Question: My ex-husband uses terrible, insulting language around our two daughters, who are ages 11 and 13, and he shouldn't be allowed to see our kids until he cleans up his act. He curses a lot and uses horrible words to describe me (like “bitch,” “witch” and “dopey”). He told the girls that I was once a prostitute (which isn't true!) and that I used to be a drug addict (also not true!). Just last week he told them I'm stupid and that I smell funny.
So I've had it with him making these dumb comments. And I really don't want the girls exposed to his nonsense. He went so far as to give them nicknames of porn stars or strippers. He calls one “Diamond” and the other “Butterfly.” He says I'm paranoid and they're just cute nicknames, but I know better, they sound so “porny.” He was actually a porn addict and cheated with two transsexuals and that was a cause of our divorce.
I need to know what to do so that he doesn't spend so much time around the children. I don't think he should be around them at all if he's going to say weird things, but I'd settle for him just being around them a lot less. He says that he can say whatever he wants because he has the right to free speech.
A.G. in Buckhead
Answer: From what you've written, there is a good chance that a judge will side with you and reduce his visitation. A judge will likely find his statements disturbing and order that he get counseling so that he doesn't act like that around the kids.
You would want to demonstrate that it is in the best interests of the girls for them to spend less time around their father. We have won cases for clients who have been in similar situations; situations where the minor children are exposed to various types of “bad influences,” which can include both abusive actions and words. He cannot use the First Amendment or a free speech argument as a defense for his actions or words.
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