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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 03-09-2010, 12:10 AM
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Default march break parenting time question

Hi All,

I have a question about March break, and whats 'normal'/acceptable. I live about an hour away from my ex. My children are 5, 4, 3, and becoming programmed by the ex.

My normal schedule is every other weekend at this point, with reasonable and liberal tacked on. (separate issue)

That means that most of my requests for extra time are denied/altered/screwed around - and thats fine (for now), i document document document.

After 3 weeks of being ignored about wanting to discuss march break holidays for our children, she finally replied without even asking or discussing that I could have them Wednesday morn until Thurs night.

I replied that her 'offer' that in light of her recent (end of feb) 2 week vacation to Florida with them leaving me with no access during that time, that it would be good for the kids to spend an extended time with me, from Friday night (normal pickup time, normal weekend schedule), but instead of returning them Sun night, I would return them Wed night.

To this she just replied NO, but offered an extra day, to pick them up twednesday morning and return them Friday night.

I know from her behaviour that she doesn't (once over xmas she was forced by lawyers to let them spend 3 nights) want them spend more than 2 nights in a row with me, even though the children have no issues with this, as this would set a 'precident' in her eyes with the court, and weaken what she sees as a future custody argument.

She already frustrates my telephone acccess, medical record access, etc., so this is nothing new.

The reason I want extended access (a whopping 5 days) is that the children seem to just get used to being here, and then off they go back to their mothers for 2 weeks. I feel that this would allow good bonding time for the children, and be to their benefit which I state, and that it would be best if they were not trucked back and forth every 2 days over the holiday, but she ignores this with a simple 'no' even though she offers the same time, just never in a row, and gives me no explination - logical or otherwise.

Am I being reasonable, and if so can anything be done, or at the VERY least better documented for future use?


Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:05 PM
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Do you not have an order stating how vacations such as March Break are to be divided?

Basically, the norm is that parents alternate March Break, from the Friday school let's out until the Sunday before school resumes. One year, one parent has the children during those 10 days, the next year, the other parent does.

If the children are young, like yours, judges usually split the March Break in half, with one parent having 5 days, and the other parent having 5 (the extra days tacked on to their regular access weekend) with pick-up/drop-off mid-afternoon Wednesday... until a time whent the children are 6 years old, when the full March Break alternation would begin. (At least, that's how it was in our case.)

That is... as I know it... the "norm" for March Break. A judge would not grant any less (or so I would hope!)
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:58 PM
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No, just the first case conference. I am sure the judge was hoping we would work through this, but ex seems determined to limit all non expressly allowed contact. For march break, she Eventually offered to split it, but won't give me 5 days in a row. She wants me to have them normal weekend, return them for mon and tues, pick them up wed, return them friday so they have to be trucked back and forth twice during the holidays (2 hours round trip each time). I even offered to switch my weekend to the following one once she offered the wed, thurs, fri which would have given me my 5 days in a row, but the answer to that was no.

Her base problem is letting me have them for any extended period, though meanwhile she can take them to Florida for 2 weeks (last month) where I have only the most minimal phone contact - twice in the two weeks for under 5 minutes each time, and thats total for 3 kids, not 5 minutes each.

Having problems dealing with her, not sure how to proceed. I just keep trying to be reasonable, but it doesn't seem to get anywhere.

Thanks for letting me know the norm, thats what I figured because it seems REASONABLE.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:37 AM
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Have you tried telling her that it's unreasonable for the kids to be in transit so often? Maybe figure out how much travel time it would be your way, and how much it would be her way, and show her the difference. Let her know that you don't feel that it's in the children's best interest to spend so much time in transit. (That usually seemed to work for us, as we too are a distance apart... 2+ hours, one way... 1.5 hours without traffic.)

Simply offer your proposal for either the first or last 5 days of the break, explain how that is in the best interest, as the children won't be shuffled around every 2-3 days, and won't spend excessive time in transit. Then ask her to agree or if provide valid reasons why she disagrees.

Keep it all in writing, so that you have it documented.

I think that whatever happens this march break, the judge will just let slide, but will make an order for what seems to be the norm for future march breaks.

Good luck to you!
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:40 AM
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Oh, and don't worry, you're not alone dealing with excessive driving demands. My stepson's mom demands that we take the child to extracurricular activities in her town (2 hours away, one way) during the time he is with us for March Break; activities which she signed the child up for on her own accord, without my husband's agreement.

Now we face the forked road... do we take the child to these activities we didn't agree to, that take place 2 hours away... or do we let him miss the class this one week and deal with her "reprecussions" afterwards?

There is always something... :-S
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #1StepMom View Post
Oh, and don't worry, you're not alone dealing with excessive driving demands. My stepson's mom demands that we take the child to extracurricular activities in her town (2 hours away, one way) during the time he is with us for March Break; activities which she signed the child up for on her own accord, without my husband's agreement.
if its on your husbands time, plan an outing in your part of town on the same night, say it was already decided because its your access and deal with her repercusions. Missing one day is not a big deal....but I know to her it is
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frustrated11 View Post
if its on your husbands time, plan an outing in your part of town on the same night, say it was already decided because its your access and deal with her repercusions. Missing one day is not a big deal....but I know to her it is
Oh, and usually, we do take the "it's our time, our choice" route... but this is the last class of the session for my stepson, where he'll be getting a completion certificate, etc. We don't want him to miss out on regular childhood things because his mom is a whimsical idiot. You know what I mean?
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