An area of tremendous fighting in Placer County child custody cases between parents and former partners is over whether a significant other, grandparent, or friend can provide childcare. Custody battles in Placer County have centered on this exact issue. Sometimes the underlying issue is the ex-spouse’s jealousy that the other spouse has moved on with the new significant other. Sometimes the complaining spouse believes the other spouse is refusing to give them parenting time, and other times it is legitimate concern for the child’s well-being.

No matter the reason for the litigation over parenting time, is important that in any Placer county child custody case that each parent spend as much actual physical time with their child as possible per the terms of their Placer County child custody order. Any Placer County parent that consistently leaves the child in the care of a significant other, family member, or friend will risk losing parenting time in a future Placer County child custody battle. On the other hand, Placer County judges and mediators understand that sometimes another person must provide child care and will consider this in a Placer County custody modification.

The Placer County court will often use a right of first refusal to mediate these childcare disputes. When a parent has parenting time, but is unable to exercise direct responsibility for the child, and this period of absence exceeds a set number of hours, that parent must first call the other parent and offer them the chance to take custody of the child. If that other parent is unable to accept custody, then the asking parent can seek help from a significant other or family member. The problem with this solution is that manipulative parents will abuse the provision. Also, if one parent is consistently placing the children in the other parent’s care, that parent may end up filing a motion to modify custody in Placer County to reflect the extra time they now have with the child.

If you are involved in a Placer County child custody case, and you believe you need to investigate obtaining a right of first refusal, please give us a call. We can meet with you and discuss the Placer County child custody process in a free half-hour attorney consultation.