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Old 09-06-2018, 12:53 AM
Corona99 Corona99 is offline
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Default Dance studio/mediation question

I struggle to post here because I feel like Iíd have to type a novel to get the full story out.

I think Iíll start with just a few questions. HCBM and BF do not agree on the location of SD(10) dance studio. This has been an ongoing battle for 2 years.

She manipulated him into allowing him to let SD stay at her Studio last year by guilting him and basically making her hate her dad if he didnít allow it.

She is in Whitby. We are Newcastle. He was incredibly clear starting in August 2017 that if she didnít want the kids to change schools,(walking distance from moms) that a good compromise was a dance studio near dadís house.

Thatís not in the agreement. It just says they both have to consent to any extracurriculars.

He has to drive them to school in Whitby and pick them up every day, plus dance was there so heíd have to wait hours for SD.

So, we found a studio near dads that was great for her. Offers everything she likes, good reviews, flexibility and part time comp, 2 days a week.

School by HCBMís house, dance out by dads. Itís a reasonable compromise. So I thought.

But HCBM fought and fought all summer, ignoring emails etc.

Then she took SD to a studio by her house, and even for an audition after she was told that studio is not an option. (Its 30km from his house and 6 from hers).

So now SD is going to hate him because she wants to go there now because Mommy likes it there, and now sheís found friends there.

Why would HCBM take her for an audition there and promote that studio to SD when he had already specifically told her it wasnít an option?

Now she will hate him!

Itís a lose lose for us and SD.

We canít afford the gas and cost of dance, he lives in his car driving them to activity to activity by HCBMís house.

Plus, they have no friends out here. Itís hard to make friends when you donít go to school here.

So at least if Dance was here SD would have dance friends by her dads to play with. She needs that. Sheís here 50% of the time.

But HCBM refuses. Says heís awful and is being unreasonable etc etc and more nasty things.

She just doesnít want to have to drive out here. She likes everything being 5 min from her home and work. Itís convenient.

But itís not for us. At all.

All she needs to do is take maybe 20-30 min off work once a week (on average).

But she is refusing and saying itís not in SDís best interest.

Thereís more but Iím exhausted from crying all night because I donít know what to do. She bullied him last year. Now sheís doing it again.

We begged her that if she wasnít going to agree to a studio by his house to please take him to mediation or court or whatever it was she needed to do, but we asked her to do it months ago so at least there was a chance it would be resolved before the dance season started.

Registration was this week.

And sheís now said, absolutely not, Iím not driving out there and now sheís demanding mediation.

We/he have given in on so much, tailoring the custody schedule around her requests for days without the kids, demanding 50% of her weekends without the kids. BF either works 16 hour days or has the kids. He doesnít get days off at all.

Can she force him to mediation?

I thought it was voluntary and non binding.

If he just does not consent and mediation fails, then what? She just doesnít dance?

Does she have to take him to court?

At this point I feel like weíd rather just have her take him to court. We have bent over backwards for her and done everything for these kids.

But all we get is viscous anger and vindictiveness and a fight over every single little thing.

We are heartbroken that SD canít dance now, but we canít do what HCBM is demanding, nor is it fair to us or SD.

Thoughts? Help? Experience?

Now what?

Thank you for reading. 💔😔

Last edited by Corona99; 09-06-2018 at 01:33 AM. Reason: Sp
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:10 AM
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blinkandimgone blinkandimgone is offline
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Perhaps the break from dance will be good for all of you as it seems to be creating a substantial amount of stress, especially for the child. She's 10 years old. Maybe take the opportunity for her to try another activity in your area on your time just for fun with zero expectation that mom will take her on her time. I would avoid bringing it up to her altogether.

There is somewhat of a precedence of children attending activities in their home district, typically defined by where they go to school. Not to mention status quo of having attended there already. IMO, if this went to court, it's unlikely that dad would win.

If its that big of a deal, dad does not need to request that mom take him to mediation or court, dad can initiate it himself. But again, going to court over a 10 year olds dance classes is a but much, incredibly cost prohibitive so maybe just skip dance, or put her in the school near you since your agreement indicates that the location is to be near dad's. Keep in mind that if this is something the child is wanting to pursue longterm, chances are in a few years she will be adament about attending in her school district with her regular friends from school and the area, you'll be fighting this battle again in a short time.
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:22 AM
Corona99 Corona99 is offline
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😬 She would LOSE HER MIND skipping a year!

Yes you are totally right, the break would be good for everyone.

Sheís in competitive dance. Itís $10,000 a year. It consumes her life. (Which was why we wanted a more flexible studio and closer to us)
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:15 AM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Who moved? That is the biggest question. If dad moved then he has to suck it up regardless of how he feels. He can fight it but mom will always involve the kid making it worse.
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Old 09-06-2018, 08:29 AM
denbigh denbigh is offline
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That it my thought too. Who moved? Did mom move away and change schools? If so I would never have agreed to the school change. Did you move away? If so it is entirely reasonable for you to be the one doing all the driving . Moving back is an idea. It sounds like it’s 30 minutes away. 30 minute commute to work is entirely reasonable. The problem is it’s not clearly in the agreement what you are going to do about these issues. Dad can take it to court just as easily as mom. But going to court over a dance studio? It sounds like you all need better boundaries. You don’t have to change your schedule for all her requests. I wouldn’t do that unless it was some special rare situation, like a family wedding. Then in your parenting time you decide if you are driving to dance or not.
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:47 PM
Corona99 Corona99 is offline
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If only we had a time machine. 😔

They both wanted the house. Heís a woodworker and spent 100ís of hours custom making things in that house. It broke his heart to let it go, but he let her keep it for the kids.

Itís been the biggest mistake of his life and it seems like heís going to pay over and over again for trying to be nice. They should have sold and both had to move.

Heís in the GTA, and it was during that really bad real estate time last May. He tried to buy 6 houses in the same neighbourhood and lost every single one, ever offering $100,000 over asking.

The only place he could afford to buy that wasnít in a ďbad areaĒ where it wouldnít be safe for the kids to play outside was 30 min east.

So yes, he drives them to and from school every day, it sucks but it is what it is.

But all the kids extracurriculars are all 5-10 min from her house now. The kids walk to and from school - she doesnít even have to be home.

For dance, she drops SD off around the corner and then goes back to work or home to make dinner, then picks her up a few hours later.

Same for SS and his after school stuff. He just changed schools as he started high school but he can still walk to moms.

The kids need a social network out here. They are not happy at dads because their friends arenít here.

But itís incredibly hard to make friends when you donít go to school here. We tried by taking them to the park and putting them in camps etc but itís hard.

If dance was out here for them, they would make friends out here. They are here 50% of the time. They should feel like this is Home too and be happy out here.

If he takes them to dance itís too far to come home and then back - plus we are going broke with the cost of gas and racking up 1000ís of kms, so heís stuck for 3 hours - always over dinner, in the car. Thereís only so many chores you can do or trips to Costco while he waits.

Thereís work to be done at home, laundry, cleaning, dinners, etc - but heís stuck waiting for her.

I just feel it would be reasonable if their studio was closer to dads house.

It would be so much better for them and him. He feels like a taxi driver, not a dad.

The sons activities are still right by her house.

All it would mean for the ex is 4-5 times a month, sheíd have to drive them to dance 25 min away. Isnít that a reasonable compromise?

Itís just frustrating to see him, heís exhausted and struggling financially too with the amount of driving.

He didnít want to move out here but he needed to get out of living in her basement. Sheís emotionally abusive and incredibly vindictive and manipulative and heís still in counselling to deal with years of that. He canít even barely speak in her presence. Heís learning to stand up for himself and that he is allowed to have an opinion on what is best for his kids, but itís hard.
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Old 09-06-2018, 06:11 PM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is online now
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As much as it sucks Dad will most likely lose this one as he is the one who moved away. Even if it was only 30 min he made that choice. His daughter has been in that dance studio before so her changing to benefit dad isnít reasonable. I get it... my step kids are 1.5 hours away... we signed them up for baseball in our area and understand Mom may not always bring them on her time during the summer months... usually my husband drives the 1.5 hours to pick up the kids, back to their sport and then back to moms... we make the sacrifices for the children. During the winter my SD plays a sport which is every Saturday game and Sunday practice. So every weekend we are driving at least 1.5 hours... they are only kids for so long. As a parent who moved itís not up to the children or the ex to accommodate you.

Sign the kids up for activities in your area... it doesnít have to be dance. Moving her dance is no different than doing another activity on only your time. Unfortunately they arenít going to become best friends with people they only see during an activity. Their friends are their classmates.

I would seriously consider moving back to the area if Dad wants to be more involved without the extra costs or driving. You and dad can commute for work and then the children get to stay where they are. The children are getting older, when they hit teens and get jobs then what is dad going to do? He is going to end up losing time with his kids because of jobs and friends. Make the changes now.

I say this knowing full well in the next couple years we wonít see my step son as much due to him wanting to get a job. For us moving closer isnít possible for a multitude of reasons, but if we were only 30 min away we would probably have a different opinion. Unfortunately our jobs are not available in the area the kids are as they are specific to the nuclear industry

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Old 09-06-2018, 06:30 PM
Corona99 Corona99 is offline
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She already agreed to change dance studios, but she chose one even closer to her.

He canít afford to move back. He bought this house at a $150,000 loss already.

And our commute to work is 1.5 hours each way already. 😔
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:32 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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I feel your ex's pain on the commute and the kid being in competitive dance. My D13 has been competitive for 7 years now.

Your issue is that the ex has status quo in her favour. The child has been going to the studio for years now (at least 2 from what I read), and that means something. My ex registered my daughter into dance (rec) when she was 3 at the studio down the street from her house, and me being 30 minutes away. I had to drive back and forth. After a couple moves (me) dance became 45 minutes away. The ex has not moved further, making dance about 50 minutes away. Luckily she dances now only on days when she is with the ex.

I understand the bonds that the child has made with the dance company, as mine did too. She was there more then home for the past couple years.

You can try and mediate this, but I think there is no way your BF comes out unscathed. The child won't be happy leaving her friends that she made over the past few years, because it inconveniences him. My daughter was terrified when she had to switch studios this year.

Over the years, I sucked it up. The difference for me is that I have EOW, so I wasn't impacted by weekdays, so it is hard for me to suggest doing the same.

Not sure what he can do, but I do know that no matter what he does, someone won't be happy.
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