My son is four years old and is very sick. The doctor has advised me to let him stay at home. It is his father’s weekend and he does not agree with skipping the weekend. He said he will call the cops if I will not allow him to take the boy. Is there anything I can do?
Unless there is a finding by the court within your divorce decree that police can be used to enforce visitation, the police CANNOT enforce a civil order (which a divorce/custody decree is.) That said, it is a crime to interfere with a parent's custodial/visitation rights, but unless there is a pattern of interference on the part of one parent, it is not likely that a local prosecutor would do anything about it. Further, follows a doctor's advice regarding your child's health is acting in the child's best interest. The court will endorse that sort of behavior. If the cops come to pick up the child, you can simply tell them that you are not turning over the child because the child is very ill and his doctor has advised that he stay at home that weekend. The police have no authority to remove the child from you UNLESS your divorce decree gives them the authority. Don't make a habit of withholding visitation, however. You will lose credibility with the court, and could face both civil sanctions and criminal charges.
If there is an order in place that give the Father this weekend, you would need to get an emergency order suspending the visit, if the Father does not agree. These are difficult to get Good luck.
If you have something in writing from the doctor, you should be fine. However, you should consult with an attorney to assist you.
This is a very tough question and it can go either way. Some judges will say that even if a child is sick he should go for his visit and that the other parent can care for them when the child is sick. Some judges, like the child to stay if the child is very sick. Did you offer father an alternate weekend (to switch weekends with him?). If you have offered to trade weekends and father is still not in agreement, then you need to decide how sick the child is. If he is too sick to be moved, then the police might agree that child needs to stay. If it is not that serious, you might want to let him go to avoid a big problem.
The simple answer is no, without an Order from the Court. The law presumes, rightly, that generally either parent can care for a sick child. One question is does your ex really want to care for a sick child? If he does not, the issues might be solved by agreeing to swap time with him. A caveat to this rule is Christmas vacation, which is now. No one wants to lose their Christmas Day. As to the police, as you might imagine, enforcement of possession is not something that law enforcement likes to get involved with. Whether they will do anything at all sometimes depends on where you live. Urban police do not have time for this sort of thing; rural police do.
You must modify the court order regarding times when your child is sick to allow him to stay home. If the father has visitation on a weekend pursuant to a court order then that is his time whether the child is sick or not; unless you have your court order modified to provide that it is father's weekend unless the child is sick and then you can make up the time later.
Since you don't say whether or not there is a court order establishing father's rights, it isn't possible to definitely answer your question, but generally the police aren't likely to get involved in a simple visitation dispute, especially if there is no court order. Even if there is a court order stating what father's rights are, logic says that if a child is sick and a doctor feels going to Dad's is a bad idea, you are not in contempt of court by following medical advice. Either the father is being a jerk who is more concerned about "his" rights than the child's welfare or you are an overly protective Mom with more concern about control than the child's actual welfare, but until you each can concentrate solely on the child's welfare, the conflict is going to harm the child.
No. Parenting schedules that are court ordered must be followed. A parent has a right to care for their child as they would if they were the custodial parent. That means the parenting experience includes providing for the child whether they are well, sick , in sports activities or outside of them. Only if it is a serious endangerment issue is there a absis not to transport the child.
Your job as a parent is to do what is in your Childs best interest. No judge is going to fault you for that. One of the issues with joint custody is that you have to be able to coparent and trust the other parents skills in doing so. If the police are called it may further upset your sick child. I would explain the doctors wishes and whether the child is contagious, care plan, medications, etc and see if you can't get dad to back down. Otherwise, you may need to let him go with dad.
No. If the custody papers say it is Dad's weekend, then it is Dad's weekend. Protective mother that you are does not change that. Dad can take the child and keep him indoors same as you can.
Make sure the father has all the information about the illness and any medication and let h have his visit. Dads can care for sick children also. And you will get some needed time off.
Maybe. Get out the visitation order from the court. It should have a clause in there about a sick child not participating in visitation. See what you have to do to qualify and do it. In any case, call your pediatrician and get an order in writing saying the child is too sick for visitation. Show it to the baby's dad. Check with your domestiic relations attorney about how to proceed. Good luck.
Everything is supposed to be done with the best interests of the child in mind. If the child is too sick to visit with his father, offer him a make-up time for when the child is feeling better.
File an ex parte motion with the court requesting to suspend the visitation for the child's health and well being. Be sure to attach the doctors note to your motion affirming that the visit should be suspended until the child is better.
If the doctor has recommended the child not leave the house, it would be wise to get that in writing. If the father brings the police, you will have that to show them. They will probably then tell him it's a civil matter and he will have to pursue it himself with the court. He may then file a motion for contempt which is another reason you need confirmation from the doctor.
The father is not concerned with his child's health only his own "wants" . If your child is too sick to go with his father call your attorney, if you have one and have them call the father's attorney and tell them the father will get a make-up visitation when the child is healthy again. If you don't have an attorney, send the father an email and offer make-up visitation. Hold onto the records of the doctor visit so you can verify the child's need to stay home if Dad takes you to court. Save the email also.
Discuss the matter with the doctor and find out if he thinks that your son's condition could tolerate visiting his father. If the doctor agrees with you, get a letter from the doctor instructing you that you must keep your son at home, even though your son's father wants to have your son for his scheduled visitation. The doctor's written directions do not supersede the Court's orders, but they could protect you (and your son) if the father brings the police, and they could assist you in defending against a contempt of court if the father brings such an action. You might contact the father in advance, advise him of the doctor's written directions, provide him a copy of those directions, and offer him make-up time with his son after his son's health issue resolves.
Assuming you are operating under a parenting plan put in place by the Court, he is probably within his rights to get his child. However, in my experience, when the police are called in a similar situation, they normally keep the status quo and tell the parties they need to talk to their attorneys and deal with the matter in Court. If you have a doctor that is willing to testify that his recommendation was to keep the child at home and not switch custodial parents until the child was well, he will have a hard time proceeding with a contempt proceeding.
If you defy the judge, you risk later being found in contempt by the judge. The cops can't help your husband but a judge may second guess you later. If the medical condition is serious, call your lawyer.
Ask a local attorney a question for FREE.
FREE answer from a local attorney.
Your email is only used to send answers to you.