Need advis

Ashley - posted on 02/10/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My daughter is now 14 and we have had joint custody with residential custody belonging to me since she was 4. I hold the health insurance, I pay all bills, etc. He takes her every other weekend or when it is convienent for him and barely pays child support (he was just in court last week). We do not have a good relationship and cannot communicate with each other because he is verbally abusive and blames me for every single problem my daughter has and says I'm "a joke for a mother".

My daughter recently had depression and was admitted into a residential clinic in order to get the help she needs. I have not told her biological father because I'm afraid that he will blame me and try to go to court for full custody, which would destroy my daughter if she had to go live with him.

He is constantly calling and texting me and her phone trying to see where she is, he also has called the school to see if shes attending. Do I legally have to tell him? Or can I claim HIPPA laws and that there are no court obligations for communication?

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/10/2014

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No, you can't claim HIPPA. If you have court ordered joint custody, and he's her biological parent, HIPPA doesn't apply for you. He has every right to know where HIS kid is, just as you have every right to know where YOUR kid is. In this case, both of those just happen to be the same kid.

If he's not complying with his support obligation, you can take him to court. If he isn't complying with his visitation, you can ask that it be reduced, but no judge will terminate that right for him. He does have every right to know if she's attending school, because he's her father. He does have every right to know what's going on with her medically, because (again) he's her father.

If you have legitimate concerns about his effect on her health, then she needs to be evaluated by a professional, and that evaluation needs to be submitted at your next revision hearing for the visitation. If it is proven that he's a danger to her, then, and only then will it be OK for you to request revision of visitation, and ask the judge to grant you permission to withhold medical and school information.

She should, at this point have a guardian ad litem to represent her interests in this mess. A GAL is assigned by the courts to be the mediator in the best interest of the child.

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