– from Maria K. from Shorewood, WI

Question Details:

We currently have a parenting plan in place that works quite well. Both of us adhere to what was agreed upon and that isn’t my exact cause for concern. My concern is about the safety of my son when my child is alone with his father. It isn’t an abusive situation or anything along those lines. But on multiple occasions the father has picked up my son and didn’t have a car sear for him in the car. On a different occasion my son had a bump on his head and it was just from my kid falling when the father wasn’t in the room. I know that these instances are not malicious; he is just new to being a parent. I don’t want to take away his rights; I just want him to be more responsible when it comes to caring for our child. Can I just refuse his visitation plan if he is picking up our son and I notice he doesn’t have the car seat with him?

Family Law Attorney Response:

This is a tricky situation so it definitely helps that you are getting a legal perspective on this situation. One thing that is incredibly important to consider is the parenting plan set up by the court. That plan is legally binding and to go against it could put you at risk of being in contempt with the court. On the other hand, your child’s safety is just as important.

The first thing I would recommend you do is contact a child custody attorney and explain the situation.

You may be able to file an application with the courts that would order the child’s father to meet certain requirements in order to maintain care of your child. In the mean time, offer your car seat for the father to use when your child is in the father’s custody. Exchanging car seats when picking up your son may seem like a hassle, but nothing should be considered too inconvenient to a mother when it comes to the safety of your child. If the father denies to use your car seat when one is provided, that is another issue and you should refuse the father the visitation rights for your child during that particular visit. In the unfortunate event that the father would try to bring you to court for contempt of the child custody agreement, you would have a strong case as to why you did it as long as you properly documented what happened.

Click here to learn more about visitation rights.

Bottom line; protect your child while protecting your child.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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