Overnight guests with son in bed


#1

My son is almost 3. He is very advanced by all accounts. He uses words like disrespectful, aggravated, disgusting, etc. We have a custody agreement that allows his Dad to have visits every other weekend and Wednesday for 2 hours. His Dad does not use the Wednesday visit b/c we are two hours away. My son and I live 30 min. south of Raleigh, N.C. and his Dad lives in Wilmington, N.C. I transport my son on Saturday, to Wilmington for his visit with his Dad. His Dad then brings him back to Cary on Sunday to spend the night with his parents before returning him to our home on Monday.

First of all, it seems unreasonable to ask that a 3 year old spend 2.5 hours in the car only to spend another 2.5 hours driving back only so his Dad doesn’t have to make the round-trip in one day. I make the round-trip. Would it be possible to ask that visits occur in Cary rather than having our child spend 5 hours on the road each weekend? He has to be up Saturday morning at 6 am in order to be in Wilmington by 10.
Second, my son tells me Tuesday night, before his Wednesday phone call from his Dad that he is “too sick to talk to Daddy.” The entire way to Wilmington he will ask, “Are you sure this is the weekend I have to go to Daddy’s house?” He doesn’t want to go to his home, never talks about him and typically when I ask about his weekend, he will change the topic or act as though he didn’t hear you. At what point will the court take into account my son’s wishes?

My major concern is that my son came home last night and said that, “Daddy had a sleepover with Megan.” I asked if he knew Megan and he said that she was “a stranger” and he did not know her. I asked where she slept and he said, “In Daddy’s bed with us.” My son has a room but rarely sleeps alone. I asked him to show me their sleeping arrangements and he pointed out that he was on the right, Daddy in the middle and Megan was on the left.

His Dad only sees him 4 days a month. Our son only spends the night at his home two nights a month. I am concerned that his Dad is having house guests over, that he has not previously introduced my son to, and they are sharing a bed with my soon to be three year old. I will add that the second time he had my son for a weekend visit, he inadvertently sent me a “booty call” text message asking if I wanted to come over for the night. Obviously I was not the intended target of that message.

Dad refused to put anything in our custody agreement regarding house guests. Do I have grounds to have that modified? It’s not that I am opposed to him having guests. He is a grown man and can make his own decisions. It concerns me that he can’t make my son a priority 4 days a month or have the courtesy to introduce our child to a girlfriend prior to her having a “sleepover.” In no way should my son be sharing a bed with this “stranger” who will likely be out of his life as quickly as she came into it. I would prefer that he not have guests unless they are engaged to be married. Any guidance you can offer will be appreciated. I have a call into my son’s father now hoping he can advise on how to answer our son’s question about “Why did Daddy have a sleepover?”


#2

*not a lawyer

Just talk to him about your concerns and see. You can seek to modify custody at any time, and think if one parent requests the judge usually puts in a “overnight guest” clause. You would probably go that route with an attorney, which could be expensive. Also father looks like he was really shafted on custody/visitation, almost everyone gets 80 nights a year, so you may not want to open that can of worms. I think it pretty reasonable that you effectively split the travel time for the visitation like your already doing.


#3

Dad’s attorney actually had 3 full weeks built into the order which Dad thought was too much. He wanted two weeks. Last year he used ONE. That one visit, which he picked the dates, he picked our son up, dropped him off with his sister and drove an hour away to spend the week playing golf with his brothers. He spent less than 48 hours with our son out of that entire week. The only reason I knew about it was the fact that his parents posted the information on facebook. He also refused to answer my calls which the order grants. I finally got to speak to my son the one day his Aunt drove him to the hotel to play in the pool and again, the night before he came home.

I should also add, this over night visit occured after he had not seen his son for three weeks. Last month he decided that he would rather attend two weddings that were the weekends he was scheduled to have my son. We ended up switching weekends for the month and got back on schedule this month. I had offered for him to have him additional time on my weekends if he wanted to drive to Cary to spend the day with him. I got no response from that offer.

I do not mind splitting the travel time at all. In fact, I enjoy spending Saturday in Wilmington with friends. What does concern me is that our son spends 2.5 hours going to his Dad’s house only for Dad to drive him 2.5 hours back to his parents house less than 24 hours later. He then spends the night there before being driven the 45 minutes back home on Monday. If Dad will be coming to Cary anyway, it seems logical that visits just occur in Cary. I would even be willing to transport him to and from those visits just so my son doesn’t have to ride to Wilmington and back out of spite.


#4

I suggest you discuss this with your ex.

He isn’t likely to do worse than every other weekend, and if a judge ordered no overnight guests that would apply to you too.


#5

I am more than fine with playing by the rules. I have not been nor will ever be with anyone again. The night I got pregnant was the last time anyone was ever in my bed! After what I have been through with this “man,” it isn’t worth it. Unlike to his Dad, my son is my world and I don’t need anyone else in it.

After I refused to abort my son, his father had nothing to do with us. It wasn’t until I filed for child support that he appeared. A judge had to force him to take paternity test as he wouldn’t agree to do it. He is only in the picture because, “what would some girl say down the road if she found out I had a kid I was taking care of?” His words. He is 37 years old.

He is only checking off boxes on his obligation form. Sad… no child should be an obligation!


#6

Ryan,

I just spoke with my son’s father. He refuses to agree to no overnight guests and claims it’s his personal life and none of my business. He claims that his attorney has assured him that in no way will a judge agree to an over night guests policy.

What is your experience with this especially regarding the fact that they shared a bed? His father claims that he didn’t sleep in there all night and that my son asked for her to stay at the house, etc.

What is the general practice in this area? Do you think that a judge would agree to the Right of First Refusal given that he has left our son with a family member all but 72 hours of a one week visit?


#7

Sounds like your ex doesn’t make your son a priority and that he obviously isn’t going to agree on the overnight clause - now you can submit a modification, but honestly how can it be enforced? I understand your concern, I had the same concerns, but the more you ask them not to do something the more they are going to do it, just to be spiteful. All I can say is document everything so when you do want to modify visitation that you will have information to back up your requests. Best o Luck.