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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 09-22-2011, 02:40 PM
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Default Working on trying to figure out a Parenting Plan

Just went to court. Judge said that things are improving between child and father, but that given the way things are, we should work on joint parenting but with the final decision/say be given to me. The judge said she felt confident that I would always do the right thing for our child.


Judge has asked that we do a draft Parenting plan because the father of our child wishes to have a set access schedule. Does a parenting plan have to be in great detail, i.e. spelling out the holiday schedules etc, over and above the regular access schedule ? I’m finding that this is a little premature given our situation. Can there be flexibility in the plan that we have to present and make allowances for this ? I'm not sure how to word it.


It’s taken a lot of work, working with the therapist, CAS and now our child is
finally comfortable to spend more time with him, but refuses to spend more than 1 overnight with him, because not more than that. Just this week, she cried and asked to come home 1 hour into her 3 hour visit with him, because he was yelling and shouting at her to the point she did not want to stay. And then he called me while she was there and told me in her presence that I had to talk to her and to support him by telling her that she had to respect him because he was her dad and that she had to listen to him.

It is difficult to work with the ex because of what he continues to do and at the same time he’s demanding more time with her but clearly she’s not ready. And given the type of visits, I don't want her "stuck" where she HAS to carry out her visit with him even if she is miserable. I always try to work with him and if she wishes to go for longer visits or more, I have never withheld access, but it only makes sense that if the visit doesn't go well (like this week), she can come home earlier if she wishes. Does the child’s opinion (9 years old) count at this age in court ? The Therapist is going to write what our child has mentioned to her which is that she is happy with the way things are right now and doesn’t want it changed and that she’s not ready yet. (we will attach this to the parenting plan).

I don’t want to put a parenting plan in place that will “lock” her into having to stay there because the piece of paper says so, rather I would like to see that if she wants to stay longer, she can, or if she feels like coming home earlier she can too.

The Judge declined to request assistance of the OCL pending the offer to settle Parenting Plan or he refuses the offer/I refuse his counter offer.
There's of course (like with every one here) a lot more to the story, but I'm trying to work on the Parenting Plan, so any help/advice would be appreciated.

Gosh when were the days when adults acted like adults and we were able to discuss things properly without having to involve judges, lawyers, therapists etc.?
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:24 PM
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I never imagined I'd be saying something like this, but I think I have to side with your ex in this matter. He's not handling it very well, but his short visits are his only access with her. She's not old enough yet to get a choice, and should not be encouraged to expect to be able to call you and cut the visit short.

I would suggest that you not be available to either your daughter or your ex during the short visits. Go to a movie where you have to turn your phone off, or take a nap and turn the ringer off. Then your ex and your daughter have to learn to get along without always involving you in their relationship. She should not feel the burden of choice over access at that age, and he should not be running to you to enforce his own parenting. Think of it this way: if you were still married to your ex and you had to go to an appointment or take a course or something for a couple of hours, you wouldn't expect her to have a choice to refuse to be left with him, and you wouldn't want him calling you during your absence for help dealing with her.

As for parenting plans, holidays and overnights, I don't really know much about those.
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Gal View Post
...And then he called me while she was there and told me in her presence that I had to talk to her and to support him by telling her that she had to respect him because he was her dad and that she had to listen to him.
Sounds about right.

Now you'll probably say how bad he is etc - but bottom line is that if he has his access with his child, he is in charge, not you - you have to back him up.

Your daughter has been taught by you that he is not a parent that has final say - you are reinforcing he is just somebody she has to put up with and the less she does, the sooner she gets to go home. That is not the best way to establish a child/parent relationship.

Your ex simply wants predictability as we all do - to know that while the child is with him, he is the parent, not you.

Stop thinking of her as your daughter, but equally as both of yours, to parent - it's not your place to be in the loop of his parenting (within reason of course). What would you think if you daughter did the same to you - call him when she didn't agree with you, and then he came over and took her back home to his place?
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