Can Dad keep my boys from their weekend activities?

Kamee - posted on 12/28/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

4

30

0

I have been divorced for nine months now. Because of the divorce my boys and I had to move to a new town closeby, very close to my family and many of our friends. After the divorce was final, Dad relocated to a town an hour and a half away from us (a very expensive coastal town, with absolutely no possibility of us being able to relocate anywhere nearby, even if I wanted to.) He now has parenting time every other weekend.

My problem occurs when my boys want to take part in different activities. My boys have both always been heavily involved in community activities: sports, church groups, music lessons, scouting, etc. Because of this I thought that getting them involved in activities in our new town would be a great way for us to get our lives back on track.

I signed both boys up for Little League, thinking it would be a good way for them to make friends before starting a new school in the fall. Well, Dad refused to take them to any of their games that happened on his weekends. (Which hurt my boys feelings especially badly since Dad was always willing to take his GF's son to his soccer games.) He never gave me a reason why he wouldn't take them, and even told me that he would, but when I would show up for those games, my boys wouldn't be there. Missing weekend games was kind of okay for my younger son, who was playing t-ball, but my older son was constantly ridiculed by his teammates and made to sit out of the games that followed Dad's weekend because of the missed games. (I did talk to his coaches and explain the problem, but was given the "rules are rules" speech.) Obviously, my son wound up being the outcast of the team (the exact opposite of what I wanted to happen!) and wound up quitting the team (something that I NEVER allow normally, but given the circumstances, I was heartbroken for him.)

Since then, Dad has refused to agree to let my younger son participate in wrestling or either boy to participate in basketball because they would interfere with his weekends. My oldest son is very involved in scouting, having been a cub since he was a Tiger Scout, and is in his first year of Boy Scouts. Weekend camping trips are a common event and obviously occur on Dad's weekend sometimes (as well as mine.) Twice since September, my older son has timidly asked Dad to go camping with the scouts instead of going to Dad's on his weekend. The first time he did let him go, but only after MUCH DRAMA, several phone calls, and tons of tears. The second camping trip is coming up January 7th and we once again are expereinceing DRAMA! Dad is now telling him that unless he spends 4 days of his Christmas vaca with him (including NYE - my holiday) then he won't let him go on the trip.

This is driving me CRAZY!!! The divorce was difficult enough for us all and my older son is still in weekly therapy sessions dealing with all of the changes (divorce, move, new school, Dad's surprise wedding and a new baby on the way, just to name a few...) I just want my boys to be able to develop their new life here. Shouldn't their Dad want that for them too???

Does anyone know what I need to do to solve this problem? What does New Jersey law say about this? It's called Parenting Time, not "Dad Gets To Do Whatever He Wants To Do Time!" On my weekends, I have to miss spending time with my son if he goes camping or has a sleepover with friends and I have to spend my time shuffling kids around from place to place. Plus, I still have to get kids ready for school, do homework, take them to their weekday activities, go to doctor appointments regularly, etc., etc., etc. My point is, just because I have the boys more often, I never stop being a parent and just do what I want witht he kids. Don't dads have to follow suit? How can I encourage him to start being the ather that my boys need?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Lo Lo - posted on 05/23/2013

1

0

0

Im sensing alot of bitterness from most of you ladies. Ive been on both sides of the fence, but what you have to remember is that Dad doesn't have to do what you want on his weekend. What I am sensing is some control issues. Ladies, keep in mind that you do not dictate what dad does during his parenting time. Don't sign your kids up for anything that falls on dad's time. Naturally, it will cause friction, and resentment. Dad does not want to spend his precious time with his kids doing what YOU want. Dad is well within his right to plan his own activities for his kids during his parenting time. If you have signed little Johnny up for an activity that falls on dad's weekend....without dad's consent, then it's your problem. The father has just as much say, and just as much parental right as you do. Stop villifying these dads and stop trying to control everything. Sign your kids up for activities that fall on your parenting time, not dad's.

Unchalee - posted on 09/13/2013

1

0

0

With all do respect for the mothers who sign their children up for activities on bio-dad's time, I must agree with Tiffany Lynn's response. As a loving father who only get's his daughters every other weekend and lives 125 miles apart, I have asked her several times not to plan activities on my parenting time, as it's a one way street. I can never switch weekends and spending hours on the road is not quality time.

Here is an interesting quote I found regarding "in the best interest of children," providing them with their needs instead of their wants provides kids with a balance of respect, discipline and an understanding of disappointment for an adult life.

I finally had to take my ex back to court and modified our custody agreement because I was always the bad and uncaring father for not taking my daughters to their weekend activities. Feel free to use this phrase in your situation because it literally saved my relationship with my children.

I. Both parties agree to refrain from scheduling or promoting to either child any special events or activities that fall on the other party’s parenting/visitation time without first obtaining permission from that party in the following manner:

(a) The party requesting to modify the visitation schedule based upon a special event or activity shall first notify the other party of the event or activity and discuss with them the benefits of having the children attend said activity or event prior to discussing it with the child[ren]. If the party having visitation with the child[ren] during such activity or event has already made other plans or decides against having the child[ren] in attendance, the requesting parent will be promptly notified and shall abide by that parent’s decision. Neither party shall use a child or the children to influence the other parent’s decision.

Tracy - posted on 01/06/2011

6

12

1

stick with the court system on this one and a 'judge' will tell him that he needs to support his children's involvement in activities that fall on his parenting time.

Grandparent Who's Been - posted on 09/16/2013

1

0

0

I am an adult child of divorced parents and I can tell you from the child's point of view that there isn't a baseball game, a movie, or any other activity that was more important than being able to spend a day with my father. I was with Mom all the time and I had extracurricular activities with my friends all thru the week and lots of weekends, but I rarely got to spend time with Dad. I tell you the truth when I say, the thing I wanted most in the whole world was a few more hours with him. He died when I was 19. There are so many things left unsaid and so much that I will never know about him. So many memories we never made. Now, 40 years later, I still feel a tremendous sadness. Have any of you people taken 5 minutes to ask your children what they want, without influencing their answers? In spite of her angry feelings toward him, my mother never kept us away from our dad. She was wise enough to know that we would be adults one day with children of our own and we would use the lessons learned from them, to parent our kids. I believe some people are born on this earth for the sole purpose of serving as a good bad example. My mother was an example of what to be like. My father was the bad example. But I still loved him no matter how neglectful he was and I still, all these years later, would give anything to have one more hour with him. Perfect or imperfect doesn't matter. Children need their parents....BOTH of their parents.

Tiffany - posted on 02/07/2013

2

0

0

As a mother of 3 and a Stepmom of one, I can relate to both sides! So first I will give my motherly instinct: keep your child active and keep their minds occupied but teach them family first don't just say it, teach it! If your intentions are to keep them occupied so they never get that time with their other family then Dad may not be the problem, mom maybe the controlling one using the children to spite the father! Not in all case but it is out there.....
With that being said as a Step mom of a beautiful child who loves softball more than life I say too much is not okay extra curricular is extra not all the time: my step child missed my first child's birthday party because she had a softball game and it was Father's Day weekend to top it off and our scheduled every other sooooo I have been on both sides now in our case my husband is a very loving and supportive father who is afraid to ever tell her no even if it interferes with our other children's emotions because the deserve a relationship with their sister and she them! We let her go to almost everything but now she has practice 2 hours away with travel ball on Sundays and has to leave at 10 am instead of 5:00 pm and she had high school ball because she is the manager so we don't get her until 6 on Fridays so when you do that every weekend try to understand that The Father isn't trying to get back at you or hurt the child but he has to have his time with the child as well! It is very difficult to balance but the fathers weekend is his time to spend with that child if he allows it some then great but don't make it a burden because you will end up being the one that's taking from the child not him!!! FAMILY FIRST!!!!!!!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

27 Comments

View replies by

Angie - posted on 10/13/2013

2

0

0

My husband my husband has three kids and all,of them are in two sports and band. His whole weekend would be driving back and forth from northern indiana to Fort Wayne indiana.

He tries to get them when they are done with activities but mom says 6 pm Friday or nothing at all. When we moved 4 months ago everything went to hell. Mom will not pick kids up on Sunday as stated in decree because in her words..."you chose to move"

Bull!!!!!
We had to move because his company moved him. He turned them down once because it was farther away than we are now. Turning down again would have been career suicide.
It's all about her. Some of his weekends he doesn't get them because he doesn't want them to not enjoy activities, but then my husband doesn't get time with them. She won't switch weekends when they are free, because it's not what is in the decree. She just won't budge. But then blames him for her never having any free time.

She fought tooth and nail until he ran out of money during divorce. She got sole custody. Now all she complains about is being 50 with middle school kids and no free time.

I do not feel sorry for her. The kids never call him. He calls all the time to chat and the answering machine always gets it. No return call unless they want money for something.

Totally fed up with the ex-controlling wife.

Btw....when things don't go her way, she always goes to court and sadly the courts don't favor men. It's complete BS. IM GLAD MY DIVORCE WAS NOTHING LIKE THIS.

Angie - posted on 10/13/2013

2

0

0

Umm....what about dad's who live 3 hours away? There is no way he should be expected to drive them back and forth 3 times to and from his home tomtheir home for activites and sports. It's not fair on the kids to spend 10-15 hours in a car during Friday to sunday . Mom needs to get. Grip.

Shelley - posted on 08/26/2013

1

0

0

Wow ,first of all, i'm dealing with kinda the same issue , and it's not that you plan on Dad's weekend, it's a team they set the time and place ,not mom's fault, and controlling, how? cause you want your kids active ? , wow, i'm acutally stunded at your reply, .sure some mom's are controlling , but I read the same post as you did and feel bad for the kids.

Anne - posted on 01/14/2013

1

0

0

Court order!!! The dads must do what's best for the child. I got mine involved in school activities, ie ymca and and the schools teachers would email him, and tell him to bring him. I also asked him to involve him in sports in his town and than I'd show up there. That didn't go over so well w his girlfriend. If he didn't want to do the right thing, I made him realize I wasn't budging.

Amanda - posted on 10/16/2012

35

0

0

I have no advice because I'm going thru the same thing. I've been wondering what I can do about it & I think I am going to contact my lawyer. I live in Ohio. Anyone know what the laws are here?

Jamie - posted on 09/26/2012

1

0

0

My boys dad just refused them to perform in their church chorus performance. Where they both have solos. Taekwondo and choir are the only things that practice during the week. Been divorced for 3 yrs. Its still a battle the only way I get child support is to take him to court which after the atty fees is pointless. I even offered to give up my weekend if he would just allow them to go. Its hard when they find out they made a solo part and then watch them cry infront of evryone when they find out its on his weekend. Sad sad sad. Bottom line, moms love their kids more most the time, there is rarely a situation where both parents are good parents. I left a very very abusive marriage and he is still trying to control and hurt me through them. But one day they will look back and see that they missed out bc of him, it wont hurt any less, but it will be answers he will have to deal with one day and when they have a choice as adults to have him around they may choose otherwise. Men are creeps!

Alienfighter8 - posted on 08/22/2012

1

0

0

Look into parent alienation syndrome and research it well before you respond. I'm sure you will respond with a "thank you very much for making me aware of it." Then if not we can battle but in private and not on here. It is also called PAS....well here is the kicker you seem to be doing it with the whole situation and really more with the I, I, I, me, me etc. anyone is welcome to respond. I will only respond to attacks on here. Thanks in advance,



Alienfighter

Dee Dee - posted on 01/11/2011

13

13

1

This is sad, but in the long run it looks like a trip back to court in order for the kids to be able to have their lives and it sounds like he's a selfish SOB

Kathy - posted on 01/05/2011

76

20

0

The boys need to visit with their dad however if it is causing problems for them w/piers I would speak to the counselor and ask them what to do. You may have to let the boys just flat out refuse to go to their dads so they can enjoy their activities and go with their scout group outings. Youj can NOT keep them from him however if they refuse to go and will not leave with him there is nothing you can do to make them go either. I had this happehn when mine was about 10-12 yrs old and his dad soon learned he wasnt going anywhere with him ever again. If you hold them back then you are in contempt but if they refuse to go and tell the judge this there is not many that will force them to go when they explain their reasons for staying home. I would contact an attorney as they are well versed on the laws and should not be taken lightly as this is a serious neglect from their father not participating in their lives and activities with the boys.

Sharlene - posted on 01/05/2011

1

7

0

I don't know what the law is in your state, however, I have a clause in my court order that he must take the kids to their activities durring his parenting time. WHat usually happpens in our case is if they do have anything, football, or any other activity he simply does not show up to pick them up and they are heart broken watching out the window for him. My ex has not exactly tried to make any of this easier on them though. I would see if you could have a similar clause added. It's not fiar to the kids and to tell them they can not participate in activities will cause them to be rediculed by their peers.

Marie - posted on 01/04/2011

3

30

0

well what i would do is take his sorry ass back to court hes not thinking of his kids hes only thinking on hurting you because he thinks you would flip out and wants to get back at you now i dont no what happen with the marriage but some men wants to take control and dont let that happen KIDS are first tell him to grow the hell up and think of his kids it sounds you are a very responsible mother and keep up the good work but you cant do it on your own i know there are children lawyers if they are old enough but i would take his sorry ass back to court you dont need this and definently your boys dont need it either or phone for a legal advise good luck please let us know whats going on .....

Joni - posted on 01/03/2011

103

22

12

Keep a notebook of your complaints against their father. It's easy to forget what you want to say in front of a judge. Def. take care of this legally, since it sounds like he is not going to just be a grown up and do what his kids need.

Semantha - posted on 01/03/2011

46

24

5

I have dealt with this problem with both of my exhusbands and the short answer is Yes, he can do whatever he wants with his time. You have no right to dictate how he spends his time, just as he has no right to dictate how you spend yours. I have had lawyers, mediators, and judges hammer home this point. (I am in FL, btw)
Now, the easiest solution is to only join things where the kids show up on your time. Easier said than done, I know. But if you ask around and talk to coaches, etc, you will be able to find an activity that works, such as Tae Kwon Do, or other martial arts, etc that meet during the week. Please remember that right now Dad is gonna do whatever is the opposite of what you and the boys want. Its a game to him. So if you stop caring what he does and let it go (I KNOW, its hard!) then he can't make it into an arguement. My boys father has baited me from day one, and refused to participate "unless he feels like it". But as soon as I started acting like it didn't bother me, like I didn't care, then he stopped getting "upset" about things. Its a power game. So don't give him a reason to deny you, take it out of his hands, and after awhile he will relax about it. If that means your kids don't do a season or two of sports then so be it. Is that really the end of the world, if it removes the stress from their lives? The last thing the kids want to be a part of the reason their parents are arguing. Keep in mind I am not attacking your methods, and I agree that the kids are more important, but that is not how the selfish dads think. Its never for the good of the kids in their head, its for the good of themselves. I have been divorced for 10 rs from my girls dad, and I have seen it work when I back off and don't give him a reason to argue. Good luck!

Chane - posted on 01/01/2011

2

9

0

Hi Kamee, I agree with Faye... I would contact my lawyer ask that it is put before the court that yr children are being hurt by their fathers unwillingness to be involved in there "activities after divorce". I have for the past 6 years raised my 7 year old on my own. His dad walked out then stole him for 2 months now lives 10 minutes away. Mid 2008 I started a new relationship that ended 3 months ago in domestic violence. The courts have GIVEN my 7yo to his father who has a drug problem, a new wife who is hitting my child, I have not had a visit supervised or other since 6th December and just spent my 1st Christmas and New year since becomming a mum alone. If his dad wanted to no anything ask and he was told. My son had a paediatrition apt beginning of November and i'm still waiting to hear what happened at it. Some males should NOT be allowed to have children. MOST courts need to walk a week in the shoes of each parent. I am from Australia so have absolutely no idea on the laws where u are. Please fight for yr children to be happy. Every child DESERVES that. By speaking to yr lawyer u have legal advice then if the courts say dad can only have DAY visits.... Yr not the bad guy. U were looking out for the happiness of yr beautiful boys. Love yr babies. Keep them safe. Hold them close let them no they are loved and NEVER give up trying to make them happy. One day they WILL return the favour. Sending much luv and hugs

Susan - posted on 12/30/2010

75

0

0

What does your shared parenting agreement say? I guess in your case it might be covered in a divorce decree. I was never married. Mine states that neither of us can sign our daughter up for any activities that interfere with the other's parenting time without the other's permission. That's difficult if you've got the typical every other weekend visitation. I'd recommend going to mediation or back to court to try to work it out. It definitely doesn't sound like their dad's refusal to let them have extracurricular activities is doing very well for them.

Melissa - posted on 12/30/2010

7

21

0

the best thing I can say is contact your divorce attorney and ask them what you can do, or be the bigger person and give up one of your weekend to apease dads childish behavior so your boys can be happy and active as well as demand the same from your ex as far as ball games go on his weekend, if you give up one of your weekend with your boys so they can do what they want as far as cubs scouts go or anything then dad should do the same. Demand that he is more involved in their activities they are his children too, if all else fail make him drive an hour or so to take the kids to doctors appointments and things. let him walk a mile in your shoes... hope every things works out

Tracy - posted on 12/30/2010

6

12

1

Hi Kamee,
Good Luck. If u ever have any questions let me know. I had a great attorney that covered everything for me in my original div agreement. Somethings I think had no relevance but they were 'just in casers'! My ex took me to court to modify the agreement 1 year after it was originally filed...but that didnt go anywhere and just helped me actually. But 'knowledge is power'...so if u have any questions just holler over here! Happy New Year :)
Tracy

Kamee - posted on 12/30/2010

4

30

0

Thanks Tracy! This is exactly what I am in the process of doing right now. I spent the morning in the court house yesterday trying to find some answers (but unfortunately wound up just finding out about a lot of things that my lawyer never took care of! Ugh!) However, I did get help from two wonderful ladies who have now helped me get the process of child support started (since I found out it never was!) and who gave me some advice on how to file motions to get amendments added to my divorce decree.

In the meantime, the boys went with their dad for these four days and I am going to be filling out paperwork to protect us from ever having this kind of thing happening again!

Thank you all for your help and advice! It's nice to know us moms aren't alone!

Happy New Year!

Tracy - posted on 12/30/2010

6

12

1

In NY I had it written into my divorce agreement that the father can not unduly withhold the children from activities they are involved in that occur during his visitation time. You can file a petition in family court to have an addendum written to your original agreement. You do not need an attorney for such petition.

[deleted account]

I don't know the law in your area, but I do know that when my ex comes to visit his kids (he has to fly over) for the weekend... he HAS to take them to their sports and stuff if they want to attend. If there is a birthday party or something.... it's up to him, but he is not allowed to disrupt their regularly scheduled lives by missing a game/practice/etc... that happens to fall on his weekend.

[deleted account]

That is sad that their father will not allow them to do these things. Have you tried switching weekends? With this camping trip coming up if you said to the father let this be my weekend and then you can have them two weekends in a row? Just a thought. Also I know that with my Friend of the Court worker they will take children activities into account when managing parenting time. However I do not know New Jersey law but I would definitely ask your lawyer about it maybe he can give you a few ideas as well. You are doing the right thing with getting them involved and its a shame that the father won't step up and make this an easier time for them. I hope things work out for the best for you and your boys!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms