Gonna try and make a long story short here-- our custody arrangement since my ex moved states away (I live in Austin, he's in Chicago) is that he gets our just-turned five year old DD during the summers. This is her first summer away. I was having a really rough time with my childcare situation right around the time he was supposed to be taking her, so I asked him to take her a bit early, which ended up being an extra two weeks or so. So we weren't exactly sticking to a rigid schedule (still trying to figure this whole thing out, ya know?) Anyway, that was the end of May and here we are in the middle of August and she's still not back.
I had asked him sometime in June with some help getting her birth certificate because in order for me to order it from VA, where she was born, I'd need money (don't have), somewhere to mail it (I only had a PO Box), etc etc. Seemed easier for him to order it and then send it to me. He agreed. Said he ordered it right away. I kept nagging because after a month or so I still did not have it. About a week or two ago, he calls me and says "So what would you think about her starting school here?" Turns out he's had the birth certificate this whole time, registered her for school in Chicago and was planning on keeping her. Asking me was just an afterthought. When I asked him what the hell he was thinking he said, "I just really expected you to drop the ball on this one." (Don't even get me started on that comment.)
So I'm furious. I told him if he did not have her back I would call the police, no questions asked. In our divorce agreement it says he was to have her back on July 29th, which I was willing to be flexible on but now regret. He'll have her home this Saturday (school starts Monday, ugh!) so I don't want to have him arrested or anything but I feel like I need to do something to protect us from this happening again. How would I go about doing that? I wouldn't even know who to talk to about it and I'm terrified he'll retaliate in some way if I do. I felt like we were just starting to get along after our divorce and he pulls this crap.
My first thought was that I hope he didn't discuss these plans with your DD, which might cause her confusion/anxiety. That kind of unpredictability and manipulation is a real challenge for you, and you are an adult! If she returns this weekend, I don't know if I would report it, especially since you asked for him to take her early. Document everything though. I would definitely stick to the mandated schedule from now on and report any future violations. Sounds like you have more information about his ability to be both flexible *and* respectful. As much as we hate to be rigid, boundaries are there for a reason.
and then when we get to the ocean
we're gonna take a boat to the end of the world
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