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  #1  
Old 11-20-2019, 02:36 PM
tonytwist tonytwist is offline
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Default Feeling helpless and hopeless

I've been a member of this board for a couple of weeks and haven't made a formal introduction yet.

I'm 46, been divorced for 7 years and am the NCP of a 13 year old daughter. We spend every other weekend during the school year together, half of Christmas break and 3 weeks during summer vacation.

In years past, I've asked for an increase in access in the form of an extra week in the summer as well as some way to stay connected during the times our daughter and I are apart whether it be a phone call, text message or FaceTime. All were flat out denied by my ex with accusations that our daughter doesn't enjoy being with me, that I don't know how to parent, her homework is a mess when done at my place, etc. Our daughter has never told me she is unhappy spending time with me and actively participates in planning activities and events for her next visit. I sought the consult of two lawyers and both concluded that the next step was to go to court. I did not want to put our daughter through the process so I dropped my requests.

Fast forward to present day and my ex has been increasingly infringing upon the little time that I do have with our daughter. First there were an overwhelming number of birthday parties with sleepovers that seemed to fall on my access times. I was put in a situation where I could not say no but at least a make up date was provided. This has continued but now my ex is uncooperative with make up dates. She claims our daughter is old enough now to decide what she wants and should not be bound to the access schedule in our separation agreement. Easy for her to say considering she spends at least 90% of the time with our daughter. Next comes the various appointments that again conveniently fall on my access times of which I have no problem taking our daughter to. But that too is denied stating our daughter wants mom to take her and for me to stop being difficult. WTH?

I can't help but feel our daughter is slipping away from me and it scares me to death. This fear has lead to me to agree to things like taking out a line of credit to put our daughter through private school, paying extra for expenses that should fall under CS, and the like in hopes I will and can be a continued presence in her life.

I am now at a crossroads. Do I not rock the boat and let our relationship continue to deteriorate or go the court route and chance accelerate pushing our daughter away from me? I know that if push came to shove, our daughter will tow her mother's line. My ex knows this as well and has an open invitation for me to see her in court. The guilt of not having fought harder for equal custody but instead taking the high road in hopes that my ex's stance would soften over time eats away at me constantly. I've never felt so helpless and hopeless.
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2019, 03:13 PM
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Janus Janus is offline
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If you went to court, what kind of order would you seek? Your daughter is 13, has been living with her mom, and sees you EOW. You will not get anything extra from the court. Save your money, that ship sailed years ago.

I would also stop paying for silly things. You won't get any points for giving money to the mother. Save your money and spend it directly on your daughter on experiences that you both enjoy.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:22 PM
tonytwist tonytwist is offline
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Court is not something I want to proceed with. However, my ex constantly threatens me with it. One of the silly things she wanted me to pay for was our daughter's commute to and from school. This expense falls under CS but she threatened that if I did not pay my share, she would contact her lawyer and take me to court and I would have to pay for her legal fees. I panicked and paid. Pathetic, I know. I also worried that she would retaliate by further infringing on my access.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:33 PM
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Court is not happening. You are not bringing her to court, she is not bringing you to court. Next time she threatens you, come to the forum before you panic.

The infringing is a tough spot. Mom will continue to infringe no matter what you do. The courts will not stop it from happening. Your only hope is to create a relationship with your daughter, but that is tough because you are a non-custodial parent.

My advice: Stop talking to mom. She's better at this game than you. Plan something awesome every single weekend with daughter. Use all the money you are saving by not caving in to mom's financial demands. Cottage vacations! Plays! Art classes!

When mom says she has an appointment, you say "I wish you had warned me in advance. Alas, we are going to the cottage/see a play/see grandparents/camping/hiking/take an art class/going to Niagara Falls/etc. so daughter will be unable to make the appointment."
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:48 PM
tonytwist tonytwist is offline
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No argument from me on that count. My soft spot is my daughter and she's master at manipulating it.
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:19 PM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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at 13 you should be able to decide with your daughter what you are doing on your time together. Do you communicate with her during the week? there is no reason for mom to be intervening at all, that is your time and the court would reem her out for booking appointments on your time when they could easily be booked on her 90% of the time.

avoid talking with her at all and talk to your kid. I doubt there are all these birthday parties happening. My kid is 13 too and nobody had a party this year. Mom is trying to manipulate and you are falling for it. focus on your time with your daughter and ignore her. She must have substantial change to take you back to court and it sounds like she doesn't
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:12 PM
tonytwist tonytwist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billiechic View Post
at 13 you should be able to decide with your daughter what you are doing on your time together. Do you communicate with her during the week? there is no reason for mom to be intervening at all, that is your time and the court would reem her out for booking appointments on your time when they could easily be booked on her 90% of the time.

avoid talking with her at all and talk to your kid. I doubt there are all these birthday parties happening. My kid is 13 too and nobody had a party this year. Mom is trying to manipulate and you are falling for it. focus on your time with your daughter and ignore her. She must have substantial change to take you back to court and it sounds like she doesn't
Our daughter and I go through 11 days without any contact after our weekends together. Early on after the divorce, I tried calling but was given excuses that our daughter was tired or busy or sleeping. My ex wore me down and since then I haven't called anymore. I send our daughter a quick email every day for the past 2 years but she has admitted that she does not have time or forgets to read them. Maybe one day she will.

So this morning I got a message from her mother that from January to March, I need to drop our daughter back at her place by 11:30am on Sundays that I have access in order for her to take our daughter to swimming and catechism classes. I have also offered to take our daughter to appointments, classes, etc. during the times that she is with me but am rebuffed with our daughter's preference is for mom to take her, she's old enough to decide what she wants and to stop making their lives difficult.

I've gone from seeing our daughter 2.5 days every 2 weeks to 1.5. I'm beyond frustrated and talking with my kid is pretty much pointless. I've tried in the past and she just tows the line and does whatever her mother says.

I've made an appointment to see a lawyer (my third in the last 4 years) in the new year to see if there's anything I can do. My access has been steadily declining during the past 2-3 years and my fear is one day soon I won't see her at all.
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:21 PM
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I would tell the ex that your time ends at 6 pm (or whatever time it does) and you will either take her to the activities yourself or she can schedule them on her time and you will keep her with you.

Or tell her you want make up time but you will not be giving up your parenting time with the child.

Don’t let it happen. If she tells you child is old enough your response is this is denial of parenting time and she is not old enough to decide not to spend time with her father. That you are perfectly capable of driving her where she needs to go. You keep her with you on the sunday and take her to the event.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonytwist View Post
I've made an appointment to see a lawyer (my third in the last 4 years) in the new year to see if there's anything I can do. My access has been steadily declining during the past 2-3 years and my fear is one day soon I won't see her at all.
Assume that you go to court. You ex does not show up and the judge says "what order would you like me to make?"

What would you request? Your ex is not there so the judge will write down whatever you want.

Will this order be effective? Do you see it changing anything?

Then remember that your odds of getting that order are almost zero. Going to a lawyer is not a good plan, you have nothing.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:51 AM
JAAJ2016 JAAJ2016 is offline
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I agree completely with Rockscan. You just stick to the original agreement. Why is she asking for favours when all she has done is try to alienate you from your daughter?
Has anything improved from last month? What did you agree?
It sounds like your ex is a bit of a bully. But for bullying to happen, the bully has to have real or perceived power over the person they are bullying. What is her 'power'? Just the access?
Don't necessarily go to the know, but KNOW the law. And then enforce your agreement within your means.
Your daughter is going through a lot of stuff now. 13 is crazy. She's just centering on her own life. Be there for her and yeah, sometimes whether she likes it or not. She doesn't have the emotional or intellectual capacity to make good decisions that consider potential impacts. That's your job. Keep her close and when it feels hopeless, just keep on doing what you're doing. One day at a time. It's for a good cause.
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