STBX has picked up the kids for his vacation week this evening, BUT, never gave me any itinerary... Kids said he was driving them down to North Carolina or South Carolina where his parents recently moved. I have no addresses or phone numbers - no schedule - nothing! Court orders say he must provide an itinerary. What can I do about this?
The orders state he is supposed to provide me with an itinerary if he intends on taking them out of state. He keeps violating the orders and no one does anything about it. Child support, constant harassment, says negative things about me to the children, brings them home late. Drags me into court 5 times to contest the child support and I have to pay my lawyer for half of the appearances:( I just don't get this system!
My lawyer sends me back a message last night with a message from STBX sent when he picked up the kids with vague information on it. No addresses or phones of private residences - how can he keep getting away with all of this?
Sorry to say but he gets away with this because the courts just don't care. If it were the mother doing that, they'd be all over your case. But with a dad, they're comparing him to dead beat dads who are gone from their children's lives completely. Compared to that rather low standard, a dad who is there and doing something with the kids is better even if he doesn't follow the rules or pay child support. So the court's attitude is "What's your problem? He's better than these others that we have to deal with on a regular basis.
It's not good, it's not right but it's what I've observed... sadly.
I find it very frustrating - our legal system where children can be used like pawns, men do not need to be responsible for their children, judges give orders that may or may not be followed, lawyers seem to care only about making money (at least mine). Why does this process need to take so long? It is obvious we are never going to settle and we should have had a trial 18 months ago. Now I am broke, losing my house, cannot pay my bills and have tremendous legal bills which I am told I am responsible for even though stbx has been ordered by the court to pay the bulk of the balance.
The Court doesn't know anything is being violated. Telling your attorney doesn't inform the court. If you want the Court to know, you need to file action for contempt. Your attorney cannot take it upon him/herself to file this for you without your input. Ask for it!
It is important to note the exact language of the order. Does it specify what information is required in the itinerary? If the language of the order is vague, he might be able to "get away" with providing only vague information. Unfortunately only hindsight is 20/20 and it's not until now that you may realize the order needs to include very precise description of what the itinerary must be--such as how many days before the vacation the itinerary must be provided and what details (such as address for each overnight, and phone numbers where they can be reached for all times during the vacation, flight numbers or general description of the driving route) are required. I think asking for modification of the order to include the necessary contact/communication details be provided to you as a condition of being able to take the kids out of state seems reasonable. He's demonstrated a lack of cooperation for sharing this important information with you (he shouldn't have to be ordered to do it in the first place ... reasonable parents want to make sure their kids can be contacted). Asking for an itinerary that includes where they will be every moment of every day (like they're going to the aquarium at noon on Tuesday) is unreasonable. Think of the things you would expect yourself to provide to him if you took a vacation out of state--the list ought to be the same for both of you.
If your attorney isn't serving you, you need find another one. I have no doubt there are shady attorneys who care about nothing more than making money, but there are also ones who will answer the phone any time of day to make sure your legal needs and questions about the process are taken care of and that you are well-represented. Use consulting time with other attorneys to help navigate separating from your current attorney if you're feeling "stuck." I'm sorry things are not going well for you. It's not a pleasant thing to go through even with the best of attorneys, and I'm sure having unenthusiastic representation is much worse ... and your attorney sounds like a real peach (sarcasm noted).
(DSD 10yo) - (29wks 2/2012) - (1/2013) - (7/2014) -
All I can say is that they allowed him to get away without paying CS for 18 months. They allowed him to stalk me after my lawyer talked me into dropping the TRO for a civil order instead. Now we will go to appellate court where his cs will probably be reduced and I will never see the $30,000.00 he owes me in arrears. Every time we go back to court to enforce something it costs me another $6,000+ dollars:(