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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 12-15-2008, 12:39 PM
mcr mcr is offline
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Default sick kids & time off work...

Just wondering what the general 'rule' might be when the parent with custody needs to take time off work for sick kids?

We have 4 kids together... I have been more than eager to have my kids as often as possible, or even have 2 of them live with me. She refuses, that, and as a result have little income (after paying child support) and can't do more than rent a small room to live in... which makes it impossible to have my kids over nights.

The kids are getting sick this winter, and she's complaining about missing work to stay home and look after them. She moved to a town about 2 hours away from where we lived as a family, and expects me to take time off work, drive to there and watch the kids for her to go to work. I can't do that due to the fuel expenses and time off work for me (I can't afford days off and have to work no matter how sick I am, otherwise, my bills won't be paid) and can't afford to give her $$ for a babysitter so she can go to work.

What can she do? I can't afford to pay more money... and can't afford time off work.

She is the one that choose to move out of the same town and refuses to let a couple of the kids live with me "sharing" parental responsibilities.

Advice? Comments?
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Old 12-15-2008, 01:48 PM
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We recently went through the same battle... with my fiance being the non-custodial parent paying child support. My stepson's mom brought up the exact same reasons and demanded that he share the responsibility of caring for the sick child. We discussed this with our previous lawyer, and the outcome was this:

She fought for primary custody, she receives child support, therefore she is the one responsible for taking time off work and caring for the child should he become ill. If she cannot do it, then she needs to find someone close to the child's primary residence who can. You are responsible for taking care of the child when he is in your custody, on your time, and she is responsible for him when he is on her time. Not when just when it suits her best.

So, we responded to her demand stating that it is irrational to have the child wait at school for 2 hours if not more, ill, until either his dad or I are able to drive the distance to pick him up. We suggested that if she cannot handle the responsibilities of being the primary caregiver, we would gladly take over primary physical custody and receive child support from her to compensate for the time off work we would gladly take to fulfill the primary caregiver responsibilities and care for the sick child.

This shut her up pretty quickly, and we never heard anything about it since.

Granted, there are some parents who are able to share this responsibility... such as those who live in the same area and are able to get to the sick child within a reasonable time. This isn't our case, and from what I read, it isn't yours either.

Hopefully this helps!
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