Triage for Parenting Problems

  • You've tried mediation and gotten nowhere
  • One of you is resistant to mediation and will not work with or respond to a mediator
  • Your child is being placed in dangerous situations by the other parent, or is not being adequately cared for
  • The other parent is ignoring court orders
  • The other parent does not take your concerns seriously


There are situations in which you do need to go straight to court. If you have an attorney, you will want to call her first and arrange to have her file the papers for you. If you don't have an attorney, these are situations in which you need to file first (with the help of the court staff) and worry about getting representation later:

  • Your child has been abducted by the other parent
  • The other parent will not allow you contact with your child
  • Your child has been abused by the other parent, or by someone else while in the other parent's care (you also need to contact the police and child protective services in this situation)
  • The other parent has plans to violate a court order (such as by taking a child out of state, or relocating) or has already done so.

Brette McWhorter Sember is a retired family attorney and mediator and nationally known expert about divorce and parenting after divorce. She is the author of:

Learn more about Brette on her web site.

Copyright © Brette McWhorter Sember. Permission to republish granted to, LLC.