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adolescent girl

My Ex-Wife is My Least Favorite Person

I Don’t Think My Daughter Needs to Be Around My Ex-Wife

Dear Susan,

I am sure you hear this all the time that ex-spouses don’t get along.  My situation is different.  My ex-wife is my least favorite person.  I think she is pushy, offensive and downright rude.  As you can imagine our divorce was not exactly what you would call friendly.  We have one daughter who is eleven and I really don’t think she should be around her mother since I see the rudeness of my ex rubbing off on our daughter.  The last thing I need is a carbon copy of her mom, who can be a witch.  We have shared custody, but our daughter is so much happier when she is with me.  Last week, I put my foot down and did not take our daughter to her mom’s for the visitation.  Maybe this will teach her to be a little nicer.  What do you think?

Aaron

Aaron,

I have a lot to say so pull up a chair and take a seat.  Let’s start with my first question and that is who assigned YOU as the decider as to whether your daughter spends time with your ex-wife?  From your letter it sounds as though you have a shared custody arrangement with your ex-wife.  You’ve made it clear that you don’t like your ex-wife for the flaws that you mentioned; flaws that you found incompatible to stay married to her. You are adamant that your daughter does not take on the traits of your ex-wife and that your daughter seems much happier when she is with you.

You Can’t Decide Custody on Your Own

Here’s some news for you – You have the right to disengage from your marriage, you don’t have the right to take your daughter away from her mother.  That relationship is completely different from the one you have with the mother.  You and your ex-wife have a custody arrangement, yet you feel entitled to make a unilateral decision you don’t have the right to enforce especially since it goes against the divorce decree which is a legal document.  In other words, keeping your daughter away from her mother could warrant a contempt charge filed against you.

Nowhere in your letter did you tell me that your ex-wife has abused your daughter.  I don’t see anything where your daughter’s therapist or pediatrician believes the time your daughter spends with her mother, your ex-wife, is detrimental to your daughter’s health and well- being.  What I DO hear is that you don’t like your ex-wife, ergo, neither should your daughter.

Keeping your daughter from her mother does not assure that she will not inherit her mother’s traits.  You believe that your daughter is happier when she is with you.  She may or may not be, but she still has the right to be with her mom.  Taking her from her mother, no matter what your personal reasons, are not necessarily in your daughter’s best interest.  Doing so could backfire on you with the result ending in losing your daughter.

Don’t Defy Your Custody Agreement

The courts frown on parental alienation or any type of custody/visitation interference.  Making the decision to defy a custody order could result in you losing custody of your daughter or you may end up with supervised visitation which means that the only time you could interact with your child would be with a court appointed social worker at your side.  I am sure you would not want to jeopardize the good relationship you have built with your daughter.  For her best interest, put your feelings for her mother aside, and allow your daughter to have what is rightfully hers – a relationship with both of her loving parents.

Susan Shofer Divorce Consultant

Any Interference with Custody/Visitation Could Backfire

If you need help navigating custody issues, I am available for consultations.

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Susan Shofer

As a divorce and custody ally, she helps women and men navigate the troubled waters of a family breakup by sharing her own organized and pragmatic approach to the divorce process.

Susan successfully crossed her own highly contentious divorce and post-divorce battle and was triumphant in her fight against Parental Alienation.
Susan Shofer
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