Maybe your ex-spouse changed into someone you barely recognized while you were still married, which led to the divorce. Maybe their belief system and lifestyle habits made a drastic shift sometime after you were already divorced. Whatever the cause, your ex-spouse’s current belief system, practices or lifestyle concern you because you think it may be putting the kids in danger.

What kind of lifestyle issues could be a reasonable cause for your alarm? Consider these:

  • Your ex-spouse changes religion and you either strongly disagree with their beliefs or worry that they may have gotten involved with a cult of some kind.
  • Your ex-spouse adopts beliefs and practices that you think are irresponsible, such as refusing to allow the children to be vaccinated or insisting on everyone in the home sleep in a “family” bed despite their age differences and the lack of privacy.
  • Your ex refuses to adhere to doctor-recommend allergy treatments for your child, including a gluten-free diet or other restrictions.
  • Your ex develops a permissive attitude toward alcohol, marijuana or other drugs and may be experimenting with them in front of the children.
  • Your child needs mental health treatment and your ex-spouse refuses to provide it or take your child to appointments because they don’t believe it is necessary.
  • Your child has autism or another executive functioning disorder and your ex-spouse “doesn’t believe” in those kinds of problems, referring to your child as “lazy” instead.
  • Your ex-spouse decides to move “off the grid” and eschews modern electronics and conveniences, and you’re worried about your child’s ability to function in the modern world.
  • Your ex-spouse suddenly decides to homeschool the children, and you don’t believe that they are getting an adequate education or socialization.

These kinds of conflicts commonly bring divorced parents back to the negotiating table regarding custody and visitation. When there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground to reach, you may have to turn to the court. The judge will make custody decisions based on the best interests of the child — and that will include a close look at any lifestyle choices that could endanger the child’s well-being.

If you believe your child is at risk because of their other parent’s lifestyle, find out more about your legal options.