I would think that 2-3 hour drive is short enough for alternating weekends. The extra-curricular activities I would say would need to be attempted to resolve between the parents. If the parents share legal custody then they would need to agree for the child to participate in these activities. This would mean that there should not be a problem with the non-custodial parent taking them to these activities.
The problem may come in that this IS the other parent’s time with the child/children and the distance…look at it this way. You get off work on Friday afternoon, drive 3 hours to pick up your children, drive 3 hours to get them to your home. Saturday you have to drive them back the 3 hours to ball practice or dance and then another 3 hours back to your home. Then Sunday you drive it yet again to take them back to your ex’s. With fuel prices the way they are, can you really blame this parent for NOT wanting to spend their weekend driving…?
I can’t answer on the lessening involvement other than to say that I’ve occasionally seen that it’s easier emotionally on the non-custodial parent to “distance” themselves from the children that they are not getting to see enough. I will not make the judgement that this is what your ex is or has done. You already have primary physical custody so I’m not sure what you are filing for unless it’s primary legal custody also…
If you have filed basically to remove the children from his life altogether then I can see where that may motivate a parent to re-evaluate their current visitation…If this is the case then maybe you should consider slowing down and discussing this stuff outside of court if that’s an option.(?)
I did not initiate this. he filed for full custody in feb. then rescended that three weeks later and wanted them one long weekend a month (which I agreed to before this ever started, this was when he was 7 hours away) and he wanted them the entire summer. Trust me he has not distanced himself emotionally bc it was painful. He started slacking off when he got a girlfriend and got married. And my son has a brain tumor that is now inoperable and he has never offered to come when he has had surgeries or MRI’s. I also agreed to meet him halfway and give him 2 weekends a month and if the activity occurred on a sat morning, I offered for him to come and watch and then take them back to his home or I would meet him later in the day (halfway) after the activity was over and make up the night he missed on another weekend, like the long ones for teacher workdays. All I want is for my kids to have a somewhat normal life and not have to miss out on the things that they enjoy. I completely understand the importance of them having a relationship with him and have emails where I’ve asked him to be more involved. When I said I was filing for sole custody, it is in response to his bs motion in the beginning. I just want to know what is typical and what the attorneys see happening normally.
I’m so sorry to hear of your son’s illness and this situation does not help.
It may ease your mind to know that the courts do not normally change the custody situation if there are no major behavioral or social problems. So his motion to modify custody would not likely have accomplished anything other than to waste time and money. I’m glad that you have championed for your children to have a relationship with their father and it is HIS loss that he has not kept that up. Regretfully, you can not force him to be a good father. No matter how much that makes you want to give him a good hard shaking to see the hurt your children may show, it is not up to you to make it right. He is missing out on their childhood and that is something that you can never get back. Sadly, he may not ever realize what he is losing.
You sound as though you have bent over backwards to accomodate him and you should be commended for that. When you get legal custody you will call the shots on when and how visitations go. Him not being involved in the medical aspect of their lives will show a lot in court. Your son’s illness may have an affect on his ability to travel any distance. The judge may see the travel time as an unecessary expense to your son’s health.
I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
I am sorry to hear of your son’s illness, that is a tremendous amount of stress to be under. Your situation sounds complicated and your sons illness will play a part in the courts decision as will his lack of involvement. However, if he is here not saying he wants to be involved and it would be good for your son for him to be there, the court will probably allow it. Generally custodial time with one parent takes precedence over extra curricular activities. I wish you the best of luck and I will keep your son in my thoughts.
P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com/live for details
Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm
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Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
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I have primary physical custody of my children and am currently in litigation over a long distance visitation schedule with my ex. He moved 4 hrs from us in 2005 and we verbally modified and worked out an amicable agreement. I moved a year ago, only 2 1/2 hours away from our primary residence when we were married (his former residence before he moved) and now the total distance is 7 hrs. Now he has informed me that he is moving back to his home in 2 months and we will be 2 1/2 - 3 hours apart. What have you seen as a typical long distance visitation schedule or is 2 1/2-3 hrs short enough for an alternating weekend schedule. Also, how does the court view extra-curricular activities and the non-custodial parent refusing to take them because it is on a weekend when they have visitation scheduled? Over the last 4 years I can prove he has been less and less involved and my son has had 7 surgeries in the last two years and he has been to only 2 of them and has called on average of only every 7-10 days to even talk to them. I am filing for sole custody based on his lack of involvement and now he “wants them as much as possible”. Do you have any advice?