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  • contempt? New Jersey

    My fiancee has a court order stating that his ex-wife must present all school information to him (news letters, report cards, fundraisers, etc). The judge put this in the order because the ex refuses to give dad any info. Just this week the ex didn't send the weekly newsletter and today when he picked his daughter up she told him "santa" came to school for lunch and parents were allowed to come. We had no idea because this info would have been in the newsletter we never got. (Coincidence we didn't get the info? don't think so) So really my question is: can we file contempt charges for everthing she does that goes against the court order? (I know to some people it might seem crazy for thinking about signing charges for not getting a kindergarten newsletter...but it's all the memories that my fiancee is missing out on with his daughter because of not having the info.)

  • #2
    Originally posted by stepmom7 View Post
    My fiancee has a court order stating that his ex-wife must present all school information to him (news letters, report cards, fundraisers, etc). The judge put this in the order because the ex refuses to give dad any info. Just this week the ex didn't send the weekly newsletter and today when he picked his daughter up she told him "santa" came to school for lunch and parents were allowed to come. We had no idea because this info would have been in the newsletter we never got. (Coincidence we didn't get the info? don't think so) So really my question is: can we file contempt charges for everthing she does that goes against the court order? (I know to some people it might seem crazy for thinking about signing charges for not getting a kindergarten newsletter...but it's all the memories that my fiancee is missing out on with his daughter because of not having the info.)
    Yes, he can file for contempt. However, that might not be the best way to go at this point. Has he spoken to the school about the problem? Ifhe hasn't he can take a certified copy of the court order to the school, have a conference with the teacher and principal and maybe something can be arranged where the school can notify him of everything. Years ago a friend did something similar, he had to call the school everyday and they would give him reports. Florida laws specifically state that a NCP is to have full access to thier child's school records, etc. I don't know if NJ has a similar law or not, but it's worth looking into.

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    • #3
      It wasn't in my order that he share information with me, but he wasn't. So since we have joint legal custody and it is my right to have access to this information, I sent a copy of the order to the school requesting that copies of all information sent home be sent to me as well. So they do, and I don't have to argue with him to get the information.

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      • #4
        I am the CP and I set it up so that any papers, notes, etc were sent directly to the ex (until a judge stripped him of the right to have that information.) It made it easier all the way around.

        The funny thing is that when we finally got to the final court date, he tried to tell the judge that I refused to give him any information. Unfortunately for him, he presented a copy of the school calendar with MY HANDWRITING ON IT as proof that I did not send him information. (I had made notes on the calendar before the teacher made a copy to put with his packets of papers.) That's when the judge realized why this case was going on for 4 years and told him (at the ruling) that he never wanted to see the ex in his courtroom again.

        When I say that he is a moron, I mean it in the most literal sense.

        anyhow, the moral of this story is that if he can get the school to send the papers directly to him, it ends one of the power battles and there is no way she can block the school from doing so without royally screwing herself.
        Last edited by mommyof4; 12-15-2006, 05:07 AM.
        HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
        How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
        (unique up on him)
        How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
        (same way)

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        • #5
          We live in Florida, and my fiance's divorce decree also states the requirement of both parents keeping the other informed with everything concerning the kids, 16 and 10. No, the ex doesn't do it - school items, doctor appts, dentist visits - violations constantly. My fiance's primary custodial parent. The teachers send two copies of everything, one for him and one for her. Unfortunately, the kids forget to pass them on. My fiance' sends an email to the ex each time he becomes aware of an event; that provides documented proof that the ex received the information (a court order is in place requiring all their communication be via email). The schools also have websites providing detailed calendars, too.

          We've been trying to stress the need for the kids to simply tell each of them when something's coming up. The custody battle is going into it's fifth year. Unfortunately, one huge side effect has been neither child has any level of responsibility or accountability. The impression is because the two parents are so busy trying blame one another, the kids simply don't feel it's up to them to provide the information to begin with. The kids have been so conditioned by the ex that everything's a secret, it's just second nature by now

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          • #6
            Thanks for all the info. The secretary has agreed to send the school newsletter, but the teacher gives the paper to the child. (She's 5 so obviously we can't expect her to pass along info.) My fiancee will just have to try to contact the teacher again. Unfortunately they all see the "sweet/fake" side of the ex so they don't believe she's withholding anything.

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            • #7
              First, send a certified letter and a copy of the court order to the school to prove that he is entitled to the information. If the teacher fails to comply with the order, take her to court. My hubby is/has been going through the exact same thing for the past 17 years, hopefully we only have 2 more years to go. The school and the teachers straighten up after a certified letter with a copy of a court order and the threat of contempt of a court order.

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              • #8
                mom is wrong

                Originally posted by fla_nanny View Post
                The kids have been so conditioned by the ex that everything's a secret, it's just second nature by now
                that is SO wrong to to do that to the kids. its bad enough their parents are no longer together, but to tell them not to tell dad about school events, etc, is just plain wrong. mom should not put the kids in the middle like that.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lewifenj View Post
                  First, send a certified letter and a copy of the court order to the school to prove that he is entitled to the information. If the teacher fails to comply with the order, take her to court. My hubby is/has been going through the exact same thing for the past 17 years, hopefully we only have 2 more years to go. The school and the teachers straighten up after a certified letter with a copy of a court order and the threat of contempt of a court order.
                  I'm sorry, but there is a legal flaw in your advice. While parents are subject to a court order, school personnel are not, for that reason they cannot be taken to court or even threatened with contempt.

                  The only persons/entities that are bound by a court order are the parties, so unless the teacher has been made a legal party (s)he is not bound by the order.

                  I do agree however that a certified letter with a copy of the court order would be a good back up to a good old fashioned parent/teacher/principal conference. Most schools are willing to work with NCP's when it is evident that the CP isn't keeping the NCP informed.

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                  • #10
                    thanks for all the adivce. I'm just going to complie as much hard evidence as I can for now. We have already sent the ex several certified letters to address her keeping things just so we have the proof. It's so time consuming, but hopefully in the end it pays off because it's really the child that's getting hurt here.

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