Non-custodial parents often have limited time for visitation, such as every other weekend and sometime during the summer months. Children’s activities can interfere with that visitation. How do we resolve those issues. The case law is apparently quite fluid on this.
As a starting point, we know that a parent’s visitation cannot be restricted in any way unless there is a danger to children. In addition, we have some basic law that the non-custodial parent cannot require the participation of the children in activities during the other parent’s visitation. One would hope that parents would use common sense to balance the need of the children to participate in activities and still get time with their visiting parent. Some people can’t do it though.
In the recent case of Jaggers v. Magruder, No. 2012–CA–00097–COA (1/7/14), the divorced parents of three children actually litigated for several days over the children’s participation in baseball programs. The children were gifted in baseball and wanted to participate, but the amount of baseball interfered with the father’s visitation.
After a lengthy trial, the Judge weighed the desires of the children to play, the father’s right to visitation and the father’s right to have unfettered visitation. The Chancellor also weighed the fact that the Father had full knowledge of and did not interfere with the children’s enrollment in baseball. The solution allow the children to participate but allow the father make-up visitation if he needed it due to baseball tournaments. One has to wonder why parents would have to litigate if they were both thinking about their children and not themselves and their resentment for each other.