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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Stbx has the dc for a weekday overnight. The next morning, he is supposed to drop ds6 off at camp, and take ds14 home (my place). Last week, he dropped our younger ds off at camp as expected, then took ds14 back to his house (Stbx was working from home, for some reason).

I have no problem with ds14 staying with his dad longer. I have encouraged stbx to take "extra" time with the boys (he never has), and ask that he give 24 hour notice. Last week, I got no notice-- in fact, I didn't know ds was not home where he was supposed to be until that evening, when ds and I were chatting about his day.

So, stbx "kept" ds14 for 5 of "my" hours without a word to me. I'm not mad about the time-- I was at work, not with ds, after all. I am mad that for most of the day, ds was not where we agreed he would be, and stbx didn't even bother to call me!

I want to talk to stbx about it, but I'm sure he'll act like I'm crazy/overprotective. What should I say?
 

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I get where you're coming from, because I'm the sort of person who just has to know what's going on, even if it doesn't really affect anything. I don't like being left in the dark.

I think you should talk to your DS about it. At 14, he is old enough to take other people into consideration. If he is not going to be where he is supposed to be, he should be calling you to check in. It's good practice for when he goes out with friends, too. He doesn't have to make it sound like he's asking permission (his dad might get annoyed by that), but he could say "let me just call mom and let her know where I am."
 

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I agree with 2xy... I'd speak to DS about letting me know where he is. I'd also have a discussion with the ex about reinforcing the habit that it's important for DS to let you know where he is... that probably won't go well (I went through a similar thing with ex's parents and they don't understand why they have to tell me where they take the kids) but I think it's important to say, anyway. What if you had come home from work for some reason? DS isn't there, there's no note that he's at a friends house... you wouldn't know if he was okay!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, ds does call to let me know where he is. He didn't think about calling me then, because he was with his other parent, y/k? I think it was stbx's responsibility to call me, or to make sure ds called me.
 

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Might be a good idea to calmly request that someone contacts you next time they do this or, if it's a big deal to you, to ask your ex to stick to the 24 hour notice in future. Is anger over this justified? Probably not, unless you would have had to hunt your DS down in a case of emergency.
 

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yeahthat.gif


It's normal and understandable to get angry with our ex's and the stupid things they do, but let's be honest, boys are dumb and don't think. Just let him know, nicely, to text or call you so you know, and tell your DS to do the same.
 

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if this is ex's pattern then yes - i would be angry.

so those 5 hours you are at work (or do you WAH) your ds14 is at home alone?

perhaps ex thought instead of ds being alone he can be home with him.

you might bring up the subject that does ex want to do this every week thru summer? then you wont have to figure out where older ds is.
 

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Send your ex an e-mail stating that if there is a deviation from the court ordered parenting time, such as not dropping your older child off like he is supposed to, he needs to get your agreement. Failure to do so can result in a contempt of court action. Because if your ex isn't following the court order, he is in contempt.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodmom2008 View Post

Send your ex an e-mail stating that if there is a deviation from the court ordered parenting time, such as not dropping your older child off like he is supposed to, he needs to get your agreement. Failure to do so can result in a contempt of court action. Because if your ex isn't following the court order, he is in contempt.
You know, technically, yes, he COULD be found in contempt. But really? No judge is going to lock up a DAD who kept his child (a 14yo no less! This isn't an infant or toddler) for a few extra hours while mom was at work. Seriously.

OP, Send a light hearted email to your ex, just asking to be told - don't make it about permission, make it about mommy worrying. Something like, "Hi Ex, I'm so glad you took some extra time with DS the other day - I'm sure you both had fun. I just worry about the what-if's, and need to know where DS is if there is an emergency. Next time you both decide to hang out after DS is supposed to be dropped off at my house just drop me a line (text, email, phone message) so that I know where DS is, in case of an emergency."

Short, sweet, simple. No pointing fingers, no fighting, just a worried mom (everyone knows mom's worry tons, use it to your advantage). Make sure to say that DS had a good time doing ____, if he told you what they did. Make it about you, not DS or ex, and your ex is less likely to flip out for you telling him what to do.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

You know, technically, yes, he COULD be found in contempt. But really? No judge is going to lock up a DAD who kept his child (a 14yo no less! This isn't an infant or toddler) for a few extra hours while mom was at work. Seriously.

For real. Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Parents getting along and talking things over like reasonable adults is in the best interest of the children, whether the parents are together are apart.
 

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Honestly, I don't think it is a big deal. Talk to your son about always letting you know where he is. But, I think it is great the dad spent more time with him so I would not push it too much with the dad. You could try to say something to the dad, but I think I would start with saying something to the son. Since son is as old as he is, the son could have and should have called and this is an issue that will extend in to other areas, like when he is out with friends.
 

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I would not make an issues of him "being in contempt." If you want everything to work, there could come a day where you need or want your son to stay longer. And you do not want to come off as a difficult person by complaining to a judge about your ex having the teen boy at a time in which you were not even around to be with him. Not like you and your son had plans that had to be cancelled because the dad did not show.
 

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Not the first time, but if it happens repeatedly, then, yes, a judge will do something about it. When it is her parenting time, she is legally responsible for the child, even if he is a 14 year old and not an infant. If the father wants to change the parenting time, he needs to COMMUNICATE that to her. And not just disregard a court order. Which he just may start doing if he realizes that he can get into legal trouble (which he can) for doing. It's not making a mountain out of a molehill, it's setting a precedent that if they are going to deviate from the court order, they must COMMUNICATE AND AGREE to do so.

Doing nothing sets the precedent that it's okay not to communicate a change or agree to it. It can just be done at a whim. Seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

You know, technically, yes, he COULD be found in contempt. But really? No judge is going to lock up a DAD who kept his child (a 14yo no less! This isn't an infant or toddler) for a few extra hours while mom was at work. Seriously.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodmom2008 View Post

Not the first time, but if it happens repeatedly, then, yes, a judge will do something about it. When it is her parenting time, she is legally responsible for the child, even if he is a 14 year old and not an infant. If the father wants to change the parenting time, he needs to COMMUNICATE that to her. And not just disregard a court order. Which he just may start doing if he realizes that he can get into legal trouble (which he can) for doing. It's not making a mountain out of a molehill, it's setting a precedent that if they are going to deviate from the court order, they must COMMUNICATE AND AGREE to do so.

Doing nothing sets the precedent that it's okay not to communicate a change or agree to it. It can just be done at a whim. Seriously.
I'm pretty sure that if a child is with their FATHER (you know, one of the PARENTS), even if its not his "court ordered parenting time", and something happened to the child, the father would be responsible. And yes, you are technically correct about the whole contempt thing - but NO judge is going to mess with that b/c they don't want to set a precedent that parents go to jail for spending some time with their children. And they aren't going to want to listen to parents squabbles over a few hours when mom is at work and ds is supposed to be home alone. All the judges I've seen would be seriously annoyed if I went to court with that. Even when it involves my 2yo - if ds was dropped off a few hours late to daycare, the judge wouldn't give a damn. Technically, I would have recourse, but not in reality.

I agree that it needs to be communicated. Completely. But telling the father, "If you keep DS after 9am SHARP the morning after your visitation, I'm going to go to court and file contempt charges and have you put in JAIL if you don't tell me and ask permission!" mommy is going to look like a LUNATIC. And if she goes to court over stuff that small often enough, the visitation/custody could be changed in the fathers favor.

And don't forget, the OP's son is home alone all day while she's working. The dad would have a reasonable argument that its unsafe to leave a 14yp unsupervised for that long, and he could argue (probably successfully) that the child was better off in his care during that time than at home alone fending for himself.

I don't think there is anything wrong with a 14yo being home alone, but every argument has a counter-argument, and a son spending the day with his dad rather than alone isn't that terrible. The OP's ds, or her ds's dad NEEDS to tell her whats going on - but there is absolutely no reason for the OP to threaten legal action as it would very likely count against her.

OP - you should start a policy that when your DS gets home from dad's he calls you immediately so that you know he made it home, and that he got into the house ok. Also tell him to keep you informed of where he is - this really isn't that big of a deal - just someone needs to tell you where DS is, right? It doesn't matter who, and if you start instilling in your ds that you need to know where he is, and that he needs to inform you of where he is, I think that would be a good thing for later on when he's driving and such.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OP here. Thanks for all the input. FTR, I wasn't planning on making a big deal of this-- certainly not taking it to court! I just wanted a reality check. I will speak to stbx civilly and remind him that he needs to communicate!

I am a little surprised from the responses that stbx seems to get off easier than ds! Ds does call me when he goes out. He didn't tell me when he stayed with stbx because he thought (and I agree) that it was the parent's responsibility.
 

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At 14, I think your ds is old enough to understand "if there's a change in plans and I'm not where I am supposed to be, I should call mom and let her know" (unless there are developmental delays). Did your ds know that he was supposed to go to your house? If he did, then he should have called you and let you know there was a change in plans. Your ex should also have called you, but it will likely be easier to change your ds's behavior than your ex's behavior, ya know?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by darien View Post

OP here. Thanks for all the input. FTR, I wasn't planning on making a big deal of this-- certainly not taking it to court! I just wanted a reality check. I will speak to stbx civilly and remind him that he needs to communicate!

I am a little surprised from the responses that stbx seems to get off easier than ds! Ds does call me when he goes out. He didn't tell me when he stayed with stbx because he thought (and I agree) that it was the parent's responsibility.
You said in your first post that if you were to confront your stbx with this, he would act as if you're crazy. That's enough to tell me that he doesn't respect you enough to take on that sort of responsibility. If I waited for my ex to tell me stuff, I'd never know anything that was going on between him and the kids. He is a self-centered person and simply doesn't care to take me into consideration, because I don't matter to him. It's much easier to communicate with my children, because I do matter to them.

For me, it's just easier to have expectations of my teenagers rather than my ex. So I commented from that perspective.
 

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I guess I'm the odd ball out, that wouldn't even hit my radar. It sounds like your kids have a good relationship with the dad, at least semi- like being over there and have a rather healthy relationship with dad.

This summer my ds10 is getting some 'roaming rights' and I don't always know where he is. I'm working on getting him a cell phone so he can call me.

Your son is 14 so that's almost high school. I guess I look at the age of the kid, the ability of the kid, and the situation in general.

While the kid probably should've called, I really don't have an issue with the day's events.
 
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