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Messages - justme

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Visitation Issues / Re: "Shared" transportation
« on: Jul 05, 2009, 10:35:10 AM »
I am so glad that I found this forum!  I thank you all for your real life facts and your considered opinions.  There is no negotiating with this man - I've been always been the flexible one and multiple suggestions for alternatives are usually rejected with no reason given.  I am going to sit tight and do what I've been doing and share the driving, and I'm going to offer him alternatives to that train he's so stuck on that gets in during my EMS shift.  I'm not going to get involved in paying for the train tickets - that way I can maintain "status quo".  If he decides to take me to court I can bring all of my e-mails and documentation of how flexible I have been and how I have been sharing in the transportation (no percentage is mentioned in the agreement.)  So I think it's possible that any request for a change will be dismissed anyway since nothing has changed significantly and I'm not in violation. 
If I had it to do over I would have been a stickler and not let that kind of vaguery be in the agreement.  But it is what it is and I hope I won't be getting divorced again!

Visitation Issues / Re: "Shared" transportation
« on: Jul 03, 2009, 07:49:57 PM »
Yes, I should have addressed the vagueness at the time of the divorce.  That's my fault.  I'm not going to bring it to court, but if he does I just want to know what the norm is. 
Can he demand that I drop everything and go to his appointed place and time, or is the 6PM time when she's supposed to leave or arrive home?  For example, he was insisting that I meet him half way (2 hours from home) at 6PM on Father's Day and that if I didn't I was interfering with his visitation, and when I suggested instead she stay over and come back Monday (because she had no school), next thing I know he bought a train ticket leaving his location at 9AM on Father's Day, with no explanation.  That happened just a couple of days before Father's Day.  So she was home early afternoon on Father's Day and spent almost none of the day with him, and she was quite disgusted with him.  (A whole 'nuther problem for me because she gets mad at me for defending him to her, but I do.)
We do have a clause in the agreement that he is supposed to give me 3 weeks notice of any changes, which he never has done, including the above Father's Day boondoggle.  I've turned down some demands because of the short notice, others I have worked with as I could.  It would be about impossible to change the ambulance schedule with short notice.  I committed to the Sunday ambulance shift partly because we had a hole in coverage, so we were already at the thinnest point.  The irony is that I also chose that shift because of the visitation.  He always had sent her back before the Bills game (usually about noon, or the latest 3PM even in the off season) so I figured that I wouldn't have a problem.  I would rather have taken Friday night, but that would definitely have interfered with my ability to drive her. 
And if he has her out once every two months that's a lot - he doesn't often exercise his visitation rights and almost never comes here to visit her.  I'm fine with driving half way and sometimes I've even driven the whole way (8 hours round trip).  I have tried to be flexible and have given him many months notice of my commitments.  It seems like he picks those times and dates and tries to interfere with them by making last minute changes and demands.  I've offered alternate scenarios which he usually ignores.  I've brought her out on weekends that weren't "his", because I feel like he doesn't spend enough time with her. 
BTW - all of our communication is by e-mail.  I've learned I have to have documentation of this stuff and it served me well in the divorce.  If we converse by phone once in a blue moon, I always send him an e-mail afterwards, "As we discussed on the phone..."
Most of this is venting - it is what it is.  I made the choice to marry this guy, but that's over and now most of the time I am happier than I have been in my life.  My kids (I also have 2 adult kids) are great and we all get along wonderfully.  These interactions remind me how lucky I am to be out of the marriage, and that he is so far away!
Thanks for listening.

Visitation Issues / "Shared" transportation
« on: Jul 03, 2009, 05:02:25 AM »
This is a rather complicated story but I hope someone can offer some of their own experience.
I live in NY state, and my also ex lives in NY state about 4 hours away.  We've been divorced since 12/07 and separated since 12/05 when he moved to where he is now.  Our agreement/order is relatively vague as to costs of visitation and simply states that we will share in transportation.  He has visitation every other weekend 6PM Friday to 6PM Sunday.  Until recently, we worked it out without a problem.  Sometimes I would meet him halfway, sometimes he would do most of the driving, sometimes I was able to drive her farther.  We never paid attention to the 6PM time because it never worked for either of us.  Our daughter recently reached an age where she can travel unaccompanied on the train.  The train is very convenient for both of us.  However, my ex has now started making demands that I pay 50% of the train fare.  When I refused, he deducted the money from my support.  I then took him to court and won because our order specifically doesn't allow for deductions.  The NY support collection unit now handles the support payments so he cannot make any more deductions.  The visitation transportation costs were not addressed at that court session.  He still insists that I should be paying for half of the train fare, and that if she doesn't go on the train I have to meet him at 6PM halfway between or I am interfering with his visitation.  I work until 5:30 on Fridays, and I volunteer with an EMS corps from 6PM to 6AM Sunday nights so I have to stay within our distract.  The train station is outside of our district so I can't even pick her up there after 6.  He insists that she comes home on a train that arrives at 6:10. 
We used to work these things out very easily.  We both just adjusted our schedules to get the job done.  Now he e-mails me with a schedule he knows I can't do, such as meeting him half then when I offer what I can, he tells me he is going to take me to court for interfering with his visitation.  I'm not worried about court - I have much documentation where I encourage him to spend more time with her and times where I told him that he could have weekends that weren't officially "his", and I have done about 1/3 or more of the driving this year so I am officially "sharing".  I don't think the court will tell me to take time off from work or my EMS responsibilities.  And my daughter is available at 6PM unless she has an activity of her own.  But if he does take me to court, I would like to get the responsibilities and costs clarified.  I have shared in the transportation for the sake of our daughter, but my feeling is that he should be responsible for the transportation since he moved so far away of his own choice.  In fact, the divorce was granted on abandonment.  I started working full time this year and a four hour drive on a Friday night is exhausting, so I would like to be relieved of having to meet him half way.
In cases like this, what responsibility does the court generally expect of the non-custodial parent?  I'm thinking that since he moved away, I'm being extraordinarily generous driving her anywhere.  I'm just wondering what the standard is in NY state.  And if there is any written guideline that I could use in court I would appreciate it.
PS - This might give you some insight on the personality I am trying to deal with...  He has stated that he doesn't want to waste time responding to my e-mails so he says he will only answer e-mails on the 1st of each month.

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