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Main Forums => Visitation Issues => Topic started by: rhelle on Apr 25, 2011, 08:36:14 AM

Title: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 25, 2011, 08:36:14 AM
H and his ex have been debating summer visitation since early February. Summer visitation is HIS choice, based upon the divorce decree. If he and she cannot agree on dates, then visitation defaults to the dates set forth in the Standard Possession Order. After numerous arguments, he finally stated he'd be going with the dates in the SPO, and has refused to budge. (Tired of arguing, when it was his choice to begin with).
 
She threatened contempt if he did not change his dates to suit her. She then stated the children had camp during his time of possession(which per the divorce decree, she is not supposed to schedule) and so, in the best interest of the children, he should release the children to her on the dates she requested. He has refused and has finally begun ignoring her, as he's asked repeatedly that she stop with the barrage of emails. She won't stop. Still sends them anyway.
 
Well, since she couldn't win by bullying, she went after his children, telling his children that he didn't care if they went to camp or not, and that he really didn't want them to go anyway.  Thus, he spent quite some time on the phone listening to his children cry, while mom and stepdad listened in, making snide comments. (Which they are also NOT supposed to do, per the divorce decree)
 
Now, we are stuck. What exactly do you do in this situation, where mom believes it's okay to hurt her children, so long as she feels like she's "won"?
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: ocean on Apr 25, 2011, 08:43:45 AM
If she makes kids call and they start in just have him say "this is for the adults to figure out, I am not going to talk about it with you, daddy loves you and I will see you XX." and hang up.

Send her a registered/certified letter (or maybe pay a lawyer for ONE letter with same info)
Ex,
According to the court papers dated XXX, it states that when we can not agree to summer dates it defaults to XYZ. Since we are not in agreement, I will be picking up the children on XX and dropping them off on XX. It also states you are not to sign them up for camps on my parenting time. If I get any more harassing emails or phone calls regarding this issue, I will be forced to get a restraining order against you. Also, the children should not be put in the middle of adults decisions. I will be taping all future phone calls and will not discuss this issue with the children.
You

Do you think she will let the kids go on the default dates?
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 25, 2011, 08:46:55 AM
I think that she will cause as many problems as she possibly can. She has caused problems each and every time he's had the children. If it's not a barrage of text messages wanting to know his exact arrival time, it's refusing to pack the chilren appropriate clothing, or calling him crying about whatever new issue she has cooked up (as a general rule, they do not talk on the phone. 2 phone calls in the last year), or being at least a day late in picking the children up. She simply can't go by the rules. It doesn't matter. It's drama all the time.
 
 
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: ocean on Apr 25, 2011, 09:09:56 AM
He can change his cell number and let her have house number for emergencies and still let it go to voicemail and then email only. Ignore most of them, once she gets registered/certified letter in mail, ignore again or ONE time "sticking with the court order dates as in the letter, thanks" then ignore, ignore and more ignoring.

Hard when she puts kids in the middle. Depending on the ages, you can talk to them the next time you see them. Short conversation that mom and dad did not agree so a judge decided and we follow that paper. If they are a little older they can be shown that part of the decree. If they are with you for summer visit a few weeks, you can plan on town week long camps by you (half days to keep them busy and meet friends by you...).
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 25, 2011, 09:14:08 AM
The kids are 13, 10, 9, and 7.
 
We won't see them again until June, which I believe is the biggest issue. As it stands, the last time we saw them was November, so he's going 6 months plus without seeing his kids...and she's throwing a fit over a few days.
 
Of course, the kids could GO to camp, if she'd just be reasonable. We'd gladly back the schedule up a week so the kids could go, but she won't do that. She simply wants to limit his time.
 
The oldest daughter has stated she does not WANT to go to camp here, so with regard to that, we're stuck. I think it would be great for her, actually, because she could establish frienships here, but it doesn't appear to be going that way.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 25, 2011, 09:17:54 AM
I believe she went after the kids, because she has not received a response to her emails and threats.  It seems she can only go about 2 weeks without finding something to pester him about. If she doesn't get a reaction, then she finds something else. It feels a little like he's being held hostage, "Do what I want or I'll destroy the children." I really worry she will simply escalate if he continues to ignore her.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: ocean on Apr 25, 2011, 09:30:38 AM
I am guessing this is long distance so you see them a few times a year? Was November the last time you were supposed to see them?

She wants an argument or try to make him miserable and disrupt your house.
If she does not allow them to come, have the paperwork for contempt of court papers filled out. Call police, have proof that you tried to pick them up. Then you ask for missed time, lawyer fees if she does it again, and court sanctions.

If you have in writing now, you can try to get into court now, and have them clarify order since mother has written that she will not allow children to come according to the court order dated XX.

The contempt is better to do, because then his ex has to tell the court why she would did not follow a court order.

Does 13 year old have facebook, myspace? phone?
He can just say he loves them all and can not wait to see them, that he is not going to put them in the middle. If she starts, then just text/IM "dad loves you see you xxx" then ignore.

If you wind up in court at any point you can add a sentence that mother and step father will not put children in the middle of parenting issues and children will be free to talk to either parent without interference.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 25, 2011, 09:34:55 AM
The children have one mobile phone, provided by him. It is not always charged, so he cannot always talk to them on the phone. Mom simply states that as she is not allowed access to the phone bill, she doesn't know what goes on with the phone, sorry. (http://www.deltabravo.net/forum/Smileys/default/rolleyes.gif)

Although, they are supposed to have electronic access to him, per the divorce decree, she does not allow them to be on the computer.  His only means of contact is the cell phone he provides for them.

Yes, it is long distance.  She remarried two weeks after the divorce was final, and moved the children to Utah with her new hubby...who is unemployed, now on his 4th marriage, and has 3 children from previous marriages.
 
We were SUPPOSED to see them at Spring Break (April). We had plans and a schedule in early February for Spring Break. In early March, ex sent an email saying "Sorry. Youngest D has a play that week." She, ONCE AGAIN, schedule extracurricular activities during his possession time. We could not afford to go their home state and stay for a week or even a day, so we didn't see them.  One week before Spring Break, youngest daughter tells him that her play has been cancelled for Spring Break....but he couldn't get vacation time that quickly so...
 
The play apparently was this past weekend, but no one informed H, so we weren't able to send flowers or pay to have it videotaped by a local photographer.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: Simplydad on Apr 25, 2011, 12:12:37 PM


We were SUPPOSED to see them at Spring Break (April). We had plans and a schedule in early February for Spring Break. In early March, ex sent an email saying "Sorry. Youngest D has a play that week." She, ONCE AGAIN, schedule extracurricular activities during his possession time. We could not afford to go their home state and stay for a week or even a day, so we didn't see them.  One week before Spring Break, youngest daughter tells him that her play has been cancelled for Spring Break....but he couldn't get vacation time that quickly so...

The play apparently was this past weekend, but no one informed H, so we weren't able to send flowers or pay to have it videotaped by a local photographer.


If the custody agreement states that your husband is to have posession then there is nothing the ex spouse can do.  The decree states he will have poession and that is what is to happen. Anything else is contempt of court.  If his ex does not comply then you just file a motion and she will have to answer the motion.  There is no transfer of jurisdiction so if the divorce was finalized where you are then she will have to come and answer. Failure to show up can cost her quite a bit including custody if it becomes a repeated problem.  Courts do not like visitation messed with at all.

What your husband needs to do is let her know that he will be excercising his visitation and if she scheduled anything without his permission she will need to reschedule that activity.  If it cost her any money for that activity then it is her problem.  The bottom line is this.  He is entitled to his visitation and the court order states when that is. If his ex wants a change to that she needs to either get a court order granting the change or she needs your husbands permission.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: ocean on Apr 25, 2011, 01:19:19 PM
Ok...
No way...LOL
She can not tell you they are busy, not allowed.
You can file NOW for not allowing spring break AND emails stating she is about to deny summer visit. Ask for an extra week at summer since she refused spring break.
Most places have the papers online and it is free (or small charge). It is called contempt of court-denied visitation (spring break) and then add a few sentences to say mom refused and sign kids up for activities, she is not doing the same thing for summer visitation. Father requests an extra week added to summer parenting time for make-up time.

Fill it out, send it in. They will give you a package a few weeks later with court date. You will have to have her served the papers. You can have a company do it or some states use the sheriffs office to do it.

Are you supposed to go get them? Meet half way? fly?
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: Simplydad on Apr 25, 2011, 01:48:30 PM
rhelle.....Have your husband print a copy of the divorce decree and keep it with him at all times.  He should have one in the glove compartment of his car just as he would his insurance card.  I know in many counties you can call ahead and have a sherrif or constable present when you attempt to pick up the children. I can't remember what it is called but hopefully someone here can help with that.
 
Also keep in mind that the county where the divorce was made final maintains jurisdiction so if she moved to Utah she will have to go to your location for all of the hearings on the divorce and custody.  Your divorce decree is a binding legal order that is must be followed at all times and it does not matter where your husband's ex lives.  Just to get another court to take it over would require a motion to change the venue.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: Kitty C. on Apr 25, 2011, 03:17:47 PM
'I know in many counties you can call ahead and have a sherrif or constable present when you attempt to pick up the children.'
 
It's called a civil stand-by..........some LE agencies are more willing to do this than others.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: MixedBag on Apr 25, 2011, 06:57:56 PM
Understand the "catch" for police officers is that they don't know IF they are looking at the most recent order.  Either side could pull out an "old" or older version and claim that its the most recent.
 
BUT their presence should assure calm and peace.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 26, 2011, 07:46:39 AM
We did not force the Spring Break issue because his daughter was so excited, and she should have been; she got a lead role. It's very hard to break the heart of a 9 year old. However, if the ex had NOT scheduled these activities, we wouldn't have been in the position of having to do that.
 
As for summer break.  His visitation time now stands at 42 days. She has stated she'd "allow" him an extra week if we agreed to release the children early. She informed him he can only have 30 days, plus the week she's graciously granting him as she screwed him out of Spring Break. She will "give" him 37 days, if he agrees to her timing. If not, she states he can only have 30.
 
As of yesterday, she agreed to go to mediation, but with the following caveats, of course:
 
1) We pay for everything
2) I am not allowed to be in the room
 
Each step of the way, there's always a caveat. One MORE thing she believes we HAVE to do in order to please her.  She has already started trying to "sway" the mediator, by informing the mediator that she's TRIED to talk to H, but *I* won't let him. Which, a) isn't true, and b) even when we requested that she stop harassing him, she completely ignored the request and continued to email him anyway.
 
Unless our mediator is familiar with persons having personality disorders, I don't really see anything changing.
 
Sigh.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 26, 2011, 07:49:35 AM
Simplydad,
 
She has filed the divorce decree in Utah. Our understanding is jurisdiction is held where the children live. We moved to AR. in December, equidistant to her place of residence from the original state. However, this apparently now removes jurisdiction from the divorce state to her resident state.
 
I don't know. I've never been through any of this and I don't DO crazy people.
LOL
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 26, 2011, 07:50:57 AM
ocean,
 
The divorce decree states each parent is responsible for one way transportation. He picks them up at the beginning of his visitation time, she picks them up at the end of his visitation time.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: Simplydad on Apr 26, 2011, 08:46:46 AM

We did not force the Spring Break issue because his daughter was so excited, and she should have been; she got a lead role. It's very hard to break the heart of a 9 year old. However, if the ex had NOT scheduled these activities, we wouldn't have been in the position of having to do that.


This is where it could get difficult.  While I do agree that it is hard to disappoint a 9 year old child these things will have to stop.  I think time with her father should take precedence above all things.   His ex will continually do these things until he stops them.  If it was me I would sit my kids down at my next visitation and let them know how much I love them and then explain to them that my time with them is important.  That I cannot allow their mother to repeatedly schedule things during my time.  Let them know that next time I will have say no in the matter.   


As for summer break.  His visitation time now stands at 42 days. She has stated she'd "allow" him an extra week if we agreed to release the children early. She informed him he can only have 30 days, plus the week she's graciously granting him as she screwed him out of Spring Break. She will "give" him 37 days, if he agrees to her timing. If not, she states he can only have 30.


She has no say in the matter. All she is doing is stating words.  Your husband picks his children up and take them back 42 days later. Absolutely nothing can be done about that.  She can scream and threaten all she want. It is a court order that must be followed in ever jurisdiction.


As of yesterday, she agreed to go to mediation, but with the following caveats, of course:

1) We pay for everything
2) I am not allowed to be in the room 


Why would he agree to mediation? From what I am reading all he is wanting to do is have his visitation as it is ordered in the decree.  You don't need mediation for that and there is absolutely no reason for your husband to agree to mediation. His visitation is already spelled out.

I can't stress this enough....YOUR HUSBAND HAS  FORCEABLE DECREE THAT SPECIFIES VISITATION!!!!!!!!! (sorry for the yelling...lol)

His ex can either follow it or eventually wind up losing custody.  That is what happens when you repeatedly file contempt charges. If I am not mistaken it does not cost to do that. There is a simple form that you fill out and get put on the courts calendar. You don't even need a lawyer for that (though it is good to have one if you can afford it).


Each step of the way, there's always a caveat. One MORE thing she believes we HAVE to do in order to please her.  She has already started trying to "sway" the mediator, by informing the mediator that she's TRIED to talk to H, but *I* won't let him. Which, a) isn't true, and b) even when we requested that she stop harassing him, she completely ignored the request and continued to email him anyway.


Mediation is not binding unless you actually agree to it. You can go to a mediation session and not like what is said and immedietly walk out and say you will allow the judge to decide.   

Do you already have mediation scheduled? If so what exactly is the reason for mediation?   
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: Simplydad on Apr 26, 2011, 08:53:29 AM

Simplydad,

She has filed the divorce decree in Utah. Our understanding is jurisdiction is held where the children live. We moved to AR. in December, equidistant to her place of residence from the original state. However, this apparently now removes jurisdiction from the divorce state to her resident state.

I don't know. I've never been through any of this and I don't DO crazy people.
LOL

 
Each county has residency requirements before a divorce could be filed.  If she met the requirments and filed for divorce then it must be held in that court. 
 
Jurisdiction is maintained by the court that has given the order.  In other words if you live in Arkansas and filed for divorce there then that court maintains jurisdiction over all matters of that divorce as it pertains to custody.  Jurisdiction is not based on where the children lives but where the order was filed.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 26, 2011, 09:03:52 AM
LOL. It's okay to yell.
 
We are trying to follow the divorce decree by going to mediation. It states any disputes shall be settled first by mediation. Our mediator also informed us it was better to try to mediate first, as we would seem less combative that way.  I don't think either of us want the kids involved in a court battle; although, it seems as if we'll end up there anyway.
 
There are some items in the divorce decree that we'd like changed:
 
1) the amount of visitation, preferably with specific dates in the decree, so there can be no further dispute
2) instructions regarding perpetual harassing communication
3) the age the children can decide where they'd like to live (it is currently at 16
4) portions stating he has to carry a life insurance policy with her listed as the beneficiary, on top of a life insurance policy for the children. we are fine with providing for the children, but not her.
5) the children being forced to call stepdad "Dad"
6) the children being threatened with punishment upon their return home if they engage in summertime activities with h (as in, building a treehouse)
 
The list goes on and on and on....
 
H and I have been debating mediating the issues we want changed, while also filing contempt charges for the decree violations. We worry; however, that if we do file contempt charges there will be absolutely NO negotiation on her part, and she'll cause the children even further pain.
 
I think we will employ your suggestion regarding telling the children we'll have to say no in future.
 
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: Kitty C. on Apr 26, 2011, 09:45:15 AM


Simplydad,

She has filed the divorce decree in Utah. Our understanding is jurisdiction is held where the children live. We moved to AR. in December, equidistant to her place of residence from the original state. However, this apparently now removes jurisdiction from the divorce state to her resident state.

I don't know. I've never been through any of this and I don't DO crazy people.
LOL


Each county has residency requirements before a divorce could be filed.  If she met the requirments and filed for divorce then it must be held in that court. 

Jurisdiction is maintained by the court that has given the order.  In other words if you live in Arkansas and filed for divorce there then that court maintains jurisdiction over all matters of that divorce as it pertains to custody.  Jurisdiction is not based on where the children lives but where the order was filed.

 
Simplydad, the OP stated 'She has filed the divorce decree in Utah. Our understanding is jurisdiction is held where the children live. We moved to AR. in December, equidistant to her place of residence from the original state. However, this apparently now removes jurisdiction from the divorce state to her resident state.'  To me, that means she has had the original order moved and filed with the state of Utah and all future actions regarding this order has to be addressed in that jurisdiction.  A parent can request to have an order relocated and, depending on the jurisdiction being considered, they may or may not grant it.  Apparently Utah has.........and it is certainly NOT a father-friendly state.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 26, 2011, 09:47:41 AM
KittyC,
 
I did not know that about Utah. Great. (http://www.deltabravo.net/forum/Smileys/default/sad.gif)
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: Kitty C. on Apr 26, 2011, 10:04:25 AM
Well, their adoption laws are a travesty........... single mothers go there to have babies if they don't want the father involved and the state goes right along with it. JMO and it's sad to say, but my thought has always been.....for being such a religious state, they sure know how to shaft fathers who WANT to be a part of their child's life or just want to be acknowledged as such.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 26, 2011, 10:16:29 AM
Well, the ex is a part of that particular religion, and it's a concern for us, a we are not.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: Davy on Apr 26, 2011, 11:29:37 AM
Not an atty just BTDT and know zero about Utah however it is some national statutary law referred to as "Registry of Foreign (ie another state) degrees/orders" that REQUIRES the custody order to be filed in Utah.  There's probably sound reasoning behind this, as an example,  to give the new state a clue should the children need a responsible parent.  Usually this process is handled by the courts (not a parent) and is transparent to the partys.  I, as the left-behind parent in the Home state, became aware of this process when the court sheepily asked me for vital info. on the kids since they could not locate their named custodial parent (go figure).
 
 Legally, the original Home state retains 'custody' jurisdiction as long as a party (parent) continues to reside in that state.  Otherwise Home state jurisdiction is tied directly to residency of the child(ren) and not a parent.
 
To compliment Kitty's post.  Had boyhood friend in a denominational church.  Somehow Spanky and his sister both moved to Utah and both gained strong ties to that particular church.  Spanky married a military widow and adopted 4 children, then divorced and remarried at least once and I think had 3 natural children.  Last time I saw Spanky he was wrapping up paying CS for 7 - 9 children.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 26, 2011, 11:57:25 AM
And in our case, neither parent resides in the original state. So, I guess we're stuck with Utah.
 
(http://www.deltabravo.net/forum/Smileys/default/shocked.gif)  7 to 9 kids!!!  I'll never get it.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 26, 2011, 12:02:47 PM
Speaking of that, though...
 
She remarried an unemployed man with 3 children to pay support for. She's constantly trying some angle to get more money, and cries she's "poor" for things like mediation (although, she does have an attorney on retainer. didn't know pro bono was so popular). It's getting a little old that SHE made the choice to marry a man who could not provide for his children and we're paying for it. She's constantly angry at H because SHE has to work, now. Somehow, it's HIS fault that she filed for divorce and married a loser.
 
Actually, I think I want to use her logic for a while..seems she's a "winner" everytime.
(http://www.deltabravo.net/forum/Smileys/default/rolleyes.gif)
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: MixedBag on Apr 26, 2011, 01:13:01 PM
EX#3 dealt with "that religion" in NV.....and they stuck together like glue.
 
Didn't matter what his EX pulled, the judge never punished her.
 
Even her attorney wrote a letter to EX/Mom saying she should have lost custody a long time ago.....and the only reason we/EX#3 got a hold of it was becasue Mom used it as evidence to support her position about something that was in another part of the letter.
 
Peaceful people, but they sure back each other up beyond logic.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 26, 2011, 01:17:26 PM
That was our worry, MixedBag; however, our mediator assured us the courts do not care. Sigh. I guess we won't know until we get there.
I will say I'm not finding them to be terribly peaceful, but she happens to be the only example I have.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: MixedBag on Apr 26, 2011, 02:11:03 PM
In EX#3's situtation, the judge was the head of the I think it was called a ward or stake or something and they (EX#3's EX and children) frequented their personal house often.
 
We turned it all in to be investigated, ethics board, and they started the research, but never finished because the Judge did not win re-election.
 
We were dealing with an extremely small town -- maybe if your town is "bigger" then the relgious effect won't be there.
 
And when I'm talking small.....think desert for 25 miles each way.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 26, 2011, 02:29:58 PM
They live in a small suburb, about 25,000 people. Hopefully, the odds will be better that way.
 
H used to be part of that particular religion, but left the church some years ago. So, her stance is now that we are immoral and not living by the church standards.  Um..which would be true, as we don't attend that church.  But, she then uses it as a reason to try and withhold the children.
 
It gets kinda old. I've told H if all of the people in that religion use it as a battering ram, I can't really see anything to recommend it.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: rhelle on Apr 26, 2011, 02:37:57 PM
I am having difficulty finding Motion for Contempt templates online. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: MixedBag on Apr 26, 2011, 08:44:41 PM
IMHO -- that doesn't exist.
 
Pull out the current order -- the top of the "Motion for Contempt" will be the same but the SUBJECT line will be "Petition for Contempt"
 
Then before you start any further, go to Soc's section and search on "3 elements of contempt".....
 
Then briefly but give enough detail describe what's been going on.
 
Problem, requested solution
 
and copy the closing part from the original order's motions.
 
Make sure its signed with a notorized signature.
 
and take two copies to the clerk....and keep a third for yourself.
 
 
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: Simplydad on Apr 27, 2011, 01:49:57 PM

Simplydad, the OP stated 'She has filed the divorce decree in Utah. Our understanding is jurisdiction is held where the children live. We moved to AR. in December, equidistant to her place of residence from the original state. However, this apparently now removes jurisdiction from the divorce state to her resident state.'  To me, that means she has had the original order moved and filed with the state of Utah and all future actions regarding this order has to be addressed in that jurisdiction.  A parent can request to have an order relocated and, depending on the jurisdiction being considered, they may or may not grant it.  Apparently Utah has.........and it is certainly NOT a father-friendly state.

 
Thanks Kitty....I did not know that.
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: Kitty C. on Apr 27, 2011, 02:49:34 PM
You're quite welcome........that's what we're here for...to help one another!  (http://www.deltabravo.net/forum/Smileys/default/smiley.gif)
Title: Re: More questions...
Post by: Davy on Apr 27, 2011, 05:56:00 PM

Not an atty just BTDT and know zero about Utah however it is some national statutary law referred to as "Registry of Foreign (ie another state) degrees/orders" that REQUIRES the custody order to be filed in Utah.  There's probably sound reasoning behind this, as an example,  to give the new state a clue should the children need a responsible parent.  Usually this process is handled by the courts (not a parent) and is transparent to the partys.  I, as the left-behind parent in the Home state, became aware of this process when the court sheepily asked me for vital info. on the kids since they could not locate their named custodial parent (go figure).

Legally, the original Home state retains 'custody' jurisdiction as long as a party (parent) continues to reside in that state.  Otherwise Home state jurisdiction is tied directly to residency of the child(ren) and not a parent.

To compliment Kitty's post......