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Topics - this2shallpass

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My children's father and I have been divorced 7 years. The main tension in our relationship then and co-parenting now is that he has ADD. It is his excuse for forgetting everything from physical belongings of the children to doctor's appts to child support payments. This has been exacerbated by the fact that I live in State A, he lives in State B, and his new girlfriend lives in State C. We are all roughly one hour apart.

Before I say anything else, let me be clear that I am not jealous of the new girlfriend. I began dating post-divorce before my ex did, had the opportunity to remarry (a wonderful man in the military) but declined, and genuinely hope that my ex remarries because he'll benefit from the help of a life partner.

However, this particular girlfriend's living situation and custody order are a problem. She and my ex have their kids on opposite weekends and different nights of the week (except one night). She also has a no move away clause and a clause prohibiting overnight guests of the opposite sex when her kids are present. As a result, they are under a lot of stress about being able to spend "alone" time together. My ex asked me to switch weekends, but my kids do not want to have to share their weekend with him with her kids. So right now, my ex and his gf only have Thursday nights alone. On Thursday mornings, my ex drops our kids at school in State A, goes to work in State B, and then drives after work to State C to spend the night with his girlfriend since her kids are with their dad.

Almost invariably, my kids call me in a panic on Thursday during the day because they realize they have left some important item (homework, part of a sports uniform, etc.) either at my ex's apartment or in his car. He consistently refuses to get these items to the kids until Friday evening. They are 8, 9, and 11, so it is age appropriate that they may leave an item behind in the morning rush. But their father refuses to drive back to State B where he lives in order for me to come and get it.

Yesterday, our middle child got to school and realized that that he had left his long term science project in Dad's car. He called Dad who was at work in State B to say he needed it. The response was "I'll bring it after work on Friday." After school, my son told me and I called my ex. I said "Please bring it. It is going to be marked down already for not being in today and will be marked down another 10% if not brought tomorrow morning." He said no. I said "May we come to State C to get it?" He said "No, this is our private time." I reminded him that the project could earn no higher than a B if our son couldn't turn it in until Monday. Our kids all get straight As. He still said no and stopped answering phone calls or texts from me or my son.

I explained to the school and the teacher was sympathetic, but legally has to follow the rules about late work. Our son is now angry and doesn't want to visit his father this weekend.

What can I do, informally or formally to resolve the current situation and prevent this in the future?

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