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Old 10-03-2014, 11:29 AM
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Default ex is confiscating gifts & letters

So, I've just found out that my ex is confiscating birthday gifts & letters and not letting them get to the children.

For the past two years I've been living 'on the road' with a busy job that takes me all over the place - first year I was able to get back home once a month, but this year I haven't been able to be back at all yet.

Ex assured me she'd get children setup on skype/facebook chat to stay in touch and that never happened, so I send little gifts/letters and birthday gifts via courier. They get delivered to ex, but never passed to children. Phone calls to ex go unanswered and I leave voice mail for her to call me back, or have children call back - nothing.

I have a rare opportunity to be back next week for a couple of days - would it be a bad idea to just show up and do a door knock at her address? Ex isn't the friendliest and is the type that is happy to get money from me and would prefer to see me living out of a box on the street if she could manage it. She's really pissed that since divorce my career and lifestyle has flourished while she sits stagnant (puts more effort into arguing and fussing than improving herself).

thoughts on what is the best course of action here? I do document all these attempts at interaction. would a door knock when I'm in town be recommended or just stay clear?

similar topic question - for those of you with the children most of the time, do you encourage them to call dad (or mom) on appropriate holidays to wish the best? ex never has kids call me on fathers day/birthday/etc. - I know the children aren't going to always remember on their own - either that or she's already got them 'hating' me.
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Old 10-03-2014, 11:59 AM
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What is the formal custody arrangement that you have?

Is your current work situation a temporary or long-term thing?

I have my children 50/50, and I rarely talk to them the week that they are at their mom's, and vice versa for their mom talking to them while they are with me. They are with me for Father's Day and her for Mother's Day regardless of custody schedule, per our agreement.

There are some special calls on Christmas, and we always let the kids call each other when they ask, but we made a concious decision to not impose on each other's parenting time.

I think that what she is doing is terrible, but not unheard of. Seeing a lot of current threads on this site that reference parents (mostly mothers) arbitrarily interfering with the non-custodial parents attempts to have a relationship.

I don't recommend showing up and knocking on her door. She would likely call the police. Try to work through an intermediary to arrange a time for you to come and pick up the kids, so that she is taken out of the equation. If you have any contact with her family or mutual friends, try to get the message to her that way, since she refuses to answer the phone.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:29 PM
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I have 50/50 parenting, week-by-week. it's written into our order that on Mothers' Day and my birthday, I have the option of having the kid overnight, regardless of whose parenting week it is; the same is true for the ex on Fathers' Day and his birthday. We split Xmas - one person gets kid overnight on Xmas Eve, the other person gets overnight on Xmas Day.

I have very little contact when D8 is with her father - I send her one text each morning (nothing serious, just chatty stuff about the pets, the weather, a joke, etc), and sometimes she texts me back, sometimes not. It's all fine with me. She knows she can text or call her father whenever she's with me and she goes through phases - sometimes she wants to call him every day, sometimes she's not interested in calling him at all.

I agree showing up on your ex's doorstep unannounced could end up badly. Could you send her a message saying you'd like to see the kids, offering to pick them up at her place at such and such a time, and asking her to suggest an alternative if she would prefer not to do the handover at her home? This gives her some degree of control over the situation. Then, if you don't hear back, bring someone with you (preferably someone your ex knows and trusts) and go to her place at the time you suggested.

Depending on how old your kids are, could you give them an iPod? That's how my daughter keeps in touch with me via text when she's at her father's house, without needing him to set up Skype or use his phone (though as I said some weeks she doesn't contact me when she's with her dad - busy with other stuff). An iPod avoids some of the pitfalls of a cellphone, like expensive data plans.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:33 PM
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One other thought - do your kids go to after-school care or daycare? If so, maybe you could leave cards or notes with the staff to give them. I did this in the very early days of the divorce when I had to go out of town for work and ex wasn't letting kid contact me when she was with him. The staff were very willing to help and it avoided having to deal with the ex on this.
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