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?
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.