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Main Forums => Visitation Issues => Topic started by: Johojo on Aug 12, 2014, 11:12:04 AM

Title: Subtle Parenting Denial
Post by: Johojo on Aug 12, 2014, 11:12:04 AM
Our parenting time arrangement states joint custody and shared parenting.  I am ordered to have up to 5 days of discretionary parenting time each month in addition to all of the other parenting time outlined in the agreement.  The agreement further states that it is free of the direction and control of the other parent. 

I have always given 2-3 weeks notice, but the other parent seems to have "plans" of the non-descript sort, requires me to reschedule, and also denies the rescheduled time at the last minute claiming there wasn't enough notice given. 

My question is, who is supposed to have the final authority over when these discretionary parenting times are used?  The other parent seems to think that his agreement is required before I am able to exercise this time, although that is not stated anywhere. 

If I show up, the other parent and our son is nowhere to be found.  Last time, he even rented another car.

How can I enforce this time since there are no specific dates written in the agreement?  Is this frustration of or denial of visitation?  He claims I can always reschedule, but my life does not always afford that flexibility especially since we live in different states.
Title: Re: Subtle Parenting Denial
Post by: MixedBag on Aug 12, 2014, 01:25:53 PM
First off please share -- as in type in EXACTLY how the court order words this -- because it's abnormal to have a clause like that.

Secondly, start documenting your attempts to use this time

1.  This is when you notified, and then is when you attempted to pick them up.

Then you probably have to show a pattern and collect three months of documentation.

Now....WHO gets to decide is the tricky part -- and I had a very similar argument with my EX years ago and I as the NCP WON that argument.  But the wording in our decree is what supported me and I had to ask the judge for an interpretation of our decree (Motion to Clarify) and thankfully the gavel came down in my favor and it was clearly decided that I get to DECIDE.

I asked for a motion to clarify to stop verbal arguments on the subject matter of WHO has the final say when determining blah blah blah in our court order.

I didn't ask that he be found in contempt -- I took a softer approach or a less aggressive approach -- and achieved the result I was hoping for.
Title: Re: Subtle Parenting Denial
Post by: Johojo on Aug 12, 2014, 02:05:25 PM
"Each party hereto shall be free of any control or direction of the other party hereto of the date of this instrument...The parties shall be entitled to joint care, custody and control of their minor child...the Respondent (me) being entitled to the following parenting time: ...One extended weekend per month, not to exceed five days and shall not interfere with the child's school schedule."

The wording of the whole document essentially outlines the minimum time that I am entitled to, and does not protect or guarantee any specific time to him.  It seems as though because he has been designated the residential custodian that he feels entitled to make unilateral decisions on everything without my input - this being just one example.

This will be the fourth time he has done this.  I do have them documented, but I was thinking this time I should actually take the drive out there and maybe call the police to make a report if the Parenting time is refused.

A motion to clarify, huh?  Could possibly put that issue to bed, but he still argues with me about things that are explicitly stated, such as how much I should pay for medical expenses.   :-\
Title: Re: Subtle Parenting Denial
Post by: MixedBag on Aug 12, 2014, 05:42:23 PM
ok, let me be honest.

Between your first post and quoting the order....

I think what this means is that you sit down and look at the school calendar and where there is a 3-4 day weekend, you can have that in addition to your normally scheduled time and do that once a month.

The way you worded it initially is something totally different.


Does it say anywhere how far in advance you have to notify the father?

Does it say anywhere what time your normal weekends start and end?

And then I'll go from there....

And how far is the drive?

And yes, for every time you believe you are following the order, drive out there and make an attempt to pick up the kids.  And then go around the corner and get gas or buy something where you get a receipt with a date time stamp.

How far apart do you live?

You need independent documentation -- not just a journal or a he said/she said tuff....which is why you get the receipts.  And it needs to be somewhere CLOSE to the pick up point -- not 30 miles away or something,.

Title: Re: Subtle Parenting Denial
Post by: Johojo on Aug 12, 2014, 06:45:14 PM
No, there is nothing in there that states how far in advance I need to notify him.  I don't have normal weekends because we live about 4 hours apart.

I do not have receipts - that is a good idea.  I do have email traffic about it though where he states "I will not allow you to pick him up."

The father decided to require 30 days notice while reserving the right to cancel at the last minute.
Title: Re: Subtle Parenting Denial
Post by: MixedBag on Aug 13, 2014, 05:51:28 AM
And the order clearly says you have to do all the transportation?


I think you need to make sure you have your ducks in a row because this is family court.  Just when you THINK you got your stuff together to present to a judge, you'll find out that they wanted something else and walk out disappointed.  (Happened so many times to me, but persistence paid off).

Get the school calendar and find ALL the 3-day or 4 day weekends and pick ONE a month in addition to the holidays that you're supposed to get. 

(I take it no every other weekend for you given the distance?)

Lay it out and write him a letter -- there's an example here at the site called notice of intention to exercise visitation or something close -- but change visitation to PARENTING TIME -- because you are a parent not just a visitor.

Then implement your plan -- and yes, go drive there to do the pick up -- get proof -- and go back. 

Then after say two or three refusals, file a motion of contempt in court -- and in that motion ask that DAD be responsibly for meeting you half way -- (UNLESS you moved -- well, I'd still ask because of his bad behavior, but there's a better chance of getting this if you weren't the one moving).....and then also ask for EOW.

My kids' father also lived 4 hours away and EOW, we met half way, switched on Friday evening at 7:30 and on Sunday at the same time.  Meant the kids got McDonald's going and returning.....but they got to see their dad.  Then he moved.... 

Hope this helps.....but all those details matter in how I suggest you approach your situation.
Title: Re: Subtle Parenting Denial
Post by: Johojo on Aug 14, 2014, 08:09:35 AM
Thanks for the advice.  I sent out the Notice to Exercise Parental Rights signature required. 

No, the distance doesn't allow for every other weekend, that's why it's written the way it is instead.  Luckily, our son isn't in school yet - he's only 4.  I am responsible for all travel except for holidays.

I wasn't the one who moved, x moved to another state and filed for custody.  Judge claimed jurisdiction even though he didn't have it. Long story short, I was disabled as a result of military service and x used it as a basis to file for emergency custody out of state. Emergency custody was denied because it was groundless, but jurisdiction was trapped under the rule that the judge can take jurisdiction in emergency matters.

But nothing to be done about that now.  We are currently in the process of a motion to change parenting time based on some neglect issues and others.  X is probably upset, though he does have a history of doing whatever he can get away with to keep me and our son apart. 

Oh well, rough ride.
Title: Re: Subtle Parenting Denial
Post by: MixedBag on Aug 14, 2014, 12:56:37 PM
good luck and PLEASE come back and share the result so that others may learn.