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Main Forums => Visitation Issues => Topic started by: flewwellin on Aug 16, 2005, 05:36:07 PM

Title: Asked to give up our Christmas Visitation this year...
Post by: flewwellin on Aug 16, 2005, 05:36:07 PM
A little background for all reading Dh is the NCP to one little girl age 6 and one little boy age 4.  We are all originally from North Carolina, June 2004 the BM was granted permission by the courts to move the two minor children up to Pennsylvania and gave us the following visitation schedule.

Even years:

1) Easter or spring break spent with father which ever holiday break that is the longest.
2) Summer is to be decided by the father what 5 wks he wants to have the kids must tell CP on or before May 1st.
3) Thanksgiving the first day of vacation with father to the day before school begins again.
4) Christmas holiday with the father from the 26th until the day before school begins again.
5) One weekend out of the month that we are able to make it to their home town started on Friday at 6pm and ends on Sunday at 6pm.  Must give CP at least 1 week notice.

Odd years:
every thing is the same except we don't get them at all on Thanksgiving.


She is to meet us halfway and the drop off/ pick ups are designated for 2 pm.

*** So today she calls, and for some reason I decided to not answer the phone, good thing too, this is what she asks for on my voicemail.
---- She says since she plans to bring the kids down for Thanksgiving this year and she said we could see them and spend time with them would we mind if she kept the kids for Christmas this year because they wanted ( her and her new husband) to take the kids to Wisconsin to visit their step dad's side of the family. What is this crazy woman thinking??!!

Break down in amount of days a year:

Odd years:
Easter 5 days
Summer 35 days
Christmas 9 days
Equals     49 days we have the kids
             316 days she has the kids

Even years:
Add 5 days for Thanksgiving
Equals      54 days we have kids
              311 days she has kids

I didn't calculate the weekends we were allowed because we don't make enough money to allow for such a thing.  We haven't been able to go up one weekend out of the whole time they've been living in PA.  Have enough problems paying our bills that isn't a luxury that we are able to indulge in unfortunately.

Grrr I hate this pull and tug of the kids but we dont see them enough as it is!  Why would she even think about trying to take away MORE TIME from the kids to be able to spend time with their father??  And she claims she wants the kids to have a meaningful relationship with their father!  We even looked into moving closer to the kids although we really can't afford to do that either, we do have some equity that I would get when we sold the house (it's all in my name and was before Dh and I got involved).  So that's some cash to move closer but now she says that she and her new husband may be moving the kids about an hour to an hour and a half further west then they already are!  Good thing we didn't actually move!  DH says that every year since Devon the oldest (6) has been born she moved at least once a year, really stable sittuation there huh?
Title: RE: Asked to give up our Christmas Visitation this year...
Post by: joni on Aug 16, 2005, 10:07:57 PM

she's a selfish, selfish woman

do NOT deviate from your court order

you will never get anything back from her in return

she will continue to take advantage of you, and when you go to court to fight her, the judge will shake a finger at you and say "you haven't been following the court order since XX/XX/XX and you're suing her for contempt now?  why are you, dad, being so difficult"

it will come back to bite you in the a$$

tell her nicely, "thank you for the offer but we already made big family plans for Christmas"

end of story
Title: RE: Asked to give up our Christmas Visitation this year...
Post by: dontunderstand on Aug 17, 2005, 12:07:37 AM
I have to agree.  They can take the kids to step dads relatives any of the other 300 plas days they have them during the year!
Title: Simple answer
Post by: dsm on Aug 17, 2005, 08:23:05 AM
Reply to her in writing - not on the phone.

Say that you received her voicemail dated xx/xx/xx and in light of the fact that the current order states that the kids are to be with you over the Christmas holiday that you do not plan to deviate from that.  That you understand their desire for the kids to get to see their step-family in Wisconsin but they should plan for such a trip when it is their time.

Side just dawned on she giving you extra time this year (being an odd year) for Thanksgiving?  How did that happen?

dsm - 34
DH - 38
SD - 15
LO - 9
BB - 2
2 Cheap Entertainment cats - Snoop & Dagger - 5 years and counting.....
Title: Sounds like...............
Post by: Kitty C. on Aug 17, 2005, 12:12:46 PM
.........she threw in the 'extra' time for this Thanksgiving to placate for trying to take away time at Christmas.  

I agree with the others...........tell her in writing that unfortunately you already have plans made and in the future they need to be aware that any future trips MUST be planned at other times than court-ordered visitation time.
Title: RE: Asked to give up our Christmas Visitation this year...
Post by: IceMountain on Aug 17, 2005, 12:45:01 PM
Two years ago my ex gave me the same opportunity.  She wanted to take my son to another state to be with her husband's family for Xmas. Instead of having him for a day at Xmas I got him for a week.  Last year I again was flexible with Xmas and instead of picking him up at 9:00 PM on Xmas eve, I picked him up at 8:00 AM on Xmas morning and again got extra days with him.

Has she ever thanked me for being so damn flexible?  Hell no!  Do I enjoy the extra time with him?  Hell yes!  I rationalized that the holiday is what I make it.  Does my 7 year old son really know that it is not Xmas day?  Maybe.  But, I do my best to make it a meaningful time.  Maybe it's not as magical, but it was a whole let better than watching the clock to make sure I had him home by 5:00 on Xmas day or 9:00 on Xmas eve.

Sounds like it worked for me, right?  Well now that I am trying to modify our decree I took the above examples of how I am always accomodating her during the holidays and I split Xmas in 2 breaks.  The 1st goes from day school dismisses to the 26th and the 2nd goes from the 26th to day before school resumes.  I realized during the Xmas 2 years ago that even though I didn't see my son on Xmas that when I had him I was actually able to ENJOY the time with him and not have to rush from this family celebration to the next and be at the mercy of the clock.  It was actually kind of nice in a lot of ways.

Well, now that the shoe is turned, and I'm proposing that she not see our son every other year on Xmas of course I'm the bad guy for even asking such a thing.  She is his MOTHER after all!

So, yeah, I agree with the above posters.... Stick to your court order.  And whoever posted the advice about filing contempt when you are always accomodating the ex... thank you... I needed to hear that!
Title: RE: Simple answer
Post by: flewwellin on Aug 17, 2005, 02:05:51 PM
No her deal was she would PROBABLY bring the kids down to visit HER family and we'd be allowed to see the kids if they could make it down here.  But we wouldn't be able to have the kids for the full holiday and even if we did decide to take thanksgiving over christmas we'd be losing  4 days with the kids.  I honestly think this woman thinks we are stupid or something.  

Title: RE: Asked to give up our Christmas Visitation this year...
Post by: flewwellin on Aug 17, 2005, 02:24:40 PM
I don't know how far away you live from your ex but I do know that it was easier when they lived here.  They lived about 30 minutes away including traffic and we used to get to have the kids 3 days out of every week, ALL holidays were split up and Christmas and Thanksgiving was split up she could have them in the morning and we'd have them that afternoon through the evening.  Father's day weekend was spent with the father and mother's day weekend was spent with mom.  Well when mother's day came around and it was our weekend with the kids we called to ask if we were to pick the kids up at the day care.  Good thing we called too cause she informed us then that she wasn't going to exercise her right to have the kids that weekend!  What a loving mom, glad she wasn't my mother!  And of course when father's day weekend rolled around we definitely DID exercise our right to the kids!  

I just don't understand why women have to be so vindictive!
Title: Well then, so be it. follow your order
Post by: dsm on Aug 17, 2005, 02:37:06 PM
Thank her for the consideration about a few hours at Thanksgiving and tell her that absolutely you'll take the opportunity with the kids.  But Christmas is not possible.

And stand your ground.  Be aware that she will probably take back the Thanksgiving offer, but that's okay.  You hold your ground and stick to it.  She can think you're stupid all she wants, but you'll just need to slap her back to reality by holding fast to the order.

dsm - 34
DH - 38
SD - 15
LO - 9
BB - 2
2 Cheap Entertainment cats - Snoop & Dagger - 5 years and counting.....
Title: RE: Asked to give up our Christmas Visitation this year...
Post by: Stirling on Aug 17, 2005, 02:41:23 PM
My feeling is that a person has the right to ask, but the person being asked also has the right to say yes or no without being concerned with the asking person's potential reaction.  With that said, no is a perfectly acceptable answer if you don't want to deviate from the court order.  I also think that it is important to try and not take the request personally.

If you are willing to be flexable, please make sure that you get make up time.  Perhaps add the time to your summer parenting time.
Title: Good point - don't take it personally.....
Post by: dsm on Aug 17, 2005, 03:23:29 PM
Because it very well could be with well intentions that it is being asked.  If they only get to see the relatives in WI once in awhile, I can see it being a valid question.   So just take it as a business thing and answer matter-of-factly.   Thanks for the consideration, but no, we won't be deviating this year.


dsm - 34
DH - 38
SD - 15
LO - 9
BB - 2
2 Cheap Entertainment cats - Snoop & Dagger - 5 years and counting.....
Title: RE: Asked to give up our Christmas Visitation this year...
Post by: wendl on Aug 17, 2005, 07:24:41 PM
Guess she should plan on seeing inlaws during her year she has xmas.

**These are my opinions, they are not legal advice**
Title: RE: Asked to give up our Christmas Visitation this year...
Post by: nosonew on Aug 17, 2005, 07:59:13 PM
I agree with all the others.. NO change from C.O. period.

However, you may possibly get in writing from her that NEXT year you may do it if she gives you 2 extra weeks in the summer for the Xmas xchange. Get my meaning?

DON'T do it this year... let her prove her ability to give you extra time and then FOLLOW thru on your promise.

Get more time with your ss.. how about Spring Break even? That is at least a week isn't it?

Good luck! Stick to your guns... no reasoning needed!
Title: RE: Asked to give up our Christmas Visitation this year...
Post by: flewwellin on Aug 17, 2005, 08:37:25 PM
Easter and spring break is one in the same and we get that EVERY year so that wouldn't benefit us at all.

The other idea may be something to think about.
Title: RE: Good point - don't take it personally.....
Post by: flewwellin on Aug 17, 2005, 08:39:19 PM
In no way will I or the kids father be able to think of the kids and their time with us as a business deal.  I am sorry that this woman won't be able to take the kids to WI without violating a CO however like I listed above she has them 316 days out of 365 and if she can't squeeze in some time for them to see their extended family during her time that truly isn't our problem.
Title: RE: Asked to give up our Christmas Visitation this year...
Post by: flewwellin on Aug 17, 2005, 08:40:04 PM
She does have Christmas with them every year.  From the first day they are out until the 26th.
Title: Hmmmm....
Post by: MixedBag on Aug 18, 2005, 10:00:23 AM
You know -- there's the school of thought to stick to an order 100% of the time and that causes less conflict.  However that causes conflict when stuff comes up on both sides and both sides might want to deviate from what the order says at one point in the child's 18 years.  Never say never.

There's the school of thought to be flexible and show cooperation whenever possible.  However, one side feels like they are always giving and never getting, or the sense of balance is totally lost when the NCP actually looses time -- what little time they have -- with the child(ren).

In my opinion, you gotta find that perfect balance and you know how the CP is better than any of us.

I have one EX where we've totally "ignored" the order for several years now and he has seen the girls more often each year but over shorter periods of time.  Cooperation has worked for us -- because my girls want shorter time with dad and I've put my foot down and said NOPE you gotta make your dad a priority.

My suggestion (since there is time) is to respond in writing -- no verbal agreements.

Where is the real harm in saying:

1.  Yes, I'll gladly have Thanksgiving this year which is X days.

2.  And the difference will/can be made up next summer.

3.  Yes, you can have them for the entire Christmas break....

Ask her to confirm via a notorized letter back to you.....and then see if Thanksgiving goes smoothly.

If it doesn't, then you immediately write her and say "Since CP didn't comply with the agreement, it is null and void and you look forward to having them for Christmas as outlined in the order."

We alternate holidays.....and you could "move" Christmas this year to a weekend in January and plan a weekend trip for a change.  I know, expensive, but I make a 12-hour drive once a month to go see my son.  MLK weekend -- is probably a 3-day holiday for work and school....

Think about it....
Title: No, it's not the kids and their time with you as business
Post by: dsm on Aug 18, 2005, 10:17:11 AM
It's the relationship between the ex and you - and that is what should be considered a business relationship.   If you keep emotion and angst in the mix when you are dealing with the ex, then it makes it difficult to see through all that.  Business relationships communicate in a way that is short, sweet, to the point.  That is what I was trying to get through to you.

Absolutely your relationship with the kids and the kids themselves are more dear to you.  And you respond differently with them.

Find where you can compromise, and when those times come up, do so.  But you also have the order for a reason and you can use that as your foundation to retain your time with the kids.

MixedBag gives some good things to think about in her post too.

dsm - 34
DH - 38
SD - 15
LO - 9
BB - 2
2 Cheap Entertainment cats - Snoop & Dagger - 5 years and counting.....