Going to court

How long after agreeing to the schedule did you decide to change it? It sounds as though, if your ex has such an erratic schedule then possibly be that the Sunday night that he is fighting you over is one of his chances to have time with his son…maybe there’s more to it…Maybe you should talk with the ex about changing the agreement so that your son is returned on those Sunday’s preceeding a school day, but that if there is no school then he stays Sunday nights…?

Child support is a separate issue and has nothing to do with the custody other than being based on the number of overnights with each parent. It sounds as though you have the majority of overnights as it is.

One thing that bothers me about this is the statement “I gave him fall break…” This is your son’s father and if there has been no previous agreement or court order custody then you both should be entitled legally to equal access. This is not you allowing your ex to be involved with your son this is you and your ex raising your son together though separately. Regardless of how a parent chooses to spend their visitations or custodial time it is still their right as a parent. If your ex is getting someone to watch your son then it sounds as though he has no other option due to his work schedule. He should not be punished because he does not have a 9-5 Mon-Fri work schedule. But this is just my opinion…

Since you are going to court over this one night, there’s really no way to tell what the courts will do. It may be in the child’s best interest to have that night with his father. Or they may rule that since you have obviously taken primary custody that it’s in the child’s best interest to be returned on Sunday evening except during the school vacations. I am not sure that the courts can stipulate this exception which is why it’s better for the parents to agree or settle instead of going to court. It’s easier on everyone, and cheaper…

It’s not that I see it as giving him fall break etc…we are not alternating them…he has every fall break and spring break, which means I have no opportunity to spend that time with my son. I understand about both parents having equal opprtunity, etc. But, this has been 3 years in the making…someone else taking care of our child when he is in is father’s care. It is not fair to our child for him to be bounced from one babysitter to the next when he is with his father.

I can’t tell you how likely a judge would be to rule either way unless I had experience with your particular judge. However, you appear to be in disagreement about what amounts to 26 overnights a year, you have to decide if that is worth going to court over.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com/live for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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My ex-husband and I went to mediation and came to an agreement for custody of our son. After mediation, I decided I wanted to adjust the schedule to where he brought my son to me on Sunday’s at 7pm instead of him taking him to school on Monday because my ex husband had to pay someone to take him to school because he has to be at work at 6am. Now my ex husband is refusing to sign and we have to go to court. Our agreement was that my husband have him every other weekend and he could pick him up 2 days a week for soccer and return him at 7pm…I gave him fall break, a week at Christmas, Spring Break, and every other week in the summer.

My son is 5. The past 3 years I have received no child support and my ex husband has always worked an irratic schedule including third shifts and weekends. He has always had to depend on someone else to care for our son during his time with him. I have always worked 9-5 Monday through Friday, carried my child’s insurance, taken him to the doctor, etc. I am really nervous about court. How likely would a judge be to rule in his favor?