Custody question


#1

I have custody, ex has visitation. Ex wants to extend his 4 weeks to 6 weeks so he can go to a wedding in a different state. He said that If i don’t let my son go then I’m unable to take my son with the rest of his siblins to Walt Disney world in Florida for a vacation time before school starts.

Can he forbid me to take my son with us to Florida for a few days?

Now to remind you, he lives in IL and I live in NC.


#2

Unless your agreement states that both parents have to agree to out of state vacations, I don’t see why you can’t take your son to Disney.


#3

If your agreement states that you have vacation time with the children you may take them wherever you please unless your are prohibited to leave the state in the existing order/agreement.


#4

IMHO, it would be better to work with your ex on the details. Though legally you have custody and the time is yours, it would make things easier on the child to allow them time like this. If it begins to happen every year then suggest to the ex that the custody be modified to give him more time, but just working with the other parent on visitations and allowing the child time to visit/vacation with the other parent is important to the child. Regardless of what benefit your ex gets out of it. But again, that’s just my opinion…


#5

Stepmother,

I so understand what you are saying. I have given him 7 weeks over what the order says. My son was suppose to be back as agreed at the end of July. The family all of a sudden said they are now going to this wedding. It puts my son being there another 2 weeks.

I don’t get to talk to my son because when I’m told I can call, he is always around others/kids wanting to play. My 3 yr old says NO he doesn’t want to talk. He has never done this before. It breaks my heart. I know he needs time with his father. I so want that. But no in the sense of him taking advantage of it. That is what it seems like.

We are to do web cam and EX won’t do that. Grrrrrrr.

Thank you.


#6

I’m glad you seem reasonable about this. The thing to keep in mind is that if your ex chooses to play games with communication during visitations, the same “rules” can apply when they are with you. I would suggest that you come up with a schedule that is comfortable for you and follow it. Depending on your son’s age, have him call you. It’s difficult to get kids to sit still long enough to ask them what they want to eat much less to talk to a parent if other kids are around. Getting in a “Hey, I miss you. I love you, do you need anything?” may be all you get.

Be the bigger person on the schedule and let your child benefit. When the visistation is over, make sure that you stick to the schedule that your ex put in place. Don’t threaten him that this is what will happen. He can call at specified times, web cam is not an option since it was not allowed during his visitations. When he asks about these new rules, remind him that these are his rules. Let him know that you understand his need to set these guidelines and feel that the same guidelines would make you feel more comfortable, but that if he would like to discuss it further you’d be willing to listen to his suggestions. Keep the children out of the middle and be flexible, but don’t let him take advantage of your generosity or walk all over you.

IMHO, I think web cam would be a little more intrusive because you have the ability to see the room the child is in and possibly other things. I’m sure that’s not what most parents think of when attempting to use this device, but think of having your ex be able to see into the room your computer is in. To see you, to hear your voice.
It gives me the creeps thinking about that with my ex or my husband’s ex. I don’t particularly even like her calling them when they are with us, but that’s a different custody situation and she’s a psycho who uses the boys to get information that she can hold against me. I’m not suggesting that it can’t work for some parents, but for me at least it would be an invasion into my life…again, just my opinion.


#7

I understand what you are saying. Thank you stepmother for explaining it to me.

Webcame is set because he just turned 3 yrs old. I don’t want him to think, just because he is in a different state far away and not with me, that I didn’t leave him. My son also gets to see his siblins. They miss him so much as I do.

I don’t care about what he see in my house. It is VERY clean, I own a brand new home. On the other hand he is afraid to show me his girlfriends house. So, I understand your point of view on that. I don’t care what his home looks like, as long as it is child proof like mine.

See, when I’m working, my Ex has my home number to contact our son. I don’t have numbers to contact my son when he is doing side jobs. He won’t allow it. So, I have come up with something, let me know if this is okay.

While I’m working, he isn’t allowed to call our son, he has to call while I’m home. Is that okay?


#8

From your original post, it seems the issue is whether or not your son will be able to go with you to Disney World. First of all, if you have an agreement or court order specifying visitation times and the Disney World trip falls on your time, then he cannot prevent you from taking your son with you. Also, if your ex husband has 4 weeks time and not 6 weeks time, you do not have to allow him extra time unless you want to do so. Some orders/agreements specify that the other parent has to be notified when and if a child is taken out of state. If that is specified in your custody arrangement, then you will have to follow what is “ordered”, but the law will not go so far as to prevent you from having a vacation out of state! As far as the telephone calls and communication, it seems you have some definite problems with the father of your son. It may be in everyone’s best interest to have a lawyer draw up some type of specifications where communication is concerned if these issues have not been addressed. From your posts, it appears that you need to have everything clearly spelled out in an agreement or court order because of the difficulty of your situation. Your ex cannot call the shots on his own and neither can you, but you can agree to whatever, but from your posts, an amicable agreement between the two of you seems unlikely.


#9

From the sound of things, momsdaughter is correct. You will most likely not be able to work out an amicable agreement about this. Momsdaughter is correct also in that it is not in your ex’s power to dictate how you spend your allowed time with your child. You have the power to not allow the extra time with the other parent since there is an agreement/order in place, but the one that will ultimately be hurt by this is your child. Unless your agreeements says that the other parent must be notified before the child is taken out of the state, then you are allowed as custodial parent to take your child whereever you desire while in your care, on your time. It sounds as though your ex is trying to intimidate you into getting his way by using a threat that he can not legally follow through with.

Since he is being difficult about the communication issue, you have every right to be just as difficult. Keep in mind though that your child’s well being is the biggest issue and should always be put first. When your child is returned to your care, express to your ex that the phone calls when you are not home will not continue since communication was so limited during his visitation time. After a couple of weeks, you can discuss via e-mail a communication schedule that is to be followed regardless of where the child is. Example: the child speaks to the other parent every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 8pm. If the child is with you, then he is allowed to call those days at that time and you will be responsible for having the child available for communication for 30 min at least. In return, he must agree to do the same when the child is with him. This way there is no confusion and no “reason” for the child to not be available. Occasionally not being able to reach someone is one thing but continuous refusal to let you communicate with the child could be seen as a legal issue since you have custody. The most important thing is that your child is in his care right now, so he’s “calling the shots”. Once the child is in your care again, you can make “ground rules” and attempt to enforce them since you have custody.

Both parents should have a way to contact the child when they are in the other parent’s care. Luckily, my stepsons are old enough now to have their own cell phone so their mother does not have to call my ex all the time. We do not have a home phone…


#10

Thank you so much for your advice. Me personality, I can’t stop any of my children talking or seeing their parent. I feel children should be in both parents lives.

Yesterday I finally got to kinda speak to my son. Yes on speaker phone. My son is 3 yrs old and I heard him so some really hurtful things. I told him that I loved and missed him. He said, NO you don’t. I said, yes i do, he said No. I then said, Hugs and kisses, He said, we can’t. He always says that because I can’t be next to him in person to give him hugs and kisses like I do all the time.

Then his gram was trying to give him the phone so I could say good-bye. He told her No hang up. I don’t understand what is going on with my son. He is a very respectful lil boy. Now he has a bad attitude, says no all the time, doesn’t listen, especially to me. I know they are letting him get away with everything and not sticking to the rules of correcting him. I tried that yesterday but gram wouldn’t even listen to me. He was even rude to her and I told her to tell him to stop talking like that and it was not a nice thing to say.

EX sent me a video of our son walking along ex bed frame then jumping on the bed. Ummm that doesn’t go on in my home! I don’t want broken heads or bones or even a very hurt child. That can’t be happening. I brought it to his attention and all he did was tell me to grow up.

Everytime my son comes back, I have to spend a few months getting him back to where he was before he left. My son says, “thank you, please”, in my care. With ex he is “give me, I want, throws a fit” What am I doing that is so wrong?

Can any of this stuff be shown or said in court when we finally go for the full custody order instead of this temp order we have been having for 11 months now?


#11

You can certainly keep a record of behavioral changes and events and it’s advised to keep a journal. I still keep a journal of big events, where the boys stay and things that are said…just in case…and it’s been over 4 years.

Sadly, there is little that can be done about the behavior your child has when he’s with the other parent. Children want to please their parents. Look at the situation from the child’s perspective. Dad lets him talk to you on the phone but the child know that he doesn’t like it. The child can sense the tension regardless of whether it’s spoken or not. Since your child is so young, the ex may be speaking badly about you in front of him either because he doesn’t care and is vindictive, or because he thinks the child will not understand. The child picks up on that. Your child sees that the look on dad’s face is better when he says something mean to you, but does not realize that this hurts you. He wants to make his dad happy so he says things that he thinks will work. He can’t see your face to realize that you don’t approve.
Keep in mind that with children that age, out of sight IS out of mind. They do not understand the terms of love, hate, or even missing you. Please don’t take to heart what he says over a speaker phone in front of your ex and possibly others…he does love you just as he loves his dad. Most parents going through this expect the child to pick sides and therefore they won’t scold or punish the child if he/she says something ugly or disrespectful to the other parent. I commend you on making sure your son is respectful and in being the adult in this mess.
It sounds as though your ex is trying anything possible to push your buttons, but the longer your custody situation remains as it is now, the better the chances are that you will retain primary custody. It’s just fact that it’s easier to keep custody than to get it. If your ex pushes for modification to get more time or become primary custodian, then the courts will want to know why the current arrangement that has been in place for almost a year is no longer in the child’s best interest. When/if you go to court for custody, your job will be to show why your son should be primarily with you. Any other information, like the video or any e-mail communication between you and the ex, should be given to the attorney. Let them decide if it’s worth bringing up in court.