Can Your Ex-Spouse Stop You From Attending A Destination Wedding?
For the most part, what you do after your divorce is your business, and your ex-spouse does not have the right to interfere, as long as you abide by your parenting plan. If you let your preteens play video games all day in the summer while you work from home, your screen time-averse ex has no say in the matter. The same goes if, while your kids are at your ex’s house for the weekend as scheduled, you attend a campaign fundraiser for a political candidate your ex can’t stand. What do you do when, because of unusual circumstances, you are unable to exercise a few days of parenting time? The short answer is it depends; every family is different. The best parenting plans contain guidelines for what to do when you need to unexpectedly or temporarily change your schedule. The worst ex-spouses try to interfere with your plans no matter what you do. A Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you with co-parenting scenarios that your parenting plan does not address.
The Right of First Refusal and Florida Parenting Plans
Even with a well-designed parenting plan, you sometimes have to deal with unexpected scheduling challenges. Imagine that Mom tells Dad that she plans to attend her sister’s destination wedding in Hawaii three months from now. She will be away for a week, and that week was supposed to be her parenting time. (Let us assume that the kids are spending half the summer with Mom, and half the summer with Dad, and both parents live in the same county.) Mom would like to have the kids stay with a friend of hers, since her children are classmates of the friend’s children. Dad objects to this plan.
What Dad can do in response to this issue depends on the parenting plan. If the parenting plan has a “right of first refusal clause,” Dad can insist that the kids stay with him while Mom travels to Hawaii. The right of first refusal means that, in the event of unanticipated travel, each parent must offer to leave the children with the other parent before deciding to leave them with a third party. If the parenting plan does not address the right of first refusal, then there is plenty of room for disagreement and conflict. In the worst-case scenario, the parents would even have to go back to court, and a judge would have to decide whether Mom can go to the wedding and, if so, where the kids should stay while she is there.
Even if your divorce is not yet final, you probably already know whether your ex is likely to try to interfere with your plans to such a degree. The best choice is to work with your lawyer to develop a conflict-proof parenting plan.
Contact Schwartz | White About Making Plans While Co-Parenting
A South Florida family law attorney can help you if your ex-spouse is still trying to micromanage you, even after your divorce has been final for several years. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.