During the first month or so of our separation my spouse was scheduled to have our children ~ 25 days but was out of town for 15 of those days for medical reasons. Instead of asking me to watch them, she sent them to a freinds house. I understand its her obligation to make arrangements on her time, and within her rights to do that as she sees fit, but would this be considered alientation, which we are not supposed to do ? Right of first refusal was unfortunately not brought up during mediation, and when i asked about it later she refused. Is there an argument to made for alienation with this type of behavior ?
Even if there is a provision in your order that says neither party will alienate the affections of the children towards the other, it is doubtful that by not offering you a right of first refusal, she could be found in violation of the order. If this medical condition persists, you could consider filing a motion to modify custody.
Thanks I understand ROFR not being used for short term sitting such as a few hours one day, or even an overnight. But when extended periods of time are involved it seems that the children would not understand why they are unable to be with the other parent when they are nearby. Even if it is explained to them that it is not that parent’s scheduled custody time, any explanation leaves them with the feeling that they are never permitted to be with the other parent when not their time – seems to me to create the sense that the other parent is to be avoided, or sets up feelings of alienation.
Wanted to revisit this a bit. Can you pls help me understand how it is not alientation when the custodial parent refuses to offer ROFR to watch children when she cannot ? This is for overnights and extended periods of time. This seems to deliberately say that children will not see the other parent if it is not their custodial time to do so. How is that not an enforceable alientation issue ?
Also my attorney stated that I should go to the freinds house and say I am there to get my children. This seems easier said than done , as I doubt they would willingly release the children to me without the other parents consent. Would probably be asked to leave their property and get into a disagreement / have a scene over this. Would I actually be able to do this and what would I need to tell the people watching our chilldren that would compel them to turn them over to me ?
In my opinion, to argue that a parent is alienating the children from the other spouse would require more than showing that the he/she is not offering a right of first refusal.
Perhaps you should ask your attorney about modifying the order. If the other parent’s schedule has changed so significantly that he/she can’t watch the child, that might constitute a reason to change the current order to allow you more overnights.