Leaving child with family during visit

My son’s father gets two, one week visits annually in addition to his every other weekend visits. He also has midweek hourly visits but does not use them. Dad’s attorney had presented with more time when we were drafting our agreement but Dad actually wanted less time so the above schedule is what we agreed to.

Last year, Dad used only one, one week visit. He scheduled the visit during an annual golf tournament that he plays in with his family. At such time, he left our son with his sister from Wednesday morning until Saturday afternoon. The visit was from Monday morning to Sunday morning. Dad did not tell me where our son was left and I was only able to speak with him the one time that the sister brought him to swim at the hotel pool. Our son screamed bloodly murder for me the entire time he was on the phone… it was heart breatking.

Dad tried to use the same week again this year. I pointed out that visits were intended for him to spend time with his son and not for his family to care for him while he played golf two hours away.

He did reschedule to the week of my son’s birthday. He will be returning home on his birthday and I have already been told that the sister will be bringing him home. Apparently Dad will have something more important to do than spend the hour drive home with his son on his birthday. Dad has also been invited to the party at our home which he declined to attend b/c he had other plans.

Dad refused to allow Right of First Refusal be put into our agreement. He claims that his visits are for him to have time with our son AND for his family to have time with him. They live 20 min. away and have never even called to check on him or ask to see him.

My questions are:
1.) Is there anything I can require providing information about how to reach my son while he is in his father’s care? I am entitled to two phone calls during the week but last year I had no idea how to reach him.

2.) Can I require a copy of a medical power of attorney that grants whomever he is left with the authority? My concern is that if something happens to his sister, she does not share a last name with the child. Who will they know to contact in the event of an emergency?

Most importantly:

3.) Is this behavior considered appropriate in most jurisdictions? Given the fact that visits are not being used and he is pawing our kid off to play golf, would a Judge grant the first right of refusal? Attorney’s that I have spoken with say that he has the right to make the decisions when he is “providing care” to our child. We are in the Raleigh, N.C. area. My thought is that if Dad isn’t spending the time with the child, why is he allowed to have the visits? Visits are supposed to be in the best interest of the child but I fail to see how removing our child from his normal environment and leaving him with your sister is good for him. Our son is already stressed about the upcoming visit and saying that he doesn’t want to go no matter how positive we try to make it. He is 3.

not an attorney

Your ex is the child’s father, and I think you need to respect his relationship with your child and his decisions with who can visit or care for the child when he gets visitiation. Ask yourself if you would want your ex policing and second guessing every decision you make and whether or not you should be allowed to allow your child to go somewhere with an Aunt or spend a night or two with your parents.

Women tend to have different “rules” for what they think is appropriate when it comes to visitation and raising children (I’m a woman and have been tempted to think this way also). Unless you want your each and every decision to be questioned, or you want your ex to have “approval” rights each time you decide it’s ok for your child to be with another adult, I probably wouldn’t go down this road. Your ex is the father, not a babysitter. He should get to make the same kinds of decisions that you do.

This is directed at the responder who replied with personal opinion ~

I would have no problem what so ever with my son’s father being concerned enough about his child’s welfare to interject himself into my personal life. I have nothing to hide and every single decision I make has my son’s interest at heart. By him questioning his son’s activities, the people whom I choose to expose my child to, bothering to show up for doctor’s appointments and providing input in choices for his son’s education, he would at least being demonstrating that he cares for his son. When I ask for input about decisions for our child, I get NO response! I would love to receive a phone call questioning my actions or decisions because at least I would know that he cares and loves him enough to do so.

The issue is that he has very little time with his son… by his choice. He only meets his minimal obligation to his son in every aspect (time, finances,etc.).

Every decision Dad makes only concerns himself. He never makes decisions about what is good for our child. Every email and phone call I receive from him has the word “fair” used 3-4 times and it never pertains to our child. “It’s not fair I drove 102 miles and you drove 98!” Nevermind he could travel 80 mph and my half was 45 mph. If I saw our son as much as he does, I would drive both ways, the entire way to spend the extra time with him.

How and why is it considered appropriate for a child to share a bed with his Dad and girlfriend when Dad admits he will not marry her? How is it in the best interest of our child that he be taken away from the people that care for him every single day only to be dumped at a family members house, that he had only met 5 times in 2 years, so Dad can play golf? I am fine with our son sharing time with his friends and family. I don’t mind if he spends an overnight with his sister. Visits are granted to parents so they can have the relationship with their child. Dad only has his 54 nights a year… it looks like he would sacrifice his personal time long enough to spend that time with our child.

not an attorney

there was nothing in your original post here about the dad sleeping with your son and girlfriend in the same bed…that’s a different issue, and one that I would want stopped.

your post was only about how dad chooses to spend his time when he’s on visitation, and I thought it was best to let him make his own decisions and stop trying to micro manage how he parents – that stuff is not your concern (barring abuse). You can’t dictate or enforce that your ex has a better relationship or “cares” the way you want him to.

We have a first right of refusal clause in our seperation agreement. To prevent this sort of thing. U can’t make him spend time with his son but u can make him give u the option to care for the child if he’s going to be unable to for a certain period of time ours is 4 hours but we live within 5 miles of each other. But since were only talking about 50ish days a year and it doesn’t sound like the paternal family is detrimental to ur son id prob leave it alone.