Is this the law or not?


#1

Also, keep in mind that whatever you did to help with the end of your marriage to this woman, it takes two to make it work. She divorced you which means that she no longer has the right to make you feel badly about anything. What happened in your marriage is over. Move on and quit feeling guilty. There’s no going back to change it now and why would you want to?

You are the only one who knows what kind of parent you are or could be. If you are not given the opportunity to see what kind of parent you are, she can not prove the claim of you being a bad parent. She presumably has a new life and husband and she needs to move on also. Next time she reminds you of the reasons she divorced you, tell her thank you, that you are glad she did because now you can do this…and hang up or walk away. Do not let the conversations (arguements) return to your marriage and your divorce. What happened in your marriage and the reasons you divorced have nothing to do with the child and serve no purpose bringing up any longer.

I will warn you that for the first couple times that you do this, and it does take practice, she will likely be very angry. Keep in mind that if it’s not about the child(ren), you do not have to speak with her. If she wants to talk to you, make sure to steer the conversations towards the child(ren). If the only thing that you allow her to discuss with you is the child (children) then maybe some of the decisions about them will be discussed with you first. If you quit paying for 1/2 of everything because it was not agreed on prior, maybe that too will get some decisions run by you.
You have to make a stand, I agree with that. But make if for your child, not against her.


#2

I agree wholeheartedly with stepmother.

I would also add: treat all communications with her as you would a business meeting. Stick to the agenda and set boundaries.

You have a right to see your kids. Enforce your right to see them every other weekend. If she wants you to pick them up from school, fine, but what’s fair is fair. She wants you to give, now she needs to give. The kids need to see you. Unfortunately, you’ve set a precedent about always allowing them to stay with mom for the weekend, so there will be a bit of a battle.


#3

It often takes work to make these separation agreements work. Don’t let your ex “rule the roost” and dictate things on her own terms. If you have certain custody/visitation that is spelled out then you need to follow through with this. Technically the kids don’t have a say in this, but of course it becomes difficult to “force” a teen to do anything…but if the kids are younger…
Show up at your assigned visitation times to pick up the children. If she fails to produce the children you have grounds against her…and she probably knows this. You need to stand up for your joint custody and not expect her to hand it to you on a plate. That means that you contact schools and introduce yourself to teachers. Watch school websites for parent/teacher meetings and events and attend them. Be a dad, not an absentee father. Do not pay 1/2 of anything unless it is spelled out in your separation agreement or unless she notifies you in advance and you agree to it. We had to go through this as well and it took a few years for his ex to “get it”. I agree w/ the other post(ers) keep it as business like as possible and try and keep the kids out of it. If you do go back to court you will need proof that you are keeping up your end of the bargain in terms of custody/visitation so get busy!


#4

Here is my dilemna…

My ex-wife wants me to take our daughter to school Thursday and Friday morning. She has been doing this for years and I help on rare occasions. In her request to help her this week, she says: “can you take our child to school early Thurs and Fri? Me and Ryan (her husband) both have to be at work early and I have taken them for the last 6 years. I need you to do your part since our custody is supposed to be joint. Please confirm that you will be taking her.”

Our previous history is that I dont even get our kids on the times as stated in the separation agreement. She lets the kids decide whether they want to come or not. She also signs the kids up for extra things and then sends me the bill for 1/2. None of this is allowed in the separation agreement yet I allow it to happen.

Im tired of her running the show so I told her I would not be taking our child to school later this week and she needed to make other arrangements. Now she is threatening legal action saying it is the LAW that I help with the kids.

The separation agreement says I should have the kids every other weekend, but that is not happening currently. There is nothing in the separation agreement that states I will help get them to school.

Yes, I am acting spiteful, but Im tired of her behavior. For 6 years Ive taken her verbal abuse and the guilt and I have done whatever she’s asked. Ive tried talking to her reasonably, but all she can do is tell me Im a bad parent and remind me of the reasons she divorced me. The ONLY time this is a joint custody is when she wants 1/2 a bill paid or needs me to take the kids somewhere, otherwise she makes all the decisions (school, health, etc) on her own and keeps the kids with her.

What Im asking is this…am I breaking the law? Is there some unwritten rule that says I must fill in when the primary custodian is unable to?

This was longer than I intended, but thought some extra info was needed.

THanks for your time,
Mike