Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The Oregon Outback
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this was my last paragraph, but should TOTALLY be the first! lol
If it really is just the hair cut thing, though...have a talk with him. Be firm, don't threaten court! lol Only ever threaten court if you're willing to follow through! No matter what, you should be teaching your boys to defend their bodily integrity, and never do something they're not comfortable with...regardless of who, or the situation, or whatever. That's just part of parenting them.
ok...i've had to deal with haircut issues before. it looks like you have sole physical custody and he has visitation...but this is a legal custody issue. If you have joint legal custody, he can do whatever he wants! He can shave their heads in winter, get them tattoos, whatever. You can take it to court and MAYBE the judge will think the offense is worth modifying custody/visitation over or maybe not...since dad had every legal right to do those things.
If you have sole legal custody, it's different. He has no legal right to give haircuts, dye their hair, take them to the dr, etc. etc. without your permission, unless it's an exception specified in the divorce decree. The thing is, that doesn't always stop them. Mine held my screaming, fighting son down and shaved his head in the middle of winter. Yes, your children need to learn to advocate for themselves if they are being left in the care of someone that does not respect your parental authority or even their own authority over their own bodies! Mine had to be strong enough to not just assert themselves, but turn off the TV repeatedly when their dad wanted them to watch R rated movies with him at ages 3 and 5, for dd at 2 to refuse when he offered her chocolate or left it all over the house at her level specifically to tempt her - because she had a severe intolerance and it caused stomach cramping so bad she had to be hospitalized. The courts really don't care about R rated movies or chocolate, so it was on them. The hair, the courts will care about if done right and combined with other respect of authority issues. Give him a written warning, via email or something, so you have a record. "Today, you called and told me you were going to have the boys hair cut against both their and my will. I'm glad you didn't follow through with that idea. I want to make sure you understand your legal rights, when it comes to such things. As a non-custodial parent, you have the right to voice your opinions to me. As the custodial parent, I have the responsibility to listen to your opinions, take them into consideration, and make a reasonable effort to ensure you fully understand my decisions when it comes to the boys. You do not have a legal right to change their appearance without my permission, or to undermine my decisions. Please keep this in mind, in the future." if you're having issues with other things, start writing similar notes, and after a couple throw in "I don't want to request the court modify your custody because of the recent rise in problems. You will leave me with no choice, if you continue to undermine my parenting." Feel free to throw in mentions of how he's damaging his relationship with the boys when he pulls these stunts, if he's the type that would care. Do it in writing, and do it without emotion, though!
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