Just Divorced in AZ - Right of First Refusal + Ex Taking Kid on Dates

April - posted on 12/23/2015 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Okay... so I have been separated at this point for over two years and just recently had the paperwork go through.

I have one child. And I have made it my mission to make sure he has everything he needs. He started out as being categorized "developmentally delayed". But in the last couple of years, I have worked with him, gotten him therapy, and made sure he has the best educators. He is now categorized as "other health impaired" on his IEP and is doing so well that his only area of disability is now in writing.

I have my son Sunday through Fri morning and he has him on Friday nights through Sunday mornings.

We did the "parenting evaluator" thing which means you have a psychologist look through your whole life. Parenting evaluator said I should have all the decision making on our son (my ex never responded to emails trying to make joint decisions) and the parenting evaluator recommended that I have most of the parenting time as well. Part of the reason, that he recommended I have more parenting time in addition to the fact that I was doing all homework with child, medical, etc, was my ex at that time only had one overnight a week which he gave my son to his mom and then left him there overnight for even though we had a "right of first refusal" provision that he often lied about.


Most of the reason that he was not seeing my son right after the divorce was because he was seeing someone who did not have children on his Friday nights (so he ditched my son with his mom and then picked up my son in the morning, but would sleep all day when he got my son back). Now he has just started seeing another girl, but she has kids. So his new way of abusing our right of first refusal provision is to sign my son into the child care center of the gym with her kids and then the two of them work out (he is supposed to offer me right of first refusal for any time he is not with our son). He also left him on Halloween and a couple other times without offering me ROFR.

Since this is so new, I am dealing with my own hurt feelings about feeling that he was not there to be a dad to his child, but is now using him as a dating accessory.

Has anyone had any luck arguing right of first refusal violation issues in court?


I am concerned about my son coming home and saying his dad is "just dating" this new girl and that he "doesn't want to be her boyfriend", but is taking him on "group dates" with himself and her kids? Has anyone had experience with this? Is this okay or not?

Thanks for your help and suggestions!

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Dove - posted on 12/23/2015

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If you can not be w/ your son 24/7 (outside of school hours)... do you offer him to his father... or is this stipulation strictly one sided?

I was under the impression that 'right of first refusal' generally referred to the option to be w/ a parent instead of stuck in daycare for several hours while a parent worked. I do not see how time w/ a grandparent or a couple of hours at a gym w/ other kids is even relevant or worth the fight time.

Is your son being harmed during this time? If not... I wouldn't even consider making an issue out of it.

MaryAnn - posted on 12/23/2015

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Sleepovers with grandparents and a few hours at a gym arent relevant to rofr.
Even if he doesnt intend on dating this other woman, it is not irresponsible for a dad to find some friends for his son. This is not harming him.
Im sorry. You cant control your ex, and thats what it sounds like you are trying to do.

Sarah - posted on 12/23/2015

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The hard part of this is proving that he dropped your son off and spent them majority of his time away form the child. The gym will have a sign in/out log that you can use as evidence. However, the gym probably has a limit of 2 hours, so if he did drop his son here for 2 hours but then picked him up and had him in his care for the next 22 hours, it may not been seen as a ROFR issue. If your son has a CASA worker or a guardian ad litem, then your son could discuss the issue with that person. You'd hate to have to bring your son into court to testify that he is left with is grandparents etc, but without his input, it is your word against his.

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