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Old 04-28-2010, 09:39 PM
susiecanoe susiecanoe is offline
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Default Help?Mid week visits during school hours

Hello, my case is complex so I will try to summarize it. Divorced 12 years ago and had shared custody unitl 2005 of three children whom resided week on/off with each parent. My ex and his wife prevented the children from having a relationship with me as their mother, constantly called CAS on me, failed to provide child support etc. etc. I took the matter to court and after a lengthy assessment and pre-trial, the judge and assessor agreed that the children were being harmed by their parental alienation tactics and refusal to cooperatively co-parent, therefore I was granted permission to move the three children with me to a new community and we started a new life with my now current husband. We maintained joint custody in relation to the standard things like educational decisions, religion, schooling, medical etc. However, all three children were to reside with me on a full time basis with daily care and control to me. Dad was granted every other weekend access and a mid week visit with 48 hours notice. Suffice it to say, once the move occurred, my ex and his new wife began a regular campaign to have my middle son move back with them using parental alienation tactics, cooercion and brainwashing. 2 years ago at the age of 12, my son went for a weekend visit and they refused to return him. I have had little contact with him since. The matter was taken back to court, the judge refused to charge him with contempt of the order and basically since that time, I have had very little contact with my son. Our new order states that my son is to maintain regular contact with me, that his wishes will be taken into consideration regarding visits, that he is to communicate those directly to me and not through his father or stepmother and that Dad was to encourage him to maintain a positive relationship with me. Suffice it to say, that has not happened.

So now, to my dilemma. My daughter is now approaching the age of 12 and the same tactics have begun again. Her stepmother who lives 1 hour away shows up unannounced and without notice at the school to take her out to lunch. First, a step mother has no more legal rights than a grandparent and she is not party to the court order. When I advised my ex that this was not acceptable and that notice must be given, they have ignored it. I finally had to go into the school and take a strip off the principal for allowing my daughter to be picked up from school without the person picking her up being on the safe schools act list of authorized persons. I provide the school with a copy of my court order which clearly states that 48 hours notice must be provided for a mid week visit, they are now finally preventing both her father and stepmother from taking her out of school during the mid week UNLESS I have provided the school with notification of such a visit. My ex however, is interpretting the court order in his own way ( as he has always done and never been held accountable for it) He states that since we have joint custody, he is entitled to equal access to our daughter during the school hours and that notice is only required for a mid week after school visit. Oh, and for 5 years, he has never accessed his rights to a mid week visit, but now suddenly as my daughter turns 12, he is suddently showing up at the school unannounced???

I need some advise on this. I disagree with his thinking, but more importantly, I am aware that my daughter is caught up in the middle of this custody and access issue. I believe, that she is entitled to know ahea of time if she is going to be picked up, I then would not pack a lunch and she would not have to be afraid to tell me that her father or stepmother attended. But also, given their past tactics of cooercing and preventing my son who was also 12 at the time he left, I do not trust that their motives are not the same as they were with my son. Remember, they live an hour away, so to make a trip to take her out to lunch and refusing to provide notice, reaks of someone fishy to me.

So far, I have held my ground and stated that without notice, he cannot just show up. What should I do?