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  • Picking up child from school without any notification

    So after not seeing our son for over 10 months our son’s father decides to turn up at school and pick him up. Doesn’t notify me of his plans. My son calls me ten minutes after he is supposed to get on the bus to inform me his dad just turned up and he is going with him.

    Last time his father picked him from the school was five years ago. And that was after we both agreed. We have a family court order in place dated 2014 which states mid week access is suppose to commence at 6.30pm on Wednesdays with father returning child to school the next morning at 8.45am
    Any changes to this can of course be arranged amicably between the parents.

    The last time the father exercised his mid week access was several years ago. Prior to the last 10 months the grandparents would pick up our son for every other weekend (Friday-Sunday). Which went ok. During COViD have done my best to facilitate relationship through phone calls with grandparents. They insist he call them every night. Last few months he has been forgetting to call every night. But calls 3-4 times a week. They’ve dropped by a number of times at our house to say hello without in person contact. Just waving from the window etc, This past Sunday they wanted to come by but it wasn’t a good time and told them it wasn’t a good idea. I don’t think they took it well.

    So after not wanting to exercise ANY access for over 10 months, the father decides he is just going to drive to our son’s school and pick him up without notifying me.

    Do I have reason to be upset that I was not notified? Even spoke to the grandfather this morning and had a pleasant conversation with him about his health but at no point did the grandfather indicate his son was planning on picking up his grandson from school. Father lives with his parents.

    The school assumed I had been notified ahead of time and didn’t think to verify.

    Context:
    Son is now 14 years old.
    Separated 14 years ago
    We live an hour away from the grandparents. Different towns/regions.
    Tons of litigation which ended with father from being prohibited from bringing any application/motion to court without first seeking permission from court.
    Police enforcement clause removed after father abused it
    Last edited by Nadia; 02-17-2021, 08:18 PM. Reason: Grammar

  • #2
    Unless school finishes at 6:30pm, it appears that it was not his parenting time.

    I would let him know by email that in the future you expect him to follow his parenting time. I would also state that you are likely open to him picking up your son directly after school if and only if it is discussed in advance.

    I might consider waiting until your son is back in school tomorrow before sending that message. People sometimes act like idiots, and best if your son was not around during potential idiot time.

    Also, since his parenting time never allows him to pick up the child from school, you can get a note added to the file. Just bring in the court order to the office and talk to the principal.

    Comment


    • #3
      while I think the school should of double checked and I would be upset about that. Your son is 14 though and even though his father should of contacted you, your son did call you to say he was going with him.

      To me this isn't something to get totally worked up over. I would just send reminders to the school and other parent that you need to be informed. You could tell your son that next time he has to come home on the bus but making him do that is another thing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you
        Just needed a reality check.
        It was just a bit of a shock coming out of the blue like this.
        Last edited by Nadia; 02-17-2021, 09:23 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Your son is 14. At this age he can decide to live with his father if he wanted.

          There may be more to this though. Has there been an event that has happened recently? Refusal for dad or grandparents seeing your son? Someone saying something that may have upset them? A knee jerk reaction that may have set them off? Dad lose his job and need cs changed? I hate to say it is something other than dad wanting to see his son but sometimes there is more.

          Janus does have a point about dad following the agreement but kid is a teen and has the freedom to go with dad. There really isnít a need to create drama. Its a good thing that dad finally wanted to see son.


          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

          Comment


          • #6
            Rocksan

            No nothing other than refusing grandparents visit by this past Sunday because I didn’t think it was smart of them to travel from a region that was under a stay at home order just to drop off food grandmother had made and then go grocery shopping in our region. It was also the 15th anniversary of my fathers sudden death. So didn’t really want to see my ex in laws.

            But yes it’s nice father wanted to see his son after 10 months. So there is that. Wish he had just told me he was picking him up from school. In the past 8 years the father hadn’t attended a single parent teacher interview or musical performance But that might change now.

            Son loves the school he is at and the high school he will be moving to in September.
            So not sure if he will want to move to a different region. He has friends he has had since grade one live in this neighborhood and are moving to the same high school.

            Son also loves having his own bedroom and privacy here. Grandmother insists that he share her bed when he is staying overnight. But hey, maybe that will change, now that I’ve finally had the courage to tell them that this sleeping arrangement is unacceptable.

            He is a typical teenager when he is at home here. Moody, angry and upset sometimes but that’s ok because he feels safe enough to express those emotions. But he knows I love him unconditionally no matter what. He spends a lot of time with his friends playing on Xbox or in person at the park playing basketball. Pre-covid used to drive him to all his games.

            Son is very eager to please father and grandparents and will avoid conflict at all cost. But it has to be his journey to navigate. No doubt he will carve out his own identity. I will support him no matter what.

            But thank you for the different perspective.
            Last edited by Nadia; 02-18-2021, 12:34 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rockscan View Post
              Your son is 14. At this age he can decide to live with his father if he wanted.

              There may be more to this though. Has there been an event that has happened recently? Refusal for dad or grandparents seeing your son? Someone saying something that may have upset them? A knee jerk reaction that may have set them off? Dad lose his job and need cs changed? I hate to say it is something other than dad wanting to see his son but sometimes there is more.

              Janus does have a point about dad following the agreement but kid is a teen and has the freedom to go with dad. There really isn�t a need to create drama. Its a good thing that dad finally wanted to see son.



              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

              You got all this from our son being picked up unexpectedly from school for a mid week overnight visit?

              Don’t you think it would have been helpful to have been notified? Or even for his son to have known what was going on?

              The last time I had any contact with my ex was two years ago when we were in court for an increase in child support after 5 years of requests for NOA. Have not heard anything from him since. My two emails about NOA for 2019 and 2020 have gone ignored.

              Had a pretty good relationship with grandparents up until now.
              Last edited by Nadia; 02-18-2021, 01:55 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Nadia View Post
                You got all this from our son being picked up unexpectedly from school for a mid week overnight visit?

                Donít you think it would have been helpful to have been notified? Or even for his son to have known what was going on?

                The last time I had any contact with my ex was two years ago when we were in court for an increase in child support after 5 years of requests for NOA. Have not heard anything from him since. My two emails about NOA for 2019 and 2020 have gone ignored.

                Had a pretty good relationship with grandparents up until now.

                Most non custodial parents who donít have any contact for months and then suddenly show up have a trigger factor involved. It could be a desire to reduce child support, a refusal of parenting time, missed calls or a resurfacing from some other aspect. There have been enough posts on here to see that some non custodial parents have a motive behind your behaviours. Which is why I asked what changed to cause him to flex.

                You did get notice as your son called you. Itís not like you were sitting wondering where he was. Was it fair? No. Do I agree with dad for pulling the stunt? No. Do I agree that you should make a big deal out of it and call dad out? No. You could send him a quick email and just say hey could you let me know the next time as you threw us both off. And leave it at that. If the child was younger then it would warrant a bigger response but in this case it doesnít.


                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rockscan View Post
                  Most non custodial parents who don�t have any contact for months and then suddenly show up have a trigger factor involved. It could be a desire to reduce child support, a refusal of parenting time, missed calls or a resurfacing from some other aspect. There have been enough posts on here to see that some non custodial parents have a motive behind your behaviours. Which is why I asked what changed to cause him to flex.

                  You did get notice as your son called you. It�s not like you were sitting wondering where he was. Was it fair? No. Do I agree with dad for pulling the stunt? No. Do I agree that you should make a big deal out of it and call dad out? No. You could send him a quick email and just say hey could you let me know the next time as you threw us both off. And leave it at that. If the child was younger then it would warrant a bigger response but in this case it doesn�t.


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                  As I explained above the only thing that changed was my refusal for grandparents to visit. There has been no other trigger. To be honest this would have been enough. For the sake of our son, I’ve gone out my way to maintain a relationship with the grandparents. They did all the driving back and forth for two years off alternative weekends. They preferred to drop him off on Sunday evenings instead of Mondays. They always touched base with me evening before they picked up from school. So that became the norm. No midweek pickup whatsoever.

                  But fair enough. I did just that (email dad with a professional note - asking him to just let me know next time) and leave it at that.

                  Hopefully there weren’t be a time when both of us turn up at the same time. For example today the kid has an orthodontist appointment immediately after school dismissal. Is dad planning on turning up? Should I assume he can turn up at any time as he wishes? Should dad turn up unannounced today, do i then just pay the no show fee at the Orthodontist?

                  Is he picking the child up consistently every Wednesday? Should I not schedule anything between 3pm and 6.30 everyday just in case he decides this is the day he would like to see his son? Even though we have a family order in place with specific days/times? Does it work the other way too? What if the son doesn’t want to go and prefers to spend time with his friends?

                  I totally understand the whole piece of son being 14 and has the right to spend his time as he wishes. But just trying to figure out the day to day stuff.

                  Thank you for the feedback.
                  Last edited by Nadia; 02-18-2021, 12:14 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I missed that the kid was 14. I assumed that since OP said that she was surprised that the school let the kid go that the kid was grade 3 or younger. Since her son is in grade 8 or 9 and can just leave at the end of the day, I am not sure why there would be any expectation that the school would intervene.

                    I was imagining a 5 year old kid. For a 14 year old, this is a non-issue.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Janus View Post
                      I missed that the kid was 14. I assumed that since OP said that she was surprised that the school let the kid go that the kid was grade 3 or younger. Since her son is in grade 8 or 9 and can just leave at the end of the day, I am not sure why there would be any expectation that the school would intervene.

                      I was imagining a 5 year old kid. For a 14 year old, this is a non-issue.
                      Sorry should have been clearer.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        But the outstanding question remains the same

                        From what I’ve read parents are continuously reminded that they must adhere strictly to the order in respect to access times etc. if a child is 14 as opposed to 5 is there an expectation parents are to be more flexible? If that is indeed the case why doesn’t it work the other way around? What if a child at the age of 14 decides for whatever reason he doesn’t want to go to the other parent’s house for the whole weekend or that particular weekend because he has made plans with his friends; what then?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          From what I understand kids of that age 'walk/talk with their feet'. My partners children are that age. They have been making the decision each weekend switch whether they are showing up or not at their fathers house.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nadia View Post
                            But the outstanding question remains the same

                            From what Iíve read parents are continuously reminded that they must adhere strictly to the order in respect to access times etc. if a child is 14 as opposed to 5 is there an expectation parents are to be more flexible? If that is indeed the case why doesnít it work the other way around? What if a child at the age of 14 decides for whatever reason he doesnít want to go to the other parentís house for the whole weekend or that particular weekend because he has made plans with his friends; what then?

                            In a perfect world parties would follow orders but they donít. More than likely the grandparents got huffy about your decision on time with grandson and dad took it upon himself to flex. Iím not saying your decision was wrong. They should have let you know to avoid any conflict but many parents who have been told no tend to pull a stunt. High conflict people like to play games.

                            I would expect your ex to start exercising his parenting time for the next little while and to do something that he knows will get your back up. If you have something scheduled, let your son know and he can tell dad sorry but I have other plans. I know you said son tries to appease them but he is old enough now for the lesson on asserting himself and his schedule. Just because they are family doesnít mean they can walk all over him or you by extension.

                            As for the schedule, you can ďkindlyĒ remind all of them that there is a schedule laid that was agreed to and if anyone wants to make changes they can do so by working with you rather than against the schedule.


                            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Janus View Post
                              I missed that the kid was 14. I assumed that since OP said that she was surprised that the school let the kid go that the kid was grade 3 or younger. Since her son is in grade 8 or 9 and can just leave at the end of the day, I am not sure why there would be any expectation that the school would intervene.

                              I was imagining a 5 year old kid. For a 14 year old, this is a non-issue.
                              ^^^ This.

                              Now the real concern is when did the child turn 14? My interest is peeked by the age of the child being 14 and this happening. Lots of children start to swap houses at the age of 14. A parent who has been paying child support for 14 years may economically motivated to convince the child to move in with them. Some crafty parents will even offer up the child support they would get from the other parent as an "allowance" if they move... offer freedoms the other parent would never grant. Happens unfortunately all the time.

                              Comment

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