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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 04-19-2017, 11:17 AM
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Default Access driving to and from school

Good Morning All,

More issues with my ex, just wanted some of your opinions on my most recent situation. Those of you who have been kind enough to respond to some of my previous posts will see some common threads here I'm sure!

Currently S4 goes to school in my area. I get him on and off the bus and do all of the driving to get him to and from his mother's house about a 30 min drive away on her days. There is nothing in our Final Order (on consent) to indicate that I have to do this, I do it voluntarily because I enjoy the extra time with my boy (however if she picked him up from me after school he and I would have the same amount of time together and less rushed too). This has been the situation since he started school in September 2016.

More often lately his mother is making things difficult by getting him ready late (which has caused me to be late for work) or taking him in when she feels like it and not giving me any notice, usually when she is mad at me for something. I have told her that she can take him to school herself on all of her days if she wants and pick him up from my house after school, but she says that she can't so I have to or he will need to move schools. There is no reason that I can see that she can't take him, except that she isn't great with mornings or being on time for things (not news to me as she was like that when we were married). I feel like she is trying to blackmail me into making me do all of the driving in perpetuity.


So, my questions are...

1. Since I have done the driving since September, does that make it the status quo and I would look bad in front of a judge if I don't keep doing it?

2. If I refuse to do the driving for her access before and after school can she use that as Material Change in Circumstances to try to get his school changed? (again there is nothing in the FO about driving)

3. If she has to do the driving to get him to and from school could she force him into a daycare after school rather than have to pick him up from me when I a right there and available? (we have joint custody 50/50 btw)

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:31 AM
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1. Since I have done the driving since September, does that make it the status quo and I would look bad in front of a judge if I don't keep doing it?

No. Both parents should share the drives. Mothers self induce status quos all the time under threats of you either agree or you don't get your kids, you either agree or you pay daycare, you either agree or I'm putting a bomb in your kitchen. You don't have to do it or commit to it if it's not in a court order.

2. If I refuse to do the driving for her access before and after school can she use that as Material Change in Circumstances to try to get his school changed? (again there is nothing in the FO about driving)

It can't be a material change unless it was specifically agreed upon in your order. Perhaps a material change to give you sole custody since she can't be a responsible enough of a parent and drive her kids to/from school?

3. If she has to do the driving to get him to and from school could she force him into a daycare after school rather than have to pick him up from me when I a right there and available? (we have joint custody 50/50 btw)
What does your access order say? Does it specifically say you get child from school?

I don't think you need to do pick up and drop offs when it's her time with the kids. That's her responsibility. Just sent her a nice email:

dear lazy disorganized ex,

I'd like to talk to you about school drop offs. I am not able to make it to work on time when our child is not ready when I come to pick him/her up. Please ensure he/she is ready at least 10 minutes before my arrival. Otherwise, I cannot commit to driving him/her to school on your parenting time.

I'd also like to talk to you about school pick ups. I will continue to pick up our child from school if you're not available at that time. You could then pick him up from my residence. This way, we are taking turns driving.

Thanks,
The better parent

Of course, don't send that. It's just framework. If I were you, I'd just continue the school pick ups and drop offs. What more could you want ?

Last edited by trinton; 04-19-2017 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:19 PM
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You two should be sharing the driving. She drives on her days and you drive on yours. My ex tried the same thing. She said "You're the visitor so you do the driving". A lot of high conflict, self-entitled parents use this reasoning.

I brought it up in court and the judge told her to share the driving, calling her behavior ridiculous.

The child has laid roots, made friends, etc in the current school. Your ex would never get away with uprooting him and moving schools over "driving" issues.

Good on you for saying "I don't mind driving as it gives you more time with your kids". Have a hot chocolate, talk about life. D5 and I talk about so much on drives...great bonding time.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinton View Post
3. If she has to do the driving to get him to and from school could she force him into a daycare after school rather than have to pick him up from me when I a right there and available? (we have joint custody 50/50 btw)
What does your access order say? Does it specifically say you get child from school?

I don't think you need to do pick up and drop offs when it's her time with the kids. That's her responsibility. Just sent her a nice email:
Trinton,

There is nothing in the order about driving at all or pick-ups/drop offs from school. Just that he is to go to this school. Plus joint custody, 50/50 access.

The problem is that I do not want him in after school care on her days as that would make things more difficult and confusing for him than they need be. I don't want him going to after school care Mondays and Wednesdays and then on the bus to get to me Tuesdays and Thursdays. He's only in JK now so he would never know whether or not to get on the bus.

Should I not drive him to her I would much rather get him and have his mother get him from home as it would be way less confusing for him. I just want to know if there is some way that she can force him into after school daycare on her days even when I am there and available as a custodial parent 2 min away from his school. It's obvious (to me anyway) that he would be better being cared for by a parent and have a consistent schedule, but based on past experience she has no problem putting him in daycare to keep him from me when she is upset.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:50 PM
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I'm not an expert with daycare enrollment in a joint custosy regime but i think she can leave him with who ever she wants on her time. just like you could. she could also take you to court to get you to pay a portion of it. you can fight it but no gauarntees. after school care is generally cheap but she is under no obligation to agree with who the child stays. the only way around this is what a right of first refusal. do you have a right of first refusal in your order? if so then she has to offer you time before sticking the child in dayhell.

what does your order say about section 7 expenses?

how much is after school care?

Last edited by trinton; 04-20-2017 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:18 PM
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Our Final Order states that we share Section 7 expenses 60/40, with the exception of child care. It specifies that we each pay for child care on our days if we require it. There is nothing about first right of refusal unfortunately.

That said I'm not really concerned with the cost, it's the stability and consistency of him doing the same thing every day after school and maximizing time with parents over daycare.

I guess in theory if she did enrol him in care I could just go get him. I am a custodial parent, could she really stop me? Would a judge side with me if it ever came to that? His school ends at 3:10 and I can be there to get him by 3:20. His mother works later and wouldn't be able to get him until 4:30 or 5:00pm.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:31 PM
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If you have Tue and Thu and mom has Mon and Wed, that sounds more confusing than spending an hour or two in after school care. For a more consistent and potentially easier to follow schedule, what about a 2255 schedule where one parent has Mon Tue, the other Wed Thur with Fri-Sat-Sun alternating? This is less transitions and if child was in after school care on mom's days it would be a consistent two days in a row and a consistent two days in a row for the bus with only Friday's alternating. Not sure you have the right to say mom can't have after school care for a short time on her days. She can pick child up an hour or hour and a half after you can which is not really much time and makes for less transitions for child.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:50 PM
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PeacefulMoments,

I agree with you entirely, that would be much easier. His mother insisted on this schedule to accomodate her gym routine. I do my best to make things as consistent as possible for him by getting him on and off the bus every day and it seems to be working. I want to maintain that consistency for his sake.

Ideally (from my perspective anyway), I would get him off the bus every afternoon as I do now. He would then go back home and on Daddy days he would just stay and on Mummy days she would come and get him from me. Since the schedule is in the court order and unlikely to be changed on consent that's about the best I can think of.

I feel that keeping him in daycare when there is a custodial parent available 2 min away in the matrimonial home is wrong, but I know that doesn't always translate into legal rights.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
1. Since I have done the driving since September, does that make it the status quo and I would look bad in front of a judge if I don't keep doing it?
You live close to each other for this to even be a concern. We are talking 2-3 KM here sir. I am of the strong opinion that a judge would go bat shit crazy on both of you for this nonsense.

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Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
2. If I refuse to do the driving for her access before and after school can she use that as Material Change in Circumstances to try to get his school changed? (again there is nothing in the FO about driving)
Flat out answer: NO

You are a teacher, correct?

Define: material

important; essential; relevant.

Driving 2 KM is not "important", "essential" nor is it "relevant". Also, it is the mother's time and her responsibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
3. If she has to do the driving to get him to and from school could she force him into a daycare after school rather than have to pick him up from me when I a right there and available? (we have joint custody 50/50 btw)
Yes. The mother can enroll him in a before and after school program during her time. (For example: PLASP)

Really, my recommendation would be to just do it and build a strong bond with the child rather than fighting about it. (Unless you can no longer pickup the child.)

Penny wise... POUND FOOLISH!

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:21 PM
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That said I'm not really concerned with the cost, it's the stability and consistency of him doing the same thing every day after school and maximizing time with parents over daycare.
Wow, a teacher who is for "home schooling"? (Yes, I am being extreme.) PLASP and similar programs are excellent, educational and benefit children. The majority of families have two working parents and some form of before and after school program is utilized. So much so that there are entire government programs at all levels of government to provide this enrichment for children.

Courts often order children to daycare and before and after school programs when there is parental conflict.

1. To reduce the parent to parent contact and the conflict that comes with it.
2. To provide children a "safe" environment free from their parents in conflict.

Daycare and before and after school programs are often used as a tool to reduce parental conflict. Generally, the parent who fights the other parent about daycare is seen as the "conflicted" parent just to warn you.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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