If a father has full custody of his daughter after a divorce, he has the right to decide how to protect her privacy and peace. However, his ex-wife may not agree, and may want to track her daughter’s location.

Is that right? Let’s see.

A user asked the forum, “Am I a jerk for letting my daughter have a second phone without tracking?”. Read the complete story to know who is wrong here.


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Image Credit: Oleg Golovnev, Shutterstock.

The Original Poster (OP) is the father of a 17-year-old girl, Anna. Her mother and OP divorced because she started being very obsessive about knowing the details about OP.

Where he was going, who he was with when he was expected to be back. OP says he had to check in every 10 minutes, or she would freak out and call the cops.

He said that it got to be too much, and they divorced.


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Anna was very young when this happened, and because of some prior criminal charges on his wife, OP got full custody. OP allowed his ex to have Anna one weekend a month.


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OP says that Anna’s first phone broke about a year back, and his ex offered to buy her a new one.


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Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

OP was more than okay with that because it’s a free phone, and he thought there was no downside.


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It turns out that the downside is that his ex is doing the same thing to Anna now as she did for him. She will panic if the tracking software shows anywhere but his house, work, or school.


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Anna told OP about this and how annoying it gets. OP talked to his ex, and she said she would stop, but Anna said that never happened.


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So OP got a new phone for her without the tracking software.

OP’s daughter leaves her mom’s phone at his house and will occasionally call or text her mom on it, but she won’t take it if she’s going out with friends.


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That was fine for about two weeks until they ran into each other at Target, and his ex figured out what was happening.

OP says that his ex blew up at him, but he told him that was why they got divorced, and he doesn’t want him to drive her child away too.


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OP says that his ex claims it’s negligent and dangerous if she doesn’t know Anna’s safe because she could be dead, which seems like an overreaction in his eyes.


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He says he understands his child’s safety, but she gets obsessive quickly which he thinks is not okay. OP asks if he is a jerk.


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“You got full custody; you are the one to legally decide if that tracking is on or off.

Morally, Anna is 17; she’s nearly an adult. Tracking her is just plain invasive. You are right that this is the same pattern from your ex as what you went through.”


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“Your ex learned nothing from the failure of your marriage.

Don’t know if the criminal charges were relevant or not, but if they involved breaches of privacy or outrageous anti-social behavior, they didn’t do the trick either: two for two.

Tell your ex that you are the parent with custody, you called the shot, and if she doesn’t like your call, she can always ask a family court judge to review the matter. That ought to fix her little red wagon.

Then read up on AirTags and any other device that your ex may plant among your daughter’s possessions, and also any settings on your child’s phone that may allow her calls/texts to be monitored on another “paired” device. Also, look for them, and remove them, because I’m betting that will be your ex’s next move.

Not a jerk to protect your kid’s privacy, OP.”


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“Honestly, I think your ex clearly has a mental illness, maybe PPD or even schizophrenia. I think the real issue here isn’t the phone; it’s your ex.

She really needs to get help for her condition. Otherwise, she might get worse, with it becoming dangerous for her to be left alone with your daughter.

There have been cases where people with paranoid delusions take their children and go on the run as they think other people are out to get them.”


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“Not wrong, you are the hero your daughter needs in her life. “Tracking” has to be consensual, or it’s wrong.”

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