My wife has joint legal custody of her son. He is 15 and has agreed to go to a treatment facility in Florida. If we don't tell the father until after the son is there, can she go to jail for contempt?
Reason we don't want to tell the father, is because we fear he will talk the son out of it. Father is a bad influence.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Stepparents are wonderful. But, they are also the easiest target for a non-custodial parent to claim interference with parental rights. Make sure this is your wife's decision. Suggest that she not lie to her child's father. Lying, even with good intentions, can lead to a reversal of custody. Do you want a big part of your household income going to pay child support to him? Even if she isn't working, the Court might impute income she could be making, and thus you would end up paying it. Suggest that your wife do what she thinks is in the best interest of her Son. If the father is not told prior to the boy going, know that the Dad may not be liable for the costs of the treatment. It wouldn't hurt for your wife to consult with a family law attorney, in your area, prior to deciding what to do. She needs advice from an attorney that has access to more of the facts than you have been able to provide here.