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Custody issue- is there anything I can do?

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Eranda posted 7/14/2013 15:00 PM

My kids are 14 and 15. Our custody order states that we must notify the other parent of summer vacation weeks by May 1st each year. We do a 50/50 custody arrangement during the summer, with each parent allowed to take one uninterrupted week (no mid-week dinner for the other parent). I followed the order and gave notice of my vacation week as required. At that time I asked if he had a week planned and he said no- that they might go to the beach for a few days during the summer but he didn't have any other plans. I haven't heard anything else about it since then.

OK... so the kids went to their dad's for his week on Friday night. Saturday morning I get an email saying he "decided" to take his vacation week THIS week and they would be at the beach until Wednesday. I have a Tuesday night mid-week scheduled for this week since he never gave me any notice of a vacation week at all.

I told him that he was supposed to have notified me by May 1st- or at least in advance- NOT as they were walking out the door. That I had arranged my schedule to have a Tuesday night dinner with the kids, and since there was no notice whatsoever, I expected them to be available for pickup as agreed. He basically told me to fuck off, that they would NOT be home for the scheduled mid-week dinner.

Is there anything I can do about this? If I called the police and reported the kids as not available for scheduled pickup time (and that he did not give me an address or phone number as required in the order)- will they at least file a report? I think that it's likely they'll just tell me to contact my attorney, but I don't have one.

What would you do under there circumstances?

Ex has been playing fast and loose with the custody order lately- being late getting the kids home for me to pick up (leaving me sitting there in front of his house texting him- and he doesn't respond to my texts asking where they are) and bringing them back to my house 30-60 minutes after they are supposed to be here. I haven't made a fuss because I don't want to upset the kids- but this latest stunt is really disrespectful of my time with them, and of the custody order. He's one of those who expects ME to follow the order to the letter, but thinks he can do whatever he wants because I can't do anything about it.

caregiver9000 posted 7/14/2013 15:39 PM


This is one of those "he is trying to make you play his game" situations. If you play his game, you can't win.

I would send a "Great! I hope the kids have a wonderful time at the beach. Can I get an extra night the week of (whatever his next week) say a Tues. and a Thursday dinner?"

This way if he refuses and you do end up in front of a judge, you look reasonable and flexible and he looks like the ASS he is.

As for the drop off and pick ups, I would minimize the inconvenience to you and let it go. So instead of you sitting around in his driveway, suggest that if his time is imprecise, perhaps he would bring the kids home to you?

If you can't make that change, I would be sure I had a book with me at all times or something I could do in the car.

This is a no win situation for you. It would be expensive to litigate. The likely outcome would be the judge warning him to abide by the agreement. He wouldn't. Eventually he might get found in contempt? But in the meantime, he has bitched and whined about it to the kids, you'll have spent thousands of dollars and time in court.

I would ignore it and hope he grows bored with being an ass when it doesn't appear to piss you off.

The teens are close to phasing out visitation. At worst you have a few more years and this will be a non-issue. Support the kids as best you can and they will appreciate the less drama and strife.

I am sorry. This sucks. It is unfair. I did not like this type of advice when I got it. But truly, when I quit fighting, it got better. Easier. I felt less anxious and stress. The kids are still late (often!) and sometimes they are anxious about it. "Are you mad because we are late Mommy?" I suggest that next time they send me a text so I won't worry, hug them, and move on until next time.

You can only control you.

peridot posted 7/14/2013 18:25 PM

How often has he been more than 15 minutes late? How many times has he refused to let you see the kids when it's your time?

I'm sure you know by now to document all this.

The court will probably just slap him on the wrist and tell him not to do it again, and he will do it again. You need to wait to go to court until there is a clear and frequent pattern that he is messing with your time with the kids.

One thing I would do is have an attorney send him a very stern letter about him interfering with your visitation time. It may not make a difference but it's a start.

I'd send him an email or text about making up the time. Legally, he's supposed to since it's his fault you didn't get time with the kids during your visitation.

Eranda posted 7/15/2013 21:27 PM

Yeah I kind of knew there was nothing I could do... but I just get so frustrated with his disrespect and his arrogance and hubris. Just want to teach the fucker a lesson about how you treat people.

I'm thinking that a little taste of his own medicine might be in order. After all, there's not much he can do...

caregiver9000 posted 7/15/2013 21:31 PM


I have a whole new vocabulary due to the frustration of wanting to teach "that fucker" a lesson...

homewrecked2011 posted 7/15/2013 22:02 PM

You could still send an email to your atty for your file.

Sometimes my atty will call his atty and he straightens up for a while.

Document everything...

Eranda posted 7/16/2013 19:20 PM

Yeah... don't have an attorney. In my experience, they cost and arm and a leg and don't solve anything anyway... ask the last one I had why it cost me $12K to lose my kids

I just have a hard time trusting anyone who gets paid even when they lose.

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