SPARC Forums

Main Forums => Visitation Issues => Topic started by: FireFighterDAD on Feb 18, 2011, 09:12:17 AM

Title: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: FireFighterDAD on Feb 18, 2011, 09:12:17 AM
I posted here in the past and gotten so great help.  For some reason my account wouldn't work and I had to register again.  Anyway, my ex wife is again refusing to follow the C&V order.  It's a very clear cut order.  I get 2 weekends per month and the visitation schedule is to be created around my work schedule because, as a firefighter, there are only 2 weekends per month that I do not have to work.  I understand this can be frustrating for my ex wife but it's the job I've had all of my life, which includes all of our married life (20+ years) so she does understand that my schedule is not my choice.  She has access to my schedule more than a year in advance.
 
She wrote to "inform" me that she will be taking our son to Florida on vacation in May 2011 (he is 13 and school is in session) and she is taking him over the 2 weekends that I would be able to have him for visitation, which means I would not get to see him at all in May.
 
Per the order we each get 2 vacations per year with him--Summer for 10-14 days and "Other" for 7-8 days.  She states in an email that she is using "10 of her 14 days."  The problem for her is that summer vacation's start and end dates have to be agreed upon by both parties.  I do not agree to her dates as they would prevent me from having visitation.  The "other" vacation would mean that she would have to return with our son in time for me to have one of my visitations--that is why the judge wrote it that way.
 
I'm willing to compromise and give up one of my weekends, but not both.  My ex wife wants it all her way and won't agree to that.
 
My counsel has advised me that my ex wife will be found guilty of violating the order (she has been found guilty before).  He has also advised me not to let her run up my bill by having her counsel contact him over and over (that has happened before too).  She asked for his info to send to her counsel and I told her to send it to me and I would consult with my counsel if necessary.
 
I am really hoping this is the LAST time we have to return to court over something that is so clear cut.  My ex wife keeps saying that the order is "just a suggestion."  I respectfully disagree--it is a legally binding document.  I am so tired of this.  The stress is not anything that anyone needs and I always hear from my children when something like this comes up so I know that she is sharing with them.  Sigh...
 
FFD
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: Kitty C. on Feb 18, 2011, 09:58:52 AM
'My ex wife keeps saying that the order is "just a suggestion."
 
If you go back to court on this issue, make DAMN sure the judge is aware of this comment by her............I'm sure he will remind her that it certainly is NOT a suggestion.
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: sillystring on Feb 18, 2011, 10:19:45 AM
Haha, my husband's ex also thinks the court order is "just a suggestion". I thought she was the only one...
 
I hope that this last court date works out for you and the judge sets her straight. Our last hearing is on the 28th of this month so I'm hoping for the same.
 
Will you be able to get a court hearing BEFORE she actually violates the order or will you have to wait until she actually does it and then file contempt?
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: FireFighterDAD on Feb 18, 2011, 10:41:05 AM
Kitty, me ex wife actually had the nerve to laugh in the face of one judge.  That judge put a 24 hour jail term in place should my ex be found guilty of violation the order again.
 
SS, my new counsel is pretty wise and has found a way (will post details after to help others, don't want TMI out there in case she reads here) to address this prior to the actual denial.
 
Our order is clear cut and I am even willing to give up one of my weekends so the fact that my ex won't accept that and wants it all her way should shed some light on her general attitude towards my visitation.
 
Thanks for the replies.  I really DO NOT enjoy any of this, despite having a strong case in my favor.  To my way of thinking a document that spells it all out in black and white is pretty simple to follow--especially when one party (me) is willing to compromise.
 
FFD
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: Kitty C. on Feb 18, 2011, 01:08:24 PM
'Kitty, me ex wife actually had the nerve to laugh in the face of one judge.  That judge put a 24 hour jail term in place should my ex be found guilty of violation the order again.'
 
Pray you get the same judge.............she may end up spending a day of her 'vacation' behind bars.........
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: gemini3 on Feb 18, 2011, 01:38:40 PM
I hope so too!  Sounds like someone thinks that nothing will really happen to her if she violates the order.  Unfortunately, that's the case in so many of these situations.  There has to be some sort of sanction for people like this.
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: ocean on Feb 18, 2011, 03:41:36 PM
You should not be giving up ANY weekend but you can offer to SWITCH weekends instead.
With us: PB shook her head when they were going over holidays and judge asked her why and she said "they are not waking up for christmas at his house ever" ..he told her "both of you are the parents and they will stay with him, go out in the hall and talk to your lawyer before I give him every christmas". This was before me, but DH has the transcript and I could not believe that was in there.

I would LOVE to know what your lawyer did, so please let us know after your case. We have severe PAS with skids and she only got a slap on the wrist when she denies visits.
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: FireFighterDAD on Feb 19, 2011, 08:55:39 AM
Ocean, I promise that as soon as this is over I will be back to post all details of how my lawyer is swinging this.  I'll admit that when he told me about his plan I was a little annoyed that my first two lawyers never brought it up as an option.  My first two lawyers didn't seem to understand how much missed visitation hurts, particularly when it means things like I wouldn't see my son for 7 weeks.
 
I will admit to not liking my ex wife at this point--too many nasty things have been done toward me.  Despite that I try to, and have, compromised many, many times so that she can keep her plans.  I do that because I know she tells our kids (the 14 year old and the older two--who are of legal age) everything and puts a very pro-her spin on it.  My kids DO NOT need that.
 
My daughter actually told me that my ex wife told her to tell the GAL (my daughter was 16 at the time of the divorce) that she would "run away" if she had to live with me.  My lawyer told me that if a child says that it pretty much ensures that the child won't be placed with the parent they threaten to run away from and my ex wife's lawyer would have known that.
 
Sad, sad, sad.
 
I really look foward to the day when my youngest son turns 18 and all of what happens between us will be just between us!
 
FFD
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: stressedoutmom on Feb 28, 2011, 02:13:09 PM
I truly don't understand people sometimes.  You have been a firefighter for this long I don't understand how she doesn't understand that your schedule is not just going to magically change.  My DD's father is a firefighter so I completely understand the scheduling.  I've heard so many times that her dad should be having her every other weekend and one night a week.  But there is no point of DD being at his house for an entire weekend when he is working 24 hrs of the weekend.  When I had our decree written up he was not seeing DD at all.  But I had the decree written to say 1 night per week and e/o weekend or equivalent days depending on his schedule.  At that point I did not know if he would ever start seeing her or not but I made sure that it was put in writting so no matter how mad at him I got I would still have to follow what's best for DD. 
 
I can't wait to hear what your lawyer has in store for your ex.  I hope all works out in your favor!
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: FireFighterDAD on Mar 08, 2011, 04:30:49 PM
Thank you for being understanding about the schedule of a fellow firefighter.  Do we WANT to work 2 weekends a month?  Nope, not most of us anyway.  It's just part of the job.  We were married for 17 years so she knows what it's like and that getting leave is not easy, particularly over a weekend.  With what she's planning she's in clear violation of the order and although I doubt the jail time she was threatened with will every come into play (and I actually don't want it to) she may face a rather hefty fine which would hopefully stop her from thinking that the order is only in place when it works in her favor but it's just a suggestion when it doesn't work in her favor.  I have many emails where she is rude and shows her true colors.  When I point out that she's violating the order because it actually states "visitation is to be created around father's work schedule" she says that the dates for her plans are "set and final" and she tells me "to take leave" if I want to see my son.  This is one unhappy woman.  She doesn't know it but her current husband's (she met him online and had only known him 5 months when they married--3rd marriage for her) ex-wife contacted me on facebook to let me know some things about him and about my ex-wife.  What a huge, drama filled mess.  I'm beginning to think that drama is my ex-wife's drug of choice.  I know attention is.  :(
 
FFD
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: ocean on Mar 08, 2011, 05:19:43 PM
Do you have a court date yet or letting the her deny first?
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: FireFighterDAD on Mar 08, 2011, 11:45:29 PM
She has denied visitation for an entire month in writing several times already so we are going to court for a clarification and for denied visitation.  Since all communication is court ordered to be via email I have many emails from her that are not going to look good on her part.  I am willing to compromise but not give up all of my visitation for that month.  She is not willing to compromise at all.  My counsel is confident that the judge will see that she's not only violating the order but does not feel that it pertains to her--only to me.  She pretty much states that.  We'll see what happens.  I'm not getting my hopes set on anything but I do feel pretty confident.
 
FFD
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: stressedoutmom on Mar 10, 2011, 09:49:50 AM
I do hope that everything works out for you.  You shouldn't have to take leave to have visitation with yuor child.  Hearing stories like yours really makes me appreciate that DD's father and I are able to get along with each other for the most part.  We've had some bumps in the road but have gotten through them and now we are able to work together rather well.  I wish it could be that way for everyone because it really is in the best interest of the children.  Some adults can't put their own feelings aside in order to see what's best.  Your child needs you both and its a shame she can't see that.  The firefighter schedule does take some getting used to but you would think she was used to it by now since you were married for 17 years.  I've gotten used to it in a much shorter time than that.  My biggest frustration is that DD's father has his schedule for the whole year but refuses to give it to me more than a month at a time.  He does some training and other things on his days off so when he gives me his schedule for the month he factors in those things.  We've run in to a few conflicts when I plan things with DD that are special events like circus and things of that nature that you have to buy tickets for in advance.  Since he only gives me a month at a time when I buy those tickets I just have to pick a day that works for me.  If he would give me his schedule for the whole year I would pick a day that I know he is working so there won't be a conflict.  But luckily he is understanding and we work through it.  I'm trying to give him some extra days this month since I had to cancel some visits last month since DD and I were out of town since my dad passed away.  If the weather here would have been more cooperative I wouldn't have cancelled them.  Luckily he was very understanding.
 
I hope the judge can help your ex to understand the rules of the court order apply to everyone.  Good Luck!  Make sure to keep us posted on the outcome.
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: FireFighterDAD on Mar 10, 2011, 11:18:05 AM
You will get a kick out of this--I have an online link to my shift schedule.  It shows when I work up to a year in advance.  I have sent the link to my ex many, many times so that she can use it to help plan.  I was originally submitting 2 months at a time so that my ex could plan ahead if she wanted to.  She refused to accept that and insisted that I only submit 1 month at a time so that's what I do now but I do send my request 60 days in advance so that she can still plan ahead.
 
I wish she could be as understanding as you are about a firefighter's schedule.  I have tried to be flexible when there is something that my son wants to do.  I have even gone as far as taking leave in the past to change to accomodate my ex's requests but that is not always something that I can't do.  If leave doesn't get approved I have no choice.  I don't want to get fired and if she thinks about it she really shouldn't want me to get fired either.
 
I hope that it all works out.  I'm just so tired of the same circles.  Life is too short to make problems where there shouldn't be any problems.
 
Thanks so much for your support everyone.  It's great to have a place to go where people really "get" how hard this is to deal with.
 
FFD
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: stressedoutmom on Mar 10, 2011, 01:29:29 PM
I would love to have an link to the schedule!  That would be awesome.  And he made mention that he has access to it online for year in advance but he's not sharing it with me.  I plan a girl trip with my best friend every year and I would like to plan it during his set off.  But right now I don't know when his set off is.  So since I'm just going to give him some dates and then he can look it up and tell me what works best for him. 
 
I don't want to get fired and if she thinks about it she really shouldn't want me to get fired either.
You are exactly right.  You are probably obligated to pay her child support and I'm sure she wants to continue receiving that so it would be best for her if you kept your job.  Per our order DD's father pays me child support and a portion of her child care expenses.  Per the order he is supposed to reimburse me within two weeks of when I give him the receipt.  He never does and in our state they can suspend driver's license and professional licenses if people get so far behind.  I realized that it wasn't in my best interests to pursue it because #1 he does pay me eventually just on his terms and #2 right now he is on a med unit so if he can't drive or has his professional license suspended he could lose his job and then wouldn't be able to pay child support.  So I just let it go and know that instead of paying me for a month at at time he'll write me one big check for 4 months at a time. 
 
In my opinion your ex-wife is angry at you trying to get back at you the only way she knows how.  And unfortunately for you I think that if things go your way in court she is going to be even more angry.  So I do wish you luck.  I know how angry and vindictive some of us women can get. 
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: FireFighterDAD on Mar 10, 2011, 02:11:24 PM
Have you tried to Google the words "X county fire rescue shift schedule" and the name of your state?  If you were to do that with my info you'd get to the link for my shift schedule since it's posted online as part of the county's fire and rescue website.  It's worth a try.  Ours has the different shift's days in different colors so it's really easy to track the shift.
 
I agree with you that my ex is angry but do you want to know the crazy part about that?  SHE cheated on ME!  I broke into her Yahoo account and found over 60 love letters between her and the waiter from one of the local places we ate at often.  In my heart I don't believe this was her first affair.  I looked the other way far too many times when my gut told me that something was up.  This time I couldn't do it.  This guy had even been over to our house for dinner.  He was from another country and the story she sold me was that she felt sorry for him because his wife and kids were back there and he was here all alone.  I think she's angry that for once I didn't ignore what was right in front of my face--I stood up and told her that I couldn't live this way.
 
After I moved out she went through 4 guys in about 5 months, finally met one on the internet who moved from Washington state to VA 2 months after meeting her online and they were married less than 5 months later.  I've been told that I should write a book...
 
FFD
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: stressedoutmom on Mar 10, 2011, 03:03:40 PM
WOOHOO! It worked!  I had tried looking before on the city website and it wasn't there.  So I figured it was on some internal site somewhere.  But nope.  Its right on the front page of the local union website.  Thanks so much.  That makes my life much easier.  I have been just buying cirus tix or planning things based on what worked for my schedule since I didn't know his any further out.  Then when he would give me his schedule for the month I would tell him that day didn't work because we already had plans.  He has never complained or said a word about it.  But if i can schedule for DD and I to do those things on days I know he has to work then its a win-win for everyone!  Thanks a bunch!!! 
 
So she's mad that she got caught and you aren't putting up with it.  Too bad for her.  I can forgive a lot of things but cheating is not one of them.  Now its time for her to act like an adult and deal with the consequences of her actions.  But of course instead she continues to blame you and its all your fault.  That sucks.  I'm glad I don't have to deal with that.  DD;s father and I were really more friends with benefits than anything else.  Niether one of us wants to be with the other so it that aspect its easier for us to keep our own feelings out of it.  I was very angry at him that it took him 3.5 years to even meet DD.  But I had to decide if I was going to let my anger consume me or if I was going to put it aside and do what was right for DD.  Too bad your ex can't make the same decision. 
Title: Re: Heading back to court, hopefully for the last time
Post by: FireFighterDAD on Mar 10, 2011, 05:59:31 PM
I'm so glad that it worked and that it will make planning things much easier for you.
 
FFD