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Can he just come to kids activities when he wants?

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HeBrokeVows posted 5/8/2014 21:28 PM

I posted a bit ago about seeing the jerk tonight for first time since he was served. He hasn't responded to it yet to my lawyer (or me). I asked for full custody including legal. He works out of state and walked out on us. Obviously visitation hasn't been worked out yet but do I have to put up with him popping into every practice and game these kids have? At this point it's a visit because we go out after or before. He's not alone with them yet, has no residency. I don't deprive him but I don't want it to be expected he can just drop in in all their events. It's draining on me and he uses those things as his "visits".

Dreamboat posted 5/8/2014 21:32 PM

Probably. He has the right to see his kids at events. But he does NOT have the right to take them for "visitation" before/after if it is not his time. Also, you do not have to sit with him or talk to him. And YOU certainly should not be having a meal with him! Do not play "happy family".

tryingagain74 posted 5/8/2014 21:37 PM

Unless you have a restraining order because he's a threat to your kids, then he is allowed to appear at whatever events he wants. I know how you feel. It is very draining, and it frustrates me because my ex only shows up to these things to play at being a proud daddy with his wonderful wifey. They love to make an appearance, gush about how proud they are of my kids, and do little to nothing otherwise to contribute to my kids' performances. It's not fair, but you don't have any choice. Just stay as NC as possible, and hopefully (and I hope this for myself as well) you'll become "meh" to his presence over time.

PurpleRose posted 5/8/2014 22:10 PM

Why are you going out with him at all? If he wants to take the kids to dinner after an event, you go,home and he needs to,have them back by 7 (or whatever time).

You should not be playing happy family with him.

HeBrokeVows posted 5/8/2014 22:11 PM

I need to stop the meals with him, you are right but I can't let go yet. They are 4.5, he has nowhere to take them, and since he pops in during our activities and events and we grab meals in between things or to celebrate games. He doesn't arrange any other visits. Also, they don't want to go off alone with him yet. He hasn't been living with us for two months. Once their school is done next week I plan on telling them more and how daddy will take them such and such days and bring them back, etc.

I'm also waiting for him to get a lawyer so we can get this all in writing and then let my kids know what to expect.

HeBrokeVows posted 5/8/2014 22:12 PM

He has no car seats to even take them. I've mentioned before he needs to buy them.

HeBrokeVows posted 5/8/2014 22:14 PM

You all are right. The happy family meals need to stop. This goes along with my previous posts of needing to tell the kids more.

SBB posted 5/8/2014 22:18 PM

I think it's confusing and damaging for the kids for you two to spend time together right now. The tension must be through the roof.

He is effectively hijacking your time with them. Just shows up and tags along. No way in hell would I allow this. You can't stop him showing up but you don't have to hang out. Especially given he doesn't pre-arrange it. Tell him he is not welcome to join you for a meal.

My girls were 4.5 and almost 2 at S. The only time we've sent 'together' was my big girls first day of school. There was no way around it. It was civil but unpleasant.

The events we both attend we each spend separate time with the girls but apart. No together to confuse them.

homewrecked2011 posted 5/8/2014 22:19 PM

Unfortunately, you are about to find out just how selfish your ws is.

My XWH was the most involved Dad you've ever seen. Now he blows off visitation whenever he wants -- w/o notifying me! His whole "being" is devoted to doing what OW wants. If she wants to go to the band concert to show herself off, they go. If she doesn't want to go to one single HS football game they don't go. Yep, not one 1/2 time show all year and both kids are in the marching band!

He was supposed to have them Christmas day til school started in Jan -- and he sent them back Christmas night with no explanation.

Someone on here told me that when he does this crap, act like you are SO happy that they will be with you!

Also, since yours are so young, be sure you are documenting all the dates he HAS/ HAS NOT tried to see them. And in your D ask for financial compensation any time he misses a visitation time because you might have to hire a sitter if he backs out on Summer/spring break visitation, or what if you are working on a day and he suddenly doesn't show?

HeBrokeVows posted 5/8/2014 22:34 PM

Thanks for the advice. I know it's confusing. Up until a week ago when I had to file I always thought he'd come back home so I just told the kids he's not living here for now. They are confused because I was. Heck, I still am. And now I don't want to tell them until after their preschool graduation next week because I am so afraid they will meltdown on stage. They have the past few times they've been on stage the past few months for a presentation or program when we both are sitting in the audience. They may again anyway next week, but I feel telling them would just assure a meltdown.

Now I feel like the bad one again, like I'm doing something wrong. I'm in the wrong. I have just burst into tears because now I feel I'm ruining my kids. God help me. I'm losing it.

SBB posted 5/8/2014 23:02 PM

Honey, you are not ruining your kids. No matter what you do you can't stop them hurting over this. That's the killer.

My post was harsher than intended. I meant it as a wake up not a smack down. A wake up because I KNOW why you're doing this - you're trying to make it as easy as possible for them. It comes from a good place - your intentions are pure.

I too tried to keep up the facade for the sake of my girls. I just couldn't bear to be in his presence - so what I did was for me, not them.

There is no right or wrong way/time to do this.

Please do not beat yourself up. You're not doing anything wrong. You're bleeding out from your heart being torn out yet you are showing up for your kids. You're there - front and centre.

The need you to be OK and you will be. Seeing him hurts you most of all right now - I don't want you to hurt yourself anymore.

Put self care on your To Do list. Seek out support IRL. Have you told anyone? I would tell everyone so your support network can help you.

Please don't do this alone. You don't have to. Are you in IC? Can you get them to see someone too? I needed a lot of guidance because none of us know how to deal with this stuff and we can't think straight because of our own pain.

Dreamboat posted 5/9/2014 00:12 AM

I'm also waiting for him to get a lawyer

Don't wait for him. Tell your L what YOU want in terms of custody and CS and property settlement and ask your L to draw up an settlement agreement with those terms and file it (if that is the correct procedure) and send it to him.

Take control of the D instead of allowing him to dictate the timing.

You can also ask your L to get your temp orders that specify exact visitation times AND that he must have car seats if he is to take them in his car. If the event does not fall within the court order visitation time then he can say hello to the kids but he cannot have any visitation. If it is his visitation, then he can take them if he has car seats. Where he takes them is not your concern. If he does not have car seats then he can stay at the event place and you will pick the kids back up at the specified end time of his visitation. Also, if he tries to tag along for meals, tell him no and put the kids in the car and drive off.

I understand that you want to wait until the kids are out of school. In the mean time, think about what you need to say to them (including the fact that they cannot ride without car seats and meals are now always separate) and even practice it. It will be a rough ride at first trying to enforce your boundaries. Do not be afraid to ask your L to send him a letter if he consistently is breaking your boundaries or if he tries to create a scene in front of the kids. Always do your best to keep your cool in front of the kids even if he is making a scene. Practice saying like "I am sorry you feel that way", "I will not talk about that right now", and "No."


HeBrokeVows posted 5/9/2014 00:15 AM

SBB, thank you for your post. You are right, I'm trying to make this easy on the kids. I just want to protect them with everything I have.

I do feel better. I actually have a great support network, I'm in IC and my kids have begun child play therapy. My whole immediate family knows, they are the ones I called when he walked out and they came rushing over to pick me up literally. My close circle of friends know. In fact, after I posted here I called one and she calmed me down as well. I know I'm doing all I can with what I know. This site has been part of my support as well. Thank you again. It helps to hear I'm not ruining them

HeBrokeVows posted 5/9/2014 00:18 AM

Dreamboat, wow, I just learned a ton from your post. I kept thinking we file and we just wait for his lawyer to call and then the process begins unless there is emergency issues. I will talk to my lawyer now about the things you suggested. We need to get this figured out soon, for my sanity and the consistency of he kids. Simply explaining to them now how they can't ride without car seats, meals are separate, etc would help. And I like your quotes at the end to practice saying. I need to keep rereading it all.

Thanks again.

ideservebetter45 posted 5/9/2014 11:11 AM

They love to make an appearance, gush about how proud they are of my kids, and do little to nothing otherwise to contribute to my kids' performances.


ideservebetter45 posted 5/9/2014 11:11 AM

They love to make an appearance, gush about how proud they are of my kids, and do little to nothing otherwise to contribute to my kids' performances.


devistatedmom posted 5/9/2014 16:52 PM

Look at this in parts, short and long term:

1. Yes, he can show up at their games. Think long term on this...if you make it that he can't show up at games on your nights, that means you can't show up on his nights. 7 years from now when one of your kids is starring in the school play, it falls on his night. Do you want to miss out?

2. Showing up for the game does NOT mean that counts as his visitation, and he does NOT get to hang out with you guys in between events. He can just show up at the next one. It's your time. He can figure out his own food. At the end of the game, just send the kids over to say hi/bye, then you and the kids leave to go to wherever it is you want to eat. If he goes home, fine. If he shows up at the next event, fine. You don't need to talk to him at all.

3. Document. Without emotion. "XH showed up to watch DD's game. 4:00-5:00. I drove kids to/from, fed them."

4. You are right at the start, you need to think through everything right now. How it will affect your kids, how it will affect the future. Set visitation ASAP. Of course, no, he can't start his visitation until he gets car seats. Not your problem. Don't make any "rules" (ie he cant' show up at events on your nights) that will affect you too, if they aren't things you can live with. If you want to have the option to go to kids events regardless of the night, you don't want to refuse him coming on your nights. Our mediator asked if we wanted a clause saying that any future partners of ours could not come to any events of the kids. XH said yeah, sure. I told him no, don't be stupid. No, I don't think either of us need other partners going to parent/teacher interview type stuff, but if 7 years down the road our DD was in a play and his GF was always sitting with DD helping her run her lines, did he really want to tell her she couldn't come to see the play? Or if I was dating someone that was able to coach/teach our son in one of his sports, I didn't think that should mean he could never watch him play. We put that no one else could be involved with school related meetings, but both could bring partners to events. I looked at it from both sides.

You will get there. You can do this.

HeBrokeVows posted 5/9/2014 19:22 PM

Excellent advice. I need to start thinking years down ( and without emotion). I've come down from the anger today and can problem solve again. Thanks once again SI!!

Sadmumma posted 5/10/2014 01:38 AM

I think from a parenting side of things it's wonderful he wants to watch sports/etc.

Anything beyond that my fav phrase is "that doesn't work for me"

Ashland13 posted 5/10/2014 19:55 PM

This was hard for me, too. X here even showed up at my work places to visit DD and I was not told-I don't work there anymore.

What I learned with this one -Perv-is that only things legally written will be things he will follow. So I ended up having to create a schedule of his visitation with them.

He did something similar, bolted and moved out of state with OW and even lied about where he lives. But I had to let them go because the laws favor his parenthood as they do mine, though this is still a bone of contention for me.

One thing I had to learn very soon, because I had the emotion you do, is that I had to do some premature letting go of my own kids when I knew they are in his hands-and DS is only 7 months old. I was really, really freaked out the first times they had to go or he showed up.

But x here is a real bully and knew he could get away with it. It taught me to get a lawyer quick, though I had to borrow money, I swallowed all my pride because I had to protect what I could. Now that I have the legal backup, x will back down on the bullying and though it feels like a kid with no mother's rights, it is better.

And, FWIW, I learned more. I take each day as it comes and also each visit. I don't sweat about "tomorrow" or "what may happen" anymore, rather, go about my stuff and hope for the best. This was not easy. And, I still feel like an ok mom. I had to figure out how to be strong for myself, so I could be strong when they get back.

I hope you will adjust over time. For me, it was small increments that I almost didn't notice. Like, a whole day without crying. Or doing the switch off from parent to parent without a problem.

ETA, I told DD that "daddy has a problem he cannot fix at home and he cannot be around mommy with his problem." She accepted that and we even went on to tell her elementary aged friends, as some other parents needed to tell their kids where x went as well.

[This message edited by Ashland13 at 7:57 PM, May 10th (Saturday)]

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