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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  
Old 01-19-2018, 02:17 PM
sens19 sens19 is offline
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Default what to do when kids ask for more time at your house ?

Background : 50 / 50 shared custody with 2 kids travelling back and forth between mom and dad. 1 week on 1 week off . 1 is 15 the other is 12.


Separation agreement says mom and dad will live in same neighborhood so kids have access to both parents on a regular basis . Everything goes ok for a year then under the cover of the night mom moves kids to live with boyfriend 40 minutes away . No notice, no court order , no consent .


Mom or boyfriend drives kids to school and picks then up afterwards on her weeks.


I raise a concern but do not file papers because I have learned that the courts don't help with anything but child support .


Kids now live 50 % of the time in a town that they did not grow up in , don't know the other kids and they tell me they are bored to tears there .


Kids cannot join after school activities because they have to leave as soon as school ends .


When kids live with me they get to see their friends outside of school.


They both now ask to stay at my house on extra nights .


I do not object. Mom allows it too, but I know if I ever tried to change custody arrangement or child support, listing me as more than 50 % , she would have a bird .


I would like opinions on how to handle this ?


I want my kids to be happy but this setup is no longer working for me .


My ex takes additional advantage of drop off and pick up times as well ( which doesn't help )
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2018, 03:27 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sens19 View Post
Background : 50 / 50 shared custody with 2 kids travelling back and forth between mom and dad. 1 week on 1 week off . 1 is 15 the other is 12.


Separation agreement says mom and dad will live in same neighborhood so kids have access to both parents on a regular basis . Everything goes ok for a year then under the cover of the night mom moves kids to live with boyfriend 40 minutes away . No notice, no court order , no consent .


Mom or boyfriend drives kids to school and picks then up afterwards on her weeks.


I raise a concern but do not file papers because I have learned that the courts don't help with anything but child support .


Kids now live 50 % of the time in a town that they did not grow up in , don't know the other kids and they tell me they are bored to tears there .


Kids cannot join after school activities because they have to leave as soon as school ends .


When kids live with me they get to see their friends outside of school.


They both now ask to stay at my house on extra nights .


I do not object. Mom allows it too, but I know if I ever tried to change custody arrangement or child support, listing me as more than 50 % , she would have a bird .


I would like opinions on how to handle this ?


I want my kids to be happy but this setup is no longer working for me .


My ex takes additional advantage of drop off and pick up times as well ( which doesn't help )
you meant that it is no longer working for the kids right?

You should of done something when she first moved so that is a dead end. You do have some hope due to the age of the kids though. They can have a voice of where they want to live. Have they talked to mom about it?
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2018, 04:16 PM
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Rioe Rioe is offline
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So what amount of time do you think the kids ARE at your house when the order says they should be at Mom's? Is there a regular pattern to these things, that would lend itself to just being called a new access schedule?


A Mom should want whatever works out best for the kids, which means that if she cannot accommodate their afterschool activities and getting together with their friends and you can, the access should change accordingly. That she resists this probably implies she doesn't want CS to drop from offset to full table from her to you.


Your fifteen-year-old is old enough to make his own decisions about where he wants to be and just leave her house (is there a bus to your house?) and the youngest kid is just about old enough to make his own decisions, too.


What is it about the setup that doesn't work for you? You have to frame it as the setup doesn't work for the children, not you.


And court DOES help with this sort of thing. If you can show that there is a material change (which might be hard for you since you didn't do anything at the time of their move, which was the big change, so now your inaction makes it look like you accepted it), the court will listen, and decide what is best for the kids. You would have to find a new material change. Some suggestions that are iffy but might work:


The arrangement didn't work out as you expected - the children's activities at their school and with friends in your town are not being accommodated by the mother.


The children are older now, and their social lives are increasing in importance over their family lives.


I would take a long view of things. Take the children as often as the mom will let them, and always ask for more time to accommodate their lives. "Soccer practice is on Mondays after school - she can stay with me that night. Band is early Thursday mornings before school - he can stay with me Wednesday nights. Hangout night with her friends is Friday - she can stay with me that night." Whatever it takes. Set up a pattern, and once the pattern is there, try to formalize the new access arrangement. Then, CS change can follow as an appropriate afterthought, without any way for her to object without looking greedy.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sens19 View Post
I raise a concern but do not file papers because I have learned that the courts don't help with anything but child support .

Not entirely true. Courts help with the following:


1) Child support
2) Spousal support
3) Equalization


and...


4) Mobility




Courts generally do not help with:


1) Denial of Parenting time
2) Parental alienation
3) Parental behavior
4) Right of first refusal
5) Agreement breaches that don't correspond to CS,SS, or mobility
4) Other nonsense


Mobility is HUGE, especially because in the eyes of the courts


Not fighting = Agreeing

You dropped the ball.
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2018, 06:06 PM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
Not entirely true. Courts help with the following:


1) Child support
2) Spousal support
3) Equalization


and...


4) Mobility




Courts generally do not help with:


1) Denial of Parenting time
2) Parental alienation
3) Parental behavior
4) Right of first refusal
5) Agreement breaches that don't correspond to CS,SS, or mobility
4) Other nonsense


Mobility is HUGE, especially because in the eyes of the courts


Not fighting = Agreeing

You dropped the ball.
While I agree with this I do wonder if anything would have been accomplished in court? The move didnít effect the parenting time and mom made sure the kids made it to school, she didnít attempt to alter the parenting time nor change schools...

Itís too late for that now though. At 15 your child can decide... a court wonít force a 15 year old to go to the other parents house, however you should encourage the child to spend time with mom.

You need to build a new status quo without the mention of CS... build the status quo with the children spending more time with you and CS will eventually follow.
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2018, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berner_Faith View Post
While I agree with this I do wonder if anything would have been accomplished in court?

I think 40 minutes is far enough that it is quite possible that a court would step in.


At the very least, it would have been on the record that he strongly disagreed with the move, which helps down the road.
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2018, 02:55 PM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Quote:
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I think 40 minutes is far enough that it is quite possible that a court would step in.
Close but, its generally over an hour. I have a post somewhere in my main threads where the threshold is identified in jurisprudence. I am too lazy to go find it.

Basically, the reasoning is that rural children spend well over an hour on a bus quite often to get back and forth to school and they don't grow up as serial killers.
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:43 PM
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I was raised in a community up north of Ontario where I had to make 45 minutes of travelling by bus to get to school and 45 minutes to come back home.


Throughout the course of my litigation, my ex made a big fuz for the fact that I was living 18 minutes from my children's school.


bla bla bla, what is important is to show the Court that your plan are very reasonable and have no impact on the children's schedule and habits.


My two oldest children have to walk 35 minutes every day from my ex's house to get to school and my little D10 is still benefiting of the school bus; 20 minutes ride x 2 each days.


Dad could have brought the kids to school in 18 minutes, in a comfortable Grand Caravan no matter the weather. But I decided to let Wonder Woman manage the whole thing and see the results, after a couple of months. If Mom ever ask me for some help in the future, I can simply reply... well, according to the order... I don't have to. (but from my offers... I wanted to... Remember?)
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2018, 08:42 PM
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I don't think the distance/time to get the kids to school and back is the issue though. The problem is that that's ALL the mom does. She doesn't let them do after-school activities, or get together with their friends, etc. The kids are feeling the disconnect and don't want to be at mom's house.
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  #10  
Old 01-22-2018, 10:38 AM
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mafia007 mafia007 is offline
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True.


Mom used that as an excuse. She told the kids that while they would be living with dad, they would be far from their school, friends, neighbourhood and far from her...


I was ready to taxi to make sure the kids still enjoy their activities and friends. It does have an impact on the children if they loose that habit. The parents must try to keep the schedule as close as possible as it use to be. It's another thing when a parent discourage the children by brainwashing them and diminishing the capacity of the other parent to maintain that schedule. Once again, a tactic to keep the children close to the parent who still live in the MH.
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