Brief rundown… My ex and I had agreed to 50/50 custody of our 3 year old son when we split. This agreement suddenly changed once she found a new boyfriend and she refused to let me see my son, going so far as taking a 50B out against me which was later shown (during the custody hearing) to be false. My attorney during the 50B hearing was useless, telling me half way through my ex’s testimony that it was pointless to fight and that the judge had already made up her mind that it was going to be granted. The 50B established temporary custody for my ex. Once I was able to hire a different attorney I immediately filed for custody. My custody case was heard at the end of May in Wake county. My ex was impeached twice on the stand and admitted to getting a DUI on her way to pick our son up from the babysitter (she does have a history of drug AND alcohol abuse - rehab twice for meth prior to our relationship and alcohol classes after the DUI). She also testified that she was having our son call her new boyfriend “daddy”. The judge still gave primary custody to my ex due to “serious concerns with both parents” due to that 50B, even though we were able to show that her allegations were false. I was to get the “Right of First Refusal” per the order. The judge also allowed her to claim the child credit for a child she concieved 3 months after we split, yet did not take that child’s father’s income into account while calculating the child support. I have since lost my job due to cutbacks at the company I work for. When I notified my ex that I had been laid off and requested that she provide me with her schedule so that I could see our son while she was working, she told me that her hours had also been cut and she was now only working 2 half-days each week so I would not be able to see our son while she was working. I have since found out that she requested her hours be cut and the company she works for is now hiring so that her hours can be covered. I have already filed a motion to have child support and arrears re-calculated due to my loss of income. Prior to our separation I had spent 6 months as a stay-at-home dad, so only seeing my son 8 days a month has been extremely rough for me and was looking forward to spending more time with him once I lost my job. Is there anything I can do because of her intentionally cutting her hours so that I can’t see our son? Due to my job loss and the fact I’m still paying my last attorney for the custody case, I am unable to retain another lawyer. My ex receives assistance from NC Legal Aid so her representation through this entire ordeal has been free. Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
The right of first refusal provides only that she must first contact you if she cannot care for the child. Her cutting her work hours to spend more time with the child does not violate the order.