Visitation


#1

I am sorry to hear this and I am sure there are many factors involved…their age, their feelings about the situation and you, their busy lives… I would however look at the positive, that they want to see him on their schedule. I would let them work this out w/ Dad and not worry about it. Time may help with this situation.
He cannot stop support. He would have to do a request for modification based on a change in overnight/visitation and the amount that this would change the support would be minor. You can run the support calculator on this site and see how that works. He would still owe money to you to support them, regardless of whether they decide to see him or not.


#2

Unless the child support thing never went through the courts at all. I have a friend who worked it out between them that he would pay her $x a week and the courts do not even know about it. But if it’s through the courts then no, he can not stop child support without the proper modification.
As mal suggested, their ages may have a lot to do with it. My suggestion is that the 17 year old is old enough to work out a schedule that may fit better with her life, but it needs to be discussed and agreed to and stuck to. Since there is not a lot of time left for you to be involved in this with her it’s a good idea to make sure this is “til the end of school” or “until you’re 18”. The 11 year old, I would keep her on the schedule that you have had. It’s a good idea to suggest counseling for them, but keep in mind that this is your ex and you can not force a situation. You youngest does not yet have much of a choice in this and it is still your responsibility to enforce (not force) visitations. Let her know that when she gets a little older that she can make up her own mind and work out a schedule that works but for the time being this is how things are.
It may also be a good idea to discuss this with the ex that the oldest has a little more freedom (maybe a car) and that you need to communicate to “keep tabs” on her. She is almost a legal adult and that may have a lot to do with “controlling” what you want her to do.
If the ex has been insensitive to a female feelings then you may need to tell him that he needs to be more careful, and give the oldest a chance to voice her “issues” with that.


#3

I agree w/ stepmother and sorry that I overlooked the fact that your one daughter is only 11. She is too young to make these types of decisions but may feel like she is supporting mom or sister by not going to Dad’s. If big sister has a car/drives then I would let her work things out w/ dad on her own. For the 11 yr old I would drop off or have dad pick up.


#4

Thanks all. I agree that the 11 year old, esp, should go on a schedule but at this point it would be “forcing”. She only will go if her older sister goes with her. I am not talking about over night visits or even lengthy visits. It states in the court order that came down in May that we agreed to him seeing them 3 hours everyother weekend. When they have gone they only stay about an hour. Dad is not allowed to have girlfriend (we are not divorced yet) present at visitation. This was agreed upon with their counselor who saw the girls for about 6 monthes last year. The counselor suggested that dad see the girls alone to bond with him. He sees this as an inconvenience and says he doesn’t know what to do with the girls and he doesn’t feel it is right to have his live in girlfriend be “put out” when his girls visit. Once, a few weeks ago the girls drove to his house and the girlsfriend and her daughter were there. He told his own daughters “to get used to it, as he was going to marry her, and if they did not like it to leave.” So they left. They did go back about 2 weeks later and he had the girlfriend stay upstairs. They again left afdter they were done with thier lunch. I think the girls are feeling second best to this lady and her daughter

So, this is what I am dealing with. BAck in Jan 2006, dad point blank told the oldest that “divorce happens, it is no big deal. get over it”. Well, I think she did get over it, but in doing so put dad out of her mind and out of her life (at least for now).

There are big issues here with respect and control, that need to be addressed with dad and his daughters. Dad has always controlled them (and me) so now maybe the girls feel they have control over him.

Dad just wants to blame the whole thing on me, but I can no longer come to his rescue. He needs to fix this with his daughters.

My atty talked about a parent coordinator. I am a medical professional in the field of children and I know if this family saw me in my office I would suggest counseling between dad and girls. These are going to be long standing problems if they do not get solved. And I do not want dad just saying, “your mother kept you from me” - as this is not true

Csn the parent coordinator present this to the judge to insist on counselling. Months ago when the counsellor called dad to come in to talk he said no, so I am stuck. He will not listen to me or the psychologist. Thanks again


#5

Sorry I meant JAn 2007 that dad said that to daughter.

Youngest will be 12 this Feb

Oldest does stand up to dad and tells him her feelings

I think youngest is torn. SHe doesn’t want to upset big sister and go if sis doesn’t want to. These 2 girls have become closer since he left (last OCt)

Dad sends cards in the mail only addressed to youngest. He has actually said to me that he feels 17 year old is “lost” to him and he will just try to get the love of the little one. I think 17 senses this.


#6

First let me say that I understand how difficult this situation is for everyone involved.
You need to discuss this situation with the 17 year old and make sure that she is aware that her little sister is looking to her to see how to react. It should be her own decision later on if she doesn’t want to give her father a chance.
Your stbx may be right in that he’s “lost” the 17 year old but he also needs to be reminded that just because she has given up on him does not mean that he can give up on her. Send her cards and attempt at a relationship may mean more than he realizes even if she doesn’t show it.
That being said, if he is planning to marry this woman and be a stepfather then this situation is not helping for them all not to get to know each other and be around one another. It harbors resentments on all sides and I can not understand a counselor suggesting this, especially if this is a live in fiancee.
Also, you mentioned that you daughters feel second place to her and her daughter in his life. Of course he’s going to be more involved with her and her daughter. If he is only allowed approx 6 hours a month to “bond” with his daughters then what is he supposed to do with the other approximate 714 hours a month? He has a whole life that they are not part of because of this arrangement and it’s unrealistic to think that it will change if the situation does not change. You can’t have it both ways. He can either try to be a father and form a bond with his children that includes his “new family” but that will require more time together, or he can be less than a weekend dad and the situation stays the same or gets worse. What you can’t change is that this is the only father these girls are going to have and they both deserve a chance to make a decision about whether or not to have their father as part of their lives.


#7

I think I’d probably suggest to your ex that he try and form a different type of bond w/ the older daughter. Maybe even see her on her own and take her out by herself. This will make her feel special and grown up and she will get all of dad’s attention. I would also say this to the 17 yr old to be open to this. Stepmother is right though. The more she pushes away the more he has to work to keep that bond intact and the communication open or she will be in for years of therapy.
A 5-6 yr difference in age is a big deal. I am sure your ex has a hard time trying to have conversations and activities that appeal to both, especially trying to fit that in a 3 hr block. We have a similar age gap and started trying to do things w/ the older teen that were separate from her sibling. It gave both some much needed individual attention.
There are lots of books and self-help material out on these issues. It sounds like you (and your ex) would benefit from reading about blended families and what to do after divorce or else it will become much harder and more painful.


#8

Sorry to hear that your daughter’s are struggling so much now. You might consider putting them in counseling even if their father will not go with them.

Your ex cannot stop child support even if he does not have visitation. I will advise you to do everything you can to support and encourage visitation.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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#9

I am having trouble with my two teenage girls (17,11) not wanting to visit their dad on a schedule. They wish to go when it suits them. I know this isn’t right, but for the last 6-8 months he has been very disrespetful and hurtful to them. I think dad and the girls need to go to counseling to resolve these issues or it will continue to be a power struggle. I want the girls to want to go and be with their father, not that they are forced.

My question, though, is can he refuse to continue to give child support if his children are not visitng like he wishes. I know the opposite is true - that I can not stop visitation if he stops CS first, but I have read on another site about NC law that the non custodial parent can stop CS if visitation is not what it should be.