dad lets daughters party at his house

            Posted on June 5, 2016 

Dad lets daughters party at his house

Q. When my Ex and I divorced 10 years ago I just needed out of the abusive marriage. I agreed to a shared custody plan for our 3 now-teenage daughters. DCF was called on him six times since our divorce, but each time he managed to talk his way out of trouble. Now he lets the girls party at his house, drink and use pot. They each claim to want to live with him and he just filed a modification seeking full custody and looking for me to pay child support. He says he will win because they are teenagers and get to choose.

What can I do to stop this train wreck?

A. First file an answer and counterclaim asking for full custody of your children. Then ask the court to appoint a Guardian ad litem evaluator to investigate the situation and make recommendations to the judge. This person will give your children a voice but will make recommendations on what she or he thinks are in the children’s best interest and not where they will have the most unsupervised fun. Your children will say they want to live with your ex because his house is one big party with no rules. If it comes out that he is permitting underage drinking and drug use, transferring full custody to you instead would be in their best interest.

When the GAL is appointed, be sure to mention the DCF investigations done over the years, and, if you know who it was that called DCF each time, provide those names to the GAL as collateral contacts. Presumably, they would be willing to speak about their concerns about your ex. Even though the prior DCF reports did not result in legal action, six reports will certainly raise the hair on the back of the judge’s neck.

Of course, your recourse is not just in court. Your daughters are not partying with each other. Find out which friends are going to your ex’s home to party with your girls. Call their parents. Explain your concerns and that you are going to fight back. If your ex is able to charm his way out of six DCF complaints, he is likely charming your children’s friends’ parents as well. They probably have no idea what goes on in his home and would appreciate a heads-up.

At this age, their friends are more important to your daughters than you or your ex. If their friends are suddenly not permitted to spend time with them at their dad’s house, maybe mom’s house, even with rules, will not seem so bad. Partying may stop being so much fun if it’s just a family affair.