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After 10 years of shared custody, child refuses to come over.

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  • After 10 years of shared custody, child refuses to come over.

    Hi, all.
    I've been on here for years, it's been a great help.
    Haven't posted in a.long time, as it's been good... til now.

    2-2-3 split, child is 11 years old.
    Shared custody as per same schedule since they were 1.5 years old.
    No real issues, child has been getting moody as puberty approaches.
    Out of the blue, other parent texts and says that child doesnt want to come anymore, and she will not force them.


    I replied that she has a duty to facilitate the order, and that we do not allow children to make decisions like this for themselves.
    I also said that if the child is not ready to go, then I will have to make a police report and commence legal proceedings asap.
    Am I an idiot?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Motorizer II View Post
    I also said that if the child is not ready to go, then I will have to make a police report and commence legal proceedings asap.
    Am I an idiot?
    You are not an idiot, this is a serious situation.

    The police will not do anything, so be prepared to contact a lawyer rapidly. Do not try and "work this out". Contact a lawyer tomorrow morning, and find one that is willing to file immediately.

    Remember during this stressful time that everything you write can be shown to the judge and used against you. Every message you send to your ex is not being written to her, it is being written for the judge. If you would not want a judge to read a given message, do not send it. Be polite, be firm.


    • #3
      Hey dude, thanks for the reply.
      I have been doing exactly as you said, and even said to her that I would not communicate via text, it is email.only from now on.
      I'm gonna call a few lawyers tomorrow, and see if i can get the ball rolling asap.
      Is it even worth making a police report?

      Child said they would now be on a EOW schedule, I will take what I can and move forward with a case asap.


      • #4
        Generally speaking I am not a fan of calling the police, but I'll let other people speak to that.

        Try not to be angry with your child. I'm not sure what to say, my gut feeling would be something along the lines of:

        I love you so much, and I am happy to spend as much time with you as possible. You are too young to decide where you are going to live, but that is something that I will be discussing with your mother and we will let you know when a decision is made.

        The two main points:

        1) You love her
        2) This is an adult decision, not hers


        • #5
          I agree wholeheartedly, and will do all I can.

          I guess this would be a Motion to Enforce?
          What kind of timeline is it to be heard in court?


          • #6
            Do not call the police. They wonít do anything and it only escalates the conflict.

            Continue to remind your ex via email that she is obligated to facilitate your time with your child. You show up to collect your child.

            I would also recommend finding a therapist who specializes in alienation and get in immediately. See also about having your child attend with you.


            Has your daughter said anything about why?


            • #7
              I've already decided that a police report wont make much difference, and may only make the situation worse.

              I will continue to pay offset child support, without reference to any change.

              My son has said that he feels that I don't spend enough time with him, maybe because I work OT once in awhile.
              I do have a long term partner who assists me with my child, and as I work early in the morning, she gives him a ride to school.Mom has also said that our son doesnt like the back and forth anymore, and she doesnt see why we should "force" him to do the usual routine.

              Mom lives next to the school, and we have had an arrangement where we drop him off at her home before school to allow him to walk to school, and walk to Moms after, where we pick him up shortly after.

              Prior to Covid we used an out of school care program based in the school itself.
              Perhaps it was a mistake to end the out of school care.

              And yes, a counsellor may be a good idea.
              Particularly one that will have a shared session with our son and myself.


              • #8
                This is a bs move the ďI canít force themĒ line and many times it is an ex who wants to stop a shared parenting situation.

                Your daughter is hitting her preteen years and probably wants her own space and time but that does not mean no time with dad. I would be doing whatever I could to ensure the kids have as much time as possible with you and that their needs are met. A friend of mine went through something similar years ago and she worked with her ex (who she hated) and they figured out a way to make it work. He even moved closer so the kids could be with their friends. Im not saying you have to do that, itís more a ďhow do I make my life and home more conducive to aging kidsĒ.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Motorizer II View Post
                  I agree wholeheartedly, and will do all I can.

                  I guess this would be a Motion to Enforce?
                  What kind of timeline is it to be heard in court?
                  I wonder if you can set up your ex for contempt.

                  1) Tell ex (in writing) you intend to exercise your parenting time as per the court order.

                  2) Send her the relevant paragraphs of your court order in writing. The idea is that she has to be aware that her actions are against the court order, and carry out those actions regardless.

                  3) Hopefully she responds in writing that she intends to disregard the court order

                  4) She actually follows through and does not let your kid come to your place

                  5) You remind her again of the court order, and let her know that if she does not comply with the court order you will have no choice but to start litigation

                  6) Hopefully she doubles down and says she will not follow the order

                  7) You file your contempt motion.

                  ...that said, parental alienation therapy is a good plan as well, and cheaper.

                  Also, contempt won't be fast, you might need to file an urgent motion for your parenting time. I'm not sure about the terminology.


                  • #10
                    Getting her to admit she is contravening our order is a slam dunk, dude.


                    • #11
                      After calling around, the soonest I can get an appointment with a professional is Monday.
                      At least I can sort out my options.
                      My plan is to stay courteous and entirely child focused.

                      My son said he would come over this weekend, I plan on just being a good dad and not bringing up any of this at all, except to say that I'd like to resume the normal schedule on Wednesday.


                      • #12
                        Tell your ex you are not deviating from the schedule and it is her responsibility to facilitate and encourage the relationship. That you expect her to adhere to the order and you will see the kids on your day. You can also remind her (although the language will need to be finessed) that neither of your children are old enough to make unilateral decisions like this and she is still the parent.

                        You donít need to talk to either kid about this and I strongly encourage you to avoid doing so. Pretend nothing is wrong and it is simply time with your son.

                        As for the professional, go alone as they will be a big help. My husband had serious issues with his kids including an 18 yo who thought she could reprimand him and treat him disrespectfully on her motherís behalf. It was getting really ugly and I was upset at the deterioration of the relationship. His therapist worked with him on techniques and approaches to deal with it including not engaging when they discussed matters between him and his ex, changing the subject and setting boundaries. It worked for his mental health but his kids were much older and in a different city.

                        Definitely speak to a lawyer too. Even if they send a strongly worded letter reminding her, it will be documented and it wonít look good on her.

                        Also, Iím really sorry you are going through this. Some parents can be real assholes about sharing their kids.


                        • #13
                          All of that was said, and the only response was that they are sorry, but it is what our child wants.
                          Too young or not, they are determined to strip shared custody away.
                          In fact, when I said I may have to file a motion to enforce parenting time, they replied that they are seeking to file a motion to change custody.

                          I said you might want to get some legal advice, as that's a pretty high bar.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Motorizer II View Post
                            I said you might want to get some legal advice, as that's a pretty high bar.
                            As a general rule, I think it is best to avoid giving legal advice to your opponents.

                            If she goes to court with a weak case now and loses, she is less likely to try again in a few years.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Brampton33 View Post
                              I will repeat what a judge told my ex during a settlement conference, as my ex clearly does not get it. The judge said "Your job is to promote their relationship."

                              This part I am unclear on and the age of the children involved is important, they are not 5 years old, they are 11 1/2 and starting puberty and they are not getting younger.

                              What is promoting a relationship in a 50/50 access situation that is less than that in practice and how far does this go. For example are they to punish their kid for not going over or build resentment towards themselves by doing so?

                              The other parent is communicating for the son/daughter. What is stopping him from speaking directly with them in person? Does it matter.

                              If it were me I would disagree in writing over this and have a good talk with the child to find out more about "they don't spend enough time with me"


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