I've been divorced 6 years. Our youngest son is 12. I work from home 4 out of 5 days. My ex resents the fact that I can be there for the boys when she has a job that demands her presence, approx. 40 minute drive each way. Lately she reasons that the right of first refusal is no longer in effect since there is no need to hire a babysitter for a 12-yr old boy. Can she keep the boys sitting at her house alone while she is 40 minutes away and my house is a 1 minute walk from hers? [more detail below]
Below is the wording in our divorce decree. It seems to be worded around childcare, and the reason is at the time she was trying very hard to get the boys in daycare even though I was available to care for them. She boldly stated that she'd rather they were in a daycare than with me, and her reason was not about my parenting (even she admits I am a wonderful caring father), but about the "fairness" of me getting more time with the boys than her. So one question is, does the wording in my decree doom me to allowing her to make the boys sit at her house while she's at work and I'm at home, a 1 minute walk away?
[Motivation: three days ago my 12-yr old was at her house alone, and he had a friend over and they were playing with an axe. My ex specifically told him, "Don't go to Dad's house" and I was sitting right here working from home on the computer.]
------------- The clause in my decree ---------------
Based upon the Husband’s flexible schedule at the time of this Agreement,
Husband is frequently able to exercise his right of first refusal before and after the
Children’s school hours in lieu of placing the Children in day care. As such, Husband
shall be responsible for notifying Wife of the necessity of the parties making any day care
arrangements due to his unavailability and the parties agree to share in the costs of any
needed child care on a pro rata income basis by directly paying the child care provider or
reimbursing each other within a 14 day period.