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Can You Forbid Your Former In-Laws from Babysitting Your Child After Your Divorce?


It is a common lament among parents that they do not get to spend enough time with their children.  In a 24-hour period, how many hours per day do your children spend at school?  Perhaps they even spend an hour or more in after-school care until your workday ends.  If your children participate in extracurricular activities like soccer or dance, you probably spend several hours per week writing work emails or watching YouTube videos while your kids get their wiggles out.  On weekends, do your kids play outside with the neighbor kids while you do housework?  If you are not giving your children your undivided attention for every second of your parenting time, can you really expect that your ex-spouse is giving the children his undivided attention when they are with him?  More importantly from a family law perspective, to what extent is it your business?  Unless your ex-spouse is leaving the children in an unsafe situation during his parenting time, you just have to live with the fact that your ex is letting your ex associate with people you don’t particularly like.  If you believe that someone with whom your children have contact during your ex-spouse’s parenting time is endangering the children, you have the right to object, even if that person is a blood relative.  A South Florida child custody lawyer can help you modify your parenting plan to specify that your ex cannot put your children in particular situations that you consider unsafe.

Having to Provide Round-the-Clock Supervision for Your Children During Your Parenting Time Is More Burdensome Than It Sounds

Clara was the primary residential parent of the child she and Zander shared.  Zander’s parenting plan granted him five weeks of parenting time during the summer, plus parts of winter break and spring break.  Like many parents who have family members living in town, Zander sometimes asked his parents and siblings to babysit the child.  Clara became concerned that, while the child was with Zander’s relatives, they did not provide adequate supervision, and the child witnessed acts of violence.  (The appeals court’s decision did not provide details about the specific incidents that Clara regarded as red flags.)  In response to Clara’s petition, the court modified the parenting plan to specify that Zander was required to be physically present with the children at all times during his parenting time.  It gave Clara the right to pick the child up early if Zander left him with a family member or friend.

Such a provision might be manageable for a parent who saw the children every weekend; he could simply change his work schedule to enable him to be with the children during his parenting time.  Did the court really expect Zander to take a five-week leave of absence from work every summer or enroll him in an expensive summer camp?  Zander appealed the decision, and the appeals court remanded the case to the trial court to find a better solution.

Let Us Help You Today

If you think it is not safe for your former in-laws to provide care for your children, a Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help.  Contact Schwartz | White for a consultation on your case.



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