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A judge ordered two parents to communicate more about whether their children are and who is caring for them, after an emergency child custody hearing was requested by the mother of two young boys.

The boy’s father, the R&B singer Usher, has primary custody of the children, aged 4 and 5. Recently the older of the two children fell into the pool at the singer’s home and became stuck near the drain. He was freed by a contractor who was doing work at the home and was later treated at a nearby hospital. As any parent would be, the boys’ mother was concerned for their safety and questioned whether they were appropriately supervised.

The boys were being watched by their father’s aunt, who is a frequent fixture in their lives since their father travels frequently for work. Their mother told the judge that she didn’t think that the aunt is an appropriate choice for a caregiver, and that her ex-husband did not confer with her about important parenting decisions.

The judge disagreed on the issue of whether family members were appropriate caregivers, but did order the children’s father to communicate more frequently and inform her of where the children are and who is caring for them.

This situation is probably familiar for non-custodial parents who still want to be involved with their children and have concerns about their well-being. Unfortunately, when a parent does not have shared custody they also often lose some discretion over daily decision-making, which can be frustrating and difficult. In this case, the judge’s remedy of better communication will hopefully help the non-custodial parent feel more at ease about the safety of the kids.

Source: Time, “Judge sides with Usher in child custody battle,” Kate Brumback, Aug. 9, 2013.