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Author Topic: Bitter Visitation Battle  (Read 2847 times)

frustrated_dad

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Bitter Visitation Battle
« on: Oct 11, 2004, 10:49:33 AM »
Please help... my ex-wife is making it nearly impossible for me to have a relationship with our 4 year old daughter. She's made it clear that I don't matter as far as she is concerned and that our daughter doesn't need me. I have never missed a visitation (less one when I had to travel for work) and I continually go out of my way to be accomodating. So far that's gotten me absolutely nowhere. My ex gives me no updates on my daughter's school or activities, let alone medical issues (unless there is a bill I need to pay). This year I wasn't allowed to see my daughter on her birthday or attend the party.

To make matters worse, I was recently moved out of state for my job and attempted to work with my ex on a new visitation agreement. She immediately hired a lawyer and is attempting to limit my time to less than 30 days a year. I am desperate to keep my daughter in my life, but don't have the money to enter into a knock-down drag out in court. I currently live 350 miles away from my child and need help immediately. Anyone have any idea what I can do?

Lost....



MYSONSDAD

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RE: Bitter Visitation Battle
« Reply #1 on: Oct 11, 2004, 12:11:15 PM »
If it were me, I would follow the current CO as closely as possible. When she denies you, file contempt.

Any relatives still in her area that would let you stay with them during your Parenting Time? Another thought, get a motel room for the weekend you have her.

What is important, until you can amend your CO, is time with your daughter.

There are several good Parenting Plans on this site. Work one up to fit your needs and your daughter. Have a plan of action ready to go.

I hope you have been documenting. It could be crucial.

"Children learn what they live"

Kimberly9

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Don't lose hope
« Reply #2 on: Oct 11, 2004, 01:56:38 PM »
Fight for the right to see your daughter.  She does need you.

We live 240 miles away from my SD.  We see her e.o.w., alternating holidays, and 7 weeks (Broken into 4 different sessions) in the summer.    It can be done.    We meet 1/2 way.

Also. . .she is only 4.  Is she in school full time?  Could you propose longer stretches -- 4 days at a time to make the drive more worthwhile?  Even when she is in school, there should be at least one 3 day weekend a month that will be built into the school calendar that you can build parenting time around.

Lots of suggestions on this website.  

I would hire a lawyer.  It is just too important not to!

Hang in there.


joni

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RE: Bitter Visitation Battle
« Reply #3 on: Oct 11, 2004, 02:09:24 PM »
you had definately made matters worse on yourself since you moved away from your child.  that is most unfortunate....for your child...and especially since it was already such a struggle before the move.  

I would try to keep the same visitation and you'll probably have to travel to get the child and bring her back....since you chose to move away.  My husband's Ex moved his kid away, concealed her, and he drove 600 miles, round trip WEEKLY, to reestablish his relationship with his daughter.  after that, my husband would DRIVE two round trips EOW to bring his daughter here to visit, a total of 1200 miles in a weekend....AND THE MOM MOVED THE KID AWAY FROM HIM!

be prepared to sacrifice, especially since you've made this bed.

the onus will fall on you to do all of the work...since you moved away.  Jurisdiction will be in the old state.  All of your courts motions will be in the old state.  Don't be surprised if the judge isn't sympathetic because you moved away....because the move may create a hardship on your child.  and if mom screams foul, the judge will back her up.  just warning you to the realities.  don't expect mom to cooperate, she probably won't have to  and a judge won't make her do anything....because you moved away.

if you want to fly her to see you, be prepared to pay for everything, her trip, your trip since she's young and you have to accompany her on the plane....because you moved away.  airlines won't let kids fly unaccompanied on direct flights, until they're 5.  The age is 8 if there's a connecting flight.

what a mess...right?  sorry about any attitude but I don't understand how parents can 1) move away from their children or 2) move the kdis away from a parent.  be prepared for huge sacrifices.  it may be worth considering trying to get a new job near your child so you can live near here.  many fathers on this board have done that for their kids.



frustrated_dad

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RE: Don't lose hope
« Reply #4 on: Oct 11, 2004, 02:11:54 PM »
I am fighting, believe me. And I know I need to get a lawyer. Will a judge actually force the ex to either meet me 1/2 way or transport my daughter to the airport? They live 2 hours from airport and my daughter is too young to fly alone...

I have suggested about 15 different visitation scenarios, none of which worked for my ex because she considers our daughter her "best friend" and misses her too much when she is away for more than 3 days. When I took her for a week this summer the ex called 5 times a day to tell my daughter how sad she was and how much she missed her. This is all way too much for a little girl to wrap her head around.

In addition, my ex is claiming I didn't take my visitation as scheduled in the past, which isn't true. And she is saying things to my daughter like, "You father is a failure and you belong with your mother."

It's so hard for me to believe that this woman I used to love is actually doing this to our daughter....


frustrated_dad

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RE: Bitter Visitation Battle
« Reply #5 on: Oct 11, 2004, 02:16:39 PM »
First, if I could have afforded to stay where we were living after the divorce and on top of the support payments, I would have. Financially I just couldn't afford it. And I want my daughter to be able to participate in things like dance class that otherwise I wouldn't be able to offer her. Being that I am only 300 miles away, it isn't like I am on the other side of the country, there are a million different ways to structure a visitation arrangement that would benefit my daughter and allow a continuing relationship. Please know that even when I was two miles away I saw her only EOW and one week in summer. The ex prevented all other visitation, even when notified weeks in advance of a special event.

Thanks for lashing out when you only know your story, and having no sympathy for a man desperate to have a relationship with his child. Finally, I have no issue with picking my daughter up or paying for travel. None, whatsoever. I just want the ability to see her. Nothing more.

joni

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RE: Bitter Visitation Battle
« Reply #6 on: Oct 11, 2004, 02:25:53 PM »
I'm not lashing out...I'm giving you a reality check.  I'm not going to give you false hope and blow smoke up your butt....because there is no hope for you.  REad the stories from many dads on this board and you'll see really quick what your chances are to win this 1) slim and 2) none.  You moved away and you made this bed.  If your Ex will not cooperate with you, because you moved away, YOU CAN'T MAKE HER COOPERATE...and the judge will back her.  I'm telling you the truth friend, I'm not lashing out.

Those on this board know what  a bleeding heart I am for dads rights.

If you want every other weekend, this is what you will have to do 1) pay for all airfare and 2) accompany your own daughter on all of the flights or pay for your Ex's flight one of the routes.  It's a crap shoot whether or not mom will take your kid to the airport.  And if she's been fighting you this long, I don't see her rolling over, even with a judge's order, to go 2 hours out of her way for you to get your kid to the airport when she wouldn't do it in the same town 2 miles away.  You know this in your heart.

If no weekends, your best bet is to ask for alternating holidays and extended summer.  The judge will probably back you on that, all the commuting being your expense.  I think EOW is going to be real tough to get unless you visit her in her town, like mysonsdad said to you, until she gets older.

frustrated_dad

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RE: Bitter Visitation Battle
« Reply #7 on: Oct 11, 2004, 04:29:22 PM »
At this point I am asking for one weekend/month, every other holiday weekend, Feb. break and 4 weeks in summer. I have offered to pay for all travel expenses - car and/or airline. The ex can't see past herself at all... couldn't when I was next door, can't now either. When I knew I was getting moved she assured me we would work it out, and well, that was total bs, and now I'm already moved, and since I HAVE to pick my daughter up at 5:30pm on Fridays, there's no way I can do this EOW under old CO and still keep my job. Ex knows this and is counting on me having to cancel on visits so she can use against me. Ex is refusing to allow my mother to pick up my daughter at daycare... says it is me or nothing.

And I would hope there is hope for a man who provides for his daughter to have reasonable time with her, whether he's in the same town or another coast. I'm still feeling out the waters here, but I don't want to give up, nor will I when you say there's no hope for me.

joni

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RE: Bitter Visitation Battle
« Reply #8 on: Oct 11, 2004, 04:47:42 PM »

I think you have a reasonable offer.  She can't totally shut you out although try as she will.  I think a judge would see your offer as responsible.

Your child is young, I would suggest that you spend your one weekend a month in the child's hometown until she's 6 y.o. and put in the court order for the child to come to your new home that one weekend a month and you'll reimburse your Ex for gas.

I would ask for the entire summer, except for the week after school gets out until the week before school goes back.  Ask for more, expect less because you know your Ex will go in there and offer you 1 week in the summer.  I don't think 4 weeks is enough.

Please take this advice, in this current court order, put as much detail as possible for as far out in the future as you can.  Don't leave anything open ended or ambiguous because you'll only hurt yourself and end up on the short end of the stick.  

Take this from our experience.  For example, plan out the future, like I said earlier, you'll visit the child one weekend a month in her hometown, until she's 6 and old enough to travel on the plane alone.  When the child is 6 and comes to your home town, you want to get another weekend a month in the child's hometown so you end up with 2 weekends a month.  See how that works?

YOu'll save yourself a trip back to court later.  

Kimberly9

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RE: Don't lose hope
« Reply #9 on: Oct 11, 2004, 06:15:26 PM »
I am so sorry.  My husband's child has gone through the same torment.  How in the world they can stake their entire emotional well being on a pre-school child is beyond me.  I know how heart wrenching it is to hear, "I have to go home because Momma needs me!"

Just always remember that your daughter needs you in her life, as much as she needs her mother.  Always take the high road and don't put her mother down, but don't let her eliminate you either.

Yes, I think the judge will order het to meet 1/2 way.  

Do you have documentation of all of your past visits?  At least a journal. . .will help show a continued relationship.

There are lots of ways to keep in contact with a child at a distance. . .most require some level of cooperation from the CP.  I hope things work out for you and your daughter.

MixedBag

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About travel (only)
« Reply #10 on: Oct 11, 2004, 06:55:17 PM »
I respectfully disagree...

He moved for his job.

He'd have to prove that he HAD to move away....

and that's an uphill battle.

I know I got it "approved" and got a CS credit as a result, but in the miltiary, you move a lot and I was active duty.

MixedBag

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RE: Bitter Visitation Battle
« Reply #11 on: Oct 11, 2004, 07:03:12 PM »
You have mail.

smtotwo

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Regarding your mother doing pick-ups....
« Reply #12 on: Oct 11, 2004, 08:01:54 PM »
First you should get your mother a limited power of attorney that specifically states she will be picking up daughter on your fridays.

If the ex refuses then, file contempt against her. Clearly YOUR making an effort and she is interferring.

Second, make the day care aware of your current court order, send them a certified copy, along with the limited power of attorney for your mother to pick up daughter.

Your Ex CANNOT say who does your pick ups unless the court order says who can do pick ups.

Kimberly9

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Thanks for giving him suggestions on this one
« Reply #13 on: Oct 11, 2004, 08:22:47 PM »
I know there has to be a way for Grandma to be allowed to do the pick-up -- I just didn't know how to advise him to make it happen!

 

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