We have joint custody with the same parenting time schedule for almost 9 years now. It works but due to his dad's work schedule, we are forever switching days etc. (which I normally do not mind since I am a stay at home mom and have a more felxible schedule. My question is, this week my son has a two day camping trip with his class (on my scheduled days) and his dad has decided to chapperone. (I do not think I would have allowed our son to go if he had not been chapperoning). I feel that since they are spending this time together, that we should trade days..He feels that this should not count as his time since he is not going to be able to do exactly what he wants with him.? Am I not getting it, because to me it's time with him either way you look at it.
One thing that initially strikes me here is that it appears that you and the dad have been managing to co-parent and be flexible for the past 9 years. So since you and the dad have been able to do this up until now, what is it about this one weekend that is throwing a wrench in things? I don't see there being a "right" answer. You and the dad both have good positions and you both need to realize that. The ideal result is that you and the dad can continue to discuss this issue and come to some agreeable resolution. He has to understand that it is because of your flexibility that he has continued to exercise the parenting time that he has, and that it would be a show of good faith to switch weekends with you. In the same note, you should realize that this camping weekend is really your son's weekend, not a parenting time weekend spent with either parent. Your son is the one who has benefitted from the ability of the two parents to work together, don't let this one disagreement wreck that. Ultimately, you and the dad will have to work this out.
Disclaimer - This response is provided as general information only and does not constitute legal advice or otherwise establish an attorney- client relationship between the person posting the question and the attorney submitting the response. This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. It is also to give you general information and a general understanding of the law. It is not intended to give you specific legal advice. For matters involving custody and parenting time, it is recommended that you contact an attorney for a legal consultation. Wilson-Goodman & Fong, PLLC, has offices in Gilbert and Queen Creek, and handles cases in both Maricopa and Pinal Counties. There are several family law attorneys at the firm, each with different levels of experience and cost, to suit your specific needs.
As my colleague above noted, you both have a reasonable argument here. The question you need to ask yourself is, 'is it worth going to Court over?' Parenting time scheduling necessarily involves a great deal of give-and-take from both parents. As there is no clear 'right answer' in this situation, your best bet may be to try to be flexible and work through it without the need for the Court's assistance. However, if there has been a history of problems such as this, or if you foresee future incidents arising and do not feel that you two are able to work through them on your own, you may wish to hire a local attorney to help you modify or clarify the current parenting schedule.
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