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Author Topic: I am afraid my Ex Wife will try and use... Right of First Refusal!  (Read 6887 times)

Fatherforever

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To give a little introduction, I am a single father with primary custody of my two boys (ages 3 and 5). My Ex Wife is unemployed and currently on disability after being treated for cancer up through September of this year. My Ex does not provide any financial support to the children. Our parenting time is split 75% to 25% throughout the year, she sees them about 15% in actuality.

My girlfriend was doing some internet researching and came across the "Right of First Refusal" and it has me a little worried that my Ex wife may try and modify our parenting plan to include that; more so as a smack in the face to me, not because she actually would want more time with them.

She is unemployed, like I said... spends most of her time partying with friends and hanging out on myspace for most of her day (she is 27 years old). I work 40 hours a week in construction and I take the boys to daycare every morning with my sister in law and my 5 year old catches his bus to kindergarten from her house.

I have heard that many unemployed women get ROFR in their plan and are able to have their children while the primary parent is working, but if that was the case then with the time me Ex would spend with them at work, wouldn't that make her primary?

I am scared to think what would happen if my Ex files for the "Right of First Refusal".

She refuses them about 10% of her visitation time, she doesn't feed them adequately, lets them stay up till they pass out from exhaustion, does not keep up with basic cleanliness nor does she often change them out of yesterdays clothes when she has them for her overnights. She talks poorly of me around them (have had several documented incidences of Parental alienation), exposes them to some pretty dodgy people, drops them off at her mother's some of the time, and yet still complains that she should be able to see the children when SHE wants to. The children, themselves, have no respect for her as an authority figure, never listen to her and always come back to me wound up and unmanageable to the point that it makes me hurt inside when I have to discipline them after being with her lack of discipline for a while. I am afraid for my children if she decides to file for ROFR.

My girlfriend and I have been documenting everything when it comes to her and her time with the children. Would a good record of bad behavior be enough to quell any chances on getting ROFR modified into our parenting plan?

~Worried... Fatherforever


srh

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Re: I am afraid my Ex Wife will try and use... Right of First Refusal!
« Reply #1 on: Dec 21, 2009, 01:51:34 PM »
Right of First Refusal is for when you are going to be absent for a period of two weeks or more (at least in Texas). The day to day thing of taking them to day care so you can work shouldn't have any bearing on this, and if it isn't in your custody papers right now, she would have to go to court and get it modified to include this, if she even knew anything about it. Most people really don't though, at least from what I can tell when talking to others.

ocean

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Re: I am afraid my Ex Wife will try and use... Right of First Refusal!
« Reply #2 on: Dec 21, 2009, 02:21:08 PM »
Not totally true...doesnt have to be 2 weeks....some orders give a time..."over 3 hours". This way you can run to the store without having to deal with ex taking kids....

Dont worry too much. If ex has not brought it up, dont give her info :)
If she does bring it up in future, you can cater it to your needs...You can put it for an overnight BUT always put in there they are able to go to grandparents or cousins for the night to enjoy spending time with them.

If your orders dont have it now...then your ex does not have that. She would have to make a case for why it should be in there and you will have your documentation that she does not take her scheduled time, how can she be relied on. She would have to prove that you are sending them somewhere else instead of her having them. School and pre-school dont count...

tigger

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Re: I am afraid my Ex Wife will try and use... Right of First Refusal!
« Reply #3 on: Dec 21, 2009, 02:32:31 PM »
Ocean's right.  Mine states over 4 hours.  Also, if the child is being left with a grandparent, aunt or uncle the Right of First Refusal doesn't apply.
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superdad01

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Re: I am afraid my Ex Wife will try and use... Right of First Refusal!
« Reply #4 on: Dec 21, 2009, 08:37:35 PM »
Overnights are the only thing that matters when it comes to custody labels.

Kids spending time with mom should be cheaper then daycare.

Give her a chance... She is a parent too regardless of the situation.

You got custody for a reason... That should be your reason for keeping it.


MixedBag

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Re: I am afraid my Ex Wife will try and use... Right of First Refusal!
« Reply #5 on: Dec 22, 2009, 07:20:09 AM »
IMHO -- Right of First Refusal is what MOM and DAD define it to be.
 
Then use the fact that she already declines other opportunities to be with the children as justification to NOT have it included....
 
AND that the children's patterns of expecatations should not be disrupted.
 
You know, if Mom was a "good mom" -- or dad was a good dad -- I wouldn't be saying this.
 
 

CuriousMom

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Re: I am afraid my Ex Wife will try and use... Right of First Refusal!
« Reply #6 on: Dec 22, 2009, 09:35:42 AM »
Our CO has 72 hours but each parent is ordered to provide the information/phone numbers of anyone other than the parent watching the child during their parenting time.

Fatherforever

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Re: I am afraid my Ex Wife will try and use... Right of First Refusal!
« Reply #7 on: Dec 22, 2009, 03:09:19 PM »
Thank you all for the help.

Overnights are the only thing that matters when it comes to custody labels.

Kids spending time with mom should be cheaper then daycare.

Give her a chance... She is a parent too regardless of the situation.

You got custody for a reason... That should be your reason for keeping it.

Unfortunately, she is not a good mother and having them be with her during the day and after school, more than she already is, would make everything worse with the children. They have  been doing so much better since she doesn't pick them up very often. And yes, I have documented these changes in the children's behavior.

I won't bring it up to her, and I doubt she has looked into it much. She doesn't care that much for the children's sake, more so to upset me.

redbabyblue70

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Re: I am afraid my Ex Wife will try and use... Right of First Refusal!
« Reply #8 on: Jan 04, 2010, 11:34:05 AM »
It seems like ROFR is applied differently depending on each independent CO.  In our case, when BM and BF were still husband and wife, they worked opposite schedules so they did not have to pay for daycare.  Their work schedules were the same once they separated.  ROFR was added because BM was going to other people FIRST before going to BF to take care of his own children.  He always made her aware of his work schedule and would offer the children to her FIRST before the children remained with me (then g/f, now stepmother).  She NEVER took the children when they were offered to her.  Also, it became a regular scenerio for the children to be with me more often then they were with their mother.  She never attempted to modify her work schedule to be off the weekends when the children are with her. 

ROFR can be a good thing.  In our case, it allowed my husband additional time with his children.  The children learned that work was NOT the most important thing to their father, spending quality time with THEM was the most important thing to him.  He works so he is able to provide their basic needs. 

I agree, if she is not aware of ROFR by now, she won't try to have it added to your current CO. 

I know things are rough right now, but try to stay positive and keep doing what is in the best interest of your children.  That is what your children will remember in the end.

jgaff78

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Re: I am afraid my Ex Wife will try and use... Right of First Refusal!
« Reply #9 on: Jan 05, 2010, 09:33:10 AM »
I just wanted to point out that it is very common for children to have behavioral issues following a visitation period. In our case BM complained every time we returned SD that she was "out of control" and assumed we were not enforcing discipline in our home. She believed we simply let SD run wild here and that is why she acted up when she went home again. That was certainly not the truth. SD was acting up to see if BM would still enforce the same rules, just as she would act up for the first day or two when she came to us to see if we would make her behave. She was simply testing boundaries. Your children may be doing the same thing. I am sure that the BM in your case may not have the same rules and may not behave the way you would expect a mother to behave, but be careful about jumping to conclusions about what happens when you are not there to see it. You may be right about the situation, but be certain of that before you head to court with any allegations.

Also, regardless of how much she lets the children get away with, it is still in their best interests to know their mother and spend time with her. Your children will adjust and know that there are rules in your home they must follow and that the rules will be different when they are with their mother. It is difficult to see since they are so young right now, but they will begin to understand in time.  I know you have concerns and it is ok to worry, but keep in mind that your children will be happier and be grateful to you if you are the one who encourages them to have a relationship with their mother. Children are smart. They will learn who is the "better" parent and who takes care of them the way they should. They will form their own impression of their mother as they get older, but she is still their mother. Kids have a right to equal relationships and involvement with both parents, barring any acts that truly endanger their well-being.

I know it's hard to see your children go to their mother and know they are not getting the same quality of care that you would provide. But just remember that it is only for a short period of time. You can bathe them and change their clothes when they get home. Continue to enforce your rules and don't feel guilty about punishing them, they need to learn the rules stay the same at home no matter what. And always remember that their mother is a part of who they are and, good or bad, it is important to their well-being to know her.

 

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