Do I have the right to decide if the roads are too dangerous to drive on to drop off my kids? 4 Answers as of March 03, 2014

My children live a short distance from me so we meet half way for the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends. Weather has caused problems in the past. This weekend could be bad again. We won't know for sure until it's time to leave if the roads are safe enough. Custodial parent is unbending in this and last time everyone's life was needlessly put in danger because they refused to wait a day for the weather to clear. We almost got into several accidents and got home 2 hours late. Do I have the right to decide if it's too dangerous to drop them back off or will it be considered kidnapping? Do I have any say in this? I have joint legal custody.

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Atticus Family Law
Atticus Family Law | Matthew Ludt
If you cannot safely return the children you need to let the custodial parent know and propose reasonable solutions to the circumstances. However this may result in the custodial parent driving the entire distance to recover the children and put them in harm's way for the entire return trip; that is unfortunately one of the rights of custodial parents. I would suggest you put in a request in the near future for the court to specify an explicit contingency plan in your parenting time schedule for such circumstances.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 3/3/2014
Law Offices of Laura M Urbik Kern | Laura M Urbik Kern
It would not be considered kidnapping. You could be brought back to court on visitation abuse charges but I doubt under theses particular circumstances the judge would not be inclined to find against you but it is a risk. If you called your local police, and there was a stay off the roads advisory you are good to go.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 3/3/2014
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
I understand your concern. You could face a Contempt of Court proceeding if your ex chose to file one in the event you decided that it was too unsafe to drive in stormy conditions, and you could have a possible defense of "inability to comply". But you would need to retain counsel to defend you if a Contempt was filed. You might try to get your spouse to meet with you in Conciliation Court (Mediation) to try to work out your differences, and if that doesn't result in a resolution, you could file a RFO seeking to modify the pick up conditions. I note that Meeting 1/2 way between residences doesn't seem appropriate if the parties reside reasonably close to each other. Why don't you try to get the other party to agree that the receiving party picks the children up. If he doesn't agree, you could file an RFO seeking orders to that effect, as well as those orders addressed above.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/3/2014
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
It is clearly correct not to unnecessarily endanger the kids and be reasonable. This sounds like a symptom of a bigger problem. Get a good attorney and counselor.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/3/2014
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