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Parenting and child custody: Are you doing all the work?

Imagine you share physical and joint custody of your children with your ex. However, your ex isn't pulling his or her weight. You're the one who takes the kids to get their haircuts. You're the one who takes them back-to-school shopping. You're the one who takes them to the doctor and drives them to their school activities and does all the laundry. Is there anything you can do to get your ex to start contributing more?

Perhaps the most important thing to do in a situation like this is to examine the reasons why the other parent isn't helping out. Is it a problem with your ex's work schedule, personal problems or is there some other reason? Before you pull out the fisticuffs, be sure to talk with your spouse about the issue, and approach it with diplomacy. It could be that your ex has been oblivious to the fact that you're doing all the work, and will be eager to help once he or she realizes what you've been dealing with.

If you don't get anywhere with a friendly conversation, you could also send your ex -- via certified mail -- a list of all the parenting duties you've been taking care of and request that he or she make a commitment to do certain ones in order to share the responsibilities better.

If your certified letter doesn't achieve a result after two or three weeks, you may want to discuss your situation with a North Carolina family law attorney -- such as the lawyers at Epperson Law, PLLC. At Epperson Law, PLLC, we can advise you of the benefits and potential challenges associated with going to court to require a parent to help with his or her child-rearing responsibilities. A family law mediator may also be of enormous assistance to work through these issues quickly and effectively without involving the courts.