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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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Old 12-30-2012, 02:41 PM
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Happy Holidays to everyone! I am new to the boards, hoping anyone can offer advice, maybe point out what we're missing, where are we going wrong...

My fiance's ex has sole custody of their 6yr old, he has access on every other wknd and holiday time is equally shared. Just recently, we received notice that the Ex will be changing their daughter's surname from his to her's. Because she has SC, we're aware that she can do this, providing there is no court order. We asked if she would consider hyphenating the surname, she replied, "I'd rather not," "it would be too long for her to remember," and "she wants my last name."

We filed an application with the court. We are asking that either her last name be hyphenated recognizing her relationship with both parents, or that her last name remain as is until she is of legal age to make the decision for herself. In our opinion, this is simply another way for the Ex to exercise her power.

I'm sure many of you can imagine what ensued after she was served papers...

Firstly, I should mention that we've never believed that what the Ex buys, should stay at the Ex's house and what we buy should stay at ours. If she wishes to bring a toy, her new hat, etc. back and forth, we feel that she should be allowed to because really, there's no reason to justify why she can't. On our way to pick her up on Friday, the Ex texted that we need to have a pair of snowpants for her. We asked, "does she not have a pair at your house?" Yes, she does but now it has been decided by the Ex that we are to provide our own clothing including winter jacket, mittens, hat, etc. Apparently, she does not have to provide anything for ***** to wear other than an outfit to come home in. "What's ours stays at our place and what's yours stays at yours." Shame on her.

She sent the little one out to the car with a winter jacket and boots that we had bought for her, no mittens, scarf or hat. Apparently, we should have these items in the car at pick-up.

We are incredibly confused. When we bring her back to her Mom, are we expected to change her coat, boots, mitts, etc. in the car from what she has on, to what her Mother brings to the exchange? Imagine the confusion for the child. This woman stated that she is "looking out for *****, and we need to "grow up and take responsibility for her."

Of course, we stopped at the mall on our way home and grabbed a new snowsuit for her.

We've never expected the Ex to provide the nicest of her clothing for our visits, which is why we do have a wardrobe for her at our place. But, when it comes to articles like winter coats, boots, etc., if we're wrong, please do say so, is it not absolutely insane to undress the little one at the exchange from what she's wearing to what her Mother brings?

Any input would be so much appreciated.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:18 PM
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Maybe to save the conflict of it all, all her snow gear that you have bought her, just send her back to her mom's in it instead of changing her in the car. Tell the mom, that it's okay, you don't mind this stuff staying at her house with said child. Tell her, in fact, you don't mind her using these clothes while at her house as well (that way at least you know they are put to good use). Some things just aren't worth the argument really, as much as it is frustrating.

If you can afford it, perhaps you can just make the offer to buy all the snow gear every year, and let the mom know that the snow gear will travel back and forth. This way the mom doesn't feel like she spent her money on 'travel clothes'.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:10 PM
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We could certainly do that, Madm82.

Only, at mediation, this matter was addressed. The Ex wanted to include in the parenting plan, that her Father was to provide all clothing for his visits. The mediator said in so many words that because she has sole custody, because the Father pays child support, and because she is only with her Father every other wknd, she would be responsible for providing the clothing and it is her Father's responsibility to return them at the exchange. The mediator stated that this is common sense and therefore, it was not added to the agreement that the judge signed off on.

Obviously, we're not going to let their child go without. But shouldn't main clothing articles such as coats and shoes, necessary attire for the seasons be included in the child support? We're worried if we don't start taking a stand now, what next?

Not long ago the Ex decided that our car wasn't safe because of rust on the door and said she did not want her child riding in it. We had an E test and Safety test conducted and provided her with the papers...she still deemed it unsafe. This battle continued for weeks. We had to borrow his family truck for visitations just to keep the peace. 3 weeks ago, we traded in the old car for a newer one because the exchange point is quite a distance away and it was pretty costly driving around in the family truck all wknd.
To be honest, we're quite tired of having to be the bigger person, just to keep the peace. What next?
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:25 PM
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I tend to agree that it should be the op's responsibility to provide the winter clothing, but, and you need to decide, is that one thing worth the extra stress and argument of it all.

Sounds like he has a very difficult ex.

Document everything. Unless the safety of the child is compromised by you guys, she can't stop you from taking the child. You should not have had to purchase a new vehicle after showing her proof of the safety just to appease her. Continue down this path, and you're going to have one mighty expensive future. If she does try to stop you from taking the child, document it and say maybe after three times or so of this for unjustified purposes bring a motion before the courts. You might not get very far the first time, but hopefully, it will show her that you do not want to play games about being able to see the child. The judge most likely will forewarn her not to continue down that path or she may not like the overall consequences.

It is hard always feeling like you are being the bigger person.

Maybe someone who has more experience with this type of a situation will chime in here and give you better advice or help.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:48 PM
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Your thoughts are very much appreciated, Madm82!
We will have to discuss again tonight how to proceed. Perhaps rather than putting his daughter through the ridiculous hassle of changing clothes in the car at the exchange, we will simply just tell the Ex to return them come our next visit. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:12 PM
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As madm82 says, document everything and provide it to the lawyer when the time comes.

My partner's ex is demanding that she should be reimbursed for all clothing she buys for their two kids when they're with her... even though she gets child support, and even though we buy them clothes when they're with us. So he has to pay $800 a month in cs as well as all their other expenses that her cs is supposed to be covering? Yeah, right.

It's just important to stay on the high road. It's hard and it's frustrating, but it works out in your favour in the end, so just keep on it. And DON'T respond to demanding text messages or e-mails, but save them. Unless it's something you've been court ordered to do or it's something that would be unreasonable not to do, don't. You don't want to seem uncooperative, but being cooperative has its limits. There's cooperation and there's abuse.

I feel sorry for the kids in these situations. I really do... like your fiance's little girl being forced to change her name... and her time with her father being jeopardized because her mother doesn't like the rust on the car. Goofy.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:35 PM
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We have countless emails and text messages saved in case there's ever a time when we need the proof. You think the Ex would become exhausted with the relentless bullying. It's incredibly difficult to communicate with someone like this.

Teezy, you mentioned problems you and your partner are having with his Ex regarding clothing and other expenses. Can I ask how you are managing the problem?
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:00 PM
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Clothing falls under child support. If your partner pays full child support then it is mom's responsibility to provide the clothing for the child. One would assume you'd keep some backup stuff at your place, but the majority of clothing should travel with the child.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:05 PM
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Have enough clothes at your house. When child is there, child wears those clothes. When child returns to Mom, child goes home with the clothing she was picked up in.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLS View Post
Teezy, you mentioned problems you and your partner are having with his Ex regarding clothing and other expenses. Can I ask how you are managing the problem?

I'll PM you.
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