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Child Visitation - Parent to Give Each Other First Refusal

  • Thread starter Veronica Cartagena
  • Start date

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Veronica Cartagena

I'm not sure if this went throught the last time. We live in Florida (Dade County Case). My husband has a court ordered visitation schedule with his son. During the summer he was given 6 consecutive weeks with the Mother having the same visitation schedule he is entitled to. We have enrolled the child in summer camp for 3 weeks to better him in swimming, sports and to socialize with other kids his age. I work out of my home and 1 week we will have the child's cousins come and stay with us and 2 weeks the father is taking off. The child's mother has decided not to work during the summer and is fighting with us telling us that because she is not working and the father is not taking the full 6 weeks off that the child should stay with her due to the Parental Righ to Refusal. It is my understanding that we are to offer this right to refusal before making any child care arrangements. Summer Camp is an extra curricular activity (which they are both required to cooperate with according to the visitation schedule) but it seems this is only when the roles are reversed. We never get this right when the child stays over night at his cousins on her side of the family or is taken care of by his grandmother or the grandmother's boyfriend. What is the exact legal definition to this Parent to Give Each Other First Refusal? Please help. Thanks.....Veronica



Veronica, I'm taking a shot at this because since you posted before and no one answered, it seems as though no one else wants to, which happens on here, I've noticed, when the question you have falls into one of those "grey" areas that people aren't sure about. (no one wants to give blatantly wrong information, of course!) I could be totally wrong here, and you probably need to contact an attorney, or the court at the very least. That being said, it would seem on surface from what you've said, that the summer camp is an activity that you have planned for the children during their visit with you. I don't think it can be construed as child care, since you are not placing them at camp for the duration of their visit. It sounds to me like the mother has the summer off and is possibly looking for an excuse to swipe your visitation to satisfy her wishes. Here is the question, if you were to tell her that the kids were NOT going to camp after all, that they would be sitting on the sofa in the family room staring at the TV for the entire visit instead, would that change her attitude about the "first refusal"? Bottom line, is, if the kids are supposed to be with you for 6 weeks, and during that 6 weeks you and your husband had to work, causing the kids to be placed in child care during the day, EVEN IF you were to give her "first refusal" (let her watch them instead of putting them in day care) that 6 week period is your HUSBAND'S visitation, and she can't take that away from him, so she would only be keeping them during the day, while you would be at work and returning them to you at night (or some similar arrangement), NOT through the whole 6 week period.
First refusal deals with the assumption that a parent can provide "better" care for the child than a day care provider, and should have the opportunity to do so, if the other parent can't be with the child. It is not set up so that if one parent wants more time with the child, and doesn't care for the activities the other parent plans for the child, they can just say, "I'll keep the child." I hope that was helpful and that I wasn't too far off on it.
Good Luck!


I live in FLorida however I am not aware of the Florida laws because all of my cases are in the state of Texas. I do feel that morning_angel might be correct in her interpitation. However she is also right about contacting an attorney. There are several in Dade County so just call one and they will give you a free consultation or most do, so find one that does and ask that attorney that statement directly so that you get that answer and not others that you have no real big concern with at the moment.

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