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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 05-09-2019, 11:00 AM
bluewater bluewater is offline
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Default Consent for child to attend therapy

Hello All,

I am trying to get some mental health therapy for my son, aged 6 for anxiety. he seems to have a lot of anxiety about school and going back and forth between his mother and I. I found a good therapist and suggested her to my ex, but she will not consent or answer my email on the matter. I do not suspect abuse on her end, but I have no idea why she is so opposed to the idea.

I'm pretty sure that I legally require her consent (we have joint 50/50) to take him to therapy, but what can I do if she refuses? Do I have to open up our court order and have the custody arrangements changed?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:51 AM
Selfrepmom Selfrepmom is offline
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Does your original order say anything about dispute resolution?

This is not something to change custody over. You simply file a motion to get an order for the child to attend therapy.

However..... what sort of documentation do you have on this anxiety?

“He seems to have a lot of anxiety about school and going back and forth between his mother and I” might not be a valid reason. Have his teacher(s) voiced their concerns over this matter?

My partner’s daughter is the same age and was showing signs of pretty bad anxiety when he first finally got a court order for regular parenting time (her mom played gatekeeper for a long time and court proceedings got high conflict). The first 6 months were pretty hard when she came over here- bedtime was a nightmare, and she would get sick to her stomach even if she wasn’t actually sick- especially if there was a minor change in plans, or something unexpected came up. What would make it worse was when her mom would call part way through the weekend and start yelling at my partner on the phone. We stayed consistent with her though and try to stick to a schedule- I find it helps if she knows what she’s doing for the weekend, when she is going back to mom’s, and what our house rules are (and stick to them). When she first started staying the night she needed constant reassurance on when she was going back to her moms etc. It’s been over a year now, and last time she was here she was begging to stay longer when it was time to go.

How long have you and your ex been separated? Is there regular conflict?
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:44 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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A lot of therapists now feel it is best practices to offer the therapy to the parent(s) - which makes sense as the parents behaviour, role modeling, and response to anxious behaviour has a far greater impact on the child than a weekly one-hour session. Start there before stirring up potential conflict (which will most likely provoke anxiety in your child).
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:25 PM
bluewater bluewater is offline
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Selfrepmom,

Thanks for your reply! There is nothing in our order about dispute resolution. I do not have any documentation about his anxiety, but his teacher has mentioned it. We have been separated for 4.5 years, since he was 2.5. There was considerable conflict for the first couple of years due to the custody dispute, but that has mostly died down now. Every so often something flares up, but that just seems to be par for the course.

Your partner's daughter's situation sounds similar, although I initially had the majority of the time after she left, but we now have 50/50. I kept the house, so he does have some anxiety going to his mother's when I drop him off or she picks him up. Maybe it just takes time.

-B
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:27 PM
bluewater bluewater is offline
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tilt,

This is the tack I'm taking right now. My ex refuses to consent to let our son go and refuses to go herself, so I am going to go on my own to see if there are any strategies I can use to help him. Maybe I will learn enough to be able to help his anxiety without creating more conflict with his mother (and thus more anxiety for him).

-B
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:03 AM
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Janus Janus is offline
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I've never understood why people write letters that can be ignored. Write it so that if she doesn't respond, you get your way.

Dear ex,

I will be taking kid to therapy, since it would be in his best interests. I have scheduled the first session on May 37th. If you would be interested in attending, I have provided details at the end of the message.

If you have any questions, please let me know! I am hopeful that this could be an effective intervention and I will be monitoring closely. If the therapist has any comments or suggestions, I will of course pass them on to you.

Sincerely,

Me
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:26 AM
SpiritWithAhatchet SpiritWithAhatchet is offline
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I had the same issue. I was told there is no need for other parent's consent. In Alberta though.
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