How Can I Stop My Daughter’s Step Mother From Interfering With Major Decisions?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

‘I have primary physical and joint legal custody of my 14 year old daughter. She stayed home sick Friday and the stepmom was scheduled to pick her up at school for dad’s weekend. I let them know she was sick. Dad said to stay home but the step-mother butted in and said she would take her to the doctor. I said, “No I am”. She insisted on getting her after. My doc said our daughter had a virus. The stepmother brought my daughter to her children’s pediatrician ONE HOUR after my daughter saw
her own doc. She used my ex’s insurance card. I spoke to the doctor and let him know my displeasure and he said she told him she spoke with her husband who wanted a strep test. Which they did. Which was negative. Is this legal? What can I do about it? This woman has done similar things before with teachers but this is way over the line in my book.’

Question: It sounds like the issue is that you are concerned with the step-mother’s control over major decisions (health care and education) during the father’s visits. The best case scenario would be for the three of you (you, the father, and the step-mother) to be able to sit down and discuss the
details about school and health care during the visits. It is usually best for the child to have all of the adults in her life to be on the same page. If that is impossible and you are truly concerned about her during the father’s visits, you can ask the court to order you all to co-parent counseling,
and in addition you may be able to file for a modification of the custody agreement pertaining to her involvement with your child. If you have to go the court route, you should consult with a family law attorney in your jurisdiction to talk about the issues.