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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 04-12-2018, 04:48 PM
NeverGreen NeverGreen is offline
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Default Differences between non custodial and custodial access

Good afternoon everyone,

I knew a can of worms would open when I approached regarding increasing my access.

I travel for work sometimes, unfortunately my employer sometimes only gives me 3-5 days notice I am to travel (I have discussed this with them and they have said they will give me more time going forward), which can cause some discrepancies for visitation. I have always given as much time as possible to childs mother if I can not use my parenting time. Normally I can give a week, sometimes 2, however there have certainly been times where less was offered (court order states I am to inform her 'immediately' if I cannot use my time)

She had approached me a few weeks back about possibly taking our child for 5 days in a row so she could potentially take a trip. I asked her for a months notice if possible to ensure I can take our child and will not have to travel that week.

She has come back stating that i am being unfair as I only give her 3 days at times and she should be able to do the same.

I explained that it isnt an apples to apples comparison, for instance missing one 3 hour visit a week is a different story than taking a child for 5 days. I dont have a built in support network like she does (lives with her parents) and ultimately she doesnt travel for work.

That said I do see the inconsistency in the logic, however I thought it was also slightly different for non custodial parents than for custodial parents in the same mannerism that if a non custodial parent chooses to move away they are able to do so, whereas a custodial parent cannot just up and move.

Can anyone shed some light on this for me? Am I out of line with this?
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2018, 05:25 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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I think you are out of line.

first you say that your company only gives you 3 to 5 days notice (I realize you said going forward they will give you more time so obviously they could of given you more notice before) Then you say you would like a months notice from your ex to make sure you are not travelling for work. All this time you could have been giving her a months notice when you have to travel.

I would say give it to her this time and going forward you offer the same courtesy. You give her a months notice when you have to travel.
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Old 04-12-2018, 05:59 PM
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It has nothing to do with the type of access you have, and everything to do with the type of job you have.


No single parent can easily maintain a job that requires travel with less than a week's notice, not without a good support network. You are treating your ex like a default support network, which is no longer her role since the relationship ended. If you expect her to rearrange her life to take the child when you are supposed to have parenting time, the least you can do is give her notice well in advance. She's probably quite annoyed at the situation, and demonstrating how unreasonable it is by turning it around on you.



This situation is also unfair to you and your child. You are treating your child like a second priority to your job, and treating yourself like a secondary parent by assuming that your ex should drop everything to look after the child on your time whenever needed. And aren't you asking for more parenting time? How do you expect to be viewed as an equal parent by your ex and a court if you don't view yourself as one?



What would you do about your job if your ex was unable to take the child when you had to travel? What if it was long-term, like if your ex died or something? Whatever you would do in that case is what you should do for any amount of parenting time you currently have, and want to increase to in the future.
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:35 PM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is offline
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To answer your question you are correct that if a non custodial parent doesnít want to exercise their parenting time they donít have to and that responsibility falls on the custodial parent.

However in your situation you want to suck and blow at the same time. You want more parenting time but donít exercise the time you have. That doesnít look very good on you. I understand finding other suitable employment isnít always easy but if you canít exercise your current parenting time because of your job then why seek an increase?


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Old 04-12-2018, 10:29 PM
kate331 kate331 is offline
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I agree that your using your ex as your babysitter during your parenting time. What I think you need to do, especially since you want increased access, is to work on making your own support system. Is your family near by? Can paternal Grandparents offer support?

Since your going to be making a new agreement perhaps offer her first right of refusal to your child should you have to travel, then hire a Nanny if she cant accommodate having the child.

Recently at a Motion for section 7 expenses, it was ordered that if my ex couldnt take the kids on his time, a Nanny would be hired at $20.00 from 6:00 am until 10:00 pm, then $15.00 from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:52 PM
NeverGreen NeverGreen is offline
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I didnt think I was out of line but it looks like the common consensus is that I am so I will certainly factor that into the situation going forward.

I work for a company that is currently restructuring and was giving me very limited notice on travelling, I was getting 3-5 days notice, not a month....I have discussed this with them and they will be giving me more notice going forward because I explained that this is hard on the parenting schedule.

I am asking for more parenting time, this is true, but I was also hoping to get it so it was all on one week so I could use the other week to travel and try to sort this out a bit because I was aware that it was hard on her having no notice.

The only reason I asked her for a months notice was that way if my work was giving me a months notice I could take account of both schedules and make it work for both work and her, perhaps I wasnt clear.

This broaches another question then; what is a better/more appropriate way to handle things going forward if I dont get much notice from my company? Unfortunately travel is a part of what I do and that wont change so this situation will happen again (hopefully with a lot more than 3-5 days notice). I certainly dont want to treat her like a babysitter, however our court order doesnt provide any instruction as to who can use my parenting time if I cant, hence why I was saying I couldnt use it.

Any tips to help me handle this better in the future?

Thanks for the insight,
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:59 PM
NeverGreen NeverGreen is offline
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Im just going to note too that for the bulk of travelling occaisions I didnt miss any time, we agreed I wouldnt pick child up on scheduled night and would take him on another date to make up for the lost time prior to travelling.
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverGreen View Post
I certainly dont want to treat her like a babysitter, however our court order doesnt provide any instruction as to who can use my parenting time if I cant, hence why I was saying I couldnt use it.

Any tips to help me handle this better in the future?

Get a backup plan in place. Pretend your ex is dead and you had 100% of the parenting to do. What arrangements would you make when you had to unexpectedly travel for work?


Some people, if they get along well enough, have what's called a Right of First Refusal. That means that if you can't take the children during your parenting time, your ex would be the first person you ask about taking them, before making other arrangements.


Is that what you have going on? It sounds like your ex feels incapable of saying no, no matter what hassle it causes her. Maybe you just need to rephrase your requests.


Instead of saying something like "I'm out of town for work later this week, I can't take the kids," which has an unspoken implication of "I expect you to pick up my slack," say something like "I have to travel for work later this week, would you like them extra time, or should I arrange sleepovers for them with such-and-such friends?"


Stop taking her automatic presence for granted, and start treating your needs as an imposition on her. How many times do you think she may have made plans on her precious kid-free time that she had to cancel, or pay a babysitter so she could attend? Or do you think maybe she doesn't even bother trying to have a personal life because of your needs?
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:21 PM
kate331 kate331 is offline
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This job may have worked well while you were together, but its not going to work if you are hoping for a 50/50 schedule. . Your putting the cart before the horse asking for more time when you don't have suitable babysitting back up without relying on the other parent.

If this end ups in court, I can see a Judge leaving the status quo, because of your job. Even if you hire a Nanny, she can argue that the child should be with a parent.

I'd be looking for a new job.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:37 PM
Links17 Links17 is offline
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The advice here is solid.
-as a non-custodial parent you have 0 obligation to the child
-If you want to become a custodial parent you have to prove that you can take care of the kids 99% of the time they are in your care without relying on your ex.

Those are the goals, do whatever you can to get there or don't bother asking for shared.
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