Hi and welcome to DadsDivorce, the leader in divorce help for men, fathers rights and mens rights. We provide divorced dads with concrete, practical divorce resources to achieve the best results in the courtroom.
Here's the back story - she has our daughter 60 / 40.
She's going to Europe for 16 days with her ( she's 2 ) and I asked to rejig the schedule so I see her more at the beginning of August. They leave August 18th. I take her on her nursing schedule - 5 week rotation and on nights/weekends she works. She changed up 1 weekend so I can see her as she was travelling with her on the 18th - my weekend, straight swap.
I received this reply about my request - "it seems like requests for the schedule to be rearranged happen really frequently and I understand this arrangement is hard on both of us, however, there's a reason why we signed a custody agreement so I ask that we try to follow it as much as possible. "
The changes are due to work travelling, family coming and wanting to see her etc. I'm not modifying the custody agreement by changing the schedule am I?!
Whether you have joint custody or not, there should be stipulations in the agreement about accommodating work schedule and/or travel and a statement that the < parenting time > schedule is the minimum that is required, parents should encourage their children to see the other parent whenever they can.
So if you want to get into an argument that you will lose (because you're a guy) then reply stating what you just said, that you want to see the child before they go overseas, but realize that she obviously does not want to accommodate your needs and probably will not agree.
Well, I don't know the exact details-but aren't you accomodating her by letting her take your child overseas for that long?
Woman's point of view: perhaps it's not the time switching-perhaps she's getting confused. Happened to me. my ex and I rarely stick to the agreement(it has him having every other weekend). but for the next two months I at one point got completely confused. Perhaps you should make up a schedule(on an excel calendar)? that's what we had to do. Perhaps she feels stupid cause she can't keep her schedule straight? Just a thought.
But switching things around to accomodate life is normal. The agreement is strictly followed by those who can not and will not communicate and coparent. The agreement is something that you fall back on should you and your not ex not be able to come to your own arrangements.
I have a similar situation: we don't go by our decree, which is the state's standard possession order, but so far have managed to negotiate our own custom parenting schedules, one for the school year and one for the summertime. I like our own arrangement better, as it gives me more time with my kids. However, I feel like she constantly uses the threat of breaking our agreement and insisting on following the SOP to manipulate me. So lately I'm wondering if it wouldn't just be better to preemptively go with the decree in order to eliminate this constant stress in my life, always wondering if she'll break our agreement.
Once you have gone by the established routine for 6 months or so you can ignore her threats and even threaten back that the established routine has become the status quo and all you need to do is have the judge sign off on it .
Document, document, document.
We've been off the court ordered schedule for 5 years now. There is no going back unless I say it's OK.
Fatheroffour: Seriously, is that true? So if she sticks to a certain arrangement for a while I could make the case to a judge of it being the norm and therefore in the kids' best interests of the kids? If so, that would be good news. I need to document more.
Right now, I have my kids for at least some time every other day... a few hours on weeknights, and a whole day (and night) every weekend. As you know, the SOP is one midweek visit and every 1st, 3rd & 5th weekend, but for both days. I like seeing my kids every other day but recently a single mom who didn't realize this was my custom agreement and not the court-ordered schedule told me, "I'm so sorry you got stuck with such a sucky < parenting time > schedule!" That made me start questioning whether the SOP was actually better, since there's less back-and-forth for the kids. I know that transition time is kinda tough for them. Input please?