It can be extremely frustrating to share child custody and parenting time with your ex, and to learn that your ex has been routinely hiring babysitters during his parenting time. You might be wondering if you can fight for his parenting time to be reduced, and if you have any options for spending that time with your children. In general, it will likely be difficult to modify any existing parenting time arrangement unless your spouse agrees, but you may be able to do so if you can show that there is good cause for doing so. Our child custody lawyers in Michigan can provide you with more information.
Parenting Plans and the Right of First Refusal
Does your parenting plan have a right of first refusal? While you will not be able to use the existence of a parenting plan with a right of first refusal to restrict your ex’s parenting time or to have the court modify your existing child custody order, you may be able to spend time with your children instead of having them stay with a sitter. A right of first refusal in a parenting plan is a clause that allows the other parent (who is not exercising parenting time at that point in time) to have the first chance to provide care for the child when the other spouse would otherwise hire a babysitter.
In many cases, a right of first refusal will clarify that the parent with parenting time will only be required to give the other parent the right of first refusal when she or he plans to hire a sitter or to leave the child with another adult for a particular length of time (such as two hours or more, or 24 hours or more).
Reasons for Modifying Parenting Plans and Custody Arrangements in Michigan
In order to modify child custody in Michigan, both parents must agree to the modification, or the parent seeking the modification must be able to show proper cause or a change in circumstances under Michigan law. What does this mean for circumstances in which your ex routinely leaves your kids at home with a sitter when you would rather spend this time with your child?
Generally speaking, unless you can show that the current arrangement is not in your child’s best interests based on the statutory factors outlined under the Michigan Child Custody Act of 1970, or you can show that a change in circumstances has occurred, it is unlikely that you will be able to modify child custody unless your ex agrees. If you can show that spending an excessive amount of time with a sitter is harmful to your children, or is clearly not in your child’s best interests, it may be possible to have child custody modified so that you have additional parenting time. You should discuss the specific facts of your case with a Michigan child custody attorney.
Contact a Michigan Child Custody Attorney
If you have questions about creating a parenting plan with a right of first refusal, or if you want to learn more about your options for modifying child custody, you should seek advice from a Michigan child custody attorney at our firm. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today to learn more about how we can assist you.