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What do you think of "Right of First Refusal"? - Page 2

post #21 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by danaalex View Post
i didn't read the entire message word for word. i brought this right of first refusal thing up to my STBX on saturday. i planned a brief vacation to see a friend in june. told him about it about 1.5 -2 months before so that i could see if he wanted to watch the kids or if he wanted me to find someone to do it. he agreed he would watch them.

on sat night he basically told me that i TOLD HIM i was leaving and he was watching the kids and he had no choice. i reminded him that i gave him the choice and if he wanted me to find someone i would. i told him about the ROFR and he was like " oh i don't care about that, that is so not what this is about." he basically sent me an email that he didn't want me farming out our kids to randome people to fit " my agenda" and that he doubts i'm going to see my friend that i'm going to see.

what do you do in a situation like that? where you're trying to do the right thing and it's getting all mangled up??
It sounds like he simply resents you, or is having trouble adjusting to the divorce and will feel angry - or feel that you're taking advantage of him - no matter what you do. So follow the Golden Rule until he gets over it. It took my ex and me a year or two, to quit feeling snippy toward each other all the time, but it's been very even-keeled since then. Maybe it will be the same for you.

You did the right thing, offering to let him take care of the kids. And now, just brush aside all the crap and verify: Does he want to watch them, or not? Where you're going without the kids simply isn't his business anymore.
post #22 of 37
FWIW (jumping in from blended family) my understanding of ROFR is not that the other parent can just pick the child up from anothe caregiver whenever they want, but that the parent in custody of the child at the time they need alternate care must offer that time to the other parent. So, the CP would have to offer the NCP the time the child would otherwise be at daycare, and the NCP would either accept or decline. Once they decline, I wouldn't think they could just randomly pick up the child without the CPs consent. This would work both ways (i.e. if NCP leaves child with Grandma/stepmom etc. for a few hours, CP couldn't just show up and take the child). So, for this to work, both parents would have to be willing to offer the time and it would actually have to be enforced by a court (doesn't always happen).

I think it is really tough because I can see how it can be easily manipulated by BOTH sides. I totally agree that the NCP shouldn't always be assumed to be a bad parent who is looking to manipulate things-my dp actually WANTS that extra time with his daughter and feels that their relationship is more important than that of dsd and her grandparents/ caregivers. But I can also see how sometimes the adults aren't acting like adults and ROFR could make life tough for everyone.

Forgive my spelling errors btw, NAK
post #23 of 37
I was thinking about it, and in general XP and I pretty much do ROFR in practice. We don't actually have a set visitation schedule, mostly because his work schedule is all over the place. In general, XP can take DS whenever he wants (within reason and provided it works out for my schedule as well), which usually winds up being about once or twice per week.
If I know I have something I would need a babysitter for, I almost always call him and see if he wants to take DS, partly because I want the two of them to spend time together, partly because I would rather him be with his dad than a babysitter, and partly to save money I would have to pay to a babysitter.
ROFR works for us because we live just about 15 minutes away and we get along pretty well (at least on the big things that impact our son, even if he sometimes makes me go .
But if it was less amicable, I could see it being just disastrous.
One big problem I could see would be one partner sabotaging the other parent -- like, if they knew their ex had a date, they could say they would provide childcare and then flake out at the last second.
post #24 of 37
i dont agree wth it at all. i dont feel the courts need to get involved in this area. if the parents can agree to it, thats fine. in the fall dx will be having me watch ds2 3 days a week during his 2 weeks because he's going back to school. now while im gad to have him that just means seeing my ex more and potenially more drama. its esp annoying that hes not the least bit appreciative about the free childcare hes getting. he wanted to do some complicated custody arrangment but i told him i still wanted my 2weeks which he's very angry about because now i'll have ds2 more than him rather than being grateul he deosnt have to pay $300 a month for child care
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post #25 of 37
I am also jumping in from blended family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceinwen View Post
I don't know a single couple where (whether SAH or WOH parent) the father is an equal parent in terms of child care, booking and going to appointments, etc.
My DH is without question an equal parent, both with the children he and I have together as well as with his DD from a previous relationship. He has 50/50 custody, has done the majority of all doctor, dental, and hair appointments, he took her to her preschool screening, researched elementary schools, and enrolls her in most of her extracurricular activities. So although many women do the majority of the parenting, it is not always true. I do not believe that a man should have to "prove" that he can be a responsible father when women are just assumed to be responsible mothers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
FWIW (jumping in from blended family) my understanding of ROFR is not that the other parent can just pick the child up from anothe caregiver whenever they want, but that the parent in custody of the child at the time they need alternate care must offer that time to the other parent. So, the CP would have to offer the NCP the time the child would otherwise be at daycare, and the NCP would either accept or decline. Once they decline, I wouldn't think they could just randomly pick up the child without the CPs consent.
This was my understanding, too. When DH was drafting his parenting agreement with DSD's mom, his lawyer advised leaving the ROFR out even though he was annoyed that DSD's mom often left DSD with her man du jour. The lawyer told him that it would make it a PITA for me (stepmom of quite a few years now) to pick DSD up at school if DH was getting off work an hour later than school ended, or for me to stay with her while he ran to the store, etc. She said that in her experience, ROFR caused more problems than it solved.
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceinwen View Post
To address this point - I realize that there are some different scenarios - but women generally expect to be the CP - because the majority of the time (even in a married couple - they are the primary caregiver.

I don't know a single couple where (whether SAH or WOH parent) the father is an equal parent in terms of child care, booking and going to appointments, etc.

I work in an emergency dept. and can count on one hand the number of times a father has brought in an ill child - it's always the mother.
In our case it would be because my dh is with the children at home. I can think of several times that my dh took a child to ER. Doesn't fit my friend's family usually it is grandma because she is the one that doesn't work.

I wouldn't include trips to ER as proof of fatherly involvement to many variables.
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
My DH is without question an equal parent, both with the children he and I have together as well as with his DD from a previous relationship. He has 50/50 custody, has done the majority of all doctor, dental, and hair appointments, he took her to her preschool screening, researched elementary schools, and enrolls her in most of her extracurricular activities. So although many women do the majority of the parenting, it is not always true. I do not believe that a man should have to "prove" that he can be a responsible father when women are just assumed to be responsible mothers.
IME this is rare. I'm sorry, but it really just is. I don't see anyone other than mothers at doctor's appts, dentists, dance and soccer classes, etc. I live in a large urban centre and if there is a handful of fathers occasionally - that's a rarity.

I do think that the parent who spends less time with the children overall, be required to prove they are responsible and able to provide proper care.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
In our case it would be because my dh is with the children at home. I can think of several times that my dh took a child to ER. Doesn't fit my friend's family usually it is grandma because she is the one that doesn't work.

I wouldn't include trips to ER as proof of fatherly involvement to many variables.
Well, being the one that sees hundreds of children - all hours of the day and night, from school and home, daycare, etc. - I have yet to see anything other than 95% mom. Period.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
FWIW (jumping in from blended family) my understanding of ROFR is not that the other parent can just pick the child up from anothe caregiver whenever they want, but that the parent in custody of the child at the time they need alternate care must offer that time to the other parent. So, the CP would have to offer the NCP the time the child would otherwise be at daycare, and the NCP would either accept or decline. Once they decline, I wouldn't think they could just randomly pick up the child without the CPs consent. This would work both ways (i.e. if NCP leaves child with Grandma/stepmom etc. for a few hours, CP couldn't just show up and take the child). So, for this to work, both parents would have to be willing to offer the time and it would actually have to be enforced by a court (doesn't always happen).
This was my understanding as well.

I think ROFR is great, and I'm going to be asking for it in my situation very soon (next week). I'm even going to be asking for it to be mutual so that I have to offer it to my ex as well as him offering it to me. This is b/c during his visitation he is basically having his mom care for our son so that I can't (he's currently studying for the bar exam). I don't trust his mother to do a good job with our son (LONG story, I won't tell it here but basically she doesn't believe in car seats for babies, never fed ds enough, and she's in her 60's and ds is FAST and furious and I can hardly keep up with him). Anyway, so I'll be asking for it since its completely reasonable for me to do that.
post #29 of 37
Jumping in from a blended situation (where we do not have a ROFR clause because of physical distance) I am a fan of *reasonable* ROFR clauses.

(Note: This is not legal advice.)

What do I mean by "reasonable?" Reasonable in terms of time and what constitutes "child care."

"Time" = I don't think the other parent should need to be notified and asked if they want parenting time in a situation where, for instance, the CP needs to run to the drugstore or the emergency vet or wherever at 3 a.m. and the child is left with the stepparent, grandparent, or other responsible adult already in the house. (No, most people don't want a phone call at 3 a.m., but nobody should be able to use this as ammo, either.)

Some ROFR clauses I've seen have an hour or two-hour minimum--if the parent will need alternate care for more than an hour, then ROFR kicks in. I like those because that avoids fights over scenarios like car breakdowns or quick errands.

"What constitutes child care" = I have seen parents fight each other in mediation over a sleepover party. Not because either parent objects to their kids attending sleepovers, but because Dad wanted to claim that a sleepover party constituted "child care" (because, he'd heard, Mom had social plans during the party) and he should have been given the right to take the child instead (even though the sleepover party was entirely during Mom's time). If I was getting an ROFR clause, I would clarify that playing with friends, outings with family, parties, soccer games, and other social-life things do not qualify as "child care." Even if your family does not do sleepover parties or drop-off playdates, I think we can all agree that a ROFR clause should not interfere with a child's social life.
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
Jumping in from a blended situation (where we do not have a ROFR clause because of physical distance) I am a fan of *reasonable* ROFR clauses.

(Note: This is not legal advice.)

What do I mean by "reasonable?" Reasonable in terms of time and what constitutes "child care."

"Time" = I don't think the other parent should need to be notified and asked if they want parenting time in a situation where, for instance, the CP needs to run to the drugstore or the emergency vet or wherever at 3 a.m. and the child is left with the stepparent, grandparent, or other responsible adult already in the house. (No, most people don't want a phone call at 3 a.m., but nobody should be able to use this as ammo, either.)

Some ROFR clauses I've seen have an hour or two-hour minimum--if the parent will need alternate care for more than an hour, then ROFR kicks in. I like those because that avoids fights over scenarios like car breakdowns or quick errands.

"What constitutes child care" = I have seen parents fight each other in mediation over a sleepover party. Not because either parent objects to their kids attending sleepovers, but because Dad wanted to claim that a sleepover party constituted "child care" (because, he'd heard, Mom had social plans during the party) and he should have been given the right to take the child instead (even though the sleepover party was entirely during Mom's time). If I was getting an ROFR clause, I would clarify that playing with friends, outings with family, parties, soccer games, and other social-life things do not qualify as "child care." Even if your family does not do sleepover parties or drop-off playdates, I think we can all agree that a ROFR clause should not interfere with a child's social life.
Absolutely it should be reasonable!! And, no, it shouldn't interfere with a child's social life - but right now my son is 16months and doesn't have a social life!! Just daycare....
post #31 of 37
Thread Starter 

To clarify...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
...The child's chance to be parented - by either one of his parents - always takes priority over other forms of childcare? (In which case, the NCP can walk into daycare and pick up the child even if the CP is hostile toward this...
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
...my understanding of ROFR is not that the other parent can just pick the child up from anothe caregiver whenever they want, but that the parent in custody of the child at the time they need alternate care must offer that time to the other parent. So, the CP would have to offer the NCP the time the child would otherwise be at daycare, and the NCP would either accept or decline. Once they decline, I wouldn't think they could just randomly pick up the child without the CPs consent...
You're right, the way ROFR is usually written puts the impetus on the parent the child is with, to offer extra time to the other parent before making other childcare arrangements.

The clear spirit of the rule is that both parents must make the effort to communicate. Parent A should not hire a sitter without 1st seeing if Parent B would like that extra time with their child. But of course if Parent B takes Wed. off and wants to pick up their child from daycare and take her out to lunch and to the Zoo, Parent B must tell Parent A and arrange to get the child to Parent A at the time Parent A would otherwise pick up the child from daycare.

A parent who ignores the rule by hiring sitters without ever offering the time to the other parent would theoretically face some sanction from the court. But a parent who abuses the rule by saying, "No, I can't watch Johnny Sat. night," and then showing up while the other parent's on a date and taking Johnny from the sitter anyway could lose the ROFR. So - ideally - there are checks and balances.

What I was explaining is that my husband's ex seemed to test every potential loophole in our state's custodial law and this issue was an interesting one:

When Parent A willfully refuses to comply with a court order for ROFR, is she permitted to get away with it, because Parent B can't pick up the child from Parent A's childcare arrangements without Parent A's permission? Or does the rule take priority? In other words, should Parent B be permitted to pick up the child from daycare even if Parent A said he can't, because Parent A isn't legally allowed to demand the child stay in daycare, if the other parent wants to care for the child? (Parent B would still be obligated to tell Parent A: "I WILL pick up Johnny at 4. Since you usually pick him up from daycare at 6, I will be home by 6 and you may pick him up there.")

In my husband's case, the court decided the rule does take priority. That makes the most sense to me. But certainly, another court might rule otherwise. I think it's interesting how varied all of your opinions are, on the subject - and it seems like everyone has a solid reason for their position. This is but one of the fascinating things I've noticed about family law, since stumbling into my husband and his Hydra-like divorce!
post #32 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
...I am a fan of *reasonable* ROFR clauses.

(Note: This is not legal advice.)

"Time" = I don't think the other parent should need to be notified and asked if they want parenting time in a situation where, for instance, the CP needs to run to the drugstore or the emergency vet or wherever at 3 a.m. and the child is left with the stepparent, grandparent, or other responsible adult already in the house...

"What constitutes child care" = I have seen parents fight each other in mediation over a sleepover party...because Dad wanted to claim that a sleepover party constituted "child care"...I think we can all agree that a ROFR clause should not interfere with a child's social life.
I totally agree.

Although it's not in writing, the standard of practice here is:

* A one-time childcare arrangement of less than 2 hours doesn't apply.
* Any family member who lives in the house with the child is not considered a childcare provider.

These things are meant to prevent the kinds of abuses ProtoLawyer referred to in her post. But of course they open up other cans of worms, for anyone eager to test the limits:
* Technically, if my husband were an ass, his ex-wife could fly here from California to visit their son (who lives with us) and my husband could go out of town all week and leave my step-son with me, as long as I gave his ex an amount of parenting time that we could convince a judge was "liberal".
* If the CP lives with her BF - or a lesbian partner - for 5 years, the NCP could still argue that person's not a "family member". Whereas, if the CP marries some guy she met last weekend in Vegas, he would be.
* The CP could let her Mom care for her child 60 hours/week while she works - without offering any of that time to her ex-husband - as long as Mom lives with her.
* This still doesn't help, with playdates or visits to Grandma's or errand-running that lasts longer than 2 hours, as such things often do.

Even the most carefully-worded laws can't save us from completely unreasonable people.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
Jumping in from a blended situation (where we do not have a ROFR clause because of physical distance) I am a fan of *reasonable* ROFR clauses.

(Note: This is not legal advice.)

What do I mean by "reasonable?" Reasonable in terms of time and what constitutes "child care."

"Time" = I don't think the other parent should need to be notified and asked if they want parenting time in a situation where, for instance, the CP needs to run to the drugstore or the emergency vet or wherever at 3 a.m. and the child is left with the stepparent, grandparent, or other responsible adult already in the house. (No, most people don't want a phone call at 3 a.m., but nobody should be able to use this as ammo, either.)

Some ROFR clauses I've seen have an hour or two-hour minimum--if the parent will need alternate care for more than an hour, then ROFR kicks in. I like those because that avoids fights over scenarios like car breakdowns or quick errands.

"What constitutes child care" = I have seen parents fight each other in mediation over a sleepover party. Not because either parent objects to their kids attending sleepovers, but because Dad wanted to claim that a sleepover party constituted "child care" (because, he'd heard, Mom had social plans during the party) and he should have been given the right to take the child instead (even though the sleepover party was entirely during Mom's time). If I was getting an ROFR clause, I would clarify that playing with friends, outings with family, parties, soccer games, and other social-life things do not qualify as "child care." Even if your family does not do sleepover parties or drop-off playdates, I think we can all agree that a ROFR clause should not interfere with a child's social life.
Yup. I'll just say I agree with all of this. And it's pretty much word for word what our ROFR states.
post #34 of 37
I think ROFR is reasonable, but also needs to be applied reasonably to each individual situation. We don't have it because of the distance involved. BUT... I do think it could be worked into our situation quite easily.

If I were to want to go away for a weekend without the kids (when they were younger - at 16 & 18, I would actually leave them on their own), it would make sense to me to offer Dad that time. Either as an extra weekend or to switch existing weekends. And that's something I've done.

Conversely, if he couldn't spend his time with the kids, it would make sense to me for him to offer/request a switch. (I wouldn't expect him to simply give up a weekend.) It certainly doesn't make sense to me for our kids to spend a weekend with their stepsib's Dad while their Dad and stepmom went away.

At the end of the day, it requires reasonable adults.
post #35 of 37
The details of each situation definitely get complicated, but overall the concept that a child is better off with one parent or another (as long as there is no abuse involved) over a 3rd party, when possible, is one I agree with.
post #36 of 37
Yes, I agree, at the end of the day it requires reasonable parents. That one factor would not allow this situation to work with my ex. However, I think about the benefits. For example, my dd is often left at her friends house after he goes to church with her, while he goes home to spend the afternoon alone or whatever, and meanwhile she could have been with me. I'm not saying she shouldn't have time with her friend, but a hour or two would be fine..if he needs extended childcare, he should offer them to me first...but he never does. He refuses to camp with my son because my dd would have to come to my house (with Scouts they do primitive camping) and he doesn't want her to have any time with me at all, than I already have with her normally.

He has no family in the area, but I do...my entire family. My kids miss many family functions, graduations, birthdays, funerals ect because his dad doesn't want to give up any time. It feels like he is trying to cut my children off from me and my family so that they have no memory or experience with us, and will bond more to him.
post #37 of 37
I thought it was great. I makes since for my ex to have to contact me. he only has them a few days a week but was inclined to drop them off with his mom. a lot. why should she have them when I want them? however he uses it as a way to get my work schedule, keep up with my social calader etc. (he has control issues) So I literally stopped leaving my house socially, dropped hours at work (because it just wasn't worth $50 a week to have to arrange daycare through that many people for a few extra minutes each day but if I didn't contact him about picking them up after school he got all pissy. his mom lived a few blocks from school. he barely had enough time to pick them up and get them back to his house so I could pick them up after work which prolonged an already long day) Anyway, praise God, I have a job with a regular schedule that does not require much child care. but really, there came a point where even working was so complicated by this that i just didn't care much if they hung out with his mom or his (former) mistress. Its not like i can save the kids from any of them.

and when it comes right down to it I know if he needs a sitter he schedules that for a time he knows I cannot take them. And I am more likely to get a sitter and go out when I know he cannot take them and I can get them care that is easy and private.
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