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  • Refusing to continue kids sports

    Hi all,

    Just need some alternative viewpoints before I respond to my ex.

    My D11 is a competitive swimmer and has been for 5 years. My S7 is in his second year of hockey. My D7 and S7 have been playing soccer for 4 years and D11 for 7 years. We seperated this year.

    Their Dad has told them this week (with no communication to me) that he will no longer pay for their sports and in addition, if they are enrolled, will not take them to practices, games etc. because the schedule when they are with him is too busy (my take = his is too lazy).

    My question - what is his responsibility to continure the sports that they have all been in for years? I did 95% of all the driving etc. prior to seperation. Are they screwed on his word alone that he refuses to pay or take them? My D11 loves swimming - it is her life right now and is terribly upset that Dad all of a sudden says that he will not support her in this. She dreams of the Olymipics one day. If he doesn't take her to practice on his custodial days, she will not be able to remain on the team.

    Are my hands tied....having to give into his refusal and pull the kids out of every extracurricular activity they are in?

  • #2
    You need a back up plan. What an a-hole. Is there any way to co-ordinate w/other parents on the teams? As for responding to him - best not to say anything in the heat of the moment. Can you speak to your lawyer, or - if you don't have one, duty counsel? He's obviously doing this to penalize you. And yes, I know the feeling - my ex has communicated on several occasions with my (our son) re: things that should have been brought to MY attention. If he's going to be a tool, and it appears that's the "plan" - you need to network w/some reliable ppl friends to help you with the kids's schedules.


    • #3
      Originally posted by hadenough View Post
      He's obviously doing this to penalize you.
      I don't see this as being an accurate comment. I think the reason provided, the busy schedule, is probably quite accurate and realistic. The OP doesn't know exactly the activities that their ex already is involved in. Of course she wants to state their spouse is lazy, because most of us have negative opinions of our ex's...because well, if we didn't have negative opinions of them, chances are they wouldn't be ex's.

      We don't know his exact reasons for ceasing to continue with the activities, being it too busy or money is tight, but he is entitled to determine what activities the children attend during his parenting time.


      • #4
        5 years in competitive swimming is quite the achievement and obviously the D is very dedicated as have the parents been up until the split. This is not merely a swim class @the local community centre. It's a life decision and very much has to do with being a future olympian. I don't pretend to know what his reasons may be - but this is not something that should be flat out pulled from underneath the child. It doesn't sound as though he's lost his job or that he's in traction so why the sudden pull-out?

        If the kids are enrolled in certain activities - why should they miss them just because it may happen to fall on "his time?" - that's pretty selfish. But typical. My ex won't take my son to, nor does he contribute to the one sport he's involved in. Reason being: and I can attest to this - is because he is an a*shole. Has nothing to do with being tight for money or too busy. He's just a piss-poor dad. Yes yes. Yes that's my bad judgment for getting involved with a narcissistic freak.


        • #5
          Originally posted by hadenough View Post
          If the kids are enrolled in certain activities - why should they miss them just because it may happen to fall on "his time?"...
          I agree with this. If the child has been in swimming for years and s/he loves it, then there's no reason why the NCP can't drop off the kid for swimming during his access time.

          IMO, this is what a good parent would do.

          I don't think it's fair to expect the child to live a bipolar life. The child's passion for something doesn't change simply because s/he is with the NCP for a few days.


          • #6
            Exactly: its called RESPONSIBILITY. Unless he's got one helluva compelling valid reason for canceling any/all involvement - as a good parent - you put your children's interests ahead of your own. This is the same fab dad who announced this TO the kids directly without even discussing it (and his "reasons" or lack thereof) with their Mother. Yes, he sounds like the really thoughtful and responsible type, because that's such a normal thing to do.


            • #7
              We do something completely different...My ex and I do 50/ children at 4pm on Sundays for the week.

              If it's my week with the boys and the eldest has hockey...then dad will come by and take the eldest to hockey and drop him off and I get one on one time with the youngest, dad gets one on one time with the eldest, and it's a bonus for him as it's not his week with the kids.

              Vice versa on my weeks. We have made this work and it means we both get to see our children a lot more than we would if we strictly lived with 7 days at a time, as well as it gives us one on one time with each on a bi-weekly basis which is an incredible option !

              Just a suggestion in case this might work...Good luck !


              • #8
                Thanks for your responses. As far as the financials - I pay him an offset amount of child support and pay for 65% of the sports fees. I am paying child support based upon the fact that he never worked full time when we were together. In the last 3 months since seperation, the indications are that he is working many more hours than he used to thus he has a higher income right now than last year's T4 which was used to determine child support - I can't get that changed until July to lower the CS amounts, thus he has more money than I do right now.

                I have not brought up the subject with him yet...trying to what until I have a very cool head before I write the email. I would be willing to move mountains for my daughter to continue swimming and am willing to pick her up and bring her to practice on his custodial days. The same goes for my Son's hockey. I would even be willing to cut back on expenses to pay for the whole bill myself if I need to...even though I know that is not fair to me. It just breaks my heart that the sports they love are in jeopardy.

                The sports do mean on average 5 to 6 days a week, we are at the pool, hockey rink or both... but that has been the routine for years.

                If the kids get pulled from swimming and hockey (soccer is in the summer, during off-season), they will be in 0 activities - this is all they do - 1 sport per child.

                My comment about being lazy comes from the fact that he gets my D11 to take her brother and sister to the park on his weekends because he is watching tv and doesn't feel like it..


                • #9
                  Originally posted by hadenough View Post
                  If the kids are enrolled in certain activities - why should they miss them just because it may happen to fall on "his time?"
                  Because, as a parent, we are entitled to determine what our children do, or do not do, while in our care.

                  I am not saying I agree with the OP's ex's decision. I am just stating that, unless their court order/agreement specifically provides that the children shall remain in such activities, their ex is under no obligation to continue a) attending or b) contributing. If OP wants her ex to contribute, she would have to file a motion in court to seek their ex's portion of s7 expenses.

                  Personally, I see the benefit of the activities. My D6 is in dance every week, and it causes me to get up early drive 30 minutes to the next city (we don't live in the same cities) to bring her for 1.5 hours. Yeah, it is boring for me to sit in the lounge area, as we can't really watch. But she loves it. It is also pretty expensive ($450-$600 a year) as D6 is in 2 classes. I do it for my kid. But, it is my choice. I can say no, we are doing something else at any given point. As a parent, I have that authority until the courts tell me otherwise.


                  • #10
                    I have the same battle with my ex.... we have been divorced for a little over 3 years now. We have a 14 years old son and 11 years old daughter. When we split, my ex moved ~50kms away from us. I have primary custody, he takes them every other weekend. He could see them a lot more and I have always encouraged it. But he is involved in sports, works a lot, and finds the driving for the kids a pain.

                    Our son plays hockey. He has to miss practices and games fairly regularly when he is at his dad's. He cant see his friends when he is at his dad's. My daughter is in gymnatics, but I had to make sure I find an activity that wasnt during his visitation time, because she would have had to miss half the classes.

                    For 3 years, I have encouraged my kids to see their dad, and work around his schedule. I have tried very hard not to show the kids how much I disagree with him and not offer a plan B (I drive them if they stay with me). But his weekend, I got really tired of covering for him. My son is a teenager. He wants to see his friends, play sports and will soon be working. I will no longer tell him he has to go at his dads, and sit around all day. I offered him (both actually, but my daughter isnt affected by the missed activities as much) to stay with me when he has activities or friends he wants to see and his dad wont take him. It hurts me to see my kids realize how much their dad is selfish, but I can only do so much.

                    Oh, and he told me that from now on I need to drive them to him or he wont take them on the weekend.... As if I didnt do enough the remainder 26 days of the month... How far should you really go to encourage a parent to see their kids?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Me_too View Post
                      I will no longer tell him he has to go at his dads, and sit around all day.
                      Wrong advice.

                      Until the court order or agreement is changed the child is obligated to attend the other parents parenting time. It is also each parents obligation to encourage the relationship of the other parent with the children. By suggesting the above you are not encouraging the relationship.

                      Should the child refuse to go, you may get hit with denial of access.

                      There have been MANY very LONG treads here about this subject. Just because the child is now 14 does not change the fact that, unless the court order states the child shall have a choice, the child is obligated to attend the other parents parenting time.

                      Yes, at 14 a judge will listen to the childs decision and reasoning, and most likely rule in favour of childs choice. But until a judge rules (or the parents agree outside of court) that the child is to have a say, they don't.


                      • #12
                        I agree this sounds like the wrong advice. At some point, the NCS parent has to want to participate too. "Come see me, but I wont pick you up. I dont want your friends over, driving to your activities is too far, I am busy with my sports so you will hve to occupy yourself, but not with any friends, or computers or...". As the CS, I get really sick of finding excuses for the NCS, and pick up the slack all the time. NCS asked me to keep my son and do the activities with him during his weekends. What am I to say? No it is your time and your son is going to your house? Then explain to my son why he cant do his activities? I feel like I do my fair share.

                        I love the suggestion made by May_May. Unfortunately, both parents need to want to make the extra effort. It is often not the case. Some NCS are NCS by choice, not always because their ex isnt encouraging a good relationship. Every situation is different, but in most cases, I disagree that kids should be penalized because their parents cant live in the same house. A good parent, in my opinion, would encourage their children in the activities THEY love as much as possible. Being too busy is a lame excuse.


                        • #13
                          The payment thing is out of his hands. Sounds like you can easily prove this was something you both paid for while you were together, and it should be continued now that you are separated. If it comes to court, I bet a judge would rule that he had to keep paying.

                          The timing is something else though. I don't think a court would rule that he had to take her to swim practice on his time. The best thing you can do is try to work around it with your ex. When is the practice? Maybe instead of her going to him from Friday evening to Sunday evening, she can go to him Saturday after swim practice and stay till Monday morning or something. Or he could have her for a non-activity weeknight in exchange for losing the Friday night. Approach him diplomatically with the idea that your daughter loves the swimming and is good at it, and that you want to collaborate with him for the best way to help her continue to do this, taking into consideration his access time.

                          He may not realize it now, but his attitude is going to someday cost him time with his children. When they are old enough to choose their activities and friends over him, they will remember that he never let them have both.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rioe View Post
                            He may not realize it now, but his attitude is going to someday cost him time with his children. When they are old enough to choose their activities and friends over him, they will remember that he never let them have both.
                            Well said.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by iceberg View Post
                              When my kid was 4 years old, at some points she didn't feel like coming to my house and vice versa, so her mom dialed my #, put her on the phone and instructed her to say that she will not be coming to my house, then my ex said she cannot make her come and denied me access for 2 days.
                              Your ex may have done that, but it doesn't mean she was lawful. She is required to abide by the court order.


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