Visitations changes because of work

My husband and I are separated since March 2017. We have a signed separation agreement that says he gets the kids every other weekend. Last week, he told me he was not getting them this weekend as scheduled because he had to work. So I made plans for us to be out of town for the long weekend. He asked me earlier this week if he could now get them. I said no because we now had plans. I later offered him to get the boys if he was willing to drive all the way to get them since we were out of town with other people. He refused to do that.

He later told me he wanted to switch our entire weekend schedule (flip-flop) because he had some things coming up that are falling on his weekends. I asked what specifically and when. He listed 4 or 5 things and ultimately only 2 had true conflicts with his schedule that couldn’t easily be solved. One in Sept. and one in December. I told him I was fine switching occasional weekends but I didn’t feel there was any need to switch our entire schedule. He had given me the exact date for Sept so I offered to switch the weekend before. He said there was no need to switch. I asked for the date in December so I could offer a weekend to switch (before or after) and he never gave me a date. He said he was going to take me to court to have the judge flip flop our weekends. The following day he now says he needs to switch the schedule because of work. His work schedule has always varied (he’s worked there almost 13 years) and if we change because of work, we’d be constantly changing it based on his schedule changes.

Again - I’m not opposed to changing the occasional weekend - things will come up and our youngest is 8 so we’ve got a while to deal with all of this. Also keep in mind that he previously told me via email that if he missed time for work, he wouldn’t make up the missed time. And we started our weekend schedule after the separation to work around other social events he already had scheduled. He also knew at that time that Saturday work was going to be starting soon (has known since at least Jan. if not last year).

My questions: Am I wrong for not letting him see the boys this weekend? Am I wrong for not wanting to flip flop our entire schedule to benefit his social calendar? What are my requirements to accommodate his ever changing work schedule?

You would have been in breach of the separation agreement by not letting your husband have the children as set forth in the separation agreement unless there is a provision about occasional modifications and adjustments in the custody schedule.

You are not wrong for not wanting to switch the custody schedule. You are under no obligation to switch the custody schedule. Assuming the separation agreement is final and valid, you are only obligated to follow the terms of the separation agreement. Also, depending on the language in your separation agreement, you may not be required to accommodate his constantly changing work schedule.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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