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Ex puts new bf down as our sons guardian


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#1 classic356

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:05 PM

State: Pennsylvania

Ex and I have one son. Never married, have had a custody order since 2008 in effect. I am our sons father, there is no dispute over that. We have equal shared legal and physical custody 50/50 down the middle.

Issue: She has a boyfriend, they are not married, or even engaged. Over a number of months of looking through documents, I discovered that she (and sometimes he) put down that her bf is my sons father/step-father/guardian (different one on different forms) on forms such as:

Pre, and registration form for public school
Registration form for private daycare
Summer Reading program form
Request for dispensing medication form (our son needs medicine given twice a day, once during school hours)

Now...its not that the school and daycare did/do not know I was his father, but.....would common sense and common decency not dictate that you DON'T do this? Are there any repercussions they could suffer for this? On the medicine form for instance, my ex purposely put herself and her bf as contacts if the school has any questions/concerns, and purposely did not put me on the list.

Thank you.

#2 Ted_from_Texas

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:16 PM

This is a forum concerning the law. What is "common sense" and "common decency" may be open to question. There's nothing in your message that indicates your ex or her boyfriend have violated the law. Whether they've violated your custody order depends on what the order says, and you don't say anything about that.

A local family law attorney can look at your custody order and advise you of your rights and possible options.

#3 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:20 PM

I agree with the previous poster, you may wish to consult with a local Family Law Lawyer to address your concerns in detail and advise you of your rights. .

#4 classic356

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:32 PM

This is a forum concerning the law. What is "common sense" and "common decency" may be open to question. There's nothing in your message that indicates your ex or her boyfriend have violated the law. Whether they've violated your custody order depends on what the order says, and you don't say anything about that.

A local family law attorney can look at your custody order and advise you of your rights and possible options.


Thank you Ted for your response.
-- Just so I understand you correctly, I can legally fill out a document, such as a school registration form stating I am the father of another person's child, and not get in any legal trouble for doing so?

The custody order does not address whether either party is allowed to have their significant other claim on documents that they (bf or gf) can claim to be our child's father/mother. Is this something usually found in these orders? I realize I can add verbiage now specifically about this, but thought / really expected there to be more of damages seen by doing this.

Thanks again.

#5 pg1067

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

would common sense and common decency not dictate that you DON'T do this?


This question does not raise any legal issue.


Are there any repercussions they could suffer for this?


In the abstract, just about anything is possible. I'm not aware of any legal consequences that would arise solely because of your ex's lies.

Certainly, this is something you should keep on top of so that you can take action in the event you are not properly identified where you should be. You could also seek an order from the family court asking that she be prohibited from doing this because it would be inappropriate for her boyfriend to be making medical and other decisions for your child.


Thank you Ted for your response.
-- Just so I understand you correctly, I can legally fill out a document, such as a school registration form stating I am the father of another person's child, and not get in any legal trouble for doing so?


That's not what you asked and certainly isn't a reasonable interpretation of what Ted wrote. You said that your ex -- the child's mother -- is filling out these forms. You also said that she is identifying this guy as a "guardian" or an emergency contact, not as the father.

Is it truthful to identify the boyfriend as your child's guardian? Of course not. It's obviously a lie, and you don't need us to tell you that. However, lying, by itself, isn't illegal. The more likely language that you might find in a custody order would be something like the following: "Each parent shall ensure that the other parent is identified as such and/or as an emergency contact or person authorized to make decisions for the child." It would be uncommon to see specific persons excluded from being identified.


I . . . but thought / really expected there to be more of damages seen by doing this.


Not sure what you mean by this. If damages resulted to you or the child, you'd have to tell us. We wouldn't know independently of what you tell us.

#6 classic356

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:22 PM

That's not what you asked and certainly isn't a reasonable interpretation of what Ted wrote. You said that your ex -- the child's mother -- is filling out these forms. You also said that she is identifying this guy as a "guardian" or an emergency contact, not as the father.

Yes, sorry, I was being facetious about Ted's comment. However, I did say that she is identifying this guy as the father, the step-father, and guardian. On my son's registration form and on a notice my ex sent to his teacher last year (that a copy of was given to me), she specifically indicated that her boyfriend is the father of my son.

Is it truthful to identify the boyfriend as your child's guardian? Of course not. It's obviously a lie, and you don't need us to tell you that. However, lying, by itself, isn't illegal. The more likely language that you might find in a custody order would be something like the following: "Each parent shall ensure that the other parent is identified as such and/or as an emergency contact or person authorized to make decisions for the child." It would be uncommon to see specific persons excluded from being identified.

I realize I probably could not exclude her bf specifically from being named, and even if I could, that would be pointless. I'd be working from the wrong end. (ever heard the joke of the husband who comes home, finds his wife in bed with another man, kills her, goes to trial, judge asks him "why did you kill your wife and not the other man?" and the husband replies "I got tired of killing a different guy each week".) ...same thing here, I know she's the one pulling the strings in that relationship and barring him specifically would just leave the door open for her to play games with someone elses name.



Not sure what you mean by this. If damages resulted to you or the child, you'd have to tell us. We wouldn't know independently of what you tell us.

I guess this depends on what are considered damages....'actual', my time in going over these documents, contacting the respective agencies explaining that their files are wrong, having the correct them. are there any other 'damages' to be considered? .... oh and you asked if damages results to me or the child....my ex telling our son to call her boyfriend 'daddy' and to call me by my first name (he's done this accidentally a few times and I had to correct him and ask where he heard to call me by that name from....I feel that that is damage being done to our child confusing him like so.

#7 MonkeyInMiddle

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 11:53 PM

Have to respond here cause this pertains to a subject I have become VERY familiar with. This has happened to me and unfortunately because of a misconception that any issue that has anything to do with parents and children is a Family Law issue it is not taken seriously.

While a Family Lawyer may be able to give you some advice it will probably only be blown off as not a big deal.

Federal Law says Differently. There is a Federal Statute that says it a illegal for any individual to commit a fraud by deception by claiming a title or legal status not awarded by any court (Guardian has to be legally awarded) in order to gain advantage or services from any government entity. (ie a school)

 

A Prosecutor will tell you that if a person falsly claims the status of a legal parent or guardian over a child when that status has not been adjudicated by any court they are in a position to be charged with a crime against a minor. If this is done in violation of the rights of the Real Parent they are commiting Fraud.

If this is done on SCHOOL DOCUMENTS they are placing the legal standing of the child in jeopardy because the Documents you mentioned are legally binding and a PERMANENT Government record, this can be a violation as simple as "False Swearing" usually a Midemeanor in most states but some states take it more seriously.

 

The Real Big Problem is with the "Consent to distribute medication to minor child" that you mentioned. That is not only a MAJOR HIPPA violation but since it directly has an impact on the health and well being of a child it can be considered Child Endangerment.

 

The United States Supreme Court has consistently upheld that the Right of a Parent to be and act as a parent to their child is so fundamental that it should never be interfered with, abbriged or terminated without extreme caution and  All Due Process of Law.

 

Now that I am off my Soap box, Yes this IS a big deal. I totally understand your frustration when others think that its not  a big issue. BUT before you bring out the big guns (and probably hurt yourself in the process you should talk to the mother calmly. See if she will voluntarily stop this.

 

If not, then your options are DOCUMENT EVERYTHING for the Family Court. Send letters to the school requesting copies ofall signed documents and the Board Of Education requesting copies of all records under a FERPA Request. Tell them this is happening this  and AFTER they have given you all copies you want  All the records ammended to accurately reflect the Legal Parents Names. You can send a Cease and Desist Letter (find copy online) to the Boyfriend and the Mother seperately telling each one that you cannot allow  you rights as the Father to be messed with in this way and ASK POLITELY for them to stop immediately.  Make copies of these letters so you can show the family court judge that you are not being a butt but a responsible parent.

You may want to include something like you do not want to persue this further but Your First and only priority is the Welfare of the child.

 

If none of that works then go to the prosecutors office FIRST. This is not just a "lie" but a Crime. They will help you from there and probably either recommend you file in family court or depending on how your state works they will file in family court themselves.

 

Whatever you do DO NOT IGNORE IT. Because on the flip side of this if you are aware it is happening and do nothing there is a period of time after which you can be found to have Voluntarily Relinquished Your rights by inaction.

 

Good Luck



#8 threepeasinapod

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 03:18 AM

Monkey in the Middle-
I liked your response but would like some citations. It would help me out if I could locate the codes and decisions for which you speak,particularly in paragraphs 3 and 4.
Thanks!

#9 adjusterjack

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 05:19 AM

While Monkey's comments are interesting, the reality is that you are unlikely to want to spend the tens of thousands that it will take to go to federal court and local prosecutors aren't likely to touch it when they have lots of real criminals crowding the courts.

 

Your ex is allowing and authorizing her BF to act "in loco parentis" (google it) which is a perfectly legal thing to do.

 

If she's getting her terminology or methods wrong out of spite or ignorance your best bet is to get her back into family court and have a judge teach her the error of her ways.


Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.





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