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Author Topic: Questions about rights  (Read 3075 times)

suebee

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Questions about rights
« on: Sep 27, 2007, 02:39:23 PM »
I posted my story on Mothers w/o custody. What info do I have the right to ask for about my kids as regards school issues, behavioral problems, medical issues, info about dangers posed to them, etc? Can someone direct me to resources I can read about what I can and cannot ask, when is it my right to know, and when does it infringe upon my EX's privacy, etc?

I found out yesterday from a teacher that the school took it upon themselves to put out a school wide alert to keep my EX's current wife (who's just left him) away from my kids b/c she poses a danger. Several teachers have been watching my kids for months b/c they were aware my kids were not safe in their dad's home situation. I was never informed of any of this even though I am well known and well thought of by teachers and administrators and had worked in that school for 5 years. This is the first of many questions I will have about my rights, Ex's rights, kids' rights, and how to work to rebuild communication with my EX so we can cooperatively raise our kids and do what is best for them.

Thanks, SueBee


ocean

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RE: Questions about rights
« Reply #1 on: Sep 27, 2007, 03:54:27 PM »
I can answer from the school point of you. You are legally entitiled to anything in their permanent record (report cards, attendance, formalize testing). As far as the other stuff, since you are the NCP, the school would not contact you regarding the ex-wife. It is not the job of the school to tell you if there is an issue. You need to work that our with your ex. The school has to have some kind of court paperwork to put a kid on that list to watch out for.

Does you ex have an order of protection against this ex-wife? The kids may be listed on there. You can ask to see any paperwork regarding this ex-wife not picking up your kids. It could be a simple note from the father stating that he no longer wants her on the pick-up list and since she has picked them up in the past, the school has to be careful not to send them home with her.

suebee

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RE: Questions about rights
« Reply #2 on: Sep 27, 2007, 05:57:55 PM »
What I understood was that the school acted b/c of what my 16 year old son told his teacher that morning about the awful fighting going on over the last 2 weeks and that she had moved out the night before, and not because of a request by my EX. He doesn't like to air dirty laundry, and has been trying to keep the bad situation in his home a secret for a long time.

The school has been aware of how bad things were b/c of knowing his wife and her past behavior, seeing changes in my kids behavior and school performance, and my kids talking to their teachers and counsellors about what was going on over the last almost 2 years. Dept of Family and Children's Services was even called last December, and it is likely it was one of these teachers who stepped forward. To my knowledge he had no order of protection.

So what you're saying is even if my kids were in serious physical danger, I have no right to be told? They are suffering emotional abuse daily and I have no right to know.

My EX won't even talk to me. He's also been brainwashed over the last 2 years against me and his anger towards me compounds his desire to do what's rigft for the kids. His goal is revenge for me hurting him.

mistoffolees

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RE: Questions about rights
« Reply #3 on: Sep 27, 2007, 07:17:56 PM »
It's impossible to answer your question without more detail:

What is the complete custodial situation - both legal and physical custody? If you have joint legal and he has primary physical, you have a lot of rights. If he has sole legal AND physical, then you have less rights.

State of residence

Any other history - such as restraining orders on either part or other relevant information.

There are a lot of articles on the SPARC home page which will answer some of your questions, as well.

suebee

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RE: Questions about rights
« Reply #4 on: Sep 28, 2007, 07:34:36 AM »
I figured people would ask for details they need to help answer my questions. The bad stuff has been going on for 2 years so there is a lot of history and lots of details. We live in Georgia.

Custody: Joint legal custody, he has physical custody.

No restraining orders on either part. One condition he forced during the new agreement we signed Aug 2nd is that I cannot call the house to talk to the kids except for Wed and Sun nights between 9 & 9:30 pm. They must call me at all other times, but they don't b/c they've been intimidated and conditioned to not call me over the last 2 years because of the anger and upset of dad and wife if they find out. The few times they did call they wait until dad and wife are out and left them at home.

I cannot call EX either at home or cell unless it is an emergency related to the kids. I never called him unless it had something to do with the kids and maybe 2 times a month, if that.

What other info would help? Much of this is fueled by EX's intimidation and control. It took everything I had to face my fear and retain an attorney and stand up to EX. Unfortunately I didn't have a support system that would help me find a good attorney. I just didn't know better and went with the one I have because it turned out he knew all about EX's wife b/c he had represented her last ex-husband. She did to both her other ex's what my EX is doing to me.

 



mistoffolees

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RE: Questions about rights
« Reply #5 on: Sep 28, 2007, 09:37:54 AM »
You will probably need to get with an attorney to verify that this is correct and, more importantly, how to go about enforcing it, but if you have joint legal custody, then you have the right to obtain school, medical issues, etc.

In all probability, you'll start with a certified letter to the school, doctor, insurance company, etc asking for copies of the records. You may or may not need to enclose a copy of your divorce decree showing that you have joint custody. If that doesn't work, then send it to higher level people. School Superintendants are generally more aware of the legal implications than, say, a teacher and may be willing to give you what you want even if the teacher won't. In the case of the doctor, send it to the owner of the medical practice (asuming it's not the doctor). If THAT fails, you may need a letter from an attorney to force the issue. If even that fails, you'll probably have to ask the court for an order.

This is one of those things where you have a legal right to that information, but it may easily take a great deal of work to enforce your rights.

Note, however, that all bets are off if there are any allegations of abuse since they don't have to give you info if you're accused of any type of abuse. if that's the case, you definitely need to see an attorney to get anything done.

suebee

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RE: Questions about rights
« Reply #6 on: Oct 01, 2007, 12:06:10 PM »
There are no allegations of abuse against me and never have been. The concerns about abuse were directed at my EX and his wife, or at least his wife. His household was investigated at the end of 2006 because of a report made to the Dept of Family and Children's Services.

Thanks for your ideas. I knew that I have the right to see the school and medical records. I was more concerned about what rights, if any, I had with regard to knowing that my kids have been in danger and the school has been aware of it. Apparently I have none. I am just apalled that my kids could have been hurt by his wife and I don't seem to have a right to be told about any of this.

mistoffolees

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RE: Questions about rights
« Reply #7 on: Oct 01, 2007, 02:10:58 PM »
>
>Thanks for your ideas. I knew that I have the right to see the
>school and medical records. I was more concerned about what
>rights, if any, I had with regard to knowing that my kids have
>been in danger and the school has been aware of it. Apparently
>I have none. I am just apalled that my kids could have been
>hurt by his wife and I don't seem to have a right to be told
>about any of this.


That clarifies the story. I'm not 100% certain about that particular element. You'd have to consult with an attorney, but it's possible that as long as you're not the one being accused, that you might have some rights to be informed about harm to your children. I just don't know one way or the other.

I was stating that if you WERE the one being accused, you could not get the information. i don't know what happens when you have joint legal custody but you're NOT the one being accused.

Good luck.

suebee

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RE: Questions about rights
« Reply #8 on: Oct 03, 2007, 11:21:41 AM »
It's been hard for me to get any answers about anything b/c my attorney has been very ineffective and non-communicative. For example, the mediation was Aug 2 of this year, and he has not contacted me since that day to let me know what the status is of the agreement. I called his office twice and was told by the secretary that my EX's attorney had not even returned the new signed agreement. I just got off the phone again with the secretary and she said she has no idea what the status of my case is but said she'd ask the attorney.

My attorney hasn't answered any of my questions satisfactorily and did not, I feel, work hard on my behalf. I cannot afford another attorney at this point. I am going to see what my EX has to say now that his wife is gone and he wants to talk, but I will not be fooled into a false sense of security. If nothing else, I've learned that I trust too much and I refuse to get my hopes up about anything.

Thanks again for your input.

mistoffolees

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RE: Questions about rights
« Reply #9 on: Oct 04, 2007, 06:32:59 AM »
If your attorney is completely non-responsive, I would send him a letter saying that you feel that he's not following through and asking for an immediate update on where the case stands and what action he is going to take. If all else fails, you could certainly report him to the state bar, but that would effectively end ANY work you might get out of him, so it doesn't really accomplish anything.

If you reach an agreement with ex, remember that it's worthless until it is in writing and approved by the court. Fortunately, if you and ex are in agreement, it's very inexpensive to have it written up and submitted to the court for their approval. Unless you're doing something really bizarre, most courts will approve agreements the two of you reach.

 

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