or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Travel Drama: what do you do?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Travel Drama: what do you do? - Page 2

post #21 of 37
There is such a sense of blame in your posts but really it boils down to 'Technically, he moved'. Accept that fact and all that comes with it.
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bits and bobs View Post
There is such a sense of blame in your posts but really it boils down to 'Technically, he moved'. Accept that fact and all that comes with it.
So they should have to accept anything and everything no matter how unreasonable or ridiculous?

OP - I think it's great that you are working so hard to have so many home visits despite the distance and cost.

I would not worry too much about the police report - as other posters have mentioned, it will likely be at the bottom of the police/courts list of things to do.

Would you consider going back to court to get anything modified regarding transportation and costs? It seems that things couldn't get worse (financially or in regards to your DH ex not even helping to get the kids to the airport) so it seems like it might be worth a try.
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
1) If you are in a long-distance scenario, who pays for travel, how much is there...
When my husband's ex moved across the country with their son, the court ordered her to foot the bill for his travel back to visit his dad twice a year and my husband to foot the bill once. (He only came here for Christmas, Spring & Summer breaks, not Thanksgiving.) That was considered fair because she was the one who chose to move and the child support rate was not adjusted to reflect how much each of them spent on transportation. I don't know what the court's attitude would have been if my husband had been the one to move and leave his son here with his ex. He might have been expected to pay for all the travel?

My husband also used to fly out to visit his son once a month and eventually his ex lost custody because she would only give him 3-6 hours of parenting time each time he went out there for 7-10 days.

When my step-son came to live with us, my husband volunteered to waive child support so his ex could spend that money coming here to visit every month. The court agreed to that, but made her responsible for 100% of my step-son's airfare, to go back and visit her on his 3 breaks.

If your husband pays support - and especially if his ex is the one who moved, and if she has a sustainable income without his support - you might try asking the court to reduce or suspend his payments. Your argument would be that the best interest of the children is served by guaranteeing as much contact with their father as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
...who travels with the kids if they are too young to go on their own?
My husband's ex has always sent their son as an Unaccompanied Minor, to save $. He started flying cross-country when he was only 6! My husband hates that and always accompanied his son, when he paid for his flights. He also offered to buy his own tickets and accompany his son, when his ex paid for the flights, but I don't remember that ever working out, because she refused to discuss the travel with him before she bought the tickets and then the flight would be sold out, because he always traveled on peak dates.

The drawbacks to U/M travel are that kids can't switch planes, so it really limits what flight times you can choose (it may not even be possible for you, if your step-kids have to fly in to a small hub). Also, if anything goes wrong, the kids are either shipped back to the "sender" at the expense of whomever purchased the ticket (so you'd effectively have to pay for their transportation TWICE or skip the visit) OR - if they can't be sent back - they are turned over to Child Protective Services wherever they're stranded! Airlines will not take responsibility for them and have a stewardess babysit them 'til a parent can get there, like they did in the '80's.

The benefit: if it's a choice between not seeing your kids and making them fly alone, it's pretty hard to dismiss that option. The chances of something going wrong are pretty slim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
2) Any other tips for cheap alternatives?
For summer visits, it may be cheaper to drive. If you take a vacation with them, make it something that you pass along the way. Bring tents and camp, instead of getting hotel rooms and eating out 3 meals a day. Borrow or rent a van and check college ride-share boards. Plenty of kids need to travel, to get home after school's out or to get to their summer jobs. You could pick up a rider or two who would help share the cost of gas and might be wonderfully entertaining for your children, on the road. You don't necessarily have to let that person drive! (I wouldn't.)

As far as holiday plane fare, I'm sure you already know to look for non-peak days. If it's possible to take the kids out of school just one day, so they can fly on a Tuesday and knock $100-per-person off the airfare, it's worth considering!

Do you have any friends or relatives who live closer to the ex than you guys do and who have reason to travel to your area? Even if you paid for their airfare, it would be cheaper for them to accompany the kids than for your husband to do so, since their starting/ending point is the same as the children's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
3) I have no experience with police reports (thankfully). Are they likely to do something because he missed a flight and the kids were late getting home?
No. It's a civil issue, so most likely the police won't do anything except recommend that the ex take it to court, if she's really concerned about it. And she would waste a bunch of money getting the court to scold your husband not to miss his plane next time. I mean, what else could the court do to him? Take custody away? Reduce his visitation? No worries.

Absolute worst case scenario, if you have a very unreasonable prosecutor involved: the police could submit an Affidavit of Probable Cause for Custodial Interference and the prosecutor could decide to make a case of it. We have been through something along these lines, with even less reasonable complaints made against my husband. In that event, no matter what an attorney tells you, insist on going to trial and demanding a jury. You're entitled to it. Do not cut any deals where your husband pleads to a "lesser" charge to avoid consequences. That charge will always be on his record and he will never be able to effectively explain why he pled guilty to it. A jury would sympathize with him and realize that missing a flight is not the same thing as abducting your children. I cannot emphasize enough how important this advice is. But I also believe there is almost no chance things would go that route.
post #24 of 37
All I can say is that I hope if I, or my exdh had to/chose to move, we could work it out so that neither one of us is strapped financially. What a horrible position to be in.
post #25 of 37
I probably don't belong here but...

My SIL moved a few states away, and is the NCP of 2 children. She gets 6 weeks in summer, every other spring break, 1 week in December and 1 weekend every month, which she has to fly there for (stays in hotel, etc.). When the children travel (10 & 13), mom flies to pick them up then bring them back, and dad flies to pick them up and bring them back. Mom pays for the children's flights.
post #26 of 37
Are you in Canada? Because the only airline I found with a minimum age of 8 was AirCanada. United, American, Northwest, Delta, Alaska, Southwest, Jetblue, and Airtran all have a minimum age of 5. Airtran has a requirement that ages 5-7 be on straight-through flights, but that's just them. With the exception of Airtran, UMs can fly with a changeover. The only restriction is that the connecting flight cannot be the last flight of the day to the destination, but that's easy to avoid. They really do pamper and supervise UMs very well. They feed them, but we always, always, always pack a huge water bottle (brought through security empty, filled at the water fountain), a sandwich or two, and a ton of snacks. It's always more than she could possibly eat, but overkill is better than under. I also pack a spare change of clothes, and the rest of the carry on is toys and books. My parents always snuck a card in my backpack that I'd open on the plane, which was really sweet, but makes Cora cry, so I don't do it. You really can't lay the responsibility for the costs or inconveniences of your husband's travel at the feet of his children's mother. It is reasonable to send them UM, and he is the one who moved away, so whatever is done about their travel costs, his are his alone, and not a factor for consideration.
post #27 of 37
Sorry for the zOMGLONGPARAGRAPH, for some reason mdc is eating my carriage returns when I post.
post #28 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorasMama View Post
Are you in Canada? Because the only airline I found with a minimum age of 8 was AirCanada. United, American, Northwest, Delta, Alaska, Southwest, Jetblue, and Airtran all have a minimum age of 5. Airtran has a requirement that ages 5-7 be on straight-through flights, but that's just them. With the exception of Airtran, UMs can fly with a changeover.
Where did you see that? Are you sure you read the whole policy? We specifically looked it up before this trip, and Southwest didn't allow it at all for changing planes, and all the majors they had to be 8 unless it was direct and nonstop. I wonder how we read such different things.

There are no nonstops from the town where the kids live to any airports in our state at all.
post #29 of 37
1) If you are in a long-distance scenario, who pays for travel, how much is there, and who travels with the kids if they are too young to go on their own?

In the state I live in the parent that chose to move away from the children is the one who pays for all traveling costs and the burdens associated with it.

2) Any other tips for cheap alternatives? We use frequent flyer miles when we can, but those are rapidly becoming worthless as airlines charge more and more miles for trips

I have found flying to the bigger airports and then renting a car can be cheaper. Airlines are really getting ridiculous with their prices and rules. I hate flying!

3) I have no experience with police reports (thankfully). Are they likely to do something because he missed a flight and the kids were late getting home?

A judge will laugh her out of court as long as this is not something that happens all the time, etc. Police normally do not have the right to enforce custody rules barring kidnapping, etc. I would document the circumstances in case it is needed in a future battle.

All of that being said, I would pursue a new court order for all involved. That way everything can be laid out and sorted properly.
post #30 of 37
The court order says we pay access costs. Initially after we moved, this involved dh flying out and back with the kids three times a year so they could visit per the court order. I agree, it was very expensive! In our case, the court ordered that since we were paying access costs, we wouldn't have to pay for other expenses (daycare, sports, dental, etc).

Unfortunately, we've found that long-distance access is fairly easy for the kids' mom to mess with by simply refusing to cooperate (a bit like yours, about getting them to the airport, plus she will just tell us that they're not coming out this holiday, too bad), and our access is only intermittent now.

I don't really buy the whole 'you moved, you asked for it' notion. Both parents' lives go on after a divorce,and both parents should do their best to facilitate a healthy ongoing relationship with the other one. Yes, the parent who moves may shoulder the cost of access, but there's no reason why the other one should actively run interference and try to run up the bill or make things not work.
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
The court order says we pay access costs. Initially after we moved, this involved dh flying out and back with the kids three times a year so they could visit per the court order. I agree, it was very expensive! In our case, the court ordered that since we were paying access costs, we wouldn't have to pay for other expenses (daycare, sports, dental, etc).

Unfortunately, we've found that long-distance access is fairly easy for the kids' mom to mess with by simply refusing to cooperate (a bit like yours, about getting them to the airport, plus she will just tell us that they're not coming out this holiday, too bad), and our access is only intermittent now.

I don't really buy the whole 'you moved, you asked for it' notion. Both parents' lives go on after a divorce,and both parents should do their best to facilitate a healthy ongoing relationship with the other one. Yes, the parent who moves may shoulder the cost of access, but there's no reason why the other one should actively run interference and try to run up the bill or make things not work.
Well, I disagree with this. Of course both parents lives go on, but theose lives should include the children. I do think it's not a good idea to make a decision that means you'll only see your kdis a couple of tiems a year.
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post
Well, I disagree with this. Of course both parents lives go on, but theose lives should include the children. I do think it's not a good idea to make a decision that means you'll only see your kdis a couple of tiems a year.
It may not be a great decision, but some circumstances (deployment, work, access to medical specialists, caretaking of a disabled or dying family member) make it a necessary one (sometimes, even in intact families). Either way--and regardless of whether the distance is six blocks or 6,000 miles, and regardless of who moved where or for what reason, neither parent should deliberately obstruct the other parent's access.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post
Well, I disagree with this. Of course both parents lives go on, but theose lives should include the children. I do think it's not a good idea to make a decision that means you'll only see your kdis a couple of tiems a year.
And, this is why I should be careful about ever posting in this forum! No matter how hard you try, you end up feeling lousy because someone has made a flip judgment about the complexities of the last decade of your life...

Anyway, I don't want to take away from the OP's efforts to find out what else is out there in order to get ideas for her situation and gauge her current arrangement.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
It may not be a great decision, but some circumstances (deployment, work, access to medical specialists, caretaking of a disabled or dying family member) make it a necessary one (sometimes, even in intact families). Either way--and regardless of whether the distance is six blocks or 6,000 miles, and regardless of who moved where or for what reason, neither parent should deliberately obstruct the other parent's access.

That is the prevailing approach. Families make all kinds of decisions for all kinds of reasons in this un-ideal world of ours, and rather than punishing the child for them (or one parent basing all their actions on the need to prove that they're the good parent and the other one isn't - which amounts to punishing the child), it's important to work together as much as possible so they can maintain a relationship with the parent who lives out of town. That parent may need to pick up the tab, but the other parent should be supportive of the relationship.
post #34 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
And, this is why I should be careful about ever posting in this forum! No matter how hard you try, you end up feeling lousy because someone has made a flip judgment about the complexities of the last decade of your life...


And thanks for your thoughtful comments.
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post
Well, I disagree with this. Of course both parents lives go on, but theose lives should include the children. I do think it's not a good idea to make a decision that means you'll only see your kdis a couple of tiems a year.
IIRC, the OP and her husband are academics. That's not a field where you have much choice over where you live. I know that DH and I are facing a possible 2-3 year separation in a few years because of my work. I know academic couples who've had to live apart for several years because of work. It's not like you can just get a job anywhere, so if the choice is to live long-distance or to be unemployed, it seems the more reasonable course of action is to move.

As for who pays, I can see the argument that he should pay all of the flight costs, but I think it's particularly unreasonable that she isn't responsible for at least getting them to the airport. I also think smaller children can fly alone, but from your descriptions of your DSS, it doesn't sound as if he's emotionally ready to do that yet. Perhaps once he is that will work out and can save you a chunk of the cost for your husband flying back and forth all the time.
post #36 of 37
[QUOTE=gingerbane;14741237]So they should have to accept anything and everything no matter how unreasonable or ridiculous?

No need to eyeroll!

I am saying that a lot of energy is going into blaming others-it is what it is, so focus on figuring it out instead of finger pointing.
post #37 of 37
I think there's a big assumption that the moving parent is required to bear the burden of the transportation expenses, but that isn't necessarily the case!

When my husband's ex moved away, she wasn't required to pay my husband's travel expenses to see his daughter, who was too young to travel without mom (she was a nursing infant at the time). When the case switched states, the transportation expenses were calculated into child support and the travel expenses basically cancelled out any child support. Then when we moved, the cost of the child's travel is shared equally and my husband's travel is considered when calculating child support (it's not a dollar-for-dollar write off, but an expense he can deduct from his income).

We came to an agreement about travel expenses outside of court, but we did use lawyers during the process. Overall, we carry more of the burden than we would have been required to had the judge ordered it, but we made some concessions about travel expenses in exchange for other things that were more important to us.

What helped us was to look at the law in the state and be able to clearly say "this is what a court would say." Sometimes it works to say that directly to the other parent, sometimes it works for your lawyer to say it to their lawyer...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Travel Drama: what do you do?