Custody ? Who has the FINAL say so?


#1

I was just wondering. We have a temporary out of state custody agreement. I have full custody, there isn’t an issue there regarding that.

Our agreement states that I am to bring our child to NC for visitation with his father once a month, preferably around a holiday. Well there isn’t a school or a federal holiday in April. I have asked my child’s father if he could get his child a certain weekend which is best for me due to circumstances out of my control ( I will already be in NC and this will save me 2 additional trips from going back and forth at the middle or end of April) and he has said no that isn’t a good weekend for him (because he would have had his child the full week prior because of spring break and he also thinks our child shouldn’t have to be in a car for so long so close together in days He would be in the car 8 hours on Monday and then 8 hours on the following Thursday or Friday). (I know he is doing this to be spiteful because he wants me to make additional trips back and forth out of state - it’s an 8 hour drive each way. This is also a father who said he would call and skype with his child and in the past 8 months he has called maybe 5x and skyped 1x! The judge has recognized that he was an absentee father).

My question is, who has the final say so? It doesn’t state anywhere in the order that the custodian parent has the right to make the final decision, but isn’t that usually the case when the two parties can’t agree?

I don’t want the judge to think that I am not being cooperative, but i do hope the judge will understand the reason as to why i had requested my child’s father to get that him on that weekend. Wouldn’t the judge question the father as to why wouldn’t he want to get his child if he was already in town???

THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR YOUR ADVICE AND OPINIONS!!!


#2

Not an attorney

Without the exact language of the agreement, it’s hard to make a definitive determination, but, if the agreement says you are to bring the child once a month to NC, and you’re making a good faith effort to do so, IMO, you’ve served your duty. If the father refuses that weekend, I doubt any judge is going to say you’ve breached the agreement. Besides, by the time you get this to court, April will have come and gone, so it’s pretty much moot anyway. Judges/Courts don’t want to get involved in simple disagreements or schedule conflicts. It’s up to you guys to agree the best you can, and when you can’t, you try to make it up next time. Judges/Courts get involved when there are patterns of frequent behavior preventing a parent from getting rightful visitation with their children, and this isn’t the case here.

I would stick with your offer (sounds reasonable), and if he disagrees, then be more agreeable to his schedule next time if you can. You can also point out he is free to come pick the child up too if he feels he’s being denied his visitation rights.


#3

It sounds like the agreement is too vague to determine who gets to make the final decision about visitation.

You may bring up that he did not want to see his child on a weekend the child was in NC, but I doubt that a judge will give this much weight unless you can prove he didn’t have any other plans that weekend keeping him from seeing the child.