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  • Sports during visitations

    My ex and I have been separated for less than a year. For reasons I don't understand, my ex moved to a city about 40 minutes drive from us. The kids are with him every other weekend. Our 11 year-old son plays hockey. When he is at his dad's, it makes it a little harder to be at the games and practices because of the extra driving time. My ex has started to miss a practice here and there, a couple of games, and he tells me it's because my son really doesn't want to go. Well, I don't believe this. I know my ex find the games are too far and he doesn't want to "waste" his day with the kids going to a hockey game. My son tells me he didn't want to go because it's too far, and his sister doesn't like to go to hockey etc... I think he feels a little thorn between making his dad and sister happy and going to his hockey games.

    I tried to talk to my ex about my concerns and his reply was: "I'll go to the games this year if that's what you want, but next year, I won't. When he is with me, we'll do other things. Hockey is too far." How am I suppose to react to this? I feel it is so unfair to my son to have him "choose" between being with his dad and going to hockey. Really, what's the point of registering in hockey if he's gonna miss it every other weekend....

    It's frustrating. Any idea how I can handle this?

  • #2
    Not sure how you can handle this, but your childrens' time with their father is their time together to bond and do things the 3 of them enjoy together. I feel that if your son says he doesn't want to go to hockey those times then don't force the issue. Are there other nights he can make up the icetime. Maybe even join a hockey house league at his school. When I was a child I was enrolled in extra activies that fell on my fathers time and I came to resent my mother and the activities as I didn't get any quality time with my father

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    • #3
      it's nice to hear the point of view from a child of divorce... Just to clarify a little bit... It is not my choice to enroll my son in hockey. It's my son's choice. When he is with me, we always go to the games and he NEVER complains. My daughter has to come too, she is too young to stay home by herself.

      I suppose it's part of being a custodial parent: you get to do all the things the non-custodial parent doesn't feel like doing.

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      • #4
        I don't intend to be rude, or cause any ill feelings.
        But having been a "non-custodial" parent, expected to take one child to extra curricular activites is VERY stressful among other things to facilitate during scheduled visitation. Having been asked to do so on off days, was something completely different and a welcomed request.
        Especially when you only have the luxury of being with the kids for a day or two over the week end. It’s not like you can use another night of the week to spend time with the kids doing other things together to make up for the day spent taking one child to a game/practice.
        We/I really think these activates are great on many levels for children of all ages, but then our time is basically taken away from us, or should I say, scheduled for us.
        Sure it's great to be able to do these things and I am 100% for them.
        But when you are the non-custodial parent it's really not about "feeling like it, or not feeling like it". The time you have is just so precious and minimal you want to be able to spend the time with all the kids equally, and to sit on a cold arena bench with a younger sibling while one of the children has a great time, seems unfair. And I'm not referring to the parent, I’m referring to the other child(ren). Why should the daughter have to forfeit her time with her dad so that her brother has a fun time playing?

        Again, this is not intended so that I get inundated with posts on how one sided or cold or selfish I am.
        I just want to offer another perspective, as with the other forum member who stated how it felt as a child in this situation.

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        • #5
          I would have to agree with FL, as I've been in the same boat and feel the same way. It is also all the more difficult for a non-custodial parent to take a child to an activity during their time if the activity is located near the child's primary residence - which, in our case, is at least a 45min drive one way in good conditions. I cannot find it reasonable to drive 1.5hrs for a 45min activity/game.

          Granted, if the primary parent were agreeable to schedule the activity at a location midway between the child's two homes, and each parent held up their end of the bargain and took the child to the activity on their weekend, this wouldn't be a problem. But if you're dealing with anyone similar to my stepson's mother, showing any sort of leniancy - even if it's in the best interest of the child - is simply not an option. So, in many situations such as ours, the child is left unable to participate in activities that take place on the weekends. It's a sad reality, but a reality nonetheless.

          Me_too, would you be willing to put your child in a hockey league at a location midway between yours and your ex's homes? If so, perhaps that is the best solution to your problem. Good luck to you!

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          • #6
            I understand what you're saying about being unfair to the other sibling. As a custodial parent, I feel the same thing. Yes I have more time with my children to make up the time spent on cold arena benches, but I am too trying to be fair to my younger child, while I allow my older one to have the activity he wants to do. It is a fine balance, and it's hard to accomplish. I wish I could discuss this my ex, but I can't. I appreciate this forum to get different perspectives.

            #1StepMom, that is a good suggestion to have my child in an activity midway between my location and my ex's. I didn't think about that... I think I might still resent the fact that he decided to move that far... and I'm trying to make my kids lives exactly like they were before the separation. Unfortunately, I am realizing it will not be possible.

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            • #7
              Personally, I don't see it as a lack of quality time with one child while attending, for exmaple, a hockey game for another child. As long as all the children have extracirricular activities, having them go with you when their sibling attends their activity does not seem like a problem to me. I prefer it in fact, as I view this as a family, not a bunch of individual kids that need to just focus on themselves or have alone time with one parent. Whats wrong with having them go to a practice or a game of their sibling, they should have an interest in their siblings activities. Bring a book, a game, do homework, cheer on your sibling, talk to your parent, thats family to me, and I find it actually one of the best times with my kids.

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              • #8
                I still haven't resolved that issue or discussed it with my ex. He's not open to discussion. But I have been observing my son and talked to other people about this issue. I agree with Billm. Attending sports or activities is part of family life. My children are old enough to choose their activities. I don't register them in something for me, I do it entirely for them. My son plays hockey because he loves it. Period. My daughter has learned to enjoy her time with me on the arena bench. She cheers, meet other sibling, we talk and have a hot chocolate together. It's part of life. I cannot bring myself to tell my son he would have to give up his favorite activity because his parents can't live together. At this point of his life, he needs to be around boys his age. The last thing he needs now is yet another change in his life. Maybe his dad could consider our kids schedule when planning his visitations. I know it's not easy to have activities scheduled when you only have 2 days with your children. But it's part of the challenge to be separated, and it is not up the children to find solutions or to suffer from it. My ex could take my son when he doesn't have hockey for example. With teens or pre-teens, it's up to the parents to be flexible around their schedule. It's different than younger children.

                I like this website. There's a lot of information. One negative thing I will say though, I find there is a lot of frustration towards custodial parents. My only goal is to ensure my children have a life as normal as possible. The 'battle' custodial / non-custodial is not doing any good to anyone.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Me_too View Post
                  One negative thing I will say though, I find there is a lot of frustration towards custodial parents. My only goal is to ensure my children have a life as normal as possible. The 'battle' custodial / non-custodial is not doing any good to anyone.
                  I think this is partly due to the bias experienced by so many non-custodial parents, who are often shafted (be it by the court or the custodial parent), thought of as unimportant, and simply obligated to support their child(ren) financial without regard to how often or for how long they get to see their child(ren). I can understand the frustrations from both ends of the spectrum, and can appreciate the efforts that everyone is putting into their child(ren) living as "normal" a life as possible. But we must keep in mind that these children's lives are not ever going to be exactly the same as they were prior to the separation of their parents. Each parent has the right and NEEDS to spend time with their child. And the less time you have, the more you value it, and don't want it shortened or cancelled due to a regular activity. Does that make sense? That does not mean that you don't want the best for your child, or that you want to punish your child by telling them they can't participate in an activity because it's on a weekend, but sometimes, in certain situations (such as if the parents live far away from one another) it may not be in the child's best interest to spend the day playing hockey instead of spending time with his dad. I'm sorry that you weren't successful in discussing this with your ex, Me_too. Have you perhaps tried sending your suggestions in a letter? Maybe if he reads it, on his own time, he won't feel that you are trying to force something on him. You know what I mean?

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                  • #10
                    11.12. Extra-curricular Activities

                    -------- and --------- agree that the children’s interests and wishes should determine the choices made for extra-curricular activities. -------- and -------- agree to communicate with each other regarding schedules, special events, final games and celebratory last days of the extra-curricular activities.

                    Both parties agree never to schedule or promote to the children any special events or activities that fall on the other party’s parenting time without first obtaining permission from that party in the following manner:

                    a) The requesting party will notify the other party of the event or activity and discuss with them the benefits of the children’s attendance prior to discussing it with the children. If the other party already has something scheduled or decides that the children cannot participate in the event or activity for any reason, the requesting parent will abide by that decision and not attempt to influence the other parent through the children;

                    b) The children are free to express their interest in any activity to either parent at any time; and

                    c) Both parties also agree not to interfere with each other’s parenting time in any form. If either parent denies physical access to scheduled visitation without just cause, that parent will pay all costs associated with mediation, arbitration, or court related legal fees, associated with resolving the violation and to ensure freedom from future violations.

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                    • #11
                      Great thread me too...
                      I can really relate, as I am in a similar situation.
                      In my case, we share 50/50, but most of the games and practices fall on my ex's time (weekends) because that is when I work.
                      I REALLY wanted my boy to play hockey, because he loves it, and because looking back, I think my best childhood memories were of my days as a hockey star.;-)
                      I worked it out this way: I pay for all costs related to the hockey, and the ex gets him there. (She moved about 40 minutes away) She doesn't like it, so whenever my work schedule permits, I keep my boy extra so I can take him.
                      For me it has worked out great because I end up with my boy about 64% of the time due to her commute and hockey...woohoo!
                      I understand the concern for NC parents though, as even my boys mom feels I am "planning her time" for her. I can only respond by pointing out how much our boy loves it...I wish she was more into being a hockey mom, because next season we'll be looking at tournaments and more ice time as well. If I had a "regular" job I would happily do all the hockey...
                      Time will tell I guess.
                      As for signing your child up somewhere between both parents...I don't think that will work. First, someone has to live in the district where he plays, and also, he will want to play with his buddies from his own area...school mates etc.
                      Tricky situation for sure...
                      I always think of Carey Price's father (goalie for my beloved Habs)...he would drive Carey 4HOURS!!! to practice with his team and 4hours back! eventually, he got his pilot's license and bought a plane to cut down on travel! Now, his son is poised to be a multi millionaire...
                      just like me when my boy becomes a hab!!!hahaha
                      Good luck with your dilemma,
                      Peace

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                      • #12
                        [quote=first timer;21958]11.12. Extra-curricular Activities{quote]

                        Can you please let me know which section of the laws...you got this from?

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