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My son wants to become a baseball star. But my ex-husband refuses to take him to his games. Is there anything I can do?

Silver Springs, NV |

My son, since he was born, wants to become a baseball star. I decided to sign him up for T-Ball. This is his first year and amazingly he's really good at it. I have even noticed that it has boosted his confidence level. He has told me he wants to continue on to Little League. However, those games participation is mandatory. My ex-husband has told me he will not support our son in this as it cuts into his time with him. He has refused to take him to his practices and games. I have even offered to pick our son up myself or have another family member pick up our son to take him to his games. My ex-husband told me if I do that he will call the cops. We both have custody over the kids, but because he lives in a separate town, I'm the main custodial parent. Is there anything I can do?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

These issues happen frequently and coaches tend tone very accommodating when one parent refuses to participate. I would suggest you speak with the coach and explain the situation, my guess is that accommodations will be made for the dates the child misses during Dad's time. Additionally, I am of the opinion that the Court is likely to do very little because of the age of the child. However, if the child continues to excel and shows promise of future endeavors, college scholarships for example, most can be receptive . It is about timing and I don't think it is right. When it is, you can file a Motion to address it with the Court.

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Posted

I have addressed this already to the President of The Baseball League on sign up day. They did say that T-Ball it wasn't a big deal, however, Little League it would be a big deal as it is a "team" sport. I have already spoke to another Mom about this who is raising three boys of her own and was also told by her that their participating is mandatory as they get older. I also understand that the courts will probably not listen to a six year old, but at what age do you think the courts will start listening when it comes to a child and his interest in a life setting goal?

Amanda M Roberts

Amanda M Roberts

Posted

Usually the closer he gets to his teenage year.

Posted

I agree with Ms. Roberts. It's unfortunate, but a legal custodian can certainly throw a wrench in the works by their stubbornness. The coaches can be accommodating, but more importantly, he needs the game experiences as much or more than the practices. This is going to be a tough sell with the court, however, in that they are not likely to view T-ball as a necessary part of a child's life, at least not sufficient to order Dad to do something Dad doesn't think is worthwhile. So I'd sit with an attorney who can look at all the facts, especially looking at patterns outside of baseball that indicate Dad's not looking after the child's interests. If you can demonstrate an overall pattern, you have a much better chance at getting the judge's attention.

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Posted

Thank you, their has been a couple of times where my ex-husband has put the kids in danger and police had to intervene. I know T-ball & Little league isn't necessary as part as a child's life, but I feel it is a good foundation to a start of child who wants to make this a career. At what age do you think the courts might look at this as in the best interest of the child?

Keith Pickard

Keith Pickard

Posted

I don't know that the court would ever find extracurricular activities as a necessary part, at least not important enough to overcome a parent's objections. But that's not really the point. The most important point you can make is that the father is not actively working for the betterment of the child. Look at the pattern of behavior, not so much the specifics. If you can prove to the judge that he's ignoring the child's needs and wants out of spite and has done so to a fault, that might be enough to get the judge's attention.

Posted

If your case is based in Northern Nevada, the advice my colleagues have provided is absolutely correct. There is no way the courts will put T-ball or little league over time with a parent. Your son's coaches WILL understand. And your ex is only shooting himself in the foot for being an ass, because your son is going to know that mom supports an activity he enjoys, and dad doesn't. When his friends ask where he was and why he missed a practice or game, he is only going to have his father to blame. Make very sure that you never say anything negative about your son's father in the presence of your child or where he could possibly hear you. If your son asks why dad won't let him play, simply tell him that is something he will have to ask his father because you cannot explain it. And start saving money for an attorney, because this will likely get worse, and you will probably need to address it in the court system in the future.

Responses are for general information purposes only, and are based on the extremely limited facts given. A consultation with an attorney experienced in the area of law(s) indicated in the question is highly recommended. Information and advice given here should not be relied upon for any final action or decision, as the information is limited by its nature to the question asked and the fact(s) presented in that question. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP, particularly considering that the names of the parties are unknown.

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Keith Pickard

Keith Pickard

Posted

I could not agree with Ms. Whitbeck more. She hit the nail on the head.

Asker

Posted

I agree with Ms. Whitbeck, however, I'm more concerned with what my child wants and supporting and encouraging his goal than my ex's stubborn selfishness. I have three kids and my ex hasn't supported anything that any one has wanted. As they get older I can only see this problem increasing....... at what point does the court stop looking at what the parent wants and starts focusing more on what the child wants?

Jill K. Whitbeck

Jill K. Whitbeck

Posted

The court always looks to the best interests of the child, but the fact is that children do not know enough to have their own best interests at heart. Otherwise they would all have cookies for breakfast, never brush their teeth, never go to school, and fall asleep in front of the TV every night. That is why they have parents, to create and enforce rules, provide discipline, and teach that what we "want" may not always be what is best. It may surprise you to know that some parents put their kids in activity after activity -- all of which the child enjoys -- but do so soley to deprive the other parent of meaningful custody time. Quick frankly, your child is just too young to put anything whatsoever above time with a loving, caring parent. If dad is being selfish and putting "his time" above the child's development, as you describe, the child is going to figure that out without you having to do anything.

Keith Pickard

Keith Pickard

Posted

Since you are in Ms. Whitbeck's neck of the woods, you should schedule an appointment with her. She is worth every penny and you will gain valuable advice in how to approach this. What she has suggested is spot on.

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