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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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Hi, So I live in Miami Florida. This weekend is my weekend

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So I live in Miami Florida. This weekend is my weekend with the kids per the MSA. We have dual custody of two kids 4 and 7. I normally drop off the kids at their mom's on Monday at 6pm during a holiday or vacation.

Normally, I pick them up Thursday and drop the off Monday.

However this has happened recently:
July 14th I get an email asking me if I can take care of the kids until July 24th (Wednesday). I Reply back to her that I cannot on July 15th.

July 20th Saturday, I get an email saying she is overseas and wants me to take care of them again. I reply that I have a business trip and cannot do it. But that if she agrees to having 3 weeks with the kids after she comes back (and then give me the kids for 3 weeks when she needs it), that I would break my business trip and eat the costs. But that I didn't owe her anything at this point to simply do it because she wants me to.

July 21, she replies that I am blackmailing her. And to have my Fiance take care of the kids while I am away from town. I reply, no as my Fiance is out of the country with her kids. If she doesn't want to agree to anything, then I will go bak to the MSA and go on my business trip. So I need for her to tell me who will take care of the kids.

Last email from her today reads: "There is no one else but you their father. I am sorry but you need to cancel your business trip this time. Tony, Think about your children first."

So here I am asking for advice, since I am not sure what to do. I gave her enough time previously when I said no, and she still forces me to miss work.

What can I do, that won't simply waste my time or money in court? If it all is a simple waste of time, because she comes back 2 days after I am supposed to give the kids to her, let me know and I will suck it up. But I am not happy.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

This is most definitely a thorny situation. Based on your language I do not see your claims to her as 'blackmail', merely an explanation of rights and obligations. However I will partially disagree with your assessment about rights and obligations.

While children are with you, you have a legal duty or obligation to care for this. This duty extends beyond your allotted time or may include it. In essence, if your ex does not return and cannot care for the children, you are required to do so. Giving them to a third party, such as her mother or a babysitter, would be potentially considered neglect and a violation of your obligations (since you are currently caring for the children). She has put you in a position where if you wish to maintain status as a 'fit' and proper parent, you have to continue caring for them, which may mean a cancellation of your trip. When she does return, you will need to return the kids to her.


Since she , without notice, compelled you to change plans and cost you money, you CAN sue her for the value and costs of the plane tickets and the direct expenses incurred based on her behavior. You likewise can file a 'motion to compel' and request that the courts order her to respectfully XXXXX XXXXX time and not bully you into having the children when you might not be able to do so. You could also in theory demand attorney fees if you file in court since going there was purely due to her behavior.

I can understand why you are not happy, and I do not blame you. This is a situation that until and unless you are able to return the children, you retain responsibility in caring for them.

Good luck.

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