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Author Topic: Can you ask for NCP to go to Parenting Classes?  (Read 2991 times)


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Can you ask for NCP to go to Parenting Classes?
« on: Mar 25, 2009, 12:39:42 PM »
Is there any way to ask a court to order a parent to attend parenting classes?  My ex and I separated when our daughter was 1.5 years old, and were divorced about 8 months later.  My ex then left to join the military (daughter was 2.5 yo).  Ex was gone for five years, only seeing daughter 3-4 times.  In the meantime, I remarried to a wonderful man who has raised my daughter with me, and she views him as her "dad" (identifying him as her "dad" in family pictures, when describing family to friends, etc.).  Also, during what was supposed to be her visitation/parenting time with her dad, she went to her dad's parents' house since he was not around, and they have been very good with her and treated her well. 

Now that my ex is home, he is remarried and has two children under 3.  Our daughter is now 8.  She has complained that her dad doesn't do anything with her during their time together, he expects her to abide by irrational rules (most of them sound like things they did in the military), and she doesn't get to see her grandparents, whom she saw every other weekend for five years.  She said she doesn't want to go to her dad's house, she wants to keep going to her grandparents' house like normal. 

My concern is that my ex has never been around any child of my daughter's age, and he has not been around her for five years, so he doesn't seem to know how to care for her, bond with her, and treat her like an 8 year old.  During conversations that I have had with him about his behavior, he responds with statements that HE shouldn't have to get on her level, that we should be making things easier on HIM, etc., showing that he thinks everyone, including an 8 year old, should be making his life easier and he shouldn't have to change.  Also, he doesn't seem to understand that he should be keeping things as normal as possible for her so that this transition is as easy as it can be.  Basically, it would be like sending her to see a stranger every other weekend just out of the blue. 

Could I ask the court to make him go to parenting classes, at the very least, so that he can learn how to take care of a child?  Are there conditions to this that have to be met first?  I hate hearing her complain of having to go to his house, and it kills me to think that he could be mistreating her in any way (no proof of that yet, but it still scares me).   Any tips would be appreciated!


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Re: Can you ask for NCP to go to Parenting Classes?
« Reply #1 on: Mar 25, 2009, 07:43:40 PM »
You can ask the court for anything you want, however I would caution against it... Judges tend to have a bit of an "elitest" attitude and they tend to frown upon being told how to do thier jobs... even if you're right... My personal experience, judges have a tough time keeping thier own egos in check, especially when you do something like you're suggesting, even though you may be 100% justified in what you're asking for.

Bottom line here, Judges are usually experienced, and can manage to see through the BS and come to the same conclusions that you have, present the FACTS and the EVIDENCE and leave your personal feelings at the door, and you will get exactly what you're looking for...


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Re: Can you ask for NCP to go to Parenting Classes?
« Reply #2 on: Mar 26, 2009, 04:41:57 AM »
I completely disagree.  You have to ask for what you want when you go to court.  In fact, I think that most judges would rather you decide so they don't have to.  I know very few people who have gotten exactly what their looking for when they go to court.  They rarely see through the BS.
One thing that is very concerning to me is that you have allowed your daughter to refer to, and think of, someone else as her "dad".  Your husband is not her father, and encouraging or allowing that is just plain wrong. 
Why didn't he see her for 5 years?  Was he deployed during this time?
It sounds like he wants to have a relationship with his daughter.  You should be happy.  Not having a relationship with her father would be emotionally difficult for your daughter - and your husband can't be a substitute for that.  The issue I see isn't that he is a bad parent, it's that he's a different parent than you.  The problem is, unless he's doing something harmful to her, it's really none of your business.  Just like it's none of his business how you parent when your daughter is with you.  You want him to go to counseling so that they can tell him to parent "your" way.  That's not going to happen.
How you are handling this situation will affect how your daughter handles it.  It sounds like you're not happy with it, you don't agree with his rules, you think he should be parenting her differently, and that you think that he might be mistreating her and are looking for proof of that.  Well, no wonder she complains!  No wonder she doesn't like to go!
Children are very perceptive, and they want to please their parents.  If she thinks that complaining about going to dad's house is what you're looking for, that's what you're going to get.  If she thinks it's going to get her extra attention, you're going to get stories every time she comes home.  Especially if you appear anxious about it in any way.  Do you ask her about what happened while she's at her dad's house?  Do you encourage her to call you if something goes wrong?  If so, what kind of message are you giving her about being with her father?


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