Dinner Night Visits

I’m going to be dealing with a similar situation soon. I’m moving to live closer to my children. At present, I get them Wednesday nights and every other weekend. Since I’m too far away to observe this schedule there hasn’t been trouble. My kids have never had after school activities like sports, but my ex has announced that after I move she is enrolling them in karate, soccer, etc - and therefore my Wednesday nights will not be possible.

I look forward to Rosen Law’s response to you… I’m kind of in the same boat.

This seems all too familiar (in a painful way). It sounds like there may be one difference in our stories - in your favor. I have established “dinner” visits that go back to the separation (8 years ago). My issue is how much can either party truly influence a dinner visit based on their own personal situation…work, education, family…if I can only see the kids on Weds, can my ex. legitimately say no, and if so, under what circumstances (given the specifics of my parenting agreement)?

If I am understanding your situation, you have a “slam dunk” in that you are afforded a “dinner night” every week and your ex will need to work you back into your kid’s life in some manner in order (for her) to avoid being in contempt of court. Note - I am assuming that your agreement does indeed permit you and the kids a visit once a week. Of course, I can see how my situation would be of use to you but only after your ex becomes willing to acknowledge her obligation to you and the kids.

I hope it works out for us both. :slight_smile:

I wish you luck too.

As far my situation goes, my ex and I never fought custody in court. We formulated a separation agreement out of court which we had notarized. In it I’m SUPPOSED to have equal time with my kids, but she doesn’t abide by the agreement. Since it isn’t a court ordered situation, there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to compel her to abide by it other than suing her.

What do your kids think about having activities on Wed nights instead of spending the time with you?

It seems like getting something filed is the right thing to do regardless if your suit ends up in court settled out of court…especially considering that you had drawn the original agreement together (meaning that you two can work together, or did well in the past).

As for Weds. I have not discussed it with my kids yet because I try to make it policy that the parents talk things through first. My guess is that they won’t care even if there is something that they were hoping to do but now can’t because of Weds dinner nights…it’s not me being naive when I say that they would not be willing to just go without seeing me. We always make the most of our time and they value it.


I’ll give you the practical advise first. Most children’s activities take an hour maybe two. It would also seem like your children are considerably older than they were when the custody agreement was put in place. Is there any reason you cannot keep the night to be Wednesday and adjust the time? Or pick them up at the same time, take them to the activity and keep them a little later?

She should have consulted with you first, but the agreement does not specifically require her to do so. If this is the first instance like this, she may not have done it to be malicious. I always believe that, without proof that says otherwise, you should never attribute to malice what can be explained by a lack of forethought.

Now the legal answer to your question. If you absolutely cannot work this out, you can file a lawsuit and ask the court to make a determination of custody based on the best interests of your children. If there are no other issues with your custody schedule, I would not recommend this path.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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For seven years, I had an evening visit with my kids on Weds night. Last year (year 8), I was informed that I would need to have dinner with the kids on Tuesday night or not at all because the kids are signed up for all kinds of after school stuff. Without consulting me, she placed the kids in activities that occurred on Mon. Weds. and Thurs. nights. I am not opposed to the kids getting involved in sports but within reason given the fact that they grow up in two households. I plan to take an evening class this year. The class is Tues and Thurs from 6:00PM to 9:30PM. I am not in favor of moving my visits to Fri. because I normally have the kids for weekends and Mon seems silly seeing that I return them on Sundays from the weekend visits. Weds makes the most sense; it always has.

I have not yet heard what the kids WILL BE doing after school this year but I can