Can my child’s father enroll her in daycare without my permission?
3 attorney answers
It sounds like you might need to ask for a temporary orders hearing! At a temporary orders hearing, the magistrate can address things like temporary parenting time, parental decision-making, and child support. Most people have trouble keeping the other parent from enrolling in daycare, but magistrates normally consider parents' work schedules in determining a parenting time schedule, which directly addresses the need for daycare.
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Based on your question, I am assuming there are no court orders in place, since you are t the very beginning of your APR case. If that is correct, then, yes, he may enroll your child in day care without your permission. Until there is a court order which says otherwise, you are not the "sole custodial parent." Instead, he has the same rights as do you. When your child is with him, he gets to decide who looks after the child when he is at work. The same will be true after you obtain court orders, unless those orders provide otherwise.
This answer is provided as general information about a legal issue, is not legal advice specific to a particular case, and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the person asking the question.
So, yes, most likely he can. This issue is a bit more difficult to address than others. There are a ton of circumstances that need to be considered, and your best bet is to talk to an attorney to best understand what is going on. I don't know what orders exist, and I don't know your respective situations, so this advice is based on little but speculation. Please take it with a grain of salt.
Because it is not a school necessarily and there is no order requiring the child attend a specific school or providing one parent or the other decision-making or joint decision-making, the issue isn't whether he can do it. The issue is the effect of doing so and whether it has a negative impact on the child that should be considered at the final hearing when allocating parenting time.
I will assume the situation calls for equal 50/50 parenting time. This likely means you have both spent equal time with the child throughout the child's life, have not safety concerns, live close to one another, and are both capable of getting the child to/from school, etc.
To the primary consideration of the effect on the other party. If him doing so takes away what would reasonably be your parenting time, then it would be a consideration likely against him for excluding you from the parenting process and negatively impacting your relationship with the child. An example of this is, let's say, you have a court order giving you all summer parenting time and he signs the child up for a summer camp against your wishes and essentially robs you of that parenting time. That would not only be contemptable because it violated an order, but it would negatively impact allocation in some way to him if allocation is being determined in the future that is. Whether that impact is big or small is up to the court and circumstances.
If it doesn't affect your time, then nothing necessarily disallows him from doing so. Certainly, you can say you are the stay at home parent and have more time available to you to watch the child while your ex works, but that is a solution reached most often only by the most reasonable of divorced persons. People after divorce can, and sometimes do, work that well together, and you two are both allowed to work that well together if that is possible - whether now or later. When it comes to Court orders, however, the Court primarily cares about ensuring each party gets the parenting time they are entitled to under the circumstances with little worry of unforeseeable variables like daycare. Parties change jobs all the time. Family who can help care for a child is in and out of the state. Beyond that, it isn't worth explaining why there is little to no impact since, simply, use of daycare is of little consequence.
In fact, use of daycare for work or education is common enough and expected enough that the child support calculation includes a parent's monthly cost for such facilities in the computation for their benefit.
In addition to Avvo's disclaimer, this advice should not be construed to create an attorney-client relationship. Advice given is based on Colorado laws and regulations and relies solely on the limited information provided in the given question. That said, your circumstances may actually require different, supplemental, or additional considerations and work than was suggested by the attorney in their response.
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