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Help, he is taking me to court bcuz I don't "force" our daughter to call him

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  • Help, he is taking me to court bcuz I don't "force" our daughter to call him

    It seems that everyday it is something new. Someone please help me get my head around this. My ex is upset because he feels that my current husband is getting what he considers is his time with our daughter. I am remarried and of course my new husband lives with myself and my daughter. My ex has access every other weekend from Friday to Sunday which I understand is standard. Tonight he called me because he feels that I should be forcing my daughter to call him every night because his live in girlfriend does the same thing with her son and it is the right thing to do. My daughter is 10 yrs old, she has been made aware on numerous occasions that her Dad's number is on speed dial and that she can call him anytime she wants but she doesn't. She is happy with seeing her Dad during her access weekend and calling him when she had exciting news to share. When my daughter is at her dad's and she is upset and wants to call me he wont allow it although this gf's son has his own cell phone at the age of 11 specifically to call his mom. My ex says that I have an unhealthy bond with my daughter that is destroying his relationship with our daughter. I have always been close to my daughter, I was home with her for 6 yrs before her dad and I split. Recently I took her to see a therapist to talk about things that are bothering her and the therapist commented on how much she liked the relationship my daughter and I have. I am not sure what to do anymore. I have given up my weekends with my daughter so she could have extra time with her dad, I even purchased dance recital tickets for my ex and his gf so they could see my daughter dance. We even sat together. None of that matters to him. As far as he is concerned he needs to have more time with her, he wants 2 nights a week, he wants his gf to be the one to pick up my daughter on those nights and for them to be over night visits. I explained to him that my daughter told me that she doesn't want to go to her dad's for overnight visits through the week especially if he isn't home for the visit. Often times he doesn't make it home from work till 7 or 8 at night. He wont hear any of this. He says she is 10 yrs old and that she just needs to be forced. How can I send my daughter crying her eyes out to her dad's when he isnt even there? When we were married he was never around and when he was he never bothered with us. I knew when we split he would be forced to spend time with her during access which would make her happy. I just don't know what to do . He has hired a lawyer and he claims that a judge will force me to give him extra time and maker her phone her dad. Please is there someone who any experience with this? I am so confused

  • #2
    i am thinking that he sees the realtionship that his gf has with her son and feels a little let down that he is not as close with his daughter. She is not bonding with her dad and it seems like he senses it to. Not that he is innocent in this, as you said when you were together he never had the much to do with her anyways. A judge cannot force a child to call their father. As for more time together maybe. Keep in ind that it is more time for him, not the gf. The judge will look at the fact that dad will be getting home from work until later in the evening when it is close to childs bedtime.

    Try not to worry and let him take you to court. He is either trying to scare or bluff you.


    • #3
      Sounds like history is repeating itself in that his past behaviour is contintuing. ie he wasnt and isn't around much. He will not like what I have to say but I can relate in that facing some of the same issues with my 10 daughter. My feelings are that the kids of this age are able to start to if not definately pinpoint thier feelings. Unfortunately they are torn between want something and having no power. She may feel some intimidation from her Dad over these issues but is not confident enough to speak up to him. Natural for that age. Many ways she shouldnt even have to. Dad has to accept that he has a responsibility in this in that he is the one expected to maintain his rights not his child. If he wants to talk to her more why can't he pick up the phone? Seems to me you have no issue with that. Another problem I see is how can he expect to bond more with her when he is at work and say she is sitting in front of the TV. I think he needs to put more effort to be there when she is. I realize that you cant always change work schedules but he can agree to take her on times when he is off etc. & arrange special activities. If he wants to be at school functions and the like I think he should be buying the tickets etc not you. I know I am going to get alot of critacism for my opinion but it seems so far from what you are saying you are trying to make compromise for her sake and that is good but Sorry Dad but you need to re asess your priorities and doing more towards gaining what you want.

      I know what it is like having to deal with what is sometimes silliness on a constant basis. Just continue to stick to you values and stand your ground. He will continue to push this kind of stuff as long as you allow. Your daughter generally seems happy well try to just continue to do what you are as those around you are seeing it and are commenting. If things escalate you can attempt to contact the Office of the Childrens Lawyer. They are advocates for the kids but at present try to get some written comment from her counselor with which to bring to court with you. Document all you can.


      • #4
        This is always tough, he wants more time with his daughter, and he has that right, even though it can be a challenge when the daughter would rather keep things the way there are.

        I think you should support more access time for him. It is simple, he is the father and access time should be encouraged for everyones sake.

        It can feel like the child is a pawn and can't choose what they want, but in the end, a parent has a right to raise their child and have a bond with them. If a 10 yo suddenly wanted to go live with their grand parents for example, almost all parents would say 'no'. Kids can't choose their parents and they should not be asked to or given the option, that is just the way it is. (assuming of course that the parents are reasonably competent).

        The phone thing - that is really confusing - seriously why doesn't he just call her when he wants to talk to her? Why does he say that you should get her to call him??


        • #5
          I used to call my kids every day because I missed them so much, and the ex complained but didn't prevent it. I eventually stopped - not because of the ex but because my daughter eventually said "Daddy, we don't have to talk every day. I'm running out of things to talk about!"

          The point is that behaviours like this often come out of a need of the parent as opposed to the kids. If Cheri's hubby is worried about his relationship with his kids, there are a lot more meaningful and effective ways to improve that than forcing them to call - which the courts would never enforce anyhow.

          My guess is that it's probably easier to blame Cheri for why the kids don't call than admit to his GF - who seems to have a good relationship with her son - that his kids just don't really bother calling him much.


          • #6
            (I think you should support more access time for him. It is simple, he is the father and access time should be encouraged for everyones sake. ) quote

            I do support more access for him. The problem is that he isn't available when he asks for access and has his gf available in his absence. For example, my ex wanted to join a parent/child karate class with our daughter two nights a week. I agreed to it. After about a month my daughter indicated that she hadn't been going to the class because her dad wasn't making it home in time to take her. She was spending that time with his gf. She didn't want that. She values her time with her Dad but not his gf. I have also offered Halloween to my ex so he could experience that with her, without him requesting that time. I have been very encouraging and supportive of his time with her until my daughter started crying when being dropped off at his house because he wasn't home and crying while at his home because he chose to work during his access.

            (The phone thing - that is really confusing - seriously why doesn't he just call her when he wants to talk to her? Why does he say that you should get her to call him??)[/quote]

            As for the phone thing, his gf makes her son call his Dad every night and he feels that I should be doing the same. There has been a few times that our daughter has told me she wants to call her Dad and she has only to find out he is not available. The whole thing seems silly to me.


            • #7
              How long have your ex and the new girlfriend been together? I'm in the girlfriend's boat with my stepkids. My fiance and I have been together for 3 years and I genuinely love his children and enjoy spending time with them. My fiance works every Saturday. His ex's response to this was that if he wasn't around then neither would his kids be as the access was supposed to be with him. She does not consider myself and my two children to be part the family. Its extremely hurtful. His girlfriend sounds like she is stepping up to the plate in his absence and trying to establish some kind of relationship with your daughter. I can understand where your daughter is coming from but she needs to be made aware that this relationship is something that is important to her father, that the girlfriend is not replacing you or your daughter. If you found a significant other and your daughter didn't want anything to do with him how would you feel? Of course, this is based on the assumption that this relationship has been around for some time. I can understand if dad regularly rotates girlfriends why your daughter would hesitate to form some kind of bond.

              Also, the phone thing is just BS. If he wants to talk to his daughter then he should call her. I would simply let him know that you will make sure your daughter is available for a certain time period for him to call if he wishes. Its great that the girlfriend has her kid call his dad, but seriously, she's not obligated and neither are you.


              • #8
                He has been with his gf for 4 years. I am remarried and been with my husband for 3yrs. He has a daughter as well. So am on both sides of the coin. I guess the difference between my exes gf and me is that I respect that even though I love my step-daughter like my own I am not her mom. She has one. I don't get involved in stuff that should be talked about between her parents. There are times with my husband has to work or go to hockey and such where I look after my step-daughter in his absence. The problem is that my ex was basically using his gf as his puppet. He had stopped all contact with me and it was limited to his gf only. She arranged access times and drop off, she made arrangements with me for additional access. She hounded me about what I spend my child support on...etc. I smiled and was polite as long as my daughter was happy. When he wasn't even available to our daughter when additional access had been arranged and she didn't want to go or when I dropped her at her Dad's and she cried everytime because he wasn't there or cried during her access weekend because he worked the whole time something had to be done. I let him know via a letter that I would no longer drop off our daughter for access. That he is legally obligated to pick her up from her home and that she would be available 6pm Fridays for his visit. Ever since this change the crying has stopped. The thing is that my ex knows months in advance if he is going to have to work on a weekend, he could switch with someone or switch weekends with me but he doesn't.


                • #9
                  I wish I could hear the other side to this story. I liked kamkatie's post.

                  I think you need to help your ex and daughter work this out and help your daughter with her being upset but ultimatley you should not be arbitrator of how access time should be spent, or the involvement of your ex's gf in your daughters life (especially given that she has been around longer than your present husband), that is up to your daughters father.


                  • #10
                    Like I said, I am on the other side of the coin but what I feel is wrong is my ex pawning of his responsibilty as our daughter father on his gf. Yes she is in his life and my daughter needs to accept that but it isn't her place to talk to me about important issues. My exes gf does fun things with her like getting nails done, etc and that is great. I do agree that it is his choice who he brings into our daughters life but where do you draw the line in regards to involvement. Do you feel it is appropriate for his gf to be the one calling me to make arrangements, asking me where I spend my support money?

                    As I said before, I dont butt in with issues regarding my step-daughter. It isnt my place. I have offered my husband's ex help in regards to picking up and dropping off and she has refused the offer. I respect that after all she is my step-daughters mom.

                    In regards to my current husbands involvment. I do not ask him to get involved in things that are between myself and my ex. I dont ask him to call my ex to make arrangments nor does he act as a liason. It isnt his place. As for letting my ex and my daughter work it out. The whole point was that they couldnt work it out. She was telling him and he won't listen to what she is saying. She has been asking me for my help. I couldnt talk to him about it because he is having his gf maintain the contact with me. I talked to her about it and this didnt change. I have her going to a therapist who is going to speak to my ex on my daughters behalf.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by scarycheri View Post
                      ...but where do you draw the line in regards to involvement. Do you feel it is appropriate for his gf to be the one calling me to make arrangements, asking me where I spend my support money?
                      In regards to my current husbands involvment. I do not ask him to get involved in things that are between myself and my ex. I dont ask him to call my ex to make arrangments nor does he act as a liason. It isnt his place
                      Don't draw any lines. You and your ex have different views on how to involve your spouse/his gf. If they decide that the gf should deal with making arrangements etc, then I don't feel you are in your right to refuse that - I agree with you that I wouldn't like it, but I don't agree that you have the right to refuse it. If the gf asks you something you feel is inappropriate such as where you spend your money, then the issue is the question, not who is asking it. I think you are not respecting his right to run his life and how he does his part to raise his daughter. Again, you don't have to agree with his decisions, you just have to realize that they are his to make for the most part - you still need to parent together to some extent.


                      • #12
                        I agree with BillM. An inappropriate question is inappropriate regardless of who asks. Politely let her know its to support the child. End of story. It certainly sounds like your ex has foisted his responsibilities to his girlfriend which is a shame. I would try to focus on the fact that at least somebody in that household is making arrangements for visitation, not who it is.

                        ps I think its great that are willing to respect your step-child's mother's wishes.


                        • #13
                          The thing is that the question that she asked was asked on my exes behalf. He used to hound me about such things until I told his probation officer he was breaching his conditions. I guess I should mention there was a situation of physical abuse when we split. It was emotional abuse while we were together. He also has a history of mental illness which goes untreated alot. I have sole custody of our daughter because he has a criminal record. His gf has a history of domestic violence with her ex. Stay with me exes gf's son has behaviour issues due to his experiences with his parents relationship. So maybe I am a little over protective of my daughter when it comes to listening to how she feels and the crying. But you see with my exes history & his gf's history I feel better to be safe than sorry.

                          kamkatie, thank your compliment.


                          • #14
                            Hmmm, in that case perhaps more carefull scrutiny is called for. Its good to know you have your daughter in counselling and its really too bad about the girlfriend's son. Poor kid.


                            • #15
                              I would also like to remind everyone that I have not denied him access through out all this all I did was simply make changes to pick up for his access in order to make my daughter happy. This isnt unusual for us. We have made changes a few times and there were never any issues. All I was trying to do was listen to how my daughter feels and address it while maintaining her relationship with her Dad.


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