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Started by 3girlsinsc, Nov 14, 2013, 10:12:24 PM

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I appreciate your perspective and thoughts.  Hotel rooms have been the answer when the alternative was driving an additional 4+ hrs at least.  Getting less easy to justify that expense.  Any suggestions on how to bring the subject up to the ex in a smooth way?  I don't see it being received well.


How many hours are you talking about?

How about text/email:
As you know I have been coming to SC to see the kids as often as I can. With the travel costs/hotel costs it is getting to be a little much plus the kids are getting older and I would like to have a home with me too in NC and to see my family. Can you look at their school calendar and see when some longer weekends and vacations are so we can make arrangements for them to come up here? I am still willing to make some trips to SC, especially for their school events and other activities as they come up.

I was thinking that for this year you can have Thanksgiving long weekend, and then they can come up dec 26-Jan 1 to my house for Christmas and to be with my parents. Then we can see what other school vacations they have that they can come here (winter break? spring break, summer break).

Since we both moved since the separation, the travel should be split between us. We can meet at a half way point or I can come get them at the beginning of the visit and you can come get them at the end.

I really would like us to work this out and not involve the courts as it will cost both of us money that we can use on the kids. Please let me know by xx date, what you think and send me a calendar you think would fit into their school schedule.
Now you would get half of the holidays or do it every other year, fathers day, something for their birthdays, anytime you are in SC with xx days notice to get kids, and at least 4 weeks in summer. So that is your aim.


I like your sample note.  Some key points I'll certainly use, it seems easy enough I just hope she's receptive to it.  I know I should have done this long ago (stand up for what is fair) it would make a huge difference for me. Wish me luck everyone.


Oh, the answer is probably 12 to 16 more driving hours a month that equals 150.00 or so gas bucks.  Part of me hopes she doesn't do the math, since she isn't working that expense for her is coming out of what I give her anyway.  Ultimately, I hope she figures out how to manage working sooner than later.  Wish me luck on that as well.


I live in NC but since SC has jurisdiction, that's not helpful.

One comment about the sample note.  This is just me but the statement about not wanting to involve the courts would have put me on the defensive and shut me down.  Each time my ex (or rather his wife) wrote anything about courts in a letter, I was preparing to battle.  I took it as a veiled threat and an attempt to manipulate me into agreeing to whatever to avoid courts.  Only you can gauge how she'll react to that statement but that would be my reaction to it.
The wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!


My perspective is to keep the focus on the kids and not on the money.  SC does not allow for a modification of support due to travel expenses.  Typically they want to see that travel expenses are shared by both parties.  Especially considering she is getting welfare - they are not going to want to increase the states support amount because they decreased the amount of support you pay.  (I know that shouldn't matter, but it does.)

What you need to do is have your custody and visitation order modified.  Since visitation was never firmly established, you have a good reason to ask the court to do so even though there is no change in circumstances.
Have the order modified so that you get a specific number of days of visitation.  Make sure it says specifically the dates, days, times, and who will be responsible for transportation.  (Ex:  "Father shall have parenting time with the children on the first, 2nd and 4th weekend of the month.  Parenting time shall commence at 5:00 pm on Friday and conclude at 5:00 pm on Sunday.  Parties shall meet at ________ for the parenting time exchange.")

Spell out who gets which holidays, how much time you get during summer vacation and when, and if you will get extra time if there is a death in the family or a special family celebration (ie: wedding, etc.).

If you feel like you guys can work it out without the courts intervention that is best - but it will need to be notarized and submitted to the court as a modification to the order.  But it sounds like she has been having her cake and eating it too recently, so she is probably not going to want to change anything.

As far as the kids going to stay with you, I think it's important for them to spend time with you as their father and not just some guy who stops by every so often and stays in a hotel.  You need to, and have every right to, do parenting stuff with your kids.  That doesn't happen very easily when you come down there and stay in a hotel so you can see them.  That's visiting.  You want parenting time.  You are their father, after all.