Secondary custody


I currently have secondary custody of our children, with a limited amount of time to see and spend with them. This means any and all time I am allowed is spent with my children. Right of first refusal was also granted, due to the fact my ex travels with his job. Although it is in the court order, I am rarely given this right, and instead the children are given to their other family members instead during these trips (grandparents,aunts,etc.). Having recently been offered a time with the children that would be during one of these trips, it was been recended and now I am being threatened with kidnaping by the aunt if I keep my children during this time. The courts have not found any reason to declare either parent unfit, but does the primary have the right to determine wheather the secondary can keep the children during an out of town trip? When the secondary is the responsible guardian during the primarys absence? Can the aunt show up with a deputy to demand children that are not under her custodial care, simply on her word?


If your order grants you the right of first refusal, you have the right to the time with the children when your ex is travelling. The aunt does not have any rights and cannot preclude you from keeping your children. You should retain a certified copy of the order to present to the deputy in the event this woman attempts to take your children.

I would also suggest you file a motion for contempt to bring this matter to the courts attention and to be proactive in avoiding future contentious situations for your children.


Thank you for your help. I contacted my lawyer also, and will be able to protect my interest in our childrens time because of it. I am concerned that there will be repercussions from my ex, restricting my visitation to the minimum allowed by the custody order, however. If he does try to hide or obstruct information regarding travel or time away from the children, would the judge take into consideration the behavior of both he and his family in altering custody arrangements? I had our children for 2 years without pss or cs, and allowed him unlimited visitation at his convenience. Since obtaining primary custody, he has become more controlling and manipulative, trying to push me out of our childrens lives as much as possible. As this behavior becomes more evident, thru e-mail, texts, (and bullying sisters), would it benefit me to try to have the arrangement reevaluated, or wait? I was a stay at home mom, and my first and only concern has always been our children and the time spent with them, not the pss or cs, even though I currently am unemployed.


The court will not consider what has occurred prior to the current order. You may make a motion to modify if you believe his behavior has changed substantially since the entry of the last order and that it is affecting the children. I would suggest you discuss this matter with your attorney to ensure it’s the right move.