And on and on.....

lovehadleyJune 17, 2009

I need some help here. I HATE to call the attorney w/every little thing because each phone call costs us $$$$$$! We got an itemized statement in the mail the other day and a THREE LINE email I sent to the attorney cost us $25! AUGHHH!

Ok. Here goes. DH picked SS up this morning for his Wed/Thurs custody period. (BM was 30 mins late, btw. DH had to sit in front of their house for 30 mins b/c BM was filling a prescription.)

Anyway, this coming weekend is technically BM's weekend. BUT being that it is Father's Day weekend, in the parenting plan it states that DH gets his son from noon on Friday until noon on Monday. It is a holiday weekend and THAT supercedes regular weekend schedules.

Here's the kicker, though. In the parenting plan, underneath the heading, there are parentheses and it says: (commencing August 1, 2009)

BM is taking that to mean that the PARENTING PLAN itself does not go into effect until Aug. 1, 2009. BUT it is clear to US what it means. There is a line/arrow drawn from August 1, 2009 to a place in the paragraph about 3 lines in. THAT line says "Father will have residential custody for schooling/mailing purposes."

So it's pretty clear the line/arrow is pointing to THAT phrase because SS is set to start OUR school district in August.

This parenting plan was given to DH and BM in court in December of 2008. It was decided then that SS would finish the school year in BM's district.

WHY would the courts give them a detailed parenting plan that would not go into effect until August????

That makes no sense.

Neverthelesss, BM told DH today when he picked SS up that she will be at our house at 9 am on Friday to get SS for HER weekend. DH said no, he is staying with me this weekend and BM said she will show up w/the police if he refuses. And mark my words, I have no doubt she will.

How would this be handled by the police? I am assuming they will see that it is Father's Day weekend, and see that SS is with his dad, and leave it be.


I guess this probably does warrant a call to the attorney to make aure.

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Here's free advice (save a few bucks and dont call the lawyer)...tell DH to plan on keeping his son for fathers day weekend and keep a copy of the parenting plan handy in case DH does bring the cops. I doubt, however, that the cops will want to get involved.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 1:54PM
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The way it sounds, she plans to get SS on Friday at 9 and DH can go get him at noon on Saturday. Technically, that is what it says but practically, it's unfair for the child to be in this tug o' war over the weekend. I agree with marie, the police are probably going to tell you to bring it up in court but depending on the police, they may enforce the letter of how it is written if BM presses it. I would suggest that DH not argue if she shows up with the police, maybe even not be home would be better than dealing with the police in front of SS. She can file a report and it can be addressed in court later. Try to relax and enjoy your weekend.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 2:26PM
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It is a toss up... my thinking on this goes two ways. From what most have experienced I am fairly certain police wont get involved in enforcing custody things such as this ... but they will probably show up like they are supposed and therefore cause a bunch of drama either way. You could just say fine and let it go with bm.. let her take him to advoid the drama and putting the kids through all of that and document it as further evidence for yourselves. But, I have heard of that being used against people as well... he is not exercising his visitation he has. It seems pretty common to me in most parenting plans divorce decree etc... that kids are with mom on mothers day and dad on fathers day.

All in all with such a complicated case and knowing that she will cause serious drama either way I would call the attorney and make your decision from there. If you do decide to keep ss ... I would make come serious plans to not be home to advoid putting the kids through all of that police drama

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 2:31PM
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What you are saying does make more sense than the parenting plan not being valid until August.

I've been through this with X before; when Mother's Day fell on his weekend. He did the same thing with threatening police intervention. He never did it because he realized he was wrong.

I would just not be home when she gets there. But you will probably need a letter of clarification from whomever drew up the parenting plan. If that's the GAL, you should contact them, not your attorney.

If I was your DH, I would not release my child to her just to keep the peace. That means that she perceives her strong-arm tactics are working.

Just don't be home and don't answer her calls. Remember, posession is 9/10 of the law. If he gives SS to her, she can guilt him into not seeing him on Father's Day.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 3:04PM
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Is there a parenting plan prior to this one? If so, what does it say about Father's Day Weekend?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 3:13PM
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I woudl contact GAL or attorney on this one, you don't want drama again. I would insist on SS staying wiht dad and not goign to moms but it is better to contact the authorities first. This woman is unbelivable.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 4:35PM
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She's going to call friday about 11 (or later) and say I thought about it you can have him this weekend so she can play "hero".

A) hoping you have already changed any plans you made

B) She get to "prove" she even gave him a weekend which clearly isn't his!! according to the parenting plan.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 4:37PM
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I would take that as it is his holiday weekend and that the August thing refers to the school stuff.

If it were me I would not send him home at 9am that morning. I would make sure we went out to breakfast or shopping or something so I would not be home for any drama to occur!!! I would get home around noon.....thats when his visitation starts anyways. If you send him with bm Fri morning I can almost guarantee that you will not see him the rest of the weekend.

She is just trying to cause problems....if you send ss home with her and skip fathers day visitation it is showing her that you will give into her games. And she will continue to pull this bs.

IF she brings this up in court I can not imagine that the judge will agree with her bs. It is pretty standard for dads to get fathers day visitation. Where was ss on mothers day??

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 4:44PM
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"The way it sounds, she plans to get SS on Friday at 9 and DH can go get him at noon on Saturday."

Ima, the weekend in the parenting plan starts at noon on FRIDAY. So if BM picked him up at 9 am on Friday, DH would have him right back at noon on Friday. A weekend in their papers is considered Fri at noon until Mon at noon.

Mom2emall, he was with BM for Mother's Day but it happened to be her weekend anyway.

Oh well. DH is not worried about it. She can show w/the cops if she wants, but he is not letting SS go with her.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 5:35PM
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This sounds like a situation that's worth a $25 email to your lawyer or GAL... (If for no other reason than to

"There's some disagreement regarding which parent has custody on Fathers' Day, and we're trying to avoid an unpleasant scene. Can you please clarify for us: Is it the entire Parenting Plan that starts August 1, or just the part about Dad's residential custody for schooling/mailing purposes?"

Assuming your lawyer answers that the parenting plan is already in effect, I'd copy BM on the email exchange and let her know the resolution. But just in case, I'd have copies of the paperwork handy, tape a note to your front door (for the police) and leave home!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 5:38PM
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Friday morning, from whatever time you normally return him, until noon seems to be the gray area. Where is he supposed to be then? Like mom2 said, you won't see him again this weekend if you return him. But if you don't will you be going against the court order?

I don't think a police officer is going to participate in the disagreement, rather they would probably advise you to contact your attorney and by the time you could do that it will be a moot point for the weekend.

My ex was very possessive of my son and wouldn't let him be with me on mother's day or any holiday that wasn't specified as mine. It all backfired on him though and he hasn't had DS for ANY day since he was 12, nor has he ever seen the 6 month old DGS, doesn't even know about him to our knowledge. My DH is the baby's Papa. Sad, but ex is the one that caused it.

My prediction, LH, is BM will have already discussed this with your SS and convinced him he is to be with her and if he doesn't there will be police involved. This will of course stress him and he will think he's doing something wrong if he stays with you and his dad will be in trouble. I honestly don't know what is best to do in this situation. It would be hard to give in to her but would it be best for SS?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 6:00PM
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I would take SS to the library or park at 8:30 and be gone until the afternoon... he doesn't need the drama of having mom come to the house with cops... regardless of what the cops say or do.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 6:27PM
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Why doesn't dh ask her what plans she has that are so important she is taking him for THREE HOURS. Have him remind her that his holiday weekend starts that same day at noon.

If she starts saying it is not his weekend then just keep ss and ignore her. If she agrees that ss will be returned to dh at noon get it in writing or don't send ss.

This way if she does not stick to that you have in writing that she knew it was dh's holiday and she decided to go against the court order. Bring it to court with the rest of your stuff. I imagine a judge would not be happy with games like that.

And I have to add that bm is a very awful person to want to play games that will keep her son from seeing his father on fathers day. How is it in the childs best interest to be kept from his father on a holiday named after him??????? Won't the child wonder why other kids are spending fathers day with their father?????

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 6:31PM
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"BM will have already discussed this with your SS and convinced him he is to be with her and if he doesn't there will be police involved. This will of course stress him and he will think he's doing something wrong if he stays with you and his dad will be in trouble. "

That is a good point. I would think that if bm has told ss something like this ss will say something to you guys about it. At that point you could tell ss something along the lines of "its fathers day and your supposed to be with daddy" or tell him plans changed. Neither are a lie and should put his mind at ease.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 6:39PM
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keep it in all in writing, like emails or letters, phone calls won't be an evidence.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 8:50AM
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lovehadley, OMG I would go freakin' nutz if I was you lol. I just can't stand women like your skids bm. It just ticks me off that they don't stop to just think, Ok....MY KID might enjoy spending FATHERS DAY with is DAD!!!! ARGGGG!!! It makes me so mad!
I like the advice you have been given gone with him and enjoy your weekend.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 6:15PM
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Sooooooooooo? It's 9:50 CST......what happened???????

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 10:51AM
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Well, I think she came to her senses about this weekend and the whole parenting plan.

When DH picked SS up on Wed at noon, BM said to SS, "see you Friday."

So we were totally thinking she was going to show today. But I guess DH talked to her later and told her to look carefully at the parenting plan and consult her attorney. She must have because Thurs. she left a voicemail for DH saying she would pick SS up from our house on Monday AM and that SS has a Father's Day present and she will bring it w/her on Monday, unless DH wants to go out to her house to pick it up this weekend.

So I guess she came to her senses about the plan.

BUT last night, SS called around 8 pm to say goodnight to his mom. She must have said something about 4th of July to him because SS came to find DH, phone in hand, and said "Dad, aren't I going to be with you on the 4th of July?" And DH said yes, and then SS handed DH the phone and said "mom wants to talk to you."

Yikes. DH kind of shook his head and said he didn't need to talk to BM, but then SS got upset and insisted his mom needed to talk to DH.


So DH took the phone and waved SS out of the room, and then BM started going off on him about how she doesn't care what the plan says, she has already promised SS that he is going to be with her for the 4th. DH was doing a good job at staying calm and just told her that it wasn't up for discussion, that EVERYTHING goes by the plan from now on. And then---and I so wish DH had been recording the call---BM said "well, good luck getting him!" And hung up.


The BIG problem is now SS is all upset. I guess his mom HAD told him he was going to be with her for the 4th this year. :( And he is all upset because he wants to be with her. He sobbed last night before bed because he wants to go to a BBQ with his mom, and go to her parents' house. And he kept crying about how his mom and dad are fighting about him again. :(

It seriously just sucks. He is old enough now to know more of what's going on. DH was saying last night this is all just another reason he should have gone to court when his son was little---so that things would be smoother NOW. When he was little, he would have known less about what was going on.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 11:29AM
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I'm glad today went well, but I'm sad that she decided to start more crap.

And hind-sight is always 20/20. A lot of dads (my SO included) don't fight for their kids until it's way too late.

I'm glad that, for all the other problems we had, DS was little and things have pretty-much been this way for the past 6+ years. Consistent inconsistency, I like to call it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 12:21PM
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It wasn't so much that DH didn't fight for his son, but rather that he felt avoiding court and "keeping the peace" was better.

He and BM split up when SS was 10 months old and right off the bat, DH had 50-50 custody. BM wanted her time off to go out, so she more than happily agreed to have DH have his son Tues night, Thurs night, and EOW.

DH's mistake was not going to court and getting everything court-ordered. As time went on, whenever BM got angry (which was often!) she would threaten him with only EOW.

DH was too scared to go to court for fear of losing his 50-50 arrangement and getting EOW. In retrospect, I think he would have been fine.

When they finally did go to court, when SS was 6, DH got 50-50 easy as pie. The GAL said that in today's world, if a dad wants 50% custody, he pretty much can get it, provided he can provide for the child(ren) and that there is no large physical distance or other hinderance.

He said 50-50 is becoming the trend because the courts realize that children DO need equal involvement from both parents. Also, more and more dads are WANTING to be involved with their children more than EOW.

The "standard" is still EOW but he said that usually happens because the dad doesn't WANT 50-50 custody. If a dad wants it, a dad usually will get it.

Anyway, like you said, hindsight is 20-20. DH sees now it would have been better to go to court right off the bat than to wait. At least then everything would have been settled when SS was young, and maybe things wouldn't be so crazy now.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 1:00PM
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Isn't it grand how they back off one issue.. Father's Day and right away, jump onto another wagon... 4th of July. SD has been upset over 4th of July since 2 weekends ago when she asked if she is going to be with us or her mom. The order says she's with us... mom's talking about what they are doing there and how much fun they are having and making SD upset she is going to miss out on the fun...

in our case, we ought to back down and say fine, have fun with your mom on the 4th... because most likely, BM won't follow through with doing anything. One year, she demanded to have SD on Christmas morning and it was DH's time but he said fine, she can wake up at mom's. When we picked up SD, she said they didn't have a Christmas dinner, mom just made her a sandwich and they sat at home doing nothing. To top it off, BM was supposed to bring SD back to DH and instead, she called to say she couldn't bring her so he had to come get her. He offered to let her stay another night and BM said no (with grandma yelling in the background to come get SD) because at the time, BM was living with grandma. They either didn't want SD or they just wanted to ruin our plans by making DH go get her... we were hosting a family party and had about 50 family members over.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 1:03PM
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Love, unless the parents live very close to each other, I think 50/50 is unworkable for the 10 and over crowd (maybe earleir age). How do they handle school, activities friends? Children deserve a life ! How many SMs are in difficult relationships with kids that come over and have nothing to do -- and then people here tell them do chores or play outside -- ignoring that their world is uprooted?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 1:14PM
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"in our case, we ought to back down and say fine, have fun with your mom on the 4th... because most likely, BM won't follow through with doing anything"


In our case (and to BM's credit, I guess) she DOES genuinely want her son with her. She does love him, and wants as much time with him as possible--although sometimes I think it is a sick, twisted kind of love, like she is dependent on him for her to feel whole.She will call him when he's with us and go on and on about how much she misses him, to the point where he will try to get off the phone with her.

OMG. Total example. A few weeks ago, we were at a friend's house for dinner. They have a girl in my DD's class, and another couple was over w/their child, as well. SS, DD, and the other two kids were playing in the yard, having pizza,watching a movie, etc. while the grown-ups had a nice adult evening. BM called to say goodnight, and SS was really short with her, said something about how he had to go because he was playing with his friends. The kids were having a blast!

I kid you not, the woman called back and DH gave SS the phone again and BM lit into her CHILD for being "mean to her." She had him IN TEARS. I don't know exactly what she said but she reamed him out for being rude to her on the phone, and not talking enough.

OOOOH, I was pissed, and so was DH. SS was SO upset and it totally ruined the rest of his night. :(

So trust me that BM does love him and want him with her, but SO MUCH SO that it is to SS's detriment at times. I mean, I am a mom, I "get it" in that my daughter means everything to me. But at the end of the day, I want HER to be happy, and HER to have fun and I want her to feel confident whether I am around or not. BM's love for her son is almost crippling him. It is sad to see how much he has regressed in one year. Last year, this time, he was going off the diving board at the pool, going down the big slides, etc. This year, he is terrified to do either. :(

Last year, he played on a soccer team. This year, he refuses to do anything because he is scared. :(

He sucks his thumb WAY more than he did last year. He even has taken to speaking in a baby-ish sounding voice. When he is with us, he literally says "I love you Daddy" about every 5 minutes. That sounds sweet, but the way he calls it out from wherever he is in the house, almost in a panicky way, like he is calling out for reassurance, breaks DH's heart.

His son is suffering emotionally so, so much. :( It sucks.

It is all just so hard. Your BM is hurting her DD so much by using her as a pawn in this stupid court battle when, really, she doesn't WANT her daughter. Neither of our BM's have their child's best interest at heart. The crappy thing is---I think in some twisted way they somehow convince themselves that they do!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 1:17PM
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"Love, unless the parents live very close to each other, I think 50/50 is unworkable for the 10 and over crowd (maybe earleir age). How do they handle school, activities friends?"

I don't know, KK, I am just saying what the GAL told us.

I think for an older child, it might slowly wind up being different, unless, like you said the parents live within the same district.

I think a lot, too, depends on when the parents split up or divorced, and what the children are used to.

I do know my friend, who has two little boys, not yet school age, and a 50-50 arrangement, has a clause in her parenting plan. It states that in order for 50-50 to remain, her ex (the dad) MUST move within 5 miles of my friend by the time their oldest starts kindergarten. If he doesn't, my friend can go to court to modify the custody arrangement.

This was set up, though, because her ex-BF rents an apartment. Moving would not be a huge deal for him compared to someone who owns a home, is settled, etc.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 1:22PM
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I agree with kk on the 50/50 thing. It really is terribly disruptive for the child and almost never works for older children (8+). In my personal opinion, it deprives the child or much needed stability in their home lives.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 1:33PM
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Love - basically, that same scenario is the same thing SO did. Except he had a divorce decree. He was getting his daughter every weekend basically because BM needed a babysitter while she worked. He didn't want to make waves because she would threaten to go to EOW. I told him that she won't do that because she needs him to babysit for her.

BM demonized court to the daughter. No kidding, she actually said to SO "I don't want to be like (insert my DS's name)!" when SO suggested having papers modified. To me, that means that BM has told her that court is bad and that my X and I fight in court all the time. That's not the case at all. We've only actually been 2 court twice and had CS modified twice. I'm really not sure how BM knew about that; must've been SO blurting it out or even made up.

Anyway, that has been a tool BM has used on SO. She uses their daughter's fear of court to bully him because he'll give in to his fearful daughter, but she won't. And she never follows through anyway.

But now SO is seeing how much more smoothly things go when there are some guidelines to go by. I told him they aren't set in stone and that they can be flexible, but that they are a good starting point. He sees how X and I work together on this stuff and how much happier DS is because of it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 1:57PM
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"I agree with kk on the 50/50 thing. It really is terribly disruptive for the child and almost never works for older children (8+)

So, marie, what would you suggest we do when SS is 8? That is less than a year from now.

He has always had both parents' involvement in his life.

Our situation is not a "normal" or healthy one, given his mother's erratic behavior and drinking.

I think 50-50 works BEST and IS BEST when you have two reasonable and loving parents. I agree that if there is a large distance it can be disruptive to the child. BUT I think if there are two parents that both genuinely want to be involved with their kids, there is no reason 50-50 cannot be a great experience.

The GAL did encourage my DH and BM to do an every other week schedule because he did say that promotes the most amount of stability. (for example---switching custody every Monday, or every Friday or something)

Unfortunately, BM was vehemently opposed to that because she felt it was too long to go without seeing her son. So they settled on a 5-5-2-2 split; it's better than every other day, but still too much moving around IMO, and in DH's.

I am not arguing that 50-50 can be disruptive if the PARENTS don't work well together. But if you have two reasonable parents who can be on the same page and provide similar environments for their children, I think it is great. MUCH better to have two involved, consistent parents than to have one primary parent and one parent be the "weekend" parent. Why should a dad be limited to EOW when he loves and wants to be an equal participant in the raising of his children?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 2:50PM
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lovehadley, GALs are typically not psychologists or social workers. They don't have any particular expertise, so their opinion is, like my own, based on their experiences. The 50/50 arrangement, in my opinion, works in only rare circumstances. I understand the parent's desire to be around mroe than EOW, but I think its disruptive for the child having to go from home to home on such a frequent basis. In my opinion, children need to have one primary home, one primary set of rules, one room they can look at as their "space," etc. As the child gets older and friendships, activities, etc. come into the picture, it becomes even more difficult and the children feel torn. EOW is bad enough as the children get older, let alone 50/50.

But, that's my opinion. There is no 1 size fits all solution and I'm not saying it may not work in some situations. I just wouldn't prefer it or recommend it. As SS gets older, dad and mom will need to seriously consider whether 50/50 works for him. Sounds to me from all your posts that it is already a very stressful situation for him, mostly due to mom's craziness, but the 50/50 probably isn't helping.

50/50 would never work for my DD. It would disrupt her schedule and keep her from her friends, and the constant rule changes just would never work. In the end, its all about whats in the best interests of each individual child.

Anyway, I would be interested in seeing a study on such arrangements.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 3:17PM
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Meh, I say let the Bio-b*tch have the SS on Fathers Day weekend. You'll have him next Father's Day. Do you really want SS to watch the cops come to sort this out? How scary! Choose your battles. Explain to SS in very simple terms that Biomom gets him this weekend, even if it is Father's Day, but you sure hope he gets to stay with you next year for Fathers Day.

Again, choose your battles wisely. In a year will it really matter that SS didn't get to spend ONE Fathers Day with his dad? Will SS be scarred for life? Spare yourself the stress.

I see you posted for advice, yet so many replied with their OWN long drawn out explanations of their tribulations. Geezzzz.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 12:14AM
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