Can My Ex-Spouse Make Me Watch My Child?

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My spouse and I divorced, with a 50/50 shared custody agreement. If my child is scheduled to be with my co-parent, but they has to work that day and I’m off, can the court make me watch my child?


Arkansas attorney Giana M. Messore

I have not been retained as your attorney so I cannot give you legal advice. However, I can offer some general information that may help you.

If your state is like the state that I am licensed to practice in, Arkansas, then the court likely cannot make you watch your child. However, I would advise you to ask yourself why would you not want to watch them? The reason why I ask you this question is so you can think about course of action you want to pursue.

If you cannot watch your child because it conflicts with your work schedule and your spouse also cannot watch your child due to her work schedule, and this becomes a reoccurring issue, then you may want to consider filing a motion to modify visitation or custody, or even possibly a contempt action. What you do will depend heavily on the facts of the situation.

However, if that is not the situation then you want to think how it might look to the court if you are available to watch your child but choose not to. If a change of custody issue ever comes up later on and it is brought to the court that you are available to watch your child when your ex-spouse cannot but you make the choice not to, this might not work in your favor. Again, the court may not be able to force you to watch your child. However, it will be important to know what your objectives and goals are to determine your next steps.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Arkansas divorce lawyer Giana M. Messore, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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