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Author Topic: Can I still take her to her counselor?  (Read 7095 times)

JadedMom

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Can I still take her to her counselor?
« on: Oct 20, 2009, 07:44:53 PM »
Ex just got custody of our 9yr old dau- she has lived with me in my custody since we went our separate ways 7 yrs. ago. Order came from state sup. ct. and we are awaiting a district ct date to set up new visitation and CS orders for me.  I have been taking dau to a counselor for almost 2 yrs. now, due to stress from her dad's behavior towards me.  Bills were submitted to his ins. co, as he carries her ins. coverage.
He has told me via text to not take her to counselor anymore- he's angry b/c counselor submitted a deposition to the ct. during the battle which painted him in a bad light as far as his parenting abilities. The district ct judge denied him custody and he appealed all the way to the ct. of appeals, who overturned the district ct. judges decision.
The way it stands right now, there are no orders re my visitation or any rights whatsoever- this will be resolved soon though.
I'd like to continue to take her to counselor at least once/month. Being represented by senior law students at our local university and they don't even know what I should do. They are researching it too.  The best advice they give me is to take her to apts. and pay bill on my own and not let bill be submitted to his ins.
Does anyone have any ideas?


snowrose

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Re: Can I still take her to her counselor?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 20, 2009, 09:08:07 PM »
Did your ex get sole legal custody or do you have joint legal custody? 
 
Legal custody has to do with who makes decisions, not where the child lives.

JadedMom

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Re: Can I still take her to her counselor?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 20, 2009, 09:27:32 PM »
The ex has sole custody. Dau. is living with him now, but there is no order from the court yet outlining all of the details regarding my visitation, CS or any other information. My student attorney tells me that we will not be able to get all of those details in writing from the judge until we go to court in several months.
My way of thinking tells me that unless I am ordered specifically to not take her to counselor apts. by the judge, I should be able to do so and pay for it on my own.
Plus, if he goes to the judge to complain- I don't feel the judge would be angry with the situation, I am doing this in my dau. best interest- especially now that my dau. life is totally turned upside down and she can really benefit from seeing her counselor and having someone she trusts and can talk to.
The counselor is also concerned about this, as she doesn't want my ex to try and sue her for continuing sessions w/ my dau.

ocean

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Re: Can I still take her to her counselor?
« Reply #3 on: Oct 21, 2009, 05:00:12 AM »
File in court that for daughter to be in counseling....it will then be court ordered and both of you cant take her out.

snowrose

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Re: Can I still take her to her counselor?
« Reply #4 on: Oct 21, 2009, 08:21:30 AM »
If your ex has sole custody, then he is the only one who can sign for your daughter going to counseling.  Some states will allow one parent's signature IF it's joint custody, but since your ex now has sole custody then your counselor has no leg to stand on and could possibly find herself open to a lawsuit.

I semi-agree with ocean.  I think that at this point you have to stop taking your daughter to the counselor - but you can file with the court and request counseling for your daughter and let the court choose whether or not they'll get involved with this and force the issue.
 
I will say one thing, though.  If you bring this back to court and the court enforces counseling your ex will most likely ask the court to assign a counselor of his choosing.  Since the court has decided to give him sole custody, the court would most likely go along with this and your daughter would be seeing a new counselor.


MrCustodyCoach

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Re: Can I still take her to her counselor?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 21, 2009, 09:31:57 AM »
snowrose has this right (in most cases). 

I might also add, as painful as it sounds, unless the counselor met with the father, he really had no basis on which to file something with the court other than what he heard from either you or DD about his parenting.  Without interviewing and drawing conclusions based upon what the father offers - it's not particularly ethical.
Mr. Custody Coach - Win Child Custody "Better Prepared, Better Outcome"

*The opinions in this post are solely my own and do not represent the only way to address any particular issue.

JadedMom

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Re: Can I still take her to her counselor?
« Reply #6 on: Oct 21, 2009, 12:40:07 PM »
We are going through mediation via our attorneys right now and will meet w/ judge next month. I made out a "wish list" of the things I would like to see happen for our dau.
One of the items I am requesting of the dis. ct judge is that it be ordered for our dau to be allowed to cont. counseling w/ her current person (she has developed a rapport and trust w/ this person as she has been seeing them for almost 2 yrs.) Ex was invited and made aware of sessions but chose to not participate (except for calling counselor to threaten her against continuing therapy w/ dau since she is now living in his home.)
The dis. ct. judge originally left cust. w/ me- the ex requested new trial and dis. ct. judge denied. Ex then proceeded to appeal to higher ct. and they overturned decision.
Have been told dis. ct. judge is "on my side" and am told by student attorneys that it is likely that most reasonable requests I make of the court should be granted. I am hopeful this will happen.  Have not made unreasonable requests, just things pertaining to continuing counseling, remaining in same school (he lives in her district), telephone contact, and liberal visitation (dau has spent 8.5 of her 9yrs living with me). I am trying to be the "bigger person"- even though it proves to be quite difficult.
Per ex's request, I have assumed his prior normal visitation schedule- every Wed eve 5-8 and EOW. I had to have my student att. call his att. the first wk. end I was supposed to have our dau. to remind him he requested I take his visit schedule-  was merely trying to do what he had requested that I do, and he tried to deny me the visit.  No way to reason with an unreasonable person. 
Spoke w/ dau. 2 Sat's ago (his wkend) and she told me she missed school the prev. day w/ fever of 104.  She went on to say ex took her to acute care clinic to see MD who said she had bronchitis and prescribed antibiotic.  In prev. custody order it stated I was to notify him in event of illness or MD visits- which I promptly did.  I have documented every little detail of our dau. life since 2002- just makes me upset that he thinks I do not need to be notified of what's going on in her life.
Attended her school conf. @ the beginning of Oct.- ex called me wanting to know why I was going to her conf.- (he had not scheduled his own conf. and knew nothing about it)  I told him, "that's what parents do- they go to school conferences."  It's like he expects me to just bow out of her life now that I am a NCP.  I also go to school at least 1x per week and take lunch to her, and volunteer for helping w/ school parties, carnivals, etc... 
When I had full custody he rarely called to speak to her during the week (perhaps 3x in the whole duration) and only attended one school conf. and one open house for the start of school. (In fact, he made a comment to our dau. 2 yrs ago at the open house that her teacher for 2nd grade looked "hot"-)  I couldn't resist- I made a comment that since he thought her teacher was so attractive- perhaps he would come to her conferences that year.
It's been a tough road w/ him- I am not without sin as far as my behavior, I will admit.  But now, I just want to focus on doing the right thing and making our dau.'s life as happy as possible.  It's tough to deal w/, I call every nite and I know he's listening to our conversation so I try my best to keep things light and happy.  It's so tough though, when I tell her goodbye and tell her, "I love you"- she hesitates, and then she says very quietly just above a whisper, "I love you too Mommy."    It's breaking my heart- could really use some words of wisdom right now.

CuriousMom

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Re: Can I still take her to her counselor?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 21, 2009, 12:52:34 PM »
I'm not understanding why the change was that dramatic...that fast, without some other reasons other than the deposition submission.

JadedMom

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Re: Can I still take her to her counselor?
« Reply #8 on: Oct 21, 2009, 01:19:01 PM »
Long story made short- I lived in an apt. bldg.  where most of the people were less than upstanding.  My apt. manager and I  were social w/ one another, nothing else- I felt sorry for him b/c he was single and trying to mend a relationship w/ his 3 nearly grown dau's. 
There was some friction b/t us, as I found out he was reporting my daily activities to my ex. When I confronted him on this he denied it. He ended up assaulting me one night and trying to throw me off the balcony- in front of my dau. (He was intoxicated and was taken to the local detox center by local police.)
I ended up moving away shortly after this and when the ex took me to court he called numerous residents from the apt. bldg to court to testify against me. ( Several of them being ex-cons on parole, who admitted on the stand to drinking and using drugs). 
He also called my estranged husb. to the stand (who was also convicted of domestic assault against me, several yrs. ago)  He was ordered to attend 6 mos. of anger mgmt and it took him 12 mos to complete as he kept getting expelled for bad behavior.
 The point is, the original judge denied him a change of custody. It was the appellate ct. that overturned it- I don't feel that they clearly looked at all of the evidence from the lower ct.  The ex called 10 people to the stand to testify against me, I had one witness, our dau. counselor- in the form of a depostition ( and it was "condensed" at that- numerous statements the counselor had directly quoted from our dau. were with-held- per the ex's att. request). When my att. contacted me after the decision of the dist. ct. he said, " Judge ---- really doesn't like bully's."  She saw through all of the junk the ex was pulling and she decided to leave custody w/ me.  I fell through in the apellate ct. 
My only concern right now is to do what's best for our dau.- I can see her behavior changing drastically since she's been living in the ex's home- when she's with me for the weekend and the ex calls, she goes into another room and I can hear her keep telling him, " I want to go now- we are busy." I usually have activities planned for her, whether it be a visit w/ family members, movie night, having her favorite girlfriend over from school or a trip to the local indoor waterpark for the evening.  I can tell that he questions her at great detail about what we are doing, and it troubles me a lot.  I give her privacy to speak w/ the ex., but she acts differently for quite a while after speaking w/ him.

gemini3

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Re: Can I still take her to her counselor?
« Reply #9 on: Oct 22, 2009, 11:19:26 AM »
Regarding the counselor... once a counselor has been called into court to testify the confidential relationship has been violated.  It's pretty hard to continue to be effective in a therapeutic relationship once that has happened.  I'm sure your daughter knows her counselor has testified in court for or against one of her parents.  She should not be required to continue counseling with this therapist.   

The rapport and trust argument is, in my opinion, void since the therapist has revealed confidential information in court.  In my opinion, the therapist has an ethical obligation to stop seeing your daughter.  Once she has taken sides she can no longer be impartial in her treatment of your daughter, and no child should be subjected to therapy from someone who has a bias against one of his/her parents.

I think that the value you see in her continuing to see the counselor is because you feel that you have someone on "your side".  After being raked over the coals in court it feels good to have someone who is, and I understand that.  But, it's not about you - it's about your daughter.  What can she benefit from the relationship?

You didn't clarify if your husband has sole legal custody or sole physical custody.  There is a huge difference.  If he has sole legal you have no right to take her to the therapist, and the therapist could lose her license for treating your daughter without your ex's consent.  She should be careful.  My husband's ex was taking one of his kids to a therapist who showed a clear bias against him (among other things) - the judge advised his ex to stop taking the child there, and she ended up getting her license suspended over the whole thing.

snowrose

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Re: Can I still take her to her counselor?
« Reply #10 on: Oct 30, 2009, 12:50:28 PM »
While I can't condone grilling a child on what's happening at the other parent's home, at the same time I can understand where the child's father might be concerned for her welfare given the conditions she was living under with you previously.  And since this is a pretty new situation, I'm sure that he's feeling very uncertain while she's with you.
 
As for a child whispering she loves a parent while she's on the phone, I see that regularly right here in our own home.  Since the parents are in conflict, the child naturally feels that to say they love one parent will hurt or create a conflict for the other parent.  The child doesn't need anyone to say anything to them to cause these feelings/fears, it can be just a natural consequence of being aware of the conflict.  (Of course, it can be fed by a parent's actions too - but it doesn't have to be.)
 
And children acting differently after being with or talking with the other parent - again, completely normal and understandable - and the other parent doesn't even have to "grill" the child for it to happen.  Over here, SD9 can have a completely innocuous conversation with BM but then be completely off the wall for a good hour afterwards.  Again, a lot of it has to do with the child's own internal conflicts - and those are (can be) simply a natural consequence of the parents no longer being together.

 

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