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It looks like we won't be seeing dss this Christmas....Again

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is getting so frustrating!! And right now, I'm so upset, I'm just crying..

Okay, here's the deal: we live in Wichita, Kansas. Right after we moved here, dss's stepdad moved him and the rest of his family down to El Paso, TX. dh and his ex made the agreement that they would meet halfway, and that dss would get to spend Christmas with us, along with his summer vacation. Well, last year, dh and his ex had an arrangement to meet each other halfway between El Paso and Wichita on a certain day at a certain time. Two days before, she called and said that no, she wasn't going to make it, and my dh would have to drive all the way. At that short notice, dh couldn't make arrangements at work, and also, we have been living on a VERY tight budget, so there wasn't much of a way for us to afford it.

DSS came and stayed with us this past summer. He was supposed to stay three months. After six weeks, his mother called and said he needed to come home so she could enroll him. In the middle of July. She did meet us halfway, though.

Two days after she and dss got home, they moved to Columbus, Ohio. She did not contact dh for a month. DH calls a few times a week, and all he got was a disconnect message, so didn't realize they'd moved.

Now, he's been trying to figure out a way to get dss here this Christmas. They won't drive him, they won't allow him to fly (even if dh met them in Columbus, and flew dss all the way to Wichita). DH offered to send them the money for gas to meet in St. Louis, but dss's stepfather told him that basically, he's working everyday from now until Christmas, and he's not going to drive on Christmas day. It's 900 miles from here to there, and we are so broke, we're not even sure how we're going to get gifts. Plus, dh is going to take time off of work to do this. I'm just so upset.

We really don't know what to do!! Does dh not have any rights in this? They have joint custody, but she still seems to have all the say. Also, I don't understand why she wants dss to suffer (he cries everytime we talk to him, wanting to see his daddy). Tonight, he asked his Dad, "Why do you have to pay my mommy money in order to see me?" I can't believe that!

Okay, so this is long. It just seems that a lot of things are going wrong right now, and I was hoping maybe someone out there may have some words of wisdom?
post #2 of 13
This may not be what you want to hear, but GO TO COURT! You need to have an in-writing, court-approved visitation schedule. That would be set in stone, and not subject to the ex's or stepdad's whims.

Also, because she has been interfering so much with visitation, your DH may have a case for taking custody.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Jamie, Thank you so much for replying. DH has been trying to just work with her, hoping he wouldn't have to take the legal route, but I think this is the last straw. He's going to call around and see if he can't find a lawyer who will take payments or whatever. The custody was set when they were both still living in Amarillo, and still says that dh has every other weekend, blah blah....I told him he has every right to have it changed, especially since the situation has changed. I'm just hoping we can find someone who will let us make payments to them...
post #4 of 13
OT: Are y'all from Amarillo? I'm originally from Panhandle.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yeh, we moved up here from Amarillo. My family is all from around Clarendon (I graduated from Clarendon College). Small world, isn't it?
post #6 of 13
Your dh does have rights and she is stepping all over them. You need a new court order. My dh would have called the police had the biomom had him and the phone was disconnected (in our old order says no one can move out of the county and it looks terrible to move without telling anyone). Also, we have custody and were told by our lawyer that if it did go to court, we would end up sharing the cost and time of travel regardless of who moved where because it is the responsiblity of both parents to help the child maintain the relationship with both parents. So, she will have to pay or drive. We had to drive dss up to his moms 8 hours away (which meant also paying for a hotel then driving back the next day) once a month. No one cared about our work schedules (we didn't complain, I just mean, no one asked, it didn't matter, it had to be done). I know that lawyers are expensive, but in our case they have been crucial. Here free mediation is mandatory, check in your state. How old is the child, btw?
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
dss is 7 yrs old. In fact, his birthday was during the time dh couldn't get ahold of him, and she still didn't call us until a couple of weeks after. DH had sent a birthday gift, which dss didn't get on time, and dss was asking his daddy if he'd forgotten his bday

I knew that if we took this back to court, they'd order that she'd also be responsible for helping with travel costs, etc. It seemed like mom always was required to pay at least half of travel expenses for my brother and I to see Dad. Even though she had no problem with it, and oftentimes would go ahead and pay for it all and let Dad pay her back (they actually worked pretty well together, and both felt it important for us to see Dad as often as possible).
post #8 of 13
I knew that if we took this back to court, they'd order that she'd also be responsible for helping with travel costs, etc. It seemed like mom always was required to pay at least half of travel expenses for my brother and I to see Dad.

I don't know if this helps but it was spelled out in our custody agreement that whoever choses to move first is responsible for all traveling costs. It doesn't matter if the NCP or the CP moves, just whoever decides to move first out of the state is responsible for all travel costs to and from the other parents house.

Maybe see if your state has something like that? I can't even imagine how frustrating this must be for you and your DH.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hmmm....it does not mention that in the divorce agreement. And, I don't think that's the norm in Texas (where the divorce takes place). Kinda wrong, though. We lived in Amarillo, then moved to Kansas. They moved down to El Paso, which is an even longer drive, but yet they were still in the state. So, that would have placed the burdon still on us, even though they had moved farther from Amarillo. It's hard to set standards and be fair to everyone, though. We'll see what happens, dh is going to try and contact a lawyer today when he gets home. I really feel we've tried everything we possibly can and they won't budge, they can't even try to compromise, and then dss is crying to us, asking us why we don't want to see him I wish I could find an answer that wouldn't make his momma look like the bad guy (I don't believe that either side should point fingers, and even though there is a lot of evidence that she tells him bad things, we shouldn't do the same).
post #10 of 13
Stuff like this makes me so mad! It just isn't her right to decide any of this. They are both parents!
post #11 of 13
I'd call a lawyer TODAY and get things working to be in writing ASAP!! I'm so sorry you and your dss and family are going through this. It breaks my heart to read that he thinks you don't wanna see him, because of this

Get things started NOW...
post #12 of 13
Any updates on this? I would definately go to court and see what can be arranged.
post #13 of 13
also check the laws in both states to see how long your skid's live there before they become residents. It maybe be better to sue now in the state they used to live in or to wait until they are residents of OH depending on how the laws are.

It isn't as bad as you think to do a cross country legal fight but you really do got to fight this.
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