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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 06-24-2015, 03:42 PM
Ms.MBMom Ms.MBMom is offline
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Default Transportation

I know that child support and access are 2 separate issues, and that even though kiddo's dad chooses not to pay he has every right to spend time with our kiddo....

Background:
Child support is set up through MEP, but they are unable to collect the current obligations or the arrears as Dad works under the table. Dad's debts have continued to grow, and he's been clear he will avoid them as long as possible.

Dad was not involved much when kiddo was a baby, then cut all contact for several years. When he came back into kiddos life we gradually increased time until he was at EOW with holiday and summer time.

He cancels a lot of his time, sometimes letting me know a few days before, sometimes not telling me at all. He never tells kiddo that he's cancelling, and avoids calling/speaking to her until just before his next visit.

Kiddo and I live 3 hours away from where Dad is. This is actually an hour closer then where we once were, but the distance is still challenging. Driving is split in half, meeting at a midpoint Friday's and alternating who returns on the Sunday. That is the transportation as detailed is in our order.

Dad is remarried, and lives in the community we met in. I am single (and happy to be! ) We never lived together, and the relationship ended early in the pregnancy.

I've run into a bit of financial difficulties as of late (nothing outrageous, but with some much needed home repairs I have more bills then cash at the moment). If the arrears were caught up I wouldn't be in this position, and would have a bit of savings to boot. I've never been this tight financially. I have a good full time job, and a modest lifestyle.

There is a clause in the order that states "In the event either party will be late of unable to transport KIDDO to an exchange of care and control that party shall notify the other party at the earliest opportunity"

So...

I don't have the cash to do the driving this weekend. I spoke to Dad, shared that info, and said that while I could not make the drive this weekend he was more then welcome to come pick her up.

He yelled, and swore, called me all sorts of names and threatened me with police involvement and going back to court if I didn't drive Kiddo.

I pointed out that a number of future exchanges will be working to his benefit with summer vacation coming up and the grandparents helping facilitate transportation. Also pointed out that he's canceled 4 out of the last 5 weekends that he was to do the driving.

In the end I apologized, and said that I really couldn't do the drive this week, and that there wasn't a way around that. Also suggested again that he pick kiddo up, even suggested Kiddo take the afternoon off from school to make some extra time.

Dad ended the conversation with "If kiddo isn't there on Friday I'm calling the police"

I guess I'm looking for opinions.

Am I wrong in refusing to drive?
Should I try to borrow $, or leave something unpaid to drive?
If he were to call the police saying I'm refusing him time with kiddo (which I'm not) what is the likely outcome?
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Old 06-24-2015, 04:30 PM
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blinkandimgone blinkandimgone is offline
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Yes, you are wrong to refuse if that is your agreement. Unless it says in your agreement that it's ok for you to choose to pay your cell, Internet or other optional bills and cut out visits with dad if you run out of money. That he is not paying is irrelevant to the scheduled time for the kid. You leave something optional unpaid and get the kid to where he is supposed to be. You cannot complain in one breath that dad is not exercising his access and then complain that he is intending to.

Who moved away? If you.moved he is well within his rights to ask and expect lower costs for CS due to higher access costs for transportation. If he moved and you agrees to do some of the driving then you are on the hook to do so until you get your agreement changed.

As for arrears there are actions that can be taken to secure the money, or at least some of it including suspension of his passport and driver's license.
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Old 06-24-2015, 04:46 PM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Yes you are wrong. He is a douchebag for not paying his c/s and for making all NCP's like me look bad. But you are wrong for using money as an excuse for denying his parenting time. The fact that you touched on that "If the arrears were caught up I wouldn't be in this position" it makes it sound somewhat vindictive.

There is a solution to many of your problems here. The solution is each of you pick up the child from the other parents residence at the beginning of your parenting time. It solves the problem of you busting your butt to drive 1.5 hours to meet the ex halfway, only to find out they cancelled (it takes the wonder out of the equation as well. The ex either shows up, or they don't). It solves the ex's problems of relying on you to transport the child for their parenting time. It solves any issues with the child coming home late if your ex is late to the meeting point. Yeah, it may mean Friday pickups are a touch later, and same with the time you get home. But the time the kid is on the road doesn't change.

But yeah, you're wrong in this regard.
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:25 PM
Ms.MBMom Ms.MBMom is offline
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Thank you both for your replies!

I really wasn't intending to be/sound vindictive, but rereading that, and replaying the conversation in my head I can see how I came across that way.

HammerDad, your suggestion for pick ups would work out really well. I think that would help to prevent the cancellations on his part on the weekends that he does the majority of the driving as well.

Blink, I am the one that moved, but it was a year after he'd cut contact with us that I moved. It was for the job I'm still at, and though the distance is challenging I still believe it was the best decision for us at that time. Had Dad been involved at all at the time this job offer came I may have done things differently.
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:14 PM
The Iceberg The Iceberg is offline
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If you don't have $30 to do the drive, I wonder if the "kiddo" has her basic needs such as food etc.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:09 PM
OntarioMomma OntarioMomma is offline
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I was going to suggest the same that hammerdad suggested.
That way if he doesn't show up to pick the child up then you're not wasting time driving.
He'd have no valid reason to refuse that as you'd both be doing the same amount of driving but only once a weekend instead of twice.
There was a good point made about child support since you moved. He could/should have his amount reduced to cover his transportation costs.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:13 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms.MBMom View Post
Blink, I am the one that moved, but it was a year after he'd cut contact with us that I moved. It was for the job I'm still at, and though the distance is challenging I still believe it was the best decision for us at that time. Had Dad been involved at all at the time this job offer came I may have done things differently.
Did you get the ex's permission to relocate the child? Just because they haven't regularly exercised their parenting time doesn't mean you can move the kid away from them without their knowledge or consent.

That said, too much time has passed to change the situation. Because you moved, you should bare the burden of most the costs associated with the ex exercising their parenting time. Your decision created the problem, it should be your problem to deal with going forward. The ex appears to be cooperative and has shared the driving and the costs, notwithstanding that they shouldn't have to. I doubt they could back out now though as too much time has passed and status quo has taken hold. However, should you end up in court about c/s, the ex would have good argument for c/s to be reduced as they are incurring costs and wear & tear on their car because you moved.

The move may have benefited you, and in connection your child. But it has created this issue you are now dealing with. You and the ex will have to find some sort of common ground to make this work going forward.
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