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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 06-08-2013, 04:53 PM
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I am hoping someone can lead me into the right direction on this one! Please don't say "consult a lawyer" as I messaged mine but as I don't have a lot of $ at the moment if she declines to answer (since I no longer have her retained) it would be nice to have some idea what to expect if I take this issue to court.

A bit of background: My ex and I have been separated for 4 1/2 years. We have a 6 year old daughter. He lives in BC (I used to but recently moved to Alberta) and he fought us moving here. He lost. My fiancÚ and I have been together 4 years and have a 1yr old and I have been a stay-at-home mom that whole time - the judge agreed with us moving as my fiancÚ got a way better job here. My daughter's father has been in and out of her life for the past 4 years - he disappears for weeks or months, he calls her every day for a week and then not for weeks at a time. I got sole custody when we first separated because he threatened that "if he got custody he would take her to Texas to live with his parents and I would never see her again...." So I got sole custody and he got "reasonable access" which was whenever he felt like it...but he didn't ask often. Fast forward 3 years and we want to move to Alberta. A lot has happened in between, threats and an assault on my fiance (by my ex), child endangerment (no carseat etc) and various offences. He hasn't seen her in MONTHS and I (trying to keep him in the loop) let him know in AUGUST that we are moving to Alberta...3 days before I leave in DECEMBER he does an emergency hearing trying to stop me from leaving. We won, and we were allowed to leave...but because my ex wouldn't compromise the judge set the visitation. He said that WE had to fly my daughter out once a month for 3 days and WE were responsible for her travel costs! Since she was 6 that was 2 tickets each way (too young for a companion or to fly alone). We countered and the judge only relented by saying my ex had to pay for HIS flight to fly her back, thats it. He kept cancelling because he didn't have money for flights. We went back in to court in March to change the order because he started trucking long haul and was going to be going through our area weekly - so he agreed to change the order to one weekend a month IN ALBERTA when he was here for work, and we would fly her out UP TO four times a year if he wasn't coming out here, he would be responsible for all of her travel costs back. Since March he has visited her here ONCE. We let him park his semi here for the weekend and spend time with her. He always cancels or calls last minute. He refuses to give notice he will be in town, and expects us to drop everything. We have tried to be accomodating but he always cancels the last minute (other than the last time when he called that morning to say he was in town all weekend and parked here - including us feeding him - for the weekend). He says he can't afford to fly her back so he hasn't asked to have her in BC. He still barely calls her.

Now we come to now:
As per the agreement he is supposed to have 2 weeks during the summer. I keep asking him when he would like to plan that (it makes me sick to the stomach because he is so irresponsible but there is nothing i can do about it) but he keeps saying he can't afford the flight, and he can't afford to take time off. I told him to let me know. Then the last time he was here after he left he said that he will look at his schedule because she can just come with him....um ahem?! Hold up?! He is a long haul truck driver! He wants to bring her to work with him for his visit...thats a 6 year old in a semi for 12-14 hours at a time...for days at a time. I am adamantly opposed to it but I don't know what the protocol is for this? I know I don't have any choice who has her when she is in his care as long as she is safe (he has a gf. My ex-best friend he left me for...but my parents are also in the town). I told him if he can take time off (at least some) but has to work some days my parents can take her on the days he works...and he was pissed off. He wants to pick her up from our place in AB in the semi and take her on his runs and bring her back in 2 weeks. I said no. But I would like to know if I have any legal recourse about him taking her to work for his "parenting time".
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:09 PM
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I would want signed documentation from the trucking company that he works for that passengers are allowed and covered by their insurance. That's not going to happen. If he owns his own rig he might be able to get around it but generally it is something that isn't allowed.
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azias_Mommy View Post
IWe won, and we were allowed to leave...but because my ex wouldn't compromise the judge set the visitation. He said that WE had to fly my daughter out once a month for 3 days and WE were responsible for her travel costs!
Why the exclmation mark? Are you shocked? Did you think you could just up and move to another province and none of the issues land on your shoulders? This is the most common ruling in a situation like this, and it is more than fair.

Quote:
Now we come to now:
As per the agreement he is supposed to have 2 weeks during the summer.
Again, this is extremely common and fair to both the child and the father. It is nothing to feel put out about. It is something you can and should put every effort into facilitating. That means going to a bit of trouble and accepting some inconvenience, and being willing to compromise. You have the wonderful situation of being with your child 50 weeks of the year; the father doesn't.
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I keep asking him when he would like to plan that (it makes me sick to the stomach because he is so irresponsible but there is nothing i can do about it)
I applaud your honesty at least, but you need to deal with these emotions without letting it come between the child and the father.
Quote:
but he keeps saying he can't afford the flight, and he can't afford to take time off. I told him to let me know. Then the last time he was here after he left he said that he will look at his schedule because she can just come with him....um ahem?! Hold up?! He is a long haul truck driver! He wants to bring her to work with him for his visit...thats a 6 year old in a semi for 12-14 hours at a time...for days at a time.
Although it's not exactly the same thing, many families vacation in an RV for weeks at a time with their children. Does she have proper child seat in the truck? If so, this is not something for you to take issue with. It is a chance for them to spend time together and get to know each other.
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I am adamantly opposed to it
Being adamantly opposed to something is rarely the way to resolve a conflict.
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but I don't know what the protocol is for this?
You will have to make a case for what you want. You will have to make a sound logical argument and find factual information to back up your beliefs. You should start by finding studies that show the psychological damage caused by children accompanying their parent on a long road trip. Make sure that you find unbiased, peer reviewed studies by recognized experts.
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I know I don't have any choice who has her when she is in his care as long as she is safe
But you want the choice to control where they are, what they are doing, and how they are travelling?
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(he has a gf. My ex-best friend he left me for...but my parents are also in the town).
Not relevant to anything, I hope this isn't what is motivating you.
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I told him if he can take time off (at least some) but has to work some days my parents can take her on the days he works...and he was pissed off.
I don't understand. I am sure that when he tells you what you can or cannot do, you are completely open to his instructions. Of course he should do exactly what you tell him to do without getting upset. MEN!
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He wants to pick her up from our place in AB in the semi and take her on his runs and bring her back in 2 weeks. I said no. But I would like to know if I have any legal recourse about him taking her to work for his "parenting time".
Not unless you can prove factually that her health or safety is at risk.
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:58 PM
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(Edit - i see Mess and i were typing at the same time... and apparently thinking along the same lines too!)

This isn't part of your question, but I think it was right of the court to have YOU pay for your daughter to see her father after YOU moved. I'm surprised the father has to pay the return flight for himself.

As for the summer vacation - I see this two different ways. If it were a two week road trip in the family station wagon driving cross-country, would you feel differently? I'm not trying to be facetious, it's just something to reflect on.

Second - as a summer job before university, I waitressed at a restaurant where big rig trucks would often stop. Many of them would have their kids and/or spouses with them for a trip during the summer months. The kids usually seemed to be having a fine-enough time.

Two weeks at a time does seem like a bit much, though, especially for a young one. Maybe X would consider one week at a time?
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:03 PM
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As an owner of a trucking company for over 30 yrs I can assure you that a semi is not the same as a motorhome.

- Insurance and safety regulations do not allow minors. While this may have been the case many years ago I can assure you that large national trucking companies do not allow this.
- Trucks can be dangerous and the loads that they haul can be dangerous as well. Drivers of commercial long-haul rigs have to do regular inspections and adjustments to the equipment they are operating. This requires them to sometimes be outside, and underneath the truck cab for lengthy periods. Transference of diesel, oil and caustic substances does happen.
- When we had trucks on long-haul routes spouses were not allowed. On the rare occasion that this happened the driver was terminated immediately. Truck insurance is extremely expensive. Driver stupidity (kids playing in the cab of a semi) costs money. No exceptions.
- Truck stops can be creepy, dirty places which are frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers. I certainly wouldn't want my child exposed to any of those places.

I agree with some other posters, however, that you have the responsibility to follow the court orders and pay for your child's flight to and from visits with father.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
As an owner of a trucking company for over 30 yrs I can assure you that a semi is not the same as a motorhome.
I certainly agree with Arabian. A semi is not the same as a motorhome. When we were together, we travelled as a family in our motorhome starting when the kids were toddlers. My stbx was involved in a business that relied on long-distance trucks carrying heavy loads, and it wasn't rare to have them overturn with the truck. The truckers were often rushed and tired from the long hours. Add to this a driver under the influence of drugs and alcohol and you have a scenario just ripe for disaster. This situation is more common than you might think.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:21 PM
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Caranna - I can't even fathom a 6 yr old girl being taken into the restroom at one of those truck stops... Mountain pass trucking can be treacherous and require drivers to get out and chain up. Flat tires, hydraulic/oil leaks - these are sometimes daily problems that require immediate attention. Trucker can't call a 1-800 Ford Help Me line as he is usually expected to fix the problem on the side of the road. Long haul requires ability to sit behind the wheel of a truck for long periods of time. While there are mandatory rest times the drivers often ignore these regulations and drive 12 hrs or more without stopping. Yes they pee in bottles.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
- Insurance and safety regulations do not allow minors. While this may have been the case many years ago I can assure you that large national trucking companies do not allow this.
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When we had trucks on long-haul routes spouses were not allowed. On the rare occasion that this happened the driver was terminated immediately. Truck insurance is extremely expensive. Driver stupidity (kids playing in the cab of a semi) costs money. No exceptions.
Yes they do, we have family friendly long haul trucking companies in our area who are willing to pay a little more than you did apparently, and permit spousal/family travel for long haulers.

My next door neighbour is a long hauler for Erb. His kid and my kidlet are bff, he started taking them on long hauls to Florida when they were 7. Kidlet has been all through the states, courtesy of Erb. They take day/2 day breaks, and hit Disney, etc. Now, that was 10 years ago, but he now also regularly takes his other younger kids solo. They all look forward to it, and plan their next trip. It’s a great way to travel and experience the country.

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Originally Posted by arabian View Post
Trucks can be dangerous and the loads that they haul can be dangerous as well. Drivers of commercial long-haul rigs have to do regular inspections and adjustments to the equipment they are operating. This requires them to sometimes be outside, and underneath the truck cab for lengthy periods. Transference of diesel, oil and caustic substances does happen.
Oh please.. Transfer of caustic substances?

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Originally Posted by arabian View Post
Truck stops can be creepy, dirty places which are frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers. I certainly wouldn't want my child exposed to any of those places.
Live a little. I pull our 2 horse trailer to Ocala every spring for a 6 week competition with kiddo, I park in the truck stops, we sleep in the lots, we eat with the truckers. Been doing it with kidlet since she was 7. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard your number called over the loudspeaker at the Flying J announcing you are up next for the shower at 6 am.

I count on the truckers to help me weave in and out, and I haven’t yet met one in the 10 years I’ve been doing this that wouldn’t help me at a stop if I was in a jam. Kidlet and I both get a kick out of it these days once I worked beyond my first year initial virgin trucker fear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caranna View Post
The truckers were often rushed and tired from the long hours. Add to this a driver under the influence of drugs and alcohol and you have a scenario just ripe for disaster. This situation is more common than you might think.
When I’m on the Ocala run, I’m probably driving longer hours than most truckers, because I aim to do the drive in 2 days. And ya, I drink. Not on the road, obviously, and not on the drive duration. Why are you presuming the OP’s ex is under the influence?

OP, I don’t see anything wrong with him picking up daughter and driving her back. Particularly since I presume he’s paying full cs and probably can’t afford the flights. You have to trust him, he won’t put your child into a dangerous situation. Your daughter deserves to have some time with her dad, I hope you can set aside your anxieties and help him make this work.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:38 PM
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We will differ. I have employed truck drivers for over 30 yrs. Maybe you have swanky truck stops out there? Obviously we have had different experiences. I too have been in the horse biz (thus my username). A superB semi (you know - the REALLY REALLY BIG LONG TRUCKS) is hardly the same as a 2-horse trailer so be serious. I can assure you that large semis would not be helping you to weave in and out of traffic. At least not on the 110 km highways here - you'd be blown into the ditch. LOL

Hauling long haul, through mountain passes, into wilderness areas is a far cry from hauling a weeny rig to Disneyland and through orange groves.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
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We will differ. I have employed truck drivers for over 30 yrs. Maybe you have swanky truck stops out there? Obviously we have had different experiences. I too have been in the horse biz (thus my username). A superB semi (you know - the REALLY REALLY BIG LONG TRUCKS) is hardly the same as a 2-horse trailer so be serious. I can assure you that large semis would not be helping you to weave in and out of traffic. At least not on the 110 km highways here - you'd be blown into the ditch. LOL

Hauling long haul, through mountain passes, into wilderness areas is a far cry from hauling a weeny rig to Disneyland and through orange groves.
Oh yah, I know them.. my job on the way home is to pull the bo's 35' rv with a trailer on the back holding the golf cart. I'm as long if not longer than the trucks for 28+ hours back. Don't try to dumb down the conversation. You and your ex weren't paying enough in insurance to permit family friendly long hauls.
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