Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Who decides when there is conflict over visitation dates when none are specifically indicated in court order?

Q:  Court order exists to allow visitation w/international travel for elementary-school aged child 3x a year. Parents alternate chaperoning child. NCP gets "up to 10 days" with child over school holidays (no specific dates or times indicated), and a mechanism is included in the order for days less than 10 to be made up over the summer. CP, who is scheduled to chaperone child, offered travel dates that would accommodate child attending regularly-scheduled activities and results in no loss of visitation time (per summer mechanism). NCP insisted on departure a day earlier; CP said no. All in writing. NCP booked flights for CP and child anyway on "wrong" date and is insisting those tickets must be used. Nothing in order about who chooses. CP has sole custody. What to do?

Additional information

Extremely hostile situation.

A:  David's Answer:  Especially in a hostile situation, the language in the agreement/order must be exactly followed. Thus, if the NCP asked for a departure date "a day earlier" than was provided for in the agreement/order, then it appears to me NCP loses. That said, a definitive opinion can only be rendered after a review of the actual agreement/order. Thus, schedule a consult with a NYC Child Custody lawyer.  -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

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