We have 6 hr ROFR. This is wife's weekend. She dumped the kids at her friends today to go out and play for > 9hrs. No mention to me to allow me option to be w/them. She's planning to do the same tomorrow.
The way she sees it, they are not in "someone else's care" but "visiting friends".
I will send a letter reminding her of the clause in our pp and its importance to our children.
In the past she usually asks me to watch them first, which I gladly do, but more recently it's a game of spite, keep-away and secrets.
How long do the kids need to be subjected to her "dump and go" pattern before I should get this before a court?
Will the children never be allowed to spend the night at a friend's house when it's your parenting time? How about going to an amusement park for 7-8 hours without you but with a friend's parent, a grandparent or other relative? Or going on an all-day (weekend day) or overnight field trip as part of a school or extra-curricular activity?
Think about these things before you decide to die on that hill. My eldest daughter has done all of those things inumerable times during both my parenting time and her father's parenting time. If we had a ROFR for so few hours and got draconian about enforcement, yeesh, it would have gotten nasty.
Right now, unless you have documented proof that your ex never spent a minute at the house of the friend between the start time and end time (and I literally mean one minute, kinda like resetting an egg timer), I would carefully consider how you'd want enforcement to work against you in the future before you press this issue. Was there any particular reason why the ROFR was set at six hours? Was that on the advice of counsel?
(Also, if she has two brain cells to rub together, expect your ex to claim that she did re-set the egg timer by stopping in mid-visit each of those times...then watch her request a modification to a longer ROFR for the exact reasons I gave above.)
There's ROFR for a reason, and that is so that the kids don't wind up spending significant time under the care of other people in lieu of their own parents, if avoidable.
I'm not talking about the sleepover at friends, the field trip and the like, which are directly for the benefit of the child. I encourage those experiences, and although they are less common it would be nice to be shown the consideration of being let in on such plans, rules regarding that aren't written into our agreement. I'm talking about when they are 8 and constantly dropped somewhere where the only thing they get out of it is supervision, in deference to mommy's desires to go play Cougar Town every chance she gets.
NewReality wrote:There's ROFR for a reason, and that is so that the kids don't wind up spending significant time under the care of other people in lieu of their own parents, if avoidable.
I'm not talking about the sleepover at friends, the field trip and the like, which are directly for the benefit of the child.
I hope your ROFR is written to differentiate between what you deem to be acceptable and what you don't.
If you have documentation (her written or legally-recorded admission of violating/intending to violate the ROFR), document three or more instances (once is a fluke, twice is coincidence, thrice is a pattern) with your written objection to same at each incident (sent to her 3R), then haul her into court for the group of violations. Be reasonable about what you'll be asking for (additional parenting time based on her pattern, attorney's fees, what?), but don't expect to get it the first time around. Expect her to use the ROFR reset excuse ("I stopped in mid-day, blah blah blah") and request a modification based on an argument that a six-hour ROFR is too stringent. Be ready to lay out a defense of the six-hour threshold.
I do wish you luck on this, but I don't know how you're going to fare with a short ROFR on the first challenge. You might want to search through your local appellate court published opinions that make mention of a ROFR to see if how the courts regard such violations and how different arguments hold up on appeal.
Due to a recent forum members experience with taking his ex to court over ROFR disagreements, I second minuettes suggestion of looking into your states case law on the subject before making a big deal out of this.
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Fatheroffour wrote:Due to a recent forum members experience with taking his ex to court over ROFR disagreements, I second minuettes suggestion of looking into your states case law on the subject before making a big deal out of this.
+2. Indiana does not require an offer of ROFR if the children are cared by a family member, and case law has broadened the definition of family member to include responsible adults in the same household regardless of whether there is any family relationship. Not something that would be obvious from reading the state guidelines on ROFR.
I agree with the idea (without any experience...) of extending a second tier of ROFR rights to extended family.
My question is, there are five normal preschool weekdays, and if they fall on a parent's day off, don't you need a short enough time so that you can have your kid on the day off instead of them being at daycare - that having been said, there would be SOOOO much more mileage, and likely a man-eating cold as well , gotten out of spending the day AT the preschool with the kid, and classmates, and teachers... doing superdad stuff.
Or is professional child-care on the other parent's time normally excluded from first refusal?
It sounds like the issue is the failure to notify. What his NJ is doing is the point of the ROFR. That seems like a simple modification, eh? What was the plan for that in the original PP - I need one that works perfectly forever....
I'm going to perhaps take a different stance here??? Depending upon the situation perhaps really hold your STBX to the fire on this one. For example, if your STBX is the type in which she believes that she can do whatever the heck she wants whenever the heck she wants then call her on this early on. Remember the old saying "Give an inch, take a mile".
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