Need advice re: visitation - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 10-28-2005, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ever since I became serious with my now DH, my X stopped being a consistent presence in my kids' lives (ages 6 & 3). He sees them about once a month for 2 hours. He rarely returns my phone calls or emails. Most of the time he is late for visitation and sometimes he doesn't show up at all. He is over 6 months behind in child support. I could go on.

I have been working hard to keep things amicable for the kids' sake. I have not reported him to the AG office for non-payment, nor have I gone to court to enforce visitation. I've really tried to just work with what I've got and not make things more contentious than they already are.

Suddenly, yesterday he sends an email saying I've been keeping the kids from him and he is going to take legal action (I bit my tongue and thought but did not say "Bring it on!!"). I wrote back and kept things civil. I suggested a couple of dates for visiting. He backed down.

BUT

He requested Thanksgiving. He knows we had plans to spend the holidays with the kids' new cousins. Then he asked for Christmas (we already bought our plane tickets). He says it is in the divorce decree and I got them last year for Christmas.

I'm glad he wants to see them again, but I don't think he should be allowed to start picking and choosing dates suddenly when he is barely in their lives and when he can't guarantee that he won't back out at the last minute like he has so many times in the past. Am I being unfair? Part of me feels like I shouldn't have to live by the letter of our decree when he certainly doesn't....

Advice or BTDT appreciated. TIA!

Mom to : DS1 (11), DS2 (8), DD3 (4), : DS4 (1), and : : :
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#2 of 4 Old 10-28-2005, 03:00 PM
 
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My ex did a similar thing last year. He didn't see the kids at all from May until November and then all of a sudden wanted them to go for Christmas and have overnights (which our youngest had never had). He figured he had the "right" because he was the dad, but he didn't respect the fact that we had plans.

Do you have the times he has not shown, the phone calls and emails all documented? My ex tried to say that I "didn't let him see the kids" but I handed all the papers to the lawyer and he finally quit that line of b.s.

It must be frustrating. Do you think you could compromise? Could you explain that since you already have tickets for Christmas, that he could have them for Thanksgiving and you have them for Christmas? It would probably be easiest to give up one of the days, because if he took it to court, he would likely get it anyway.

Wish it could be easier. I know it's disappointing when you have plans and they can force those plans to change at their whim. I think it is unfair for him to expect that he can pick and choose, but the current legal climate seems to cater to these men in the hopes that their showing ANY interest is somehow good for their children.

I hope you can find a solution that remains reasonably amicable.
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#3 of 4 Old 10-29-2005, 11:29 AM
 
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My ex had threatened me with court once when our son was young, but he quickly let that go when I told him visitation worked both ways. If he requested certain visitation, then he would have to arrange his own work and most importantly social schedules to fit visitation with our child in. I reminded him that if he didn't go with a court appointed schedule then I could take him back to court and have it changed in my favor. He realized he liked coming and going as he pleased and we never went to court.

Usually when an ex, who has a liesurely schedule and just wants to see the kid rather than take on the daily parenting role (school, illness, shopping, food, etc), all of a sudden threatens court...it's usually his mother or significant other who is behind him pushing for it....especially if they know he's paying child support.

I know this theory doesn't work for all NCP's whether they be women or men, but it does work for nearly every one I know that fit's this description.
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#4 of 4 Old 10-31-2005, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stressedstepmom
Usually when an ex, who has a liesurely schedule and just wants to see the kid rather than take on the daily parenting role (school, illness, shopping, food, etc), all of a sudden threatens court...it's usually his mother or significant other who is behind him pushing for it....especially if they know he's paying child support.
Thanks to both of you. SSM, I think you've hit it spot on. I talked to him about court, etc, and he has completely backed off. All bark and no bite.

He's agreed to the weekends before Thanksgiving & Christmas instead.

Mom to : DS1 (11), DS2 (8), DD3 (4), : DS4 (1), and : : :
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