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  1. #1
    anjb43 is offline Member
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    Contempt of court questions

    I am in MN

    What proof do I need to take my ex to court for contempt regarding the right of first refusal? I have been documenting the times our son tells me he spent the night here or there, when the ex worked late and didn't get home til after dark, etc. My ex lies when confronted or makes an excuse, or just ignores the subject. I've even asked the ex that we have the ROFR modified if it is not going to be followed, as it would be nice to allow our son to spend the night with his grandparents on my side as well.

    If I didn't always find out til after the fact, I would just go pick up our son from whereever he is, but I never find out until I ask my son how his week was, etc.

    Anyway, just looking for advice as to how far I can take this, what proof I need, and if I can attempt this without my attorney.

    Can I send a certified letter asking my ex to cease breaking the court order first? Just looking for ways to possibly get this to cease legally without having to file contempt right away.

    Thank you.
  2. #2
    CSO286 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anjb43 View Post
    I am in MN

    What proof do I need to take my ex to court for contempt regarding the right of first refusal? I have been documenting the times our son tells me he spent the night here or there, when the ex worked late and didn't get home til after dark, etc. My ex lies when confronted or makes an excuse, or just ignores the subject. I've even asked the ex that we have the ROFR modified if it is not going to be followed, as it would be nice to allow our son to spend the night with his grandparents on my side as well.

    If I didn't always find out til after the fact, I would just go pick up our son from whereever he is, but I never find out until I ask my son how his week was, etc.

    Anyway, just looking for advice as to how far I can take this, what proof I need, and if I can attempt this without my attorney.

    Can I send a certified letter asking my ex to cease breaking the court order first? Just looking for ways to possibly get this to cease legally without having to file contempt right away.

    Thank you.
    How old is the child?

    How far away are you?

    How long is the child with others?

    And with regard to spending the night at other places--are we talking kids sleepovers, or a babysitter?
  3. #3
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Stop putting your child in the middle of your issues with your ex. If you want your child to visit his grandparents, have him visit his grandparents, visiting family is not child care.
  4. #4
    DownTime is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anjb43 View Post
    I am in MN

    What proof do I need to take my ex to court for contempt regarding the right of first refusal? I have been documenting the times our son tells me he spent the night here or there, when the ex worked late and didn't get home til after dark, etc. My ex lies when confronted or makes an excuse, or just ignores the subject. I've even asked the ex that we have the ROFR modified if it is not going to be followed, as it would be nice to allow our son to spend the night with his grandparents on my side as well.

    If I didn't always find out til after the fact, I would just go pick up our son from whereever he is, but I never find out until I ask my son how his week was, etc.

    Anyway, just looking for advice as to how far I can take this, what proof I need, and if I can attempt this without my attorney.

    Can I send a certified letter asking my ex to cease breaking the court order first? Just looking for ways to possibly get this to cease legally without having to file contempt right away.

    Thank you.
    What does your court order state regarding the ROFR? Is there a time, per hour, stated?
  5. #5
    anjb43 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSO286 View Post
    How old is the child?

    How far away are you?

    How long is the child with others?

    And with regard to spending the night at other places--are we talking kids sleepovers, or a babysitter?
    20 min away

    over the 3 hours specified in our CO, and overnights.

    Our CO does not say babysitters only. Says anytime the child is away from the other parent for over 3 hours
  6. #6
    anjb43 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    Stop putting your child in the middle of your issues with your ex. If you want your child to visit his grandparents, have him visit his grandparents, visiting family is not child care.
    I am not putting my child in the middle. The CO does not specify daycare/babysitters. It says any time child is away from on duty parents for over 3 hours. I want to get rid of or modify the ROFR. THere was a time I visited my parents for the weekend, (we were 5 hours away), and ex claimed I left our son for over 3 hours and should have been given ROFR. I do not break the CO. I make plans on weeks i do not have our son. I would like my son to be able to stay overnights at his grandparents, memories like that are lasting and priceless. Like I said, I have spoken with my ex regarding continual breaking the CO, asked her to talk about modifying if it cannot be followed. It gets me nowhere.
    Last edited by anjb43; 04-18-2012 at 09:10 AM.
  7. #7
    anjb43 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownTime View Post
    What does your court order state regarding the ROFR? Is there a time, per hour, stated?
    This is exactly what it states:

    If either parent is unable to care for the child during his or her parenting time for a period longer than 3 hours, they shall offer the other parent the opportunity to provide this care before seeking someone else to care for the child.
  8. #8
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anjb43 View Post
    This is exactly what it states:

    If either parent is unable to care for the child during his or her parenting time for a period longer than 3 hours, they shall offer the other parent the opportunity to provide this care before seeking someone else to care for the child.
    That word "unable" gets you. The other party will simply say that they sent kiddo to visit with grandparents overnight. Since they didn't have kiddo, they picked up a shift.
  9. #9
    DownTime is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anjb43 View Post
    This is exactly what it states:

    If either parent is unable to care for the child during his or her parenting time for a period longer than 3 hours, they shall offer the other parent the opportunity to provide this care before seeking someone else to care for the child.
    Then, anything past 3 hours that is not offered first to yourself is contemptuous behavior by the other party.

    The point being that multiple blatant disregard for that court order is a substantial and unanticipated change of circumstance for the best interest of the child(ren), which is enough for most courts to adjust custody in your favor.
  10. #10
    anjb43 is offline Member
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    [QUOTE=Zigner;3042330]That word "unable" gets you. The other party will simply say that they sent kiddo to visit with grandparents overnight. Since they didn't have kiddo, they picked up a shift.[/QUOTE

    Ex works late into the evening and has our son at daycare during the day, then has someone pick him up and watch him for 4 or more hours.

    But are you saying "unable" would not include a trip over night with grandparents or friends? That's what worries me is that as our son gets older, he would feel like he would have to lie to stay at a friends house or grandparents house for fun, for more than the specified 3 hours. I do not want my son growing up feeling like he has to hide things or keep secrets. I have explained this to my ex, how it could cause problems in the future, in a bid to have this CO ROFR modified, but with the way it is written, we may not have to do that? So if I wanted to have my son stay overnight with my parents or at a friend's house, I'm perfectly in the right to do so, providing I would otherwise still be "able" to care for my child?
  11. #11
    anjb43 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownTime View Post
    Then, anything past 3 hours that is not offered first to yourself is contemptuous behavior by the other party.

    The point being that multiple blatant disregard for that court order is a substantial and unanticipated change of circumstance for the best interest of the child(ren), which is enough for most courts to adjust custody in your favor.
    What does "unable to care for the child" mean in terms of overnights with grandparents or friends? I want our son to be able to do those sorts of things, but not at the expense of he can at my ex's house, but not at mine, you know? And I'm not trying to be petty here, I just do not want my son to have to ever feel like he has to lie to protect either parent.

    Work though, I do feel like I should be offered first option of care if my ex is unable to care for our son for more than the 3 hours.
  12. #12
    DownTime is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anjb43 View Post
    What does "unable to care for the child" mean in terms of overnights with grandparents or friends? I want our son to be able to do those sorts of things, but not at the expense of he can at my ex's house, but not at mine, you know? And I'm not trying to be petty here, I just do not want my son to have to ever feel like he has to lie to protect either parent.

    Work though, I do feel like I should be offered first option of care if my ex is unable to care for our son for more than the 3 hours.
    If your ex is using these other people as babysitters, that matters in an ROFR. If the kids are simply staying there for fun, when the other party could be caring for them, but isn't due to letting them have their fun, then you have no say.

    But if the other party is using the grandparents as whom to go to when they have to work past 3 hours, then you have a contempt case against the other parent, and a coc in your favor regarding time with the kids.
  13. #13
    CSO286 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anjb43 View Post
    20 min away

    over the 3 hours specified in our CO, and overnights.

    Our CO does not say babysitters only. Says anytime the child is away from the other parent for over 3 hours
    So, when the child is at school, you should go pick him up. When he's at a day camp. Or a field trip.


  14. #14
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anjb43 View Post
    I have been documenting the times our son tells me he spent the night here or there, when the ex worked late and didn't get home til after dark, etc.
    This tells me you are putting him in the middle.
  15. #15
    anjb43 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownTime View Post
    If your ex is using these other people as babysitters, that matters in an ROFR. If the kids are simply staying there for fun, when the other party could be caring for them, but isn't due to letting them have their fun, then you have no say.

    But if the other party is using the grandparents as whom to go to when they have to work past 3 hours, then you have a contempt case against the other parent, and a coc in your favor regarding time with the kids.
    Thank you all for clarifying that! I was so worried about our son never being able to spend time with family or friends in a "fun" capacity, and eventually feeling like he had to lie his way around these things. That helps a lot, and eases my worries quite a bit as far as when he gets older and wants to do these things. I couldn't understand how the ROFR was in any way beneficial to our child. My ex has been bringing this up as a "no one but me can spend time with our son over 3 hours if you aren't with him" and I just thought it was so unfair not to be able to spend time away from the other parent in a fun capacity. I will not worry about him spending the night with grandparents or other family or friends in the future (provided it's not because I have a work obligation, etc.) I may press the issue, again, about my ex not giving me first rights to care when working, as I would love to have him during that time.

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