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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 12-28-2018, 12:33 PM
Soiled Soiled is offline
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Default Consistently Late - Available Options?

So over the years we've had a lot of 'fun' with my wifes ex and his inability to show up on time to pick their daughter, as well as being late for dropping her back off. He chose to move a few hours away a couple years ago, and as such, he does both the pickup and drop off, every other weekend when its his time. Pickups and dropoffs take place at a public location.

Its come to the point we actually kept track of it over the last year (first record being 7 Jan 2018), with 9 late pickups occuring, and 12 late drop offs. Some of those are as little as 5 minutes late, or as much as 140 minutes late. The average on pickups being 27 minutes late, and for dropoffs its 82 minutes late. One of the late pickups, he texted 14 minutes prior to the timing stating he has a headache and wouldnt be coming, and requests to pick her up at 1000 the next day. He doesnt show up at 1000, nor contact us until 1530 stating that he is in town now and will pick her up. Another time for a drop off he texts and refuses to bring her back that day as he has a headache, and said he would bring her back the next day at 1000. He decided to go to work and didnt bother to make arrangements for the childs return, he got around to bringing her back at 2045 that night.

Communication from him is pretty much non-existent. If my wife is lucky she will receive a text that says he is 15min away, thats about the extent of it however, anything sent from her is ignored.

Christmas was a real treat. My wife had been attempting to sort out arrangements for the holiday in regards to the childs schedule, since the 25th of November, however, it was ignored. In person attempts were grunted at, and he would just state he'll get back to her. Last year he had her overnight on Christmas Eve, so my wife was of course looking to get her this year with us. His normal visit with her (Every other weekend, Friday 1930 - Monday 1930), went right up to Christmas Eve. As he made no attempts at sorting things out, when the pickup occured on Friday, he was told to bring her back as per normal, he tried to argue but was firmly refused, and he just agreed, shut up, and left with her.

Then the fun began... No contact from him whatsoever the entire time. He doesnt show up on the 24th. 25th, nothing, until about 1300 he just shows up at my wifes mothers, drops the daughter off, and leaves. We find out only after her mother calls her to let her know. Police had been called before he returned her, however there is no police enforcement clause in the current order, so they were useless and uninterested.

So we are now trying to sort out our options and decide on a course of action. What we have learned from this is that a police enforcement clause is something we are going to have to get added to the order. Options from what I can think of:

1 - Pursue contempt based on him not sticking to the timelines ordered. Even if something more than a slap on the wrist occured, behaviour would likely only change for a short time, if at all.

2 - Get the current order changed to include police enforcement. Insufficient on its own, as it would likely only be effective for times when he decides on being a day or more late.

3 - Follow the information on this site https://www.alberta.ca/enforce-parenting-time.aspx and hit him with a whopping $100.00 fine. Also only useful for times when he is refusing to return her on the proper day.
If anyone knows of other potential options that are available, especially for dealing with the consistent lateness, I'd love to learn of them. Anything that is based on the other party being cooperative however is rather unlikely to have any sort of success.

I get that some people are going to think that its not a big deal with the late part. The timing of things however makes it into an issue. When a 6 year old is getting home around 2130 she is generally not going to be in bed and sleeping before 2230. Most weekdays she is going to daycare, which requires waking up for 0600. She's then getting less than 8 hours of sleep, when normally she is sleeping for 11 or 12 hours. It has a very noticeable effect on her mood the next day, and has also been noted by her teacher. Further each day after an exchange, my wife is working the next morning and has to be up for 0500, so this has an effect on her schedule as well.

Anyone have any ideas on options?
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:55 PM
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Pickups are fairly easy to deal with. She can let him know that she will be arriving with the child at XX agreed upon time and will wait no longer than 15 minutes at which time she will return home with the child. If he still wishes to excercise his time with the child he can pick her up from home where she will be made available, with notice. Failing that, it will be assumed he is forfeiting his time with her.

Dropoffs are more difficult if he is refusing to return the child at the agreed time. He may have a headache, or have to work etc, however it is his responsibility to make arrangements for the child's return at the agreed upon time.

The mother can put him on notice that pickups will be as above, and any further nonsense with dropoffs will result in action being taken. See how that goes, and prepare for a motion to change the schedule as he is incapable of respecting the current schedule.

Police enforcement rarely helps as most of the time they will show up, check on the child and ask the other parent to return the child. If the parent refuses they typically just make a report, let the other parent know the child is fine and that they are with the other parent. It doesn't usually result in the child actually being returned.
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Old 12-28-2018, 04:02 PM
Soiled Soiled is offline
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If only it were that easy for pickups. We've done that in the past and still are, but it pretty much guarantee's he will be several hours late for the drop-off, I assume out of spite. Biggest issue we run into, is trying to walk the line of giving a 'consequence' for him not being able to show up at the proper time, and still be able to be seen as reasonable. When a text is received 30 minutes past the pickup time that he is in town and ready for her, it's a hard call on whether its reasonable to refuse and tell him he will need to make arrangements for the next day as she is getting ready for bed, especially considering he's made a 2 hour drive. Even at an hour and a half late we'll usually end up getting her out of bed and taking her to him.


For putting him 'on notice', it's been done, many times over the years, and its probably viewed as toothless at this point. Only one way to change that I suppose. Likely going to have to look into changing the parenting order for more specific timings and consequences such as forfeiting the weekend for not meeting them. Different wording probably won't change anything for the drop-offs though, when you're dealing with someone who doesn't give a f.
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:48 PM
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When someone doesnt care it doesnt matter what you do. By making it an issue you then open up to him being more of an asshole.

Blink has good advice in that you say if he is unable to meet the times outlined then you will give him 15 min leeway and then consider he has forfeited his time with kid. As far as not dropping kid off, theres not much you can do except accept he will be late.

Involving the police is useless to begin with but it also creates animosity as well as trauma for the child.
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Old 12-28-2018, 08:32 PM
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Yeah, pickups are somewhat simple, though playing hardball while keeping up appearances of being reasonable is a difficult.

Pickups we have some 'power', but drop-offs are the real issue. If nothing happens now after Christmas that sort of thing is going to happen with every holiday or event that he decides he wants regardless of fair or turn.

Yeah, police involvement sucks for a kid, which would be a reason why I'm hoping to find alternatives.
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Old 12-29-2018, 09:30 AM
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Default Pick up

I agree that there should be a 15 minute window for pickup and then parent has forfeited their time. The stress that child but be under waiting for her father to get her is more than you probably realize. She knows you and wife are most likely angry and show animosity toward her ex. Can you request that instead of dropping child off to you that you and wife pick child up? Police won't get involved even with police enforcement clause. It isn't the court who decides but each police service has a policy regarding family law and children. Unless child is in immediate danger they will not enforce anything. They will arrive, check child out and try to persuade child to go or parent to follow the court order but they won't remove child forcefully. This is policy in Ottawa but may be different elsewhere.
What about contacting lawyer to draft a letter stating that times need to be followed as it is detrimental to the child.
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Old 12-29-2018, 03:40 PM
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I assume the reason putting him on notice hasn't worked is because there has been no follow through. It's kind of like parenting, you really can't keep saying there will be consequences and then never follow through, they just learn not to take you seriously.

It is not unreasonable to have a 15 minute pickup window, if the other parent ia running late they should be letting you know asap, if they don't then that's their problem. They canearn to communicate and be on time.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:27 PM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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The simplest way to solve the drop-off problem is to pick the kids up yourself. Relying on a person who is disinterested at best and full of contempt at worst, isn't sound planning.


I always recommend that you arrange that the person starting their parenting time be responsible for getting the kids. They are the ones with the most interest, so they should be the ones responsible.


As for the ex being late to pick up the kids, I would simply enjoy the extra time with the kids. I know it is annoying as you may have plans, but one cannot put arbitrary time limits on pick-up times. If you have a court order than specifies there is a time limit for picking up the kids, then you can work within that timeline. But if you don't you run the risk of being in contempt, and that is something that you don't want. Don't become the bad guy.


Trying to find a means to force them to be a decent human being is an effort in futility. I would arrange it so that I pick up the kids when it is my parenting time, and let the be the bad parent by wasting what little time they get with the kids by being late.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post
The simplest way to solve the drop-off problem is to pick the kids up yourself. Relying on a person who is disinterested at best and full of contempt at worst, isn't sound planning.


I always recommend that you arrange that the person starting their parenting time be responsible for getting the kids. They are the ones with the most interest, so they should be the ones responsible.
holy shit this is great advice. Thanks.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post
I always recommend that you arrange that the person starting their parenting time be responsible for getting the kids. They are the ones with the most interest, so they should be the ones responsible.

Just as a heads up there is still a game that the other parent can play. We have seen it on the forum often. The person losing the kids engages the kid in some really enjoyable activity right before the other parent arrives, so that the parent picking up has to rip the kid away from the fun activity.


Sadness ensues.


A more minor variation of that is that the losing parent only starts to pack up kid's stuff and getting them dressed when the picking parent has arrived, taking about 15 minutes or so to get ready.


I'm not a fan of my ex, but I must admit she doesn't play those games. I appreciate that at times.
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