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Author Topic: "Reasonable Visitation"  (Read 5806 times)

spitfire

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"Reasonable Visitation"
« on: Sep 24, 2009, 01:08:22 PM »
My parents are currently going through a bitter divorce.  As I am no longer a minor I am outside of any custody or visitation orders, but as I was living at home when this all came to a head, and I am currently living with my Dad,  I am very much involved in the situation.  I have seven minor siblings; 15yo, 13yo, 10yo, 8yo, 6yo, 4yo & 2yo. 
 
My mother was given custody at the temporary hearing with Dad getting standard visitation - the first and third weekends of each month, alternating 5 weekends, and Wednesday evenings.  The judge specifically stated that this was not to limit Dad's time with the kids, and that all other reasonable visitation was to be allowed.  However mom makes everything a living nightmare.  But on to the current situation.
 
Mom testified in court that she intended to continue homeschooling the children "if she was able", however, 4 weeks into the school year she enrolled them in public school.  Up until this year none of the children have had any immunizations, so they are a bit behind.  My 15yo sister refused to get her shots last week.  Mom had scheduled them for Friday afternoon, right before Dad was suppose to pick them up for weekend visitation, and there would have been no way for them to get the laundry done and everything packed up and ready for the visit (mom does absolutely nothing to help them prepare) if the 15yo hadn't stayed home and got everything put together. 
 
Our church has "Family Night" dinner on the last Thursday of each month.  Dad texted and asked mom if he could take the children (they cannot communicate in person or on the phone, mom becomes very vulgar and abusive).  She ignored him.  So he emailed her, copying in his lawyer, and told her that if she continued to refuse resonable visiation he would go back to court.  She responded that he could take them to family night if he got the 15yo vacinated first.  Dad doesn't think he should have to "buy" visitation with his children.  Then she sent another email stating that since the children come back to her house from visiting Dad they are abusive to her, so all additional visitation is unreasonable. 
 
Today Dad received a letter through his lawyer from her lawyer, stating that he can take the other children to Family Night, but Amanda is not allowed to attend unless she has her shots by 6:45 tonight (the dinner starts at 7pm).  Dad doesn't think that he should give in to her demands, because it would set a bad precedent (ie that she gets to call all the shots). What do you think?  Dad has spoken to the school, and she doesn't have to have the shots until next week, and he has talked to Amanda about the shots, and she is willing to get them.  We just don't want to bargain for visitation. 
 
One final question.  The relationship between the kids and their mother is abysmal, but the 15yo is the worst, not only because she is "that age", but because she is old enough and mature enough to see through mom's attempts at alienation.  If she is left at home with mom tonight there is a pretty good likelyhood that they will have a fight (not necessarily physical, but it is possible.  I don't think the 15yo would start anything, but mom has totally lost it).  If the 15yo calls me and asks me to come get her, and I do, can I get into trouble?  Or more importantly, will it cause Dad trouble in the future?  Don't get me wrong, if my little sister calls and asks for my help I am going to give it to her, I just want to be prepared.
 
 
 
For additional background
newbielink:http://www.deltabravo.net/forum/index.php/topic,37169.new.html#new [nonactive]


eagleeyefam

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Re: "Reasonable Visitation"
« Reply #1 on: Sep 24, 2009, 01:17:00 PM »
First off I want to commend you on how mature you are. I read both of your posts. I see you have great concern for your siblings and that is wonderful.
 
You are right, dad shouldn't have to bargain his way into visitation. It's not visitation, it's called being a parent.
 
Since these custody orders are only temp then he can ask the courts to give him custody. It sounds like mom is having some serious emotional issues that are hindering the children.
 
I don't think dad would be in trouble if sis called you to come get her. If the cops are called simply tell them the truth. And if it does happen please let all of us know the outcome.
 
As the oldest child maybe you can get thru to mom. Sometimes it takes some harsh words before a parent realizes their mistakes. I know I have heard some sore words form my son before I changed a behavior. It was good for everybody and I was so proud of him for having the backbone to tell me I was being stupid. (Cuz I was)
 
 

tigger

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Re: "Reasonable Visitation"
« Reply #2 on: Sep 24, 2009, 01:23:11 PM »
Reasonable is in the eye of the beholder.  If your dad wants more time, he needs to go to court to get it spelled out. 


"We just don't want to bargain for visitation."
RED FLAG!!  This is NOT your fight. This is your parents' fight.  You may be technically an adult but you are not a party to this. 
The wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!

spitfire

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Re: "Reasonable Visitation"
« Reply #3 on: Sep 24, 2009, 01:45:18 PM »
I tried to reason with mom at the beginning, and she wouldn't hear it.  She has said and done things now that have completely destroyed the relationship we had (she was my best friend and closest confidant) and made any communication impossible.  Last week even though I called and told her I was coming over to give her the CS check, she refused to open the door to me until I showed her the check, then she grabbed it and slammed and locked the door behind her.  It almost broke my heart.  I cried for at least an hour.  For the sake my emotional stability I have had to stop trying to communicate with her.
 
I realize that this isn't technically my fight, but you have to understand that this isn't simply that my parents have decided they don't want to be together.  If it was just me I could step aside let them duke it out. But what about the babies?  The people I love most in the world are in constant agony because of this.  How can I not take sides?   

Momfortwo

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Re: "Reasonable Visitation"
« Reply #4 on: Sep 24, 2009, 02:28:37 PM »
First of all, you need to uninvolve yourself in your parents' divorce.  It is theirs to settle.  Neither of them should be putting you in the middle.  Even if you want to be.  And that includes your father.  In fact, he's doing you a great disservice by not insisting you stay completely out of it.
 
Second, your mother is doing nothing wrong in not letting the 15 year old go until she complies with the rules.  It's called parenting.  I have often not let my kids do something fun when they don't behave. 
 
 


Momfortwo

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Re: "Reasonable Visitation"
« Reply #5 on: Sep 24, 2009, 02:32:35 PM »

I realize that this isn't technically my fight, but you have to understand that this isn't simply that my parents have decided they don't want to be together.  If it was just me I could step aside let them duke it out. But what about the babies?  The people I love most in the world are in constant agony because of this.  How can I not take sides?   


You are not a parent to those babies.  Your parents are.  And it is up to them to work it out.

How can you not take sides, you ask.  I ask:  How can you take sides?  And how come your parents are letting you? 

Really, step aside.  It really is none of your business.  Try to be there for your younger siblings.  But stay out of the legal side of it.  Let them duke it out.  It is their marriage that is ending, not yours. 

tigger

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Re: "Reasonable Visitation"
« Reply #6 on: Sep 24, 2009, 02:35:23 PM »
You have no business being the deliverer of the CS check.  Your father has put you in a horrible position by putting you in the middle.  No doubt both sides are hurt and are using you as a buffer, your father so he doesn't have to deal with your mother and your mother by taking her hurt and anger out on you.  This is NOT fair to YOU.  They are the adults with the issues, they should be the ones to deal with them, not you. 

While it's unfortunate that they didn't wait 16 more years to have this meltdown in their relationship, it's still not your burden.  My brother constantly apologizes to me for "leaving me behind" when he moved out.  He was an adult when he moved out.  I was 17.  I was NOT his responsibility.  My sister blames me for not being around more when I moved out (I was 21 when I finally moved out).  My stepmother/her mother wouldn't let me be around more and my sister was 13.  It's sad and I'm sorry she missed me so much but she was not my responsibility and I couldn't fight my stepmother for her as I had no authority to do so. 

How old are you?  Are you still in school?  If you want to help your siblings, be there for them but don't get in the middle of your parents.  Your mother will trust you more and may be more open to your suggestions if she doesn't feel that you've taken sides and needs to fight against both you and your father.
The wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!

snowrose

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Re: "Reasonable Visitation"
« Reply #7 on: Sep 24, 2009, 03:01:12 PM »
Honey, give your dad this URL so he can talk to other people going through stuff like this:
 
http://www.thepsychoexwife.com/forums/index.php
 
And for your siblings' sake, you step out of the way.  You can't afford to be on one side or the other.  You need to remain as neutral as possible so you can be available for those little ones.

spitfire

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Re: "Reasonable Visitation"
« Reply #8 on: Sep 25, 2009, 09:37:25 AM »
The evening didn't turn out as dramatic as expected......which seems to be mom's pattern.  She took the 15yo to get her shots, but the HD had already shut down when she got there, so she drove the 15yo over to her piano lesson 40 minutes early, dropped her off, and said she wasn't coming back to get her, she could just walk to her Dad's afterwards (about 2 miles).  So 15yo calls Dad, he went and picked her up and she stayed with him.  Dad picked up the other kids around 6:45 and they all went to dinner, then he dropped them all back off at mom's. 
 
 
 

MomofTwo

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Re: "Reasonable Visitation"
« Reply #9 on: Sep 25, 2009, 05:16:24 PM »
You have been given alot of very good advice.   As difficult as it is for you to see this - your Mom is acting that way towards you because she feels you have in fact taken sides and are siding with your Dad.   Probably not the best way for her to handle it, but whether you believe it or not, she is hurt.  After all, you even said she was your best friend and confidant.  She feels a tremendous loss whether you acknowledge it or not.    When people are hurt, they act terribly and not always rationally.   
 
You should absolutely not be involved, you should absolutely not be deliving child support checks.  That is what mail is for, or better yet, your Dad could set up a direct deposit account. 
 
You sound like a very level headed young person, I think it shows what a great job your parents did raising you.  They raised you together.  Your younger siblings won't have that the same way you did, with everyone living together, but your parents will absolutely still both be parents to them.  You have to let them handle the decision making and let them parent the way they see fit. 
 
You may not understand your Mom's decisions, emotions... but that is not for you to understand.  I am very certain that as many years and children  her and your Dad have shared, her decision to end the marriage was much more difficult for her than you can understand.    There is going to be issues, there will undoubtedly be more disagreements, they had them when they were married and they will continue to have them.   You can not allow yourself to be involved in that -  at all.  You can be a great source of comfort and love for your brothers and sisters, but you can't parent them.   Divorce is horrible, it shatters many lives and I am truly sorry you are having to go through this, along with your entire family.  Stay strong, have faith, and you will all get through it.

 

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