Divorce Solutions

Question #47

I live in NY. My divorce was finalized in December 2003. I have custody of our four children. I remarried in May 2005. My ex-husband has had supervised visitation since our separation in June 2002 because he is alcohol dependent. He has not petitioned the court to have the supervision suspended, thus showing he continues to abuse alcohol. His girlfriend, who is a police officer, is the court authorized supervisor. Over the past few years, my ex-husband has continually interfered with my parenting of the children. The older ones are teens and have been cutting school, drinking, and experimenting with drugs over the last couple of years.

I have used all resources available to help them, i.e., counseling, rehab, tutoring, grounding. My ex-husband continually undermines every form of discipline I have implemented. He tells the children that I am a psycho, replaces things I take away from them, and continually tells them I am not a good mother. He tells them that they do not need to go to counseling. He reported me to ACS in 2003, making false and unfounded accusations. And as of last week, I am under investigation again. My children have been conditioned by their father to call him immediately if my new husband or I reprimand them. Then my ex-husband dials 911 to say that children are being abused. After explaining to the police the situation, the complaint states that I (as the complainant) had a verbal dispute with my child. Ultimately my ex obtains a copy of this and tells my children that I called the police on them, stating, “what kind of a mother calls the police on her kids?” This has been the cycle for almost five years. My children are, at this point, so emotionally disturbed that I see no end to their behavioral problems unless their father either backs off entirely or by a miracle sees how detrimental his vindictive behavior towards me is to them. Counselors have tried to persuade my ex to work with me on parenting the children, but my ex will not allow the children to be accountable for their behavior. What recourse do I have to make him stop so that my children will have a chance to succeed in life?

If you have sole custody of the children ( not just the resident parent, but sole custody), you should hire an experienced matrimonial attorney in your area to petition the court to terminate your spouse’s visitation rights because he is interfering with your ability to fulfill your duties as sole custodian and undermining your authority with the children.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions