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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 09-10-2020, 11:01 PM
rhender rhender is offline
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Default Coparenting Not Working

How bad does it have to get before a judge will reduce access time?


We have been in turmoil since my ex got into a relationship with someone I suspect has a personality disorder and is very high conflict.


I have three years of documented incidents. Just in the past month:
- They just informed me (the night before school started) that the kids cannot stay with them during covid because my ex's partner has asthma and the kids are back at school.
- They changed the school address from my house to their house without my knowledge. I did not know and now my kids are not eligible to take the bus and we will have to wait for a spot. The address has always been my house (in the school district) and the kids have taken the bus for the past three years.
- They called the police to our house over a two hour change in the pick up time for my son to play with his team. They originally agreed to the schedule change but then changed their mind an hour before the pick up. The police did nothing but said my ex's new partner is the problem because of her behavior.
- My son fell off his bike and my ex did not get medical attention. I took him to a hospital and physio and he is healing after a few weeks. The doctor originally thought it was broken but ended up being bruised.
- They lost my son's retainer and did not tell me. They do not arrange any appointments or let them go on their time and now are refusing to pay any portion of the costs.
- The kids are constantly being put in the middle and my oldest son has started to stay at my house more because he "needs a break" from my ex's partner.


My ex has said he will not go to court. We are working off of a separation agreement we put in place when things were amicable. We recently tried mediation but got nowhere and my ex does not want to spend any more money.


At this point, my question is, how much is too much? Should we go to court and fight for a change?
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2020, 07:24 AM
Selfrepmom Selfrepmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhender View Post
How bad does it have to get before a judge will reduce access time?



- They just informed me (the night before school started) that the kids cannot stay with them during covid because my ex's partner has asthma and the kids are back at school.


At this point, my question is, how much is too much? Should we go to court and fight for a change?
To answer your first question, it has to be really bad for a judge to take away court ordered access time from a parent after 3+ years of status quo. Some of the complaints you have sound more like a custody issue (read: decision making, not access time)
However, based on your above quote it sounds like the access issue is sorting itself out anyways for the time being since your ex has told you they don’t want the kids there. Make sure you have that part in writing (email)
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2020, 06:33 PM
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Janus Janus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhender View Post
How bad does it have to get before a judge will reduce access time?
CAS bad most likely. Alternatively failing out of school bad.

Quote:
- They just informed me (the night before school started) that the kids cannot stay with them during covid because my ex's partner has asthma and the kids are back at school.
They are voluntarily reducing their own access. I guess you win without even going to court. Congratulations!

For fun, let's go through the other complaints though:

Quote:
- They changed the school address from my house to their house without my knowledge. I did not know and now my kids are not eligible to take the bus and we will have to wait for a spot. The address has always been my house (in the school district) and the kids have taken the bus for the past three years.
If there is joint custody, either parent can change the school address. Reducing access time would have no effect.

Quote:
- They called the police to our house over a two hour change in the pick up time for my son to play with his team. They originally agreed to the schedule change but then changed their mind an hour before the pick up. The police did nothing but said my ex's new partner is the problem because of her behavior.
Calling the police was a clear overreaction. Did you get agreement for the schedule change in writing?

My general assumption is that until my ex has agreed to a change in writing, that she has not agreed.

I'm not sure how a reduction in access time would fix this issue.

Quote:
- My son fell off his bike and my ex did not get medical attention. I took him to a hospital and physio and he is healing after a few weeks. The doctor originally thought it was broken but ended up being bruised.
Kids fall off bikes all the time. Bruises heal.

I'm not sure how a reduction in access time would fix this issue.

Quote:
- They lost my son's retainer and did not tell me. They do not arrange any appointments or let them go on their time and now are refusing to pay any portion of the costs.
How old is your kid? Generally, at some age, one would normally say that the kid lost the retainer. I would put that age somewhere around 10 years old, maybe less.

Either way, I'm not sure how a reduction in access time would fix this issue.

Quote:
- The kids are constantly being put in the middle and my oldest son has started to stay at my house more because he "needs a break" from my ex's partner.
It often takes two parents to put the kids in the middle.

If you are encouraging your son to ignore your separation agreement so that he spends more time with you, then I suggest you might be a bigger factor in the issue than you realize.

Quote:
My ex has said he will not go to court.
But you are thinking of going to court. Do you believe this will help your children?

Quote:
At this point, my question is, how much is too much? Should we go to court and fight for a change?
You haven't really articulated anything that sounds like a slam dunk win in court. The likely result of any action on your part would be the destruction of any coparenting relationship you have, and the loss of tens of thousands of dollars.
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Old 09-11-2020, 10:29 PM
LovingDad1234 LovingDad1234 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
and the loss of tens of thousands of dollars.
All good advice and points by Janus.

Sometimes is better to let sleeping dogs lie as one can easily get a reality check thinking they can roar into court with a list of concerns thinking they validate rescinding access.

I am still baffled on how people on here always want to go "roaring" into court. Wouldn't the better option be to talk to ex and try to work stuff out, or come to resolution? For example, mention that you noted the retainer is missing, and perhaps next thing you know, he finds it behind the couch, and issue/concern is resolved. And so on.

Last edited by LovingDad1234; 09-11-2020 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 09-14-2020, 04:21 PM
pinkHouses pinkHouses is offline
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1. Nothing you said will reduce access time via court order. It is not required, your child stays extra with you and they refused access over COVID. child support is all that can really change. If your child is with you ongoing for most of the time then custody can change but that sounds like a can of worms.

2. If there is a Court Order your school should have had it and not allowed the address change. Bring this up with them, they should be able to accommodate for the mistake as they were not supposed to allow it.

3. If your ex does not want court then go parental coordinator with binding arbitration tied on. I do not know the pitfalls of arbitration so this is just a suggestion.
You can ask Parental Coordinator for:
-change in the schedule for baseball with makeup time
-reporting of all injuries to the child
-keeping the bill to $200 /hr split vs $X each.

They cannot make major decisions like changing access in a significant way.


I am not sure why "they" are changing their mind or why you even include your exes new partner. Your ex is making the decisions, maybe that is a better approach.
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2020, 10:41 AM
rhender rhender is offline
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Default How much is too much continued...

Is this too much?


I received a call from my child's coach (he plays high level competitive sports) that a female called the president of the association to complain about my son being on the team. She said if my son is allowed to continue playing on the team than she will not allow her son to re-enroll. She said my son is a covid concern because of where he visits his dad and that he has had to quarantine (not true). She did not identify herself but the president had the phone number. The coach and the rest of the coaching staff tried to identify the woman based on the team phone numbers but could not. The coach then called me and told me the association has no concern with my child still playing on the team and provided me the number to see if I could identify it. The phone number matched my kids step mom.


She was actively trying to get my child kicked off his sports team, pretending to be another parent, and there is proof and witnesses. The coach followed up with the rest of the coaching staff and president to let them know that the complaint was not from another player's parent and was my son's step mom.


How much do we need to show that the high conflict behaviour is damaging to the children?


There is a pattern of covert high conflict behaviour throughout the year and especially around holidays and vacations, so I am not surprised. It is just with this example, others got to see it first hand.
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Old 12-19-2020, 01:40 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Have you said anything to your ex about it?
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2020, 02:44 PM
rhender rhender is offline
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Not yet. The kids are at his house for 6 days for the holidays and I am concerned she will rage, create drama and emotionally abuse the kids while they are there. Not sure how and when to respond. I am meeting with my lawyer after the holiday and we could include this in the next letter. I also had the coach send me a written description of the events. He is a police officer, so has some knowledge of family law.
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  #9  
Old 12-20-2020, 11:22 AM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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There isnt anything you can do unless your ex grows a spine. Leave it be and advise people to ignore her calls. She will ruin her husbands relationship with his kids and the only person to blame is him!
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2020, 04:24 PM
Stillbreathing Stillbreathing is offline
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You could ask a family
Court judge for a restraining order prohibiting her from contacting your children’s school, sports teams, doctors, etc although the courts are reluctant to grant such an order. I did actually get a restraining order against my first husband’s girlfriend. I had asked at several case conferences for such an order and it was denied until such time that the girlfriend showed up with my ex at court one day and tried to attack me in front of the judge. I got my restraining order instantly that day. Lol.

The next weekend she was arrested because she violated the restraining order by showing up with my ex at the police station where we were exchanging the kids.

Family court judges can make busy bodies butt out via a restraining order but are generally reluctant to do so. You can always ask.
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