When my child is in my care, does my partner have first rights to care when I am unable to look after them?  


I have my six year old child every Thursday to Sunday.  On Saturday night, I sometimes go to watch rugby and leave the child with a babysitter.  My spouse is annoyed about this.  She wants first rights to look after the child in this case.  Is this right?  


My experience of the Family Court is that generally the person who cares for the child is able to make their own arrangements, including having a babysitter.  The Family Court normally encourages parents to make their own decisions in relation to their children. 

It is normally better that the parents trust each other in relation to the care for the children. It can also be impractical that every time a parent is not able to care for the child, that they ask the other parent in such a situation. Each case would depend however, on its own individual facts.  

If you require more information, please contact Jeremy Sutton on 309 4647 or email jeremy@jeremysutton.co.nz.