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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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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-23-2010, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post
I don't agree with this.

Yes, generally the parent responsible for taking care of the child for their parenting time would be responsible for pickups. However, Dad has choosen to leave the city and go to the cottage 2.5 hours away (thus a 5 hour round trip for mom), which I doubt is what would normally occur for access exchanges. Exchanges where each parent lives in the same town are generally at the other parents house or school.

The only important questions are:

1. Where have you normally done exchanges in the past?

- if you have normally done them at each others house or a neutral location local to each of you, that should be continued.

2. When are the children supposed to be returned to you?

- you made it sound like the children will be returned very late in the day (like after 8pm). When do you expect them home? generally access on Sunday ends after dinner time. So he should have at least until 6pm to return the kids. So even if SIL is lazy and doesn't roll outta bed until noon, that gives her 6 hours to get ready and make a 2.5 hour trip.

It would be unreasonable to cause mom to make a 5 hour round trip to pick up the children due to dad's decision to remain up at the cottage. If he wants spend time up there, he can either a) drive them down for the normal exchange and return afterwards or b) arrange for someone else to drop them off (which he has). It would be no different then a parent temporarily moving, which each of us responding have said on this site, the person doing the move would be responsible for doing the transportation.

As for the SIL, I really doubt you know all that goes on in her life and how responsible she may be. You have jaded views and expect the worst because of those views.

And yes, it is at worst inconsideratie to ask you to do the travelling. But it is not a denial of access as he has provided alternatives for return transportation (you just choose to look at the alternative in the worst possible fashion).
HD, I would agree with you if it was expected she make both trips, but she is or would be only responsible for one trip, which agreed would be 5 hrs round, but he would have to do the same?? But he's offering to mitigate that by bringing the children to her. I would still tell him to pick the children up for his return access.

It sounds like this is a past practice for the children to goto the cottage for the summer, though I've asked similar questions that you've asked as well; like what is the normal regime? I haven't heard anything from mom with regards to this. From her post, it appears like this is a one time deal that she is not going to the cottage which is 20 min away from her ex. Having said all that, I've also stated to her that she require the children be home at a responsible time, whomever transports the children back!

Like in many orders (which it sounds like she doesn't have one) judges will throw out the regular access regime during the summer months when the children are not in school, like vacations, when the regular access times are thrown out to accommodate the vacations for both parents, not saying that is the case here, but going on just what I've read from the poster, the children going to the cottage for the summer is something that is the norm, and both parents need to help make that work and both parents have to share the transportation responsibility together. Meaning she only would have to do it once, not for his access time. He would have to do the same thing, if by chance he is able to get his sister, then if I were her, and didn't want to make the trip, then take it.

From what she has posted it sounds like this is a one off issue as she'd normally be at mom's cottage, maybe the poster can clarify.
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 07-23-2010, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by LostFather View Post
From what she has posted it sounds like this is a one off issue as she'd normally be at mom's cottage, maybe the poster can clarify.
She may choose, at her discretion, to go to her parents cottage. She would not be obligated to travel such a distance because dad doesn't want to return the kids to his house (or their normal exchange spot).

The issue isn't that she has access to a cottage close to dads. That is just fluff and of no consequence as there may be a host of reasons why the OP cannot, or chose not, to attend her parents cottage (like another family member is using it or she has other commitments in the city).

Dad should return the kids to where they would normally exchange them. A court order will generally provide that exchanges happen at 1 of 2 places, the parents house or school.

All that said, dad has arranged for his sister to transport the kids. If mom doesn't like it, tough, it isn't your decision to make. So long as they are at the normal exchange point and the prescribed time you have no argument.

Dad has choosen to be 2.5 hours away this weekend. Why should mom be inconvenienced by dad's decision to be so far away? I mean, if he went to BC would we still expect her to get them? Is there a distance where we decide is the cutoff? Or do we go with what has been done in the past and put the onus on the person who is responsible for the change to provide the remedy (in this case, dad).
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 07-23-2010, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post
She may choose, at her discretion, to go to her parents cottage. She would not be obligated to travel such a distance because dad doesn't want to return the kids to his house (or their normal exchange spot).

The issue isn't that she has access to a cottage close to dads. That is just fluff and of no consequence as there may be a host of reasons why the OP cannot, or chose not, to attend her parents cottage (like another family member is using it or she has other commitments in the city).

Dad should return the kids to where they would normally exchange them. A court order will generally provide that exchanges happen at 1 of 2 places, the parents house or school.

All that said, dad has arranged for his sister to transport the kids. If mom doesn't like it, tough, it isn't your decision to make. So long as they are at the normal exchange point and the prescribed time you have no argument.

Dad has choosen to be 2.5 hours away this weekend. Why should mom be inconvenienced by dad's decision to be so far away? I mean, if he went to BC would we still expect her to get them? Is there a distance where we decide is the cutoff? Or do we go with what has been done in the past and put the onus on the person who is responsible for the change to provide the remedy (in this case, dad).

Some of this stuff you've raised and I as well, have been waiting for a response, if it has been past practice, and this is a one off, then I would think that both are responsible. I think as far as BC is concerned then that would be a hardship. If the parents have the means to do so and it's a matter of inconvenience and the above has been in practice, then I do not see the problem, I mean its not the children's fault mom and dad separated or divorced, and if this is normally what they do, I'm thinking that for the inconvenience issue; and that's what it is, not a hardship or doesn't have the means, is more like I don't want to. Isn't it?

I guess we need to poster to clarify some issues. In any event, the time will of come and gone and the issue will be long forgotten or most likely ignored by the courts (meaning and actions against the parent) when and if it gets to court. There maybe a chance to get something more concrete in place by next summer, but then you have a judge deciding, (spending thousands along the way) what they're both doing, and my guess is both will not like it and regret taking the matter to court instead of working out something together. But ahhhhh, don't we all!! LOL!
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 07-23-2010, 01:07 PM
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I agree, in court this one instance will be a moot issue. It will most likely be a one time issue, not a reoccuring problem, and will be settled with a judge saying exchanges are to occur at X place and Y time. So the kids shall be there.

And yeah, this is an inconvenience, but it is a 5 hour and a tank of gas inconvenience she didn't create (plus likely a meal etc). Unless this is what they have always done or agreed with previously, I know I wouldn't do it. And if my ex suggested I do so, I'd tell her to pound salt as I am not the one who created the problem and won't be responsible for fixing it.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:20 PM
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Thanks for all your responses.

I know my SIL very,very well. It is not an issue of whether she is "responsible" or not but whether dropping off the kids is her responsibilty. It is not, she is perfectly within her rights to tell her brother she will not do it. He does not ask her ahead of time he "lays it on her"at the last minute. So she may not do this at all, never mind late. And I will get a phone call telling me i cannot see my kids, like i said, until somebody comes back.

It is unreasonable to ask the other parent to pick up from your vacation spot. My mother's cottage is hers, not mine, and I have no plans to go there this weekend and he knows that. Would it be reasonable for me to drive to a random town 2.5 hours away in any direction, spend the weekend there with the kids in a hotel, and tell him he had to pick them up there? I think not. Would you do that to your ex? Hope not.

We have only been separated 2 months so there is no "past practice for vacations. Normally he lives a 10 minute drive from me and we both do pickups and dropoffs.
Thanks for the support ( I mean that sincerely to all the supportive posters)
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 07-23-2010, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by gumby View Post
I know my SIL very,very well. It is not an issue of whether she is "responsible" or not but whether dropping off the kids is her responsibilty. It is not, she is perfectly within her rights to tell her brother she will not do it. He does not ask her ahead of time he "lays it on her"at the last minute. So she may not do this at all, never mind late. And I will get a phone call telling me i cannot see my kids, like i said, until somebody comes back.
Yes, SIL may say no, but then it is still the fathers responsibility to ensure the children are at the normal exchange point at the normal time. I know it has only been a couple months, but in that time I am sure you've established some sort of routine.

Yes, it is not his sisters responsibility to return the kids. But dad has the right to provide for alternative transportation of the kids in the event he is incapable or unavailable. Here, it sounds like he is more lazy and doesn't want to do the 5 hour trip himself. If SIL says yes, then SIL will be the one to dropoff on Sunday, not much can be said otherwise.

Edit - also sounds like you do not have any sort of custody agreement in place. You should have one. Go to mediation if possible as it will save a ton of money, but an agreement should be in place to provide for trival matters like this that cause problems over stupid issues.
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 07-23-2010, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumby View Post
Thanks for all your responses.

I know my SIL very,very well. It is not an issue of whether she is "responsible" or not but whether dropping off the kids is her responsibilty. It is not, she is perfectly within her rights to tell her brother she will not do it. He does not ask her ahead of time he "lays it on her"at the last minute. So she may not do this at all, never mind late. And I will get a phone call telling me i cannot see my kids, like i said, until somebody comes back.

It is unreasonable to ask the other parent to pick up from your vacation spot. My mother's cottage is hers, not mine, and I have no plans to go there this weekend and he knows that. Would it be reasonable for me to drive to a random town 2.5 hours away in any direction, spend the weekend there with the kids in a hotel, and tell him he had to pick them up there? I think not. Would you do that to your ex? Hope not.

We have only been separated 2 months so there is no "past practice for vacations. Normally he lives a 10 minute drive from me and we both do pickups and dropoffs.
Thanks for the support ( I mean that sincerely to all the supportive posters)

Okay, so you did not make us aware that you've been separated for 2 months. And the 'Normally' you refer to is been over the past 2 months and during school months. As for past practice, I was referring to other years vacationing, it sounded like your children always go to the cottage over the summer. So this is the first year?

As for the SIL, you're still making a presumption of what she or he has done or may do, unfortunately since it hasn't happened yet, there is nothing you can do. But I will tell you if his SIL drops of the children, then just tell him, after your time with the children, he can pick them up and put the ball in his court, so to speak.

It sounds like this will be the first test, as to what will happen, but I have to stress to you if the children are having a good time, and the SIL does make it down at a reasonable time, then there shouldn't too much of an issue.

I think that you have to decide what is more important; driving up and getting your children, waiting for the SIL or him to bring them to you. If he or she flat out denies to bring them home, then go up and get them and work it out later, I think and is only my opinion, the drive would be more than worth it, if it meant seeing my children or not!

As for your argument about the hotel thingy, is the hotel normally where you take your children? Is the cottage normally where your children go or is it new, except you're not there? Because you say there is no past practice for vacations, but you say we're normally 10 min apart, but normally sounds like 2 months out of how many years? So maybe the cottage is just going to be a one time thing, which you'll not have to worry about again.

Anyway, you know your situation best than all of us, you just need to find the best way to approach the issues as they arise for the sake of the children. The last thing they need is mommy and daddy fighting over how they're going from one place to another, it will just stress them out.
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