this where the child is not visiting due only to a game. But again discuss this further in a lawyers office. Do take her to the tryouts. He cannot force his punishment of her on you during your parenting time. You make your own parenting decisions during your parenting time. Sounds like he wants her to be his maid and not his daughter.

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  4. This is a two part question.
    With regards to softball I would let her go to the tryouts and try to work the issue out with your ex. If you can't work it out, you can file a motion or petition to maintain the status quo due to the fact she has been involved in softball for 13 years. If one of his parenting nights falls on the night of the tryout, then you would have to file the motion or petition on an emergency basis to compel him to allow her to attend the tryouts.
    As to getting a court advocate you can file a petition to modify your agreement/judgment. In that case the court would almost certainly appoint a guardian ad litem or a child representative. If you are successful with your petition you may be able to limit the parenting time, get an order for your daughter and ex to participate in counseling, and in an extreme cases terminate his parenting time.

    I would highly recommend getting an attorney to help you, especially as this will likely need to be dealt with quickly.

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