Our divorce agreement has a right of first refusal clause. I gave proper notice to my ex-wife of my two weeks of uninterrupted summer vacation parenting time.
I also told her during the vacation that our children will be visiting their grandparents for a weekend without me.
I then received a letter threatening contempt because she claims she should have right of first refusal to have our children during that weekend when they are with my parents and not with me.
Is she correct? Who would be responsible for the cost of flying the kids home for a weekend during my scheduled vacation time? She works weekends and won’t even be there for most of the day anyway.
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Nebraska and Iowa divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
I am unaware if your parenting plan says that vacation time supersedes the rest of your divorce order. If that is the case, you would not be in contempt either way.
Further, does the right of first refusal designate who provides the transportation? If the person exercising it is required to provide transportation, then your ex-wife will need to fly out and pick them and fly back.
How is the right of first refusal phrased? Is it so the other parent can watch the children? In that case, it would seem counter-intuitive to pick the children up only to have to leave them alone while she works.
Planning Summer Vacations:
In an attempt to rectify the situation, you could file for a modification of the parenting plan to address this issue.
Further, if you are worried about being held in contempt, you could explain to your ex-wife that she can have the right of first refusal, but she will need to arrange the flights and return them to the area when you return.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.