Visitation issue


#1

ok here is the lowdown

  1. my ex only visited our son 7x last year

  2. we have a court order that states he is to pick him up on Friday’s at 6pm and return him on Sunday’s at 6pm

  3. We verbally agreed that my ex is suppose to notify me by Wednesday to let me know if he is going to get our son or not

  4. my ex was unemployed (he was self employed as a construction worker a majority of the time last year) and he now works part time Fri 2p-11p and Sun 2p-8p - at least on the weekends of his visitation.

  5. my ex only picked up our son for Father’s day, our son’s Bday weekend, Christmas and then four other weekends. didn’t even call for Thanksgiving!

ISSUE

my ex called this last Friday morning and asked to pick up our son from the daycare at noon b/c he had to work 2pm - 11pm. He also mentioned that he can return him either before 2pm or after 8pm on Sunday b/c he had to work. He mentioned that if he couldn’t get him Friday then he would like to get him Saturday morning.

Our visitation has been court ordered since 2008. Shouldn’t my ex make arrangements with his work to have that time off for picking up and dropping off our son? (I did when I was working a FT & PT job).

This is the 3rd time he has requested this deviation to our court order (the 1st time was in December and I allowed him to pick up our son from daycare at 1pm then I met him earlier on Sunday afternoon to pick up our son and reminded him of the dropping off time) the 2nd time was Christmas weekend (we met at 5pm that Friday for him to pick up our son b/c it was his weekend and I didn’t make a big issue about it b/c it was the holidays and honestly, I figured he probably wouldn’t see our son again until Father’s day of the next year and he dropped off our son at 9:15pm) but now the this is the third time and I think he needs to rearrange his work schedule to stick with the visitation hours. I have been flexible in the past with him, but he ends up taking advantage of the situation. We definitely need set times for pick up and drop off, b/c we can’t seem to agree and this is what ends up happening.

I thought about what would be in the best interest of our son and allowed my ex to pick up our son on Saturday at 10am and return him on Sunday at 9pm. My ex never called or showed up to pick up our son.

I am not sure if this is going to be a set schedule for him or not and I like the fact that I know when he does pick up our son the exact times he is picking him up and returning him. My ex hasn’t told me about having to return him earlier when I drop him off, he calls Saturday night to notify me and when he does, I have his “options” to go by, he will not take take into consideration my request., he just laughs. I don’t want our son to be taken out of daycare in mid day, especially when his father isn’t going to be with him, not sure where our son is going to be since his father has to work. I would rather our son be in school learning instead of sitting in front of a tv.

Am I in the wrong here?

I sent my ex this email: "You are aware of the time you need to return him to me every other weekend, so if there is a conflict in your schedule then you need to ask your employer to schedule you earlier or later in the day or to have that day off or you need to make other arrangements to get him back to me at that time, no earlier no later. I am sure your employer can work around your schedule and will understand. You can’t just pick him up and drop him off at “your convenience.” You are aware of the weekends you are getting him and should plan accordingly.

This was the reply my ex sent me" no i dont it only states i have to have him back By 6 but im taking you back to court on this visitation and having this fixed so you have to meet me anytime sunday"
Um, a judge wouldn’t allow the time for my ex to return our son anytime he feels like it on Sunday, would they? Also, would a judge allow my ex to take our son out of daycare every other Friday? (our son is 3 1/2 yrs old)

thanks in advance for the advice!


#2

I am just writting you because I have had friends go through this in court, It also depends on what county you live in.

Two parents need to get along which is in the best interest of the child. If his work schedule is not easy to change then you should take a step back and see if the new schedule would work. Your ex is still active in your son’s life and that should be a good thing. Your ex is only trying to spend time with your son because he works on his visitation. All parents need to work which is not a bad thing. But, you guys need to work together and try and solve this in a respectful manner for your son’s sake. I am sure an attorney will answer your question. Good luck and I hope it all works out.


#3

The judge can modify the schedule based on the change in circumstances in your ex’s working hours, but your ex has the burden to show that his visitation will be in the child’s best interests. The court will have to consider all factors and balance consistency in the child’s life (day-car routine) versus being able to see his father.

It seems to me that based on your ex’s routine of behavior he has trouble doing anything consistent when it comes to the child, and it will be important for you to testify to this fact.