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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 07-17-2013, 08:42 AM
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another summer holiday rant.

My partner and I are a blended family - 3 kids, 4 parents, 2 step parents, a billzillion grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins from Canada and abroad. It takes a spreadsheet to sort the whole summer out. We start with the other parent that's the most difficult, then work with the other other parent, then update the spreadsheet, book camps, book vacations, and share the spreadsheet with family members so they can book events that involve and don't involve the kids on the right days. He has 50/50 and I have all but every second weekend (dad's choice he had more, but gave it up) but we go 50/50 for the summer.

So this year we started in April - got the other parents on board, booked camps, sorted out events and we're all good.

Well one of the other parents isn't happy now. She asked for an early pick up on a day 2 weeks ago (sure no problem, kids miss a day of camp but its for a good reason) then 2 days before she sends a note that demands not the early pick up she asked for the previous week, but a pick up now the evening before (the day following the ask). Which didn't work for us. So it was respectfully declined for the evening pick up (we had plans) and agreed still for the early morning pick up the following day.

We she threw a fit. Sent emails stating he was a "dickhead" etc... Truth is if she had asked for it the week before when she asked for the early pick it would not have been an issue, but we had plans and weren't willing to change them for her lack of planning. (She wanted to kids to pack for the weekend, she knew they were going away when they were with her last (they knew for months they were going away that weekend), but made it his issue that she hadn't gotten them to pack before his week started)

So the fallout from this is that she's now throwing the rest of the agreed to schedule out the window. The entire summer was split with both parents having equal time with the kids, however we had a 2 week chunk of time in the middle of the summer so that we could go to a cottage, and we've booked the other week off to chill out and stay local and do local things.

The "new" schedule she's proposed (because she's been told if she messes with the cottage week she'll have to pay the loss we suffer as a result of not being able to go) is that she'll "allow" the kids to go to the cottage, but he has to give up 2 of his weeks this summer to make that happen. This is blackmail and so so so not in the best interest of the kids. So in a 6 week period, she'll have the kids for 4 weeks, and he'll have 2 (but not the 2 that had been agreed to).

Aside from the cottage we've got plans on weekends without the kids, which we'll now have them and will have to cancel ($500 cancellation fee), change all the camps for August (if we can change - depending on space, and there may be penalties for changing those as well). Plus the PITA of having to do all this last minute when this was all agreed to in APRIL.

ARGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! HOW IS THIS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE KIDS!??!?!?!?!??!? What's the recourse??

Last edited by red6419; 07-17-2013 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:48 AM
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I would simply reply with "The schedule recently provided appears to amend the schedule which was agreed to on X date. Unfortunately, we have made plans based on the schedule previously agreed upon and are unable to reschedule. As such we will abide by the summer parenting schedule which was mutually agreed upon on X date."

And move forward from there. She can respond with all the venom she wants. Let her try to explain why a schedule she previously agreed to, and you relied upon, is no longer acceptable.

Don't get drawn into the nuttiness, simply reply in a very business like manner. State that you will accommodate where possible, but there will be instances where you will be unable to.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:32 AM
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I wouldn't even go that far.

"The schedule we agreed on for the summer has already been implemented. Plans have been made, fees, rentals, and deposits paid, time has been book off of work. It is not possible to make changes now, as this will affect far too many other people and incur far too many financial penalties.

In the future if you wish to make changes, please request them with sufficient notice. Thanks."
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:48 AM
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This is why this site is so great.

Keep up the great suggestions.

My ex tried to push and push and push.. I just said to bad we already agreed this is what we are doing.

She dropped it. Stand your ground.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:19 PM
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I agree - its great advice.

But we're not dealing with someone who's going to accept that and say "oh. sorry. when you put it that way" and just give it up. The issue is that she's got the kids for the time period before and then for the time period after - there's zero incentive for her to make them available per the schedule.

Its like negotiating with a terrorist... a very angry bitter terrorist.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:46 PM
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It is good advice, assuming the huge financial penalties, and inconvenience to family members, and time booked off work are true.

From another point of view, maybe the stay at home CP with no real plans through the summer should be willing to play foot-loose and free with their schedule too.

Everything in scale people. Go along to get along - as best you can.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wretchedotis View Post
It is good advice, assuming the huge financial penalties, and inconvenience to family members, and time booked off work are true.

From another point of view, maybe the stay at home CP with no real plans through the summer should be willing to play foot-loose and free with their schedule too.

Everything in scale people. Go along to get along - as best you can.
There is no CP here. There is no stay at home parent. Everyone works. full time. Not sure I understand what you're getting at.

I booked off 2 weeks to spend with all the kids (mine and his) and he booked off one week and needs to play the other time by ear due to some projects he's working on - he may get it off, he may work from home a couple of hours then have the rest of the day off. We can't cancel the cottage as we're in the 30 day no refund window (and were when she pulled this crap) or we can but loose out on 100% of what was paid - and its an 8 person cottage to accommodate the other guests we have coming. Sure we can still go up and leave his kids behind - but this was booked as our family vacation - not only part of the family and accounts for 100% of our vacation budget for this year. And I don't want to go if it can't be all of us.

i can't do anything really, its my partners issue, I can be supportive but it still pisses me off to no end - its not child focused, no one wins - except for an angry bitter person gets to be "right" and choses not to do the right thing - it just sucks that we've been planning this for months and months and now all this crap in the 2 weeks before we're supposed to go.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red6419 View Post
But we're not dealing with someone who's going to accept that and say "oh. sorry. when you put it that way" and just give it up. The issue is that she's got the kids for the time period before and then for the time period after - there's zero incentive for her to make them available per the schedule.
Calmly pointing out that she is making the kids suffer by removing a whole vacation from them in retaliation for not getting one evening she wanted won't get through, eh?

I think you can do it one of two ways then.

You can get her notice in writing of trying to remove your previously agreed upon summer access and take her to court before the vacation to ensure your access. Possibly even mentioning that if she doesn't back down, you would take her to court and she would have to pay your costs because she was so unreasonable may make her back down.

Or you can wait to see if she really does deny the access and not let you pick up the kids or if she's just bluffing. Make sure she knows you are not capitulating and repeat that you will be picking up the kids as planned, and if she doesn't have them there and ready, get proof that you were there and she was not (send messages asking where they are, buy something from a store nearby and keep the receipt, etc). Then take her to court afterwards for denying this and ask the judge to set the vacation schedule more in stone, and request that she repay the costs you incurred for lost deposits, unrefundable tickets, etc and taking her to court.

Last edited by Rioe; 07-17-2013 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:20 AM
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Go to Court?
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:55 AM
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thanks everyone - its a complete cluster %$^&%$*%^$*^ but in the end a "compromise" was found... I don't agree with it - but it is what it is - we go to the cottage (as a family), camps etc are all good - we just lose the kids for a few days that I had booked off vacation.
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