Custodial Parent's Responsibility


#1

As I stated in a previous post my ex and I, my kids father, do not have a set visitation schedule in place. We have custody papers saying who has custody but nothing specifying set visitation. At the time, when we changed our custody order, my ex was joining the army and I guess he didn’t want to be tied down to a set schedule of seeing the kids. He is currently living three hours away from where the kids and I live and I was told that as long as I am letting him know when the kids are free then he cannot claim I am “keeping” the kids from him. There have been numerous times when he has come in town and sent me a text at 8:30PM saying he was on his way to get the kids. One time I told him we were out of town all weekend and another time they had a friend over. Is it wrong of me, and can he use it against me when we go to court, to not let him see the kids when he hasn’t made prior arrangements and expects me to just drop everything because he said so? Also, it is my responsibility as the primary care giver to make sure the kids call their father or is that his responsibility as their father? When the kids want to call him they are allowed to but they have gotten to the point where they don’t want to because he doesn’t answer his phone or only talks negatively about me when he does talk to them. They have invited him to every school activity they have had this school year and he hasn’t been to any of them. Do I need to try and force my kids to have a relationship with their father or is that his job to make sure he maintains one with them?


#2

It doesn’t sound like you are doing anything to alienate the children from their father, but if you want to be on the safe side, you should keep track of incidents when the children weren’t available for visits and why so that you can tell your story if necessary in court. Your court order may include provisions that you need to foster the love and relationship of the children with their father. Even if it doesn’t, you should try to help him maintain a relationship so that he doesn’t try to argue that against you to obtain custody.