Husband wants me to leave my kids with a Sitter and not him

I went to drop the kids off at husband and he wasn’t home. We don’t have a custody or visitation arrangement finalized yet. However, he texted me and told me he had arranged for a sitter and that the neighbor had made the kids dinner because of his new work schedule. He refused to share this change / news until I find him not home. He insists that I drop them off and leave. The kids said no, they want to be with me or their dad not a neighbor and I told him if he gave me his ETA I would bring the kids back and leave them in his care. I am willing to be accommodating but can he force me to leave the kids with a sitter just because its his custodial weekend? Again, no agreement in writing, just a verbal agreement to ensure the kids see their Dad. Please advise what the kids and my rights are. He told me to not intervene but it was in the best interests of the children and at their request that I did not due to any vindictiveness on my part.

If there is no agreement or order in place, both of you have as much right to custody as the other. Since you don’t have an agreement finalized, I would be working towards a new agreement that allows the children to be with parents as often as possible rather than strangers. If the agreement is in place and there is no right of first refusal in the agreement, then yes, he could have the children stay with a sitter rather than you.