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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 01-22-2019, 10:12 PM
nofrills nofrills is offline
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Default difficult transitions with kids

Hi
before I start I just want to thank everyone for your advice and opinions. You all have been very helpful in building my confidence.

My current issue is the transition with my kids on 4pm Saturday afternoons. Transitions used to be fine and my kids (6 boy and 8 girl) would have no problems coming my condo. I have them every Wed, Sat and Sun.

Recently, over the last few months they have been resistant to coming to my house when I pick them up or when they get dropped off on the Saturday transition. (They have no issues on Wednesdays, they are dropped off by the school bus.)

When I pick them up from the ex-wife's house or the designated park, they say they don't want to come and they run and hide. The ex refuses to help get them to the door or help get them in my car. I get frustrated and have to put their coats on and put them in the car myself all while the ex watches. She says she can't physically force them.

After i get them in the car, I'm able to talk them down in 10-15 minutes, but it's painful to have to drive and bring the kids down. After that, the rest of the weekends are great and they're fine/we have fun.

The twist to this is that my ex is trying to change the schedule and wants to take my Saturday. She is claiming the kids are emotionally harmed and don't want to go to me on weekends. I disagree. (on another post, i've stated i'm involved father. i do everything with my kids, vacations, raptors games, skiing, tennis, ROM, AGO, 3d Printing labs, etc)

I feel like i am being set up when i pick up the kids because i have to put them in the car and I have a feeling she's going to use it against me if I have to physically lift the kids kicking and screaming to my car.

Can anyone give me some advice on what my options for the transitions without my ex using it as ammunition to take my Saturday.

thanks again.
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2019, 08:45 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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I think it's unreasonable that you won't allow your kids to spend *their* Saturdays with their mom every other week.

If you're having to physically force your kids to go with you- that's kind of disturbing. It's not helpful that your ex is just standing there probably silently condoning their behaviour.

Have you guys tried some co-parent counselling or divorce coaching? There are some great free or cost-reduced options throughout ontario. Many catholic family services have a "families in transition" program.

Last edited by iona6656; 01-23-2019 at 09:13 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2019, 09:40 AM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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maybe have a special treat for that day, like an ice cream on the way home in the summer and a hot chocolate in the winter.

I really hope that you guys can come up with a more reasonable schedule that includes drop offs and pick ups at the school.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:20 AM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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You could also suggest an amended schedule that doesnt take away time. For instance you could suggest overnights on Wednesdays and then every other weekend from Friday after school to Monday morning.

This way you dont lose time and there are less transitions.

I can sympathize with the kids having to pack up what they are doing EVERY Saturday to go to their dad. Im not saying they shouldnt see their parent, just that it is difficult for the transition.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:42 PM
Selfrepmom Selfrepmom is offline
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Yes I agree with previous replies- that is a bit of an odd schedule, especially for school age children. How long has this schedule been in effect for? I would definitely be suggesting a revision
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:43 PM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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This is a bad schedule problem.

The parent should be picking the kids up on Friday after school and returning the children to school Monday morning.

Its a scheduling issue more than a parenting issue.

Your own quote: They have no issues on Wednesdays, they are dropped off by the school bus.

Guess what? The same thing would happen if you did the proper schedule for weekends noted above in my post.

BTW: The other parent's tactics are going to fail. This is the most common pattern of behaviour and judges will see right through it. They will order the schedule I suggested above.

Read this article and pay close attention to the awesomest Judge to ever grace the courts Justice Quinn...

https://www.purvisculbertlaw.ca/she-...d-to-send-her/

Quote:
[44] Mr. Wilson argues that our law does not require a parent, who wishes to avoid a contempt citation, to physically force a child to go on an access visit. I respectfully disagree with that argument as a general legal principle. Whether a child should be physically forced by the custodial parent to go on an access visit depends upon the facts of the case. Certainly, the force used should not be such as to cause physical harm to the child. And, although the specter of emotional harm is far more problematic, a custodial parent would be advised to ensure that the evidence supports such a risk before declining to physically force the child to abide by an access order for that reason. Undoubtedly, there are many tasks that a child, when asked, may find unpleasant to perform. But ask we must and perform they must. A child who refuses to go on an access visit should be treated by the custodial parent the same as a child who refuses to go to school or otherwise misbehaves. The job of a parent is to parent.
Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:20 PM
kate331 kate331 is offline
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I feel your pain!!! I too have been in the exact same position but as a Mom trying to coral 2 kids to go to Dads on a split weekend. I agree with the other members its the split weekend that causes the problems. It is "their" time, a weekend free of school and should be a fun, relaxing time for them. Then to disrupt it mid-way for an exchange, not so much fun, so they act out.

Children, at least mine, mind their manners better in the presence of a third party i.e. a daycare worker, school teacher, bus driver. Do all your exchanges this way. No need to have the other parent involved with exchanges.

Split weekends suck! Have the whole weekend spend as a family.
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:53 PM
nofrills nofrills is offline
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Thanks again for your suggestions. It is a scheduling issue and not a parenting issue. Transitions are the issue.

I have suggested to swap out the every other Friday for a Saturday so that the schedule looks like this over 2 weeks (similar Rockscans proposal in previous post)

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
D M M D M M M
D M M D M D D

this keeps my time equal to current schedule. But, she refuses to give up any days. I have also proposed the 2255 with i am all for but she refuses everything. She is dead set on taking a Saturday without giving up any day, which coincidentally puts me under 40%.

I agree it is disturbing that i have to force my kids to come with me. It's something I don't ever wish to do and i dread it. All other parts of the weekend are fine.

I think everyone here is right in that I need to find a way to avoid transitions where they see both of us together. I never bad mouth my ex and i always tell the kids that she loves them and I love them. I think it's got to be hard for them to see us together, then see us apart.

here's a list of things tried and sometimes they work
-meet at park
-pick up at ex-house
-she doesn't want to drop them off at my house
-activities following pick up.
-treats in car
-ipad/phone in car

Does anyone have experience with a parental co-ordinator that can help facilitate the transitions?
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:16 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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You dont have to force them. Clearly they are worked up for a reason and I am of the opinion she is doing it.

Are you 50/50 or eow?

It may be worth reminding her that you are putting forward a child focused schedule that does not sacrifice their time with their other parent. But the wording needs to be worked on.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2019, 12:00 AM
kate331 kate331 is offline
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Regardless of your efforts to make the transitions better, its not working. Your children are old enough to do week on, week off. I think there are too many transitions in your schedule.

Look at it from the child's perspective, they are at Mom's (or Dad's), enjoying their 1/2 weekend day, then off to the park for an exchange, then to be bribed into get into the other's parents car??? I don't get why you are so determined to split the weekends.

I dont mean to be harsh, but any parent that has too bride their own child to spend time with them, needs to rethink their needs, and focus on the children's needs. The crazy schedule you have endured on them is not working anymore, change it. They are not infants anymore.
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