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Is Dad able to keep child while I'm gone?

San Diego, CA |

dad schedule with our daughter every other weekend and every wednesday for 4 hours. One of the week next month, I will be gone on vacation for one week and the same week dad will be gone as well. Dad is saying that If I'm not home on Sunday when he drops our daughter off then he will keep her, but dad is leaving out of country on Monday . Our daughter will be left with responsible adults at my house (mom & sister), but dad feels our daughter should be with me. Is he able to keep her if I'm not home on Sunday when he drops her off?

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Attorney answers 3


Sorry but your daughter is your daughter not a baggage.
One of you must kneel in this case. YOU OR HIM.

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Sure he could but if the two of you can't resolve this, I see many years in court ahead for both of you and a daughter that is going to grow wondering about her parents. If I decide it, I would say dad is being unreasonable here but I'm not even sure that's the point. Talk to an attorney if you want and tell the dad to do the same thing.

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It appears you are asking who chooses who looks after your daughter if neither of you is available. If I am correct, this is what you need to do:

1. Look at the existing custody order. It probably has instructions as to what to do if one parent cannot watch the child. If there is a right of first refusal, then yes, Dad may keep your daughter until you return home.
2. However, he cannot remove her from the country without your consent.
3. Consequently, he will need to return her to you either Sunday or Monday.
4. Once returned, if you are still not home, the day care provisions will apply.

But you and your ex probably could have figured this out. As Mrs. Powers and Mr. Thompson note, this situation appears to be a symptom of parents who are not working together for the good of this little girl.

To avoid the bickering for the remainder of your daughter’s childhood, consider hiring a family law specialist to ask the court for a modification to the custody plan to include a custody mediator. This would give the two of you a person to go to for a fast, non-litigative decision, until you learn how to work through these matters on your own. This is nothing to be embarrassed about – parenting is a skill, just like knitting or speaking French. Some people just learn it at a different pace than others. Asking for help, like a mediator, is not a sign of failure, it is a sign you are trying for the best result for your daughter.

Good luck! If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer or select it as Best Answer. It’s easy and appreciated. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and does not create an attorney/client relationship. We can be visited on the web at or call 619-232-2424

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