My ex agreed to a motion to relocate and a parenting plan when I moved from Washington to Wyoming. He has winter break visitation until the 30th of December. I have made arrangements with my adult daughter in Washington to receive my children from their father on the 30th and deliver them to the airport for their return flight home on the 2nd of January so that the children may visit their sister, grandparent, and other extended family. My ex says that he will not agree to that, and that he will only be taking the children to the airport on the 30th to wait for their flight, which isn't until the 2nd. The parenting plan (final) we have does state that he's responsible for their transportation to the airport but does not state that they must fly on specifically the 30th. I let him know I formally relieve him of the transportation responsibility this one time, or he may pick up the children from their sister to deliver them to the airport on the 2nd. Now he's saying he will file for emergency custody citing abandonment if the children are not flown back on the 30th. I am not interfering in his parenting time by making these arrangements during my parenting time. What are my options?
When a court order gives you parenting time (i.e. December 30), you have the authority to delegate the responsibility for care of the children (i.e. babysitters, relatives, etc.) If your ex is refusing to obey the court ordered parenting plan, he can be held in contempt.
See RCW 7.21,,
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It is important to sit down with an attorney and go over the details of your parenting plan before you take any action. The devil is always in the details.
Now with that out of the way, if your parenting plan says what your description suggests it says, then your ex is only legally obligated to take your child to the airport. You do not have the right to tell him to take the child somewhere else just because you think it should be easier for him.
Your ex, on the other hand, does not have the right to tell you who has to be there to pick up the child. You, your sister or any other responsible adult you choose can pick your child up. Your ex will look stupid try to say to a court you abandoned your child when you have emails saying your sister will pick the child up and your sister is there at the airport.
So have your sister pick up your child at the airport on December 30th.
But it is probably also worth having a local attorney lined up to help if your ex decides to try and withhold the child. It can easily take a week to get in to see a new lawyer in Clark County these days. You do not want to have to start looking on December 31.
I really hope that helps.
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