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Can a co-parent ignore your child care wishes?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Child Custody |

As a new parent, the thought of leaving your son or daughter with a stranger may make your skin crawl. After all, no one knows how to care for your child quite as you do. Still, because you cannot always be with the young one in your family, you have learned to trust a babysitter or nanny.

Now that you are heading for a divorce, you may have some real concerns about future child care. Indeed, if you share custody of your son or daughter with your ex, he or she probably has the authority to choose the babysitter during his or her parenting time.

Babysitters are important

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babysitters and other child care professionals play a key role in the development of the kids they watch. In fact, not only do they keep children safe and healthy, but babysitters also provide essential enrichment. Put simply, choosing a babysitter is not something you or your co-parent should take lightly.

Parents have rights

While you may be able to prevent your ex from allowing a dangerous or irresponsible person to watch your child, your co-parent enjoys broad flexibility for parenting your son or daughter during his or her parenting time. Accordingly, within reason, your ex can probably pick just about anyone to watch your child.

Your custody agreement can help

If you do not trust your ex’s decision-making prowess when it comes to child care, you may want to put a first right of refusal into your custody agreement. This provision requires your co-parent to give you the opportunity to babysit before allowing anyone else to care for your son or daughter.

Ultimately, if you have not yet finalized your divorce or custody arrangement, you still likely have a prime opportunity to put your mind at ease by negotiating a simple first right of refusal.