Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

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Latest post Wed, May 9 2012 2:24 PM by Drew. 12 replies.
  • Wed, May 9 2012 9:46 AM

    • lmbc
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    Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

    My daughter's mom, whom I was never married to, is trying to go against our custody agreement papers. Our papers clearly state that we are both custodial parents and have to discuss and agree upon big decisions. They also clearly state: "The parties agree that any third party child care provider shall be licensed and bonded in accordance with state law. When the change of a day care provided is required the parents shall mutally agree upon a day care provider. When either parent requires child care/baby sitter they shall first call the other parent and ask that they watch the child."

    I get our daughter for 6 weeks in the summer. Two weeks of each of the months of June, July, and August. She doesn't want to pay for daycare, which would require her to pay for the weeks she isn't even there (we do not live close, about 3 hours away), so she is wanting to hire a 15 year old to care for our daughter and her boyfriend's 3 kids. She started setting this up without consulting me. I've since explicitly told her I'm not ok with that arrangement. My wife is a stay at home mom with our younger daughter, and I offered that she could just stay down here all summer. I even told her she could have any days she has off work and any weekend she wants. She insists that this is me trying to "take her away". She refuses to allow us to have her all summer, but has missed the deadline to keep her in her normal daycare for the summer. I'm not sure what she is going to do now, and neither is she.

    Back to the point; she is clearly going against the papers. What can/should I do?

  • Wed, May 9 2012 10:10 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

    Laymans suggestions:

    In a sense she has not yet breeched the order so its hard to cry legal foul until she does so.

    HOWEVER I would go to considerable lenght with a solid paper trail starting today to insist upon that I do exercise my right to watch the child for each and every day this summer where she is not personally caring for child--quote the order exactly! Repeat, repeat.Keep exquisite copies. Not phone, not email--good solid paper

    The issues of missing the deadline for licensed and bonded dayscare are NOT relevant to the order. The order is exquisitely clear so it seems as to your rights of first refusal or as you put it to watch your own child.

    Whether she choses a licensed provider  or Attilla the Hun is not really relevant as to your prior right to visitation!

    Now to for Mom to compound the problem by using an unlicensed provider only worsens her posture . To intentionally violate a court order puts Mom in the target area for legal action to include contempt,sanctions, your legal costs etc...now I have no clue what is really practical but I think pretty soon you need to make it clear to Mom that you will drag her to court and seek costs out of her hide as well as other remedies ---and be prepared to deliver --no hollow threats --and it might even be wise if you paper the situation well now to have a follow up demand letter go out from skilled family lawyer legal counsel --not free but probably well worth it!

    When you paper it now stick strictly to the words of the order and you demand your right of watching child. I'd not even address comments about possible violation of order as to nature of providers license/bond --that's not yet a fact--fact is you chose to exercise your watch rights ahead of any day care options for time periods X, Y, Z....

     

    In some jurisdictions it is not required to have a license or be bonded for day care of a small number of children--I think that is a debate you do not want to  open up under the order --it serves no purpose if your visitation rights totally trump that question.

    Just lay ramblings---



  • Wed, May 9 2012 11:18 AM In reply to

    • splum1
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    Re: Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

    You not agreeing with the babysitter does not mean Mom has to give up  her summer weeks, that is not the intent of the clause for you to be in agreement of the babysitter/daycare.  And while your orders give you right of first refusal, the orders are explicit to your summer time with the child. Right of first refusal does not typically apply to all of summer vacation, it is meant for the occasional time a babysitter is needed. It is not meant so the child gets to be with you all summer.  

    Since you nixed the idea of the babysitter, you need to come up with a viable solution for Mom that does not impede her time.

    The obvious solution is that she files to modify that you are partially responsible for all daycare cost, particularly since you are not in agreement with the babysitter.

    I disagree she is trying to go against the orders, she did consult with you about this.

  • Wed, May 9 2012 11:52 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

    We do not know what the order says!

    But if the literal wording is that Dad has a right of first refusal over day care then that's a darn good starting point?

    I disagree that to nix a specific care provider is relevant- the order says use a licensed/bonded provider and you never nixed any such thing. (If you failed to exercise your right to take child then I don't see where you'd have a right to nix any specific properly licensed and bonded care provider  but at least as I read it nothing gives Mom right to etrust that child to some warm form when the order is quite clear-licensed and bonded.

    We simply don't know if the words support that right of first refusal is limited--it make no sense that Mom gets to decide when first refusal is relevant and when it is not.

    But it makes even less sense that Mom would get to pick a situation outside the clear bounds of the order (an unlicensed unbonded provider) ahead of a situation clearly IN BOUNDS --Dad



  • Wed, May 9 2012 11:55 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

    And as a matter of reference I doubt a 15 year old could meet the requirements for a license in MO--I think it reads provider must be 18 as a starting point.



  • Wed, May 9 2012 1:10 PM In reply to

    • lmbc
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    Re: Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

    The child support already covers daycare. It was established when she was not school age, so it actually allots for more daycare than what is normally needed for the school year. I disagree that I need to find a viable option, as she had one, but failed to consult me in enough time to know what the plans would be for the summer. She didn't even really 'consult' me at all. She told me about the 15 year old babysitter in hopes I would be ok with it. I'm not. She is fighting tooth and nail for this 15 year old to care for our child and her boyfriend's children, so she literally IS trying to go against the legal papers.

  • Wed, May 9 2012 1:12 PM In reply to

    • lmbc
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    Re: Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

    Also, the 15 year old is not, nor could she be, a licensed and bonded child care provider. She is too young to allow for that. Furthermore, I don't know this kid, nor do I know her parents. I wouldn't trust anyone I don't know that isn't licensed and bonded to care for my child. I think that is fair and caters to my child's welfare.

  • Wed, May 9 2012 1:53 PM In reply to

    I gotta disagree

    I doubt a 15 year old is licensed and bonded according to state law. 

  • Wed, May 9 2012 1:59 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

    I happen to think that the order as you post it supports that Mom is about to go off on her own set of rules.

    You strength is in strict attention to the rules as set forth in your order--not waht others think is fair or logical or comonlace.

    Mom apparently has yet to actually violate the rules.

    But I'm a fan of very careful advance paper trails especially when enemy tells me in advance that they intend to violate my rights or the rules. And stick to the facts of the order --who you trust or like or what you think is fair is not the issue --the court order is the one roadmap that counts. Mom is free to request a change--but not to just run amuck

     

    So plan ahead to be able to force the issue to court  the moment she fails to honor the  order as written  and try to keep your hands totally clean --credibility does count.   But if you threaten to zap people with court process you need to be willing to follow thru --otherwise it will only get worse.  And frankly I'd probably get counsel on my team if after two crystal clear letters to mom exercising clear  request for child on all dates in question are rebuffed or ignored.

     

     



  • Wed, May 9 2012 2:04 PM In reply to

    • lmbc
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    Re: Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

    I agree that she has yet to violate the order in the sense that our daughter is not yet in the care of an unlicensed provider, but she has gone against the order in the sense that she is making decisions on her own without consulting me. This is not the first time she has made important decisions without consulting me. Would I be correct to believe that her making these types of decisions on her own, which is clearly against the legal papers, establishes a pattern of her disreguard for the legal papers?

  • Wed, May 9 2012 2:12 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

    NO, I can blow smoke all day long but until I actually step over the line  or put it into print that I'm going to step over the line its darn hard to prove that smoke is a violation--you wont win with smoke! And not even a naked statement about my inconsistent plans.

    Now if you keep careful records of all the smoke I blow then if I do step over the line  its going to a whole lot harder for me to convince anybody I made an innocent "whoops" as to the line!

    I think you sorta got to give Mom enough rope to hang herself but you have good records of the entire process and can prove she did so delibertely and you were there with the one clear option/right as per the orcer .



  • Wed, May 9 2012 2:16 PM In reply to

    • lmbc
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    Re: Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

    You've recommended sending letters. How do I have proof that these letters have been sent? Even if they are sent registered or with delivery confrimation, there is no proof as to what the letter says.

  • Wed, May 9 2012 2:24 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Parent is trying to go against custody agreement papers

    Credibility counts--you send them and keep good copies of everything.

    Some folks might suggest you send them two ways at same time--one by reqular mail and one by  registered/return receipt.  Correct address and return address --Many people duck  registered mail-- in some places to reject registered ail but reqular mail does not come back creates presumption that regular mail got thru.  Me, I'd not rule out a triple cover- phone/ log and double mail  --I don't think there will be much doubt if you do credible set of say 2  sets of attempts to exercise  your rights of visitation.  No extra commentary--if you want--put copies of the order in each letter!  Highlight the relevant parts.



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