I’m often asked if a parent “has to tell” the other parent some information- whether that be a doctor’s appointment or a location for traveling out of town or a child’s illness, as examples. While many of these issues (such as travel) may be covered by the parenting plan entered in a particular case, the other issues may not. Even if a parenting plan does not absolutely require that a parent tell the other parent, my response is often “Would you want to know?”. If the answer is yes, then I often advise: better to tell.
During or after a divorce, there are hurt feelings and angry thoughts and we often want to punish the other parent for their actions during the marriage (or even after.) But what we often forget is that, while two people may stop being husband and wife, they will always be parents, even after their children have left home and established their own families. While you may not believe it now, the feelings of betrayal and anguish will dissipate in time, just as the years pass and your children grow older. But on the way to that place of more neutral emotion, it is tempting to want to lash out at the other parent and keep them in the dark about the children when they are not with him/her. Yet if the shoe were on the other foot, not only would you be upset about not knowing what is going on with the children, but you might be scared as well. So in those moments of wondering whether to tell or not, err on the side of telling, err on the side of being transparent, err on the side of trying to build a new relationship with your former spouse. In the end both you will be happier and your children will feel more secure.
For these or other family law issues, you can contact one of the family law attorneys at Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C..