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What rights do I have as the custodial parent when the father insists the visit to be when all their medical appts are scheduled

Stuart, FL |

Three of my 4 children have special medical needs & their father insists that he take them at the end of summer this year even though all their medical appointments are scheduled then. There are too many to reschedule & some of their specialist are only available limited times. Two of the children will completely run out of medicine the first week they are with their dad. I tried to have him keep them consecutive weeks but he dropped them off at the front door at 7 am, not even walking them to the door or making eye contact with me. One of my child's written prescriptions did not make it back which is a federal controlled substance nor has he made any attempt to return it. I believe he has no concern for their medical needs & yet I know he will try to hold me in contempt if I do not abide.

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Attorney answers 2


Consider sending him an email with the appointments that are scheduled and explaining the difficulty in getting the appointments and the harm to the children if he allows their meds to run out or not to be returned for when the children are with you. Ask that he acknowledge the appointments can stand and find out what participation he'd like to have in taking the children to the appointments. Be prepared to explain, if you didn't coordinate the appointments with him or simply scheduled them during his time-sharing time, why you did so.

Maybe he can take them to some of the appointments. If you get nowhere, then consider asking by a written motion filed in the case that the court grant you sole parental responsibility over medical decisions and scheduling appointments for the children. That process may not help you with the immediate summer appointments, if you can't get in quickly to see a judge, but may help the children down the road.

Please note that this response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements.



I did try to explain in numerous emails why the appointments were so important and why they could not just be rescheduled. I have seven appointments in those three weeks. He lives over 259 miles away and depends on others to drive. I do have sole parental responsibility over medical decisions and scheduling appointments for the children. His summer time-sharing does not specify when his time-sharing is in the summer, just that he has six weeks. That is were he is coming from that he has the rights to the kids and I am to work around his schedule, even though he does not work. I work and have all the responsibility of the children, which I can handle but I have to schedule appointments around the children's needs and then my work is scheduled around their appointments. I am putting together a motion but do not know what to show documentation. I have 66 pages of emails back and forth, I do not think the judge wants to see all of that do I submit the important emails only.

Michael Paul Sampson

Michael Paul Sampson


Select and attach to your verified motion the best examples of emails informing him of the dates and times and invite him to attend. State that your recognize the summer time-sharing, but that you both must work around the children's appointments and that, next year, by April 1, he needs to advise you of his preferred summertime weeks, so that you can try to work with that in scheduling the children's appointments. In any motion, recite that you were awarded sole parental responsibiltiy over medical decisions - I don't think that fact appeared in your original question. Good luck!


You should absolutely inform him of the appointment dates and times and an expectation that he will either take them to the appointments or allow you to pick up the children for the appointments. If you can do this by email and get his response as quickly as possible. If he refuses to do either, you can file an Emergency Motion with the court requesting the right to take the children to their appointments as scheduled, due to his refusal. You will have to move quickly as hearing time is extremely hard to come by and the court may deem this not to be an emergency.

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