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Totally freaking out...does he have a legal right to do this?

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NWfleur posted 11/14/2013 19:26 PM

So I had a legally documented parenting plan with my EXWH, completed during our divorce. Then, he moved 3,000 miles away, so all of our scheduled visitation agreements have not been followed. He flies out every couple months for a couple days to see them, we arrange it as it happens.

He is coming to a city a few hours away this Christmas to see his mom, and I agreed to drive them there that day so they could see him. We informally agreed on this. I also agreed to fly them to NYC (with my own money) so they could spend time with him after the holidays.

He has since decided he would like to pick them up here on the 24th and take them to his mom's apartment to wake up on Christmas, since our original plan stated he would have them in the mornings every other Christmas,
exchanging them at noon. That was the plan while he still lived HERE. My understanding is that, since he moved out of state, and NO other of the scheduled visits are occurring, he would not get to pick and choose the holiday visits that he wants. He claims he has the legal right to do so, and made it clear this is what would be happening this Christmas. As usual, he is being a dictator and a total ass. Btw, he is supposed to have them this Thanksgiving, according to the old plan, but can't make that work, so I have them.

I'm very frustrated and upset by this, since I know my boys are expecting to wake up here Christmas morning and I don't want them get caught in the middle of this.
We may obviously need a new parenting plan but in the mean time, he told me "go ahead and ask your lawyer. You'll see I have a legal right and that's that. " Can he pick and chose like this, when he isn't following any other of the scheduled visits on our parenting plan. Any suggestions? I'm so upset by him and what this could mean for our boys.

Gemini71 posted 11/14/2013 19:32 PM

I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is that unless the original agreement is voided or replaced, it is still valid. However, would this year be one of his 'every other years' for Christmas? If not, FTG. If it is, you'll need to check with your lawyer. There may be some way to legally invalidate the agreement.

As I understand it, you have previously made alterations to the plan based on 'mutual agreement'. When there is no agreement, the Parenting Plan comes into play.

[This message edited by Gemini71 at 7:33 PM, November 14th (Thursday)]

ruinedandbroken posted 11/14/2013 19:38 PM

If this is his year to have them on Christmas morning then yes, it is his legal right. Unless or until the original plan is amended, the old one still stands. It doesn't matter if he is not taking any of the other days he is entitled to. At least that is the way it is here in Florida.

gonnabe2016 posted 11/14/2013 19:44 PM

He is not *picking and choosing which holidays he wants*. He may decide to *forfeit* his holiday, but he isn't trying to *take away* a holiday from you, kwim? If your agreement says that he gets them for *this* Christmas morning....then he has the right to get them for *this* Christmas morning.

Re-do your parenting plan ASAP, since I'm sure that he is now *light* on his CS payments to you since you seem to be carrying the bulk of the childcare since he's moved.....

NWfleur posted 11/14/2013 20:13 PM

So, let me get this straight.

He can ignore 90% of the parenting agreement (which states every other weekend and each Wednesday, and he sees them roughly 2 days every 60.) But, he has a legal leg to stand on, for the one day per year he wants to follow the plan?

That seems really, really skewed. What is the point of a parenting plan? I'm really confused.

lifestoshort posted 11/14/2013 20:16 PM

He can ignore 90% of the parenting agreement (which states every other weekend and each Wednesday, and he sees them roughly 2 days every 60.) But, he has a legal leg to stand on, for the one day per year he wants to follow the plan?

That seems really, really skewed. What is the point of a parenting plan? I'm really confused.

yep, thats exactly right. sucks. Im in it.

persevere posted 11/14/2013 20:20 PM

So NWfleur, if that's the case, what exact years does the order reflect are his? Is this his year? He doesn't get to pick and choose, if it was last year, then it's next year. If not, then be prepared to enforce the orders to the letter - and no extra $$ out of your pocket any more. He can suck it.

gonnabe2016 posted 11/14/2013 20:27 PM

He can ignore 90% of the parenting agreement (which states every other weekend and each Wednesday, and he sees them roughly 2 days every 60.) But, he has a legal leg to stand on, for the one day per year he wants to follow the plan?

Yep.

LadyQ posted 11/14/2013 20:35 PM

Our agreement has different visitation for distances greater than 100 miles. But, I'm afraid I have to agree with others, if it's his year per the agreement, he has a legal right.

NWfleur posted 11/14/2013 20:42 PM

The old plan, which was written when he lived 15 minutes away, states that we switch off every other year...Christmas eve, from 11:30 am, to Christmas morning, 11:30 am. So we would both always get to see them on Christmas, but just trade off who WOKE UP with them. This was his year to wake up with them as per the old plan (which again he doesn't follow at all).

So basically, this means he picks them up on the 24th, takes them three hours away, but then has to have them back to me by 11:30 the next morning. If we stick to the "legal" agreement. I don't want to do that to them. I don't want them spending all Christmas eve and Christmas in the damn car. So I'd rather just let him keep them till the day after Christmas so they aren't in the middle of all this. I wish he would think about them, but as usual, he is simply deciding what works and threatening me legally.

In the meantime, looks like I need to request a new parenting plan that reflects him living across the country.

thenon-goddess posted 11/14/2013 21:04 PM

In the meantime, looks like I need to request a new parenting plan that reflects him living across the country.

Be careful what you wish for. Your new parenting plan may find you putting your kids on a plane rather then him coming to visit them and you sending them for weeks during the summer (in which he doesn't have to pay CS).

momentintime posted 11/15/2013 00:37 AM

He gets them Xmas morning, not Xmas eve. He doesn't get to deprive you of Xmas with them. Stick to the plan. If he shows up on Xmas eve call the police.

Oops, missed your last post.

[This message edited by momentintime at 12:39 AM, November 15th (Friday)]

tesla posted 11/15/2013 06:13 AM

NW, I would stick with the plan. The fact that the kids are in a car for 6 hours over a 12 hour period really isn't your problem.

If he asks for more time, use it as leverage to ammend the parenting plan to something that works with the distance...and the fact that he's getting credits for overnights that he's not taking...that's taking away from his CS amounts.

He may back down from wanting them for Christmas if you stick to the parenting plan times.

Freeme posted 11/15/2013 06:21 AM

Let him know if know that if he chooses to enforce the Christmas part of the plan you will be sticking to the plan going forward and not making changes to it.

This is the only way to make sure he knows he can't pick and choose what days he wants.

Catwoman posted 11/15/2013 06:36 AM

In some states, child support factors in time spent, in other states it does not. Before you seek a modification, know what your state bases child support on.

Unfortutunately, he is well within his legal rights to enforce the agreement. However, I would not be buying ANY plane tickets or footing any non-local transportation expenses. If you do and you do end up seeking a modification, the court could assume you are okay with splitting the expenses for his decisions and make it a part of the modification. I would research all of this and if it makes sense, seek a modification that includes a bump in child support and him being mandated to foot expenses for visitation. Do be aware that he will probably be awarded chunks of time, such as during summer vacation, Thanksgiving and Christmas break.

In my family, Christmas is the day you make it. It is about family and being together, not about "the day." I would let him have the kids and make your own traditions. It is not your issue they will have to spend all that time in the car.

I hate splitting holidays with a passion, but I also know that my girls want time with their father. I do my best to make "our" time special and meaningful. He can do what he likes with his.

Cat

LadyQ posted 11/15/2013 06:56 AM

I think it's time to rethink your ideas about your parenting plan. It is designed so your children get regular (if not frequent) visits with their dad. Unless he is toxic TO THEM it's important they be allowed the time to build a relationship with him. The courts recognize the fact that both parents deserve a presence in their children's lives. Whether does (or can) exercise that right is, unfortunately, beside the point. It's sad and frustrating when a parent doesn't make the effort.

And if your objection is that they'll spend too much time traveling, I have to say some of my fondest memories of the holidays are of driving to my grandparent's house. It was always a special time of anticipation and excitement.

Take2 posted 11/15/2013 07:40 AM

In that his attitude is to jump to lawyers... I'd stick precisely to the parenting plan. I'd give him the 11:30 to 11:30, and tell him to suck it about NYC (and to talk to his lawyer if he doesn't like it.

lieshurt posted 11/15/2013 08:43 AM

So basically, this means he picks them up on the 24th, takes them three hours away, but then has to have them back to me by 11:30 the next morning. If we stick to the "legal" agreement.

Stick with this. If he wants to play the game, play it right back.

itainteasy posted 11/15/2013 10:44 AM

I would NOT be footing the plane ticket bill for the kids to see him in NYC.

Nope. That's HIS JOB. Not yours.

trustagain posted 11/15/2013 14:36 PM

I would NOT be footing the plane ticket bill for the kids to see him in NYC.
Nope. That's HIS JOB. Not yours.

Be careful what you wish for. Your new parenting plan may find you putting your kids on a plane rather then him coming to visit them and you sending them for weeks during the summer

I agree with this 100%.

Divorce stinks for kids - that is a fact. However, if he wants to stick with the plan for Christmas let him and if your agreement says he picks them up at 11:30am on Christmas Eve and drops them back to you at 11:3am on Christmas morning - great. Let him. But that means he doesn't pick them up at 3pm and get them back late to you. Go by the agreement. If his schedule doesn't work with that he needs to rearrange his schedule.

Think of it this way - your kids will be back with you at 11:30am on Christmas morning. They will see all the Santa gifts. Meet them at the door and don't invite him in. You will then have the rest of the day with them. I certainly wouldn't be paying for a NYC trip - if he wants them during their vacation he can pay for it.

If it were me (and I have been there believe me) I would say "Ok great the agreement says you may get them at 11:30am on Christmas Eve and you will return them at 11:30am on Christmas Day. I will follow our agreement."

So he is going to be 3 hours away that means he needs to leave at 8:30am on Christmas morning to bring the kids back. He won't have much of a Christmas morning with them. Don't waiver from the agreement. Stand strong.

It sucks, it really does, but I have found that if you give them an inch they take a mile so after a few hard lessons - I learned to stick with the agreement and then there is nothing they can do.

Christmas is my favorite holiday and in my agreement it stated that the boys always were at "their/my" home Christmas morning - he got them at 2pm. Now that they are older it doesn't happen that way anymore - they choose. But I thought that is what I always wanted, until I realized that they were missing out on my family Christmas dinner. So I started a new tradition and had my family over for brunch. Sometimes you just need to think out of the box.

Just think how excited you will be Christmas morning. You can sleep in a little, finish wrapping gifts in the morning, bake a little and have the homecoming of the kids to look forward to.

[This message edited by trustagain at 2:40 PM, November 15th (Friday)]

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