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My ex and I are currently operating under a mediated agreement (mediated a few months ago), and it's going well. I'm at nearly 50/50 during the school year, and 50/50 exactly during the summer. We have agreed now that we need to finalize the agreement and get it signed by the court. Our major sticking point is right of first refusal, which she does not want. She likes to leave the kids with her family when she (fairly frequently) travels. She has an upcoming three week trip out of the country and I've repeatedly asked that the kids stay with me. Her latest email said that it was her time and that she could decide with whom she wanted to leave them, that her parents were like a second home to the kids, and that she was happy to go to court about it because she knows that grandparents have rights, too.
My understanding is that she's completely misinformed on this. Won't the court favor time with parents if they are available?
I think if I have enough info to back up my stance, she may just buckle on this in mediation, which would be a lot cheaper than court. Online I've really only found articles describing what right of first refusal is, but not much about the likelihood of winning it.
Now that I'm at 50/50, I'm okay with the occasional night at Grandma's on her time, but three weeks is ridiculous.
If the three weeks she is gone is on her time by your schedule then to me its her decision if they stay with the grandparents or not, its not your choice. Its fine to ask, but if she says no, then just let it go.
Sure you can pursue this, but it could come back and bite you when the roles reverse.
To me, if you want to be a good co-parent then be one.
I disagree wholeheartedly. One of the goals of co-parenting is to maximize the amount of time the children spend with each parent. This is an obvious attempt to play keep away, and you should object to her actions.
Likewise, if you go out of town on your time, you should give her the option of taking care of the kids.
I give her right of first refusal, too. I'm a fan of it for both sides.
What do you all think the court would think of her argument that grandparents have rights when it comes to this? I'm really looking for info to persuade her that she doesn't want to go to court on this, but rather agree to it in mediation.
In most places it's up to the parents to provide the GPs time with the kids during their own respective time. And unless your orders give her entire three-week chunks, she's an idiot and she's keeping your kids away from you, pure and simple, The whole GP thing is a ruse.