I know most of you are custodial stepmom's -- so I'm hoping I can get opinions as a custodial parent, not a BMvs.BD.
I am preparing for court and I am working on what I plan to 'ask' for. My biggest concerns are extended weekends (Thursday nights) and DD not being prepared for school the next day. For example: homework not being completed, not having a bath, not being sent with lunch or lunch money. Those may sound like nitpicky things but remember the teachers have complained about these issues and want me to resolve them with BD which was unsuccessful. My next concern is the extended stay during summer. I dont have a problem with dd staying with bd over the summer BUT I would like to have communication with dd and from past experiences and current situations, dd is not allows contact with me while at BDs. I sent my summer requests via email and certified mail to BD by the deadline and my certified mail was returned to sender. Obviously I have the envelope where it shows the letter was refused and I can show the judge that BD refused receipt of my notice and I fully expect BD to deny my access to dd during his summer visit as to say 'I never received it'.
So what I want to know, am I being unreasonable? Am I expecting too much? During the school term, BD has full access to dd at school. He can volunteer, he can eat lunch with her, he can participate in the activities but during the summer, if dd isn't in school or somewhere where I know she is, I literally have no access unless he tells me where she is. In the past, dd stays home with SM and does not attend daycare. Because I work he attends day care and by our order, I have to tell him where she is. Since he doesn't put her anywhere he doesn't have to tell me anything. How many custodial parents talk to their children during their summer visits to the non custodial? Is it too much to 'ask' that I have access to her at least by phone once a week? I don't feel like I 'need' to place my eyeballs on her but I would like to hear from her.
I remember several years ago, the last time she spent 30 days at BDs, I was allowed NO access to her. I went 30 days without even knowing if she were alive. Granted I'm sure if something happened someone would call me, but how do I know and how do I just ease that fear?
I am already in therapy and she is trying to help me but even she believes that a child should not be kept from communicating with the custodial parent for that long. A child in our situation, where I have been her primary caregiver her entire life, and then all of a sudden no contact for 30 days is detrimental to the emotional well being of that child.
I am getting so nervous as summer approaches. I'm hoping I have enough to ask that the visits be split in to 2 weeks at a time. BD lives approximately 25 minutes from me. Our towns are connecting but he lives on one side and I live on the other. He drives through my town to get to and from work. So there is not a huge distance between us like in some cases where air travel or long distance travel is involved.
Help me. What does everyone else do??