Been divorced 7 years. The kids live with me, he only sees them for about 24 hours 2x a month. he is allowed more, just doesn't take it. I have tried over and over to co-parent but he is a narcissist(I am a LCSW, and yes he would be clinically Dx by any therapist) and very emotionally abusive, so I just cannot co-parent. I follow the order we have and give the correct notice for vacation, camps, everything. He does what he wants and if I do not give him what he wants, he does it anyway. I have lost money on airfare, and had to go crazy re-arrange summer camps, and he never pays the money owed within 30 days. I have everything in writing by emails and texts to prove his ways for the past seven years to show how difficult he makes anything and everything. I usually just concede and this shouldn't be the case. When things are booked and ample notice(meaning months) is given, why should this be allowed. He hasn't had a driver's license in over a year, had no place of residence for the past 10 months(kids and him were staying at hotels and taking uber everywhere) and he was in jail last Oct. for about 2 weeks for driving on the revoked list. Is there anything to do?
I suggest that you at least schedule a consultation with a family law attorney to go over your matter. Many offer free consultations. You raise several issues, including issues with parenting time, not simply just an issue with sharing joint legal custody. Joint legal custody involves the big decisions for the children such as education, religion, college. It also allows him the ability to see medical and school records. You may need to petition the court to amend parenting time to reflect what is in the best interests of the children, especially if he is homeless.
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As you may be aware, there are two types of custody, residential custody, which I presume is in your hands having full residential custody, and legal custody. A court will not normally grant sole legal custody without a full hearing, because that is basically divesting the other parent of parental rights as to the care and upbringing of the child. It would have to be shown to the court that it is in the child's best interest to divest the father of his parental rights. However, the court may do so but again the standards of proof would require a full hearing. The court can certainly refashion the current parenting plan, however, to require things like a risk assessment, a psychological assessment, restrictions on visitations or requiring that he pay for any changes in terms of airlines, etc. There are many different things that you bring up, and I would certainly say that you would best look to have a consultation with a family lawyer before proceeding.
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Legal custody relates to the major decisions effecting the children's health, safety, welfare and education. Its sounds like your issues are more parenting time related and not legal custody issues. You may want to petition the court to better detail how to co-parent and communicate, and also, set down requirements regarding his parenting time such that before he takes them for overnights his house has to pass a home inspection.
This answer does not constitute the establishment of an attorney/client relationship nor is there any guarantee that this advice will be completely effective in a court of law. A consultation, including review of court orders and other documents is necessary in order for me to give you proper advice and guidance.
The obvious secret (I know it's an oxymoron) in Family Law is that it Orders only work with party compliance. It seems that your only remedy with your ex is terminating his parenting time (visitation) but that's unlikely to happen. Try filing an application to establish your next vacation or summer camp by Court Order, at least you have a shot at the police enforcing a specific Order. Another approach is tapping his wallet: an attorney will request an award of "counsel fees" to enforce a Court Order - a couple of awards tend to eventually engender compliance. Good luck.
Please understand that I have no details about your specific case, my opinion is generally applicable and is far from personalized legal advice that lawyer would provide. If you are seeking legal advice you MUST consult with and only rely upon the advice of an attorney experienced in that field of law.
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