Am I Allowed to Decide What my Ex Does During his Timeshare If I Feel that it Effects the Health and Welfare of My Child?

“My final judgment, in the state of Florida, states that I have sole decision making authority for the health, education and welfare of my son; but that I should also make good faith efforts to include his father in the decision making process. We do have shared responsibility with myself as primary custodial parent. A month ago, I called my son’s father to discuss after care and the benefits of having our son stay with the facility he has been at since he was 1 1/2 yrs old. The teachers there are certified and help the children with their homework. This will also regulate a schedule for him since he is only 5 yrs old. But he refused to discuss the best interests of our son and wanted his “karate school” to pick him up everyday. That ended that conversation with no resolution. So I typed a letter and sent it to him letting him know I have made a decision as to the best interests of our son for after care and help with his homework. He says that I am not allowed to do this for his days of visitation. Am I allowed to make these decisions since it does pertain to our son’s best interests, eliminates additional stress and confusion (also for his new kindergarten school), and will help with his continued education? Wouldn’t this fall under my having sole decision making for education and welfare? If our son has to be in the bus loop for his after care except for every Thursday and every other Friday, not including mass confusion to early release days, would this not disrupt his welfare?”

What is generally in children’s best interests is the parents working things out. If your son is able to look at a calendar and know his days of the week and how to read dates he should be fine with being able to know the pick up drop off schedule. It is likely not a welfare issue. Additionally, the education argument is a bit of a stretch for after kindergarten care. Is it “health” because you think he’ll get hurt in karate class? That is similarly a stretch.

In California, the parent usually gets to make the decision where the child is during their timeshare. If the exchange time is “after school” then it seems that karate class is post-exchange, hence during other parent’s timeshare. If the exchange is at a particular time – say 5PM – then you would have control of what to do up until that time. It would be best to work it out, but if you and your ex cannot come to an agreement, the Court certainly will. Consult with a Florida attorney, if you cannot come to an agreement.

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