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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-03-2007, 09:37 PM
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Default Another Extra Curricular Activities Question

Hi Everybody,

I have a sticky situation about extracurricular activities. My son plays competitive soccer. I have sole custody and for the past four years have been lucky enough that his sports schedule did not interfere with visitation with his father (only the last 2 years have been competitive). As he gets older, the time commitment gets bigger, and weekend participation is required. My ex will have nothing to do with it. I've asked him to take our son to soccer for 90 minutes every second weekend and he refuses to commit. He sees it as me interfering with his time. I've offered to change visitation time to accomodate the soccer (without him losing any time), I've offered to do all the transportation, I've offered him an extra weekend to make up for the "lost" 90 minutes every 2nd weekend over the next 4 months, I've offered everything I can think of so that our son can continue participating and not get behind in development or get a reputation for being unreliable. I've also offered to switch weekends if a tournament falls on his weekend.

My son loves soccer and burst into tears when he heard when the practices were cause "daddy won't take me."

I know I have no right to schedule things on his time, but I have no control over when the practices are. And it's only going to get worse. If my son sticks with soccer, in a year or two he will be required to travel for weekends, etc.

So as far as I can see, I have 2 choices. Let my son go to visits and miss his soccer and end up hating his dad and in no time at all refuse to go to visits entirely, or make a motion to vary access to accomodate our son's schedule (right now it would only require a shift of 2 hours for pick up and drop off times - then he wouldn't have to take him, he wouldn't lose any time, and son could participate.)

It's not a matter of money at all - I pay even though we're supposed to share proportionally - but I don't care. I just want son to be able to play.

Does anyone have any experience with situations like this? I know the courts hate to deal with stuff like this, but I've literally exhausted everything else. My ex won't budge. Is there case law on this? All my searches only bring up stuff regarding paying for activities, not the ability to participate during access time.

Any thoughts, suggestions, or advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-04-2007, 08:38 AM
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Unhappy

Here is a BIG KUDOS to you as this is exactly what I have been trying to demonstrate in other posts. If it makes the children happy do it! Why bicker with the ex to help cover the costs. You know it makes them happy, if the other can't see that nor accept that, they are loosing out on sooooooo much!

Its sad dad does not see this as something he can share with his son. I would think he would relish the idea of participating in this with his son. I know my husband would jump at this opportunity.

I have no similar situation, but obviously it "is" in the best interests of the son to maintain this. Given you have covered all associated costs, I don't think the court would frown on your request for some kind of access variance should you have to take the court route.

I mean really, the son would be devastated if you have to explain to him that it is unfortunate that he will have to miss practices/games if they are scheduled during dad’s time. Even if you said nothing he’d quickly realize where the blame belongs and it would be terrible if he resented dad for that. I just don’t understand why dad would see this as you infringing on his time? This is an activity he can easily enjoy being a part of, and I know, having a son, that the son would be so proud to know dad is a part of what he likes and even more so if dad encourages him in it.

Sorry no words of wisdom,
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:07 AM
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Well, I am in the same boat. I pay 100% for all lessons, etc, (even though I really shouldn't since the ex receives full table CS). Now, even though I pay, even though I am involved, on her days she:

a) does not bring the child
b) refuses to help

The courts will not help. Even if they ordered her to bring the child... what can you do when the ex does not participate? Say "Pretty please"? Call the police? You have nothing.

So now I do not enroll the child in things. Completely unfair to the child. And I am left "explaining the mess". And usually I am not sure what to say. Oh, you Mom doesn't feel like taking you? If I start to go that route, the child cries.

I'll just keep contributing to the councelling fund. Or the kid will go Columbine. Great. Just great.

Rock and hard place 101.

Sorry, I don't know what else to say. I would keep enrolling the kid. Keep taking him on your days and if they miss every other week... it just re-enforces why you are divorced.

BTW, as pissed off as I am about the biases in court, and the stupidity of the support laws and The SYSTEM in general, I have no patience for

a) parents that are not involved
b) parents that use their kids against the other parent

Does you ex not want to see your child play? Does he not come to the games on your time anyway? Why would you not want to see this as a parent? Kids are kids for only so long. And be thankful they want to be involved in a sport or activity in the first place.

It boggles my mind....
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:26 PM
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Default

Boggles my mind as well!
I have put a clause in my Sep. Agreement stating that Saturdays are reserved for extra curricular activities in town (my ex is moving 55km away soon) because I relish the extra time I get to see my boy play sports during his mother's time.
I wonder if your ex would change his mind if he saw how much that soccer meant to your son...
Tell him there may be lots of hot soccer moms there !
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Old 05-04-2007, 05:52 PM
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I've been down this road too.

I also pay 100% of sporting activities. And I spent lots of emotional energy trying to get the NCP to take the kids to their activities during his time. It wasn't worth it. I now tell my kids - it's dad's choice if he will bring you to XYZ activity during his time. If you still want to play knowing you may miss some time while with dad, then I will sign you up and pay. (and then I apologize upfront to the coaches for the time they may miss)

I thought this was an easier solution to me stressing about getting Dad to do what I think he should do. In the end, my children, who are young teens, put the pressure on Dad to take them to their activities. So now, he complains when I sign them up because I am making him look bad when he can't take them. *Sigh* I told him exactly what I told them - it is his choice whether or not to take them. But again, I am the villain. I signed them up only to make him look bad. It couldn't POSSIBLY be that I did what I considered to be in the best interest of the child.

End Rant
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Old 05-11-2007, 04:10 AM
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Default Limited Choice...

Duckie

Quote:
So as far as I can see, I have 2 choices. Let my son go to visits and miss his soccer and end up hating his dad and in no time at all refuse to go to visits entirely, or make a motion to vary access to accomodate our son's schedule
There are always other choices, they may not be preferred but considering that you have stated this is a weekend problem pertaining to custody, would it be possible to have alternating week custody? Perhaps with more access regularily he would be more willing to spare a little bit of time for soccer on the weekends.

Never a good idea to place limits on a range of available choices, when there is always yet another solution just around the corner.

Thinking outside the box it's best for everyone.

P.S. My ex and I have alternating week arrangement and she still refuses to take my son to his activities (would require her to think of our son before herself), I still sign him up, pay all the fees and take him on my weeks. If he learns to hate her, not my doing and not my problem.

Duped
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