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Week of my visitation refused, need help

Started by HopelessInVirginia, Aug 09, 2014, 07:59:15 PM

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Today I started my court ordered second 2 week summer visit, and was told by my very upset children that "Dad says he is picking us up in 1 week instead of 2 because school starts next week!" Needless to say, I am very angry that he gave NO notice or request to alternate my 2nd week earlier in the summer when there was still time to make up the week, and the fact that he takes my court ordered visitation so lightly. Most of all I am upset because I have been promising for WEEKS to take my kids on a trip that will now be impossible, and they are very upset. They probably think I "broke my promise" too. I don't know what to do. And the same thing is bound to happen again every summer. Help!


not sure I understand the issue.

How right is it that school starts?


School calendars are published before school lets out the previous years in many school districts -- so why didn't you know that school starts next week?  (maybe it's a lesson learned by you this summer?)


Do you live close enough to take the kids back and forth even though school has started?

sorry had to split this in three posts -- computer was saying I was using a word that's not authorized.....and it was a wrong punctuation mark....nothing bad, but my eyes still need a second cup of coffee this morning.


Go on your trip. Do you have to tell him in writing your weeks ahead of time?

Don't tell kids you are going until the morning you are leaving. When you get to your destination, email/text him  "I gave you notice on xx date for the summer weeks and I made vacation plans. I called the school and they know the kids will be absent on xx dates and the teachers were notified. Next year, I will be sure to look at the school calendar in advance so this does not happen again. As per the court order, they will be go back to you onXX date at xx time.

If kids do not mind missing the first few days of school, then go. If they want to go to school, bring them? IF you are too far away..email/text:
"Kids just told me you are picking them up early. This is unacceptable as we only have 2 weeks each summer together. I would be willing to to bring them to school from here the first week OR Please let me know when we can make up 7 days that we are missing from this visit. IF I do not hear back from you by xx, I will file contempt of court and modification of the visitation schedule to include exact summer dates each year with times so this does not happen again. THank you

Also, I agree, school calendars go online around March for the next school year. Call the school each winter and ask so you know what is going on.


My ex and I do not set up the visitation dates for the summer, they are specifically outlined in the court order. In this case, it says "The second Saturday in August to the fourth Saturday in August." If he could not comply with my court ordered visitation time, he should have given advance notice and asked for an alternate week be scheduled, but he did not. I guess he just assumed he would have a good enough excuse to violate the court order, that he wouldn't get in trouble, and I would lose my week (win, win, win for him!)

This scenario is going to happen every year that they are in that school because of the specific dates outlined on the court order. Ex does not take the order seriously, and this is the second time he has violated it - for Mother's Day weekend I was supposed to have them from Friday to Sunday and instead he brought them on Saturday with the excuse "I didn't read the order."

We live almost an hour and a half apart so bringing them to school is not feasible. I would like to insist on taking the time I am ordered and take the trip with them, but then will I get in trouble for the fact that they missed school? Maybe that is his whole strategy here?

Thanks for the help.


If you talk to the school and maybe email the teachers (so you have proof you talked to them) and let them know the situation and that you will fix the court order for future years you should be okay.
File NOW in court for modification "children's school start date changed and now interfers with mother's summer visits. Mother only had one week during summer 2014 instead of the court ordered 2 weeks and requests a make-up week (7 days) as father would not allow children to stay or give an alternate week this past summer"

You can request make up days to be added to your weekends or other breaks. Kids usually have off lots of mondays so you can request specific dates this coming year that you get them. Since he need dates and times make sure they are written and that children can sleep over sunday night into monday for make up days.


Hopeless....."If he could not comply".....I agree with Ocean in that the order needs to be fixed.

I'm not 100% in agreement that this is "Dad's fault" -- I'd lean more towards your "fault" -- I know that's not what you want to hear....  But you should have/could have realized this earlier.

Dad sat back on his laurels (not totally right either) but as the NCP, .... Well, I guess I agree that the order needs to be changed, but I don't agree with Ocean's words "blaming the father because he didn't allow other time" -- you'd have to show you asked and he denied and stuff....

When you file to have this fixed, I'd ask for makeup time next summer if you don't take this summer's two weeks....  And the reason to file is because the school calendar changed and the two defined weeks now interferes with the children's school.  Blame someone/or something neutral.  Court is already an adversarial environment -- and if you can point your finger elsewhere yet accomplish or have the same result, I think in the long run, that's better.


How old are the children?  there are milestones that I think are important so that they don't miss school....BUT I myself have taken my kids out of school for a trip.  First day of Kindergarden and First day of Junior High and High School.....I'd lean towards school.  Other years....considering this was figured out so late, I might lean the other way. 

And if you keep them, file for the modification on the first day of school or on the first day they are with you.....don't hesitation and push this down the road.


They are in middle school. I looked on the county court website and it gives instructions for filing a contempt motion but not instructions on how to request the court change the order, so I'm not sure how to do this. The custody attorney cost $10,000 (and I lost!) and I can't afford to hire a lawyer again to fight this.

I still think that the parent that is unable to comply should need to request an alternate with advance notice. He is not asking me to take them to school next week, he is demanding to pick them up next weekend. To add insult to injury, he wants them on Saturday instead of Sunday "so that have a day to unwind before school" which just makes it all the more outrageous considering I am already losing a week.

I reviewed my notes and this is actually the 3rd time I have lost visitation time. The first time was their birthday last year, when my ex just outright refused. The second was Mother's Day weekend when I was supposed to have them on Friday and he brought them on Saturday with the excuse "I didn't read the court order."

I found an example of a letter to send the other parent reiterating my intention to exercise visitation (something that shouldn't have to be reiterated, but I guess it does!) and warning him of the potential consequences of ignoring the court order. I am going to prepare one of these and send it  to him via certified mail. It probably will add flame to the fire but I've got to assert myself or he will just keep doing whatever he wants. Then again, if he ignored the actual court order there's a good chance he will ignore this too.

I haven't found anything about how to adjust the summer dates. I will keep trying to find out. If anyone has any more information about this for Virginia please post. Someone said if I bring up visitation in court again I could risk losing some of the time I already have because they would "re-evaluate" the case? Is this true? That seems incredibly unfair considering the good reason I am asking this to be changed.