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Did I handle this right?

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badkittyfurball

Junior Member
What is the name of your state?Arizona
Today was the ex's weekend to pick up our 10 year old for his parenting weekend. Our custody agreement states very specifically "the parties shall exchange the child at ....location." Nowhere does it state that anyone else or a third party may pick up the child. My ex sent a woman I don't know who he states is his girlfriend's mother to pick up the 10 year old instead of him. I refused to allow her to go, and called the police after she became hostile and verbally assaultive to me. Eventally, the ex did come and pick up the 10 year old for his parenting time, and was verbally assaultive to me as well, telling me "your such a bitch all the time. I had to work and you are making things hard for me."

Did I handle this correctly by insisting that I not allow someone else, especially some one I don't even know, to pick up my child for his parenting time? My feeling on it is, it is his parenting time and he should pick her up. He knows this too. This is the 3rd time he has attempted this and all 3 times I have insisted he pick her up, not a 3rd party. Could he have me held in contempt of court?
 


badkittyfurball

Junior Member
My ex is threatening to file a contempt charge against me because further in our custody agreement it states "the custodial parent may choose who may care for the child when he/she cannot be present." During the court hearing, the judge was discussing specifically about child care and things like that. My ex took it in the context that this portion of the custody order supercedes the portion that states specifically "the parties shall exchange the child at ...location." He is stating that I, not he, violated the custody agreement by my refusal to allow someone he designated to pick up the child since he supposedly couldn't. Is this true? I didn't believe it to be, and neither did the police. All he had to do was pick her up, then if he wanted to take her to someone else while he was supposedly working, then that was his choice. The way I read the custody order, we are to transfer the child directly between us, then if we have someone else watch the child, that is up to the parent who has the child at the time and the other parent has no say about who watches the child during the other parent's time. Help me out here, because I am concerned he will take my daughter away. He has threatened me for years that he would take my child away.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
badkittyfurball said:
My ex is threatening to file a contempt charge against me because further in our custody agreement it states "the custodial parent may choose who may care for the child when he/she cannot be present." During the court hearing, the judge was discussing specifically about child care and things like that. My ex took it in the context that this portion of the custody order supercedes the portion that states specifically "the parties shall exchange the child at ...location." He is stating that I, not he, violated the custody agreement by my refusal to allow someone he designated to pick up the child since he supposedly couldn't. Is this true? I didn't believe it to be, and neither did the police. All he had to do was pick her up, then if he wanted to take her to someone else while he was supposedly working, then that was his choice. The way I read the custody order, we are to transfer the child directly between us, then if we have someone else watch the child, that is up to the parent who has the child at the time and the other parent has no say about who watches the child during the other parent's time. Help me out here, because I am concerned he will take my daughter away. He has threatened me for years that he would take my child away.
It was not unreasonable for you to refuse to turn your child over to a total stranger. However its also not unreasonable for dad to wish to be able to delegate someone else to be able to pick up the child on his behalf if he isn't able to do so.

If he were to take you to court for contempt, its quite unlikely that you would be found in contempt by the judge. (particularly if this would be a first time contempt). If you were, a judge certainly wouldn't take your child away from you over it. Its also possible that the judge would be irritated for dad even bringing it to court, since dad did send a stranger and since dad did end up getting his visitation anyway.

However, its also possible that the judge would add orders stating that other responsible adults could pick up the child on behalf of the father....but you also could ask the judge to include wording stating that those people must be responsible adults who are KNOWN to you.

You do need to stop listening to dad's threats to "take the child away from you". Its generally not wise to take an ex's word regarding legal matters. A single event doesn't cause a person to lose custody (unless its something dramatic like you getting arrested for dealing drugs)....what causes a person to lose custody is a chronic and consistant failure to abide by the court orders...or proof that a parent is legally unfit.
 

badkittyfurball

Junior Member
I actually have one current contempt charge against HIM going to court at the end of the month, and am looking to file several others. Since January when we went back to court, he has violated our custody agreement at least 18 times including this incident.

To me, sending someone else to pick up the child shows the child that they are unimportant to the parent, and also puts me in a precarious situation. If I release the child to someone else and something were to happen, am I not technically responsible, since he didn't actually "receive" the child for parenting time. Then it also makes me appear to be an irresponsible parent as well, regardless if I know the person or not. This man has no reason to send someone else to pick up the child. We set it so that he could pick her up at 1730 in the afternoon for his time, and he gets off work at 1700.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
badkittyfurball said:
I actually have one current contempt charge against HIM going to court at the end of the month, and am looking to file several others. Since January when we went back to court, he has violated our custody agreement at least 18 times including this incident.

To me, sending someone else to pick up the child shows the child that they are unimportant to the parent, and also puts me in a precarious situation. If I release the child to someone else and something were to happen, am I not technically responsible, since he didn't actually "receive" the child for parenting time. Then it also makes me appear to be an irresponsible parent as well, regardless if I know the person or not. This man has no reason to send someone else to pick up the child. We set it so that he could pick her up at 1730 in the afternoon for his time, and he gets off work at 1700.
While I understand the point you are making...judges do recognize that there are times when for one reason or another, the parent can't make the pickup. Therefore, if requested a judge WILL modify orders to allow parents to delegate a responsible adult to do the pickup for them. However, the judge will also require the parent to give notice of this to the other party, and will require that the person be known to the other parent...again, if requested.
 

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