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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 100033
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hello, two post divorce questions concerning overnights. My

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Hello, two post divorce questions concerning overnights. My ex has moved permanently out of state about two weeks ago (from Colorado to Maine.) We split parenting time 50/50. When she left,it was her parenting week, and she left out two children with "friends." First, can she leave the children with friends once she has permanently relocated, essentially "giving" her parenting time to others (non parents?) Can she claim those overnights as hers, even though she was thousands of miles away, and in no way spent any overnights with the children during that week? Who does get credit for those overnights? This is important because I am filling out college financial aid forms. Instructions say if parents divorced, use data from parent child spent the most overnights with. My data is far more advantageous for my son, so establishing that I had more overnights in 2013 is critical for him to afford college.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

Can you please tell me if the parent intends to have this parenting time "permanently assigned" to their friends, or is this only temporary?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No indication about that, most likely temporary. I did not know permenant is even an option.

Thank you, A.

On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times.

First, can she leave the children with friends once she has permanently relocated, essentially "giving" her parenting time to others (non parents?)

Yes.

Each parent can have their children visit with anyone else while it is their time. So as much as one parent (custodian or non-custodian) can have the children spend a few days with grandparents, so can the other. It still counts towards their custody time if within their court-ordered custody time. So for that time, she gets credit.

Who does get credit for those overnights?

She does.

In other words, a parent may have the children visit with grandparents/friends, etc - this is not unusual. The time still counts against that parent's custody time.

Now if she was simply dropping them off at grandparents'/friends' home all the time, permanetly, this would be different. But if this is temporary, then it is not an issue that the Court may object over.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You wrote: "Now if she was simply dropping them off at grandparents'/friends' home all the time, permanetly, this would be different. But if this is temporary, then it is not an issue that the Court may object over."


 


I have no reason to believe this dropping off at neighbors will end anytime soon. We do have mediation scheduled to finalize a new parenting plan, where she the children reside with me for the school year, and she gets disproportionate amount of vacations. Mediation will not work (never has) , which means a court date sometime early 2014. That's not permanent, but it is a long time for friends to care for the kids, when I am just a few miles away. If my suspicion is correct (6-7 months) of this behavior, can I file something with the court to have the children live in their own, permanent home with me if my ex chooses not to do so and have them live with friends?

Andrew,

Thank you for your follow up. Let us target the issue. What exactly is your primary stance here?

1) She seems to be using her custody time to leave the kids with friends and this is not good for the kids? If so, how? Are the friends a bad influence? How?

2) She seems to be using her custody time to leave the kids with friends and this is unfair to you? If so - how?

3) She gets disproportionate amount of vacations. This is your primary concern.

4) Something else?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1) Yes, this is primary. Their home is my home, their beds, clothes, general stuff resides here. They do not have anything with them at the friends except a small suitcase each. Both are in need of consistency and routine. They are lacking emotional parental support for all that time. I don't even know the friends, so have no reason to have concerns about them. A few weeks? Sure.XXXXXtoo long.


 


2) It's not that it is unfair, it's that I am the custodial parent(I receive the child support) and father. Seems to me that past the few weeks time I mention above, a parent should do the parenting.


 


3) No, no issue with the parenting plan in progress.

Thank you, A.

Well we know that the parent can elect to have the child visit sometimes. There is no specific line in the sand where it goes from a casual visit to "living there." What someone in your situation may wish to do is to file a Motion for Clarification. Such a motion asks the Court to clarify a matter which is too nuanced and not specifically explained in the custody order. The Judge may then set a "limit" to how much the parent may have the children but not actually have them children with her.

If she violates that limit, then one can hold her in contempt and/or file to modify to limit visitation based on "best interest of the children."

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