Custody inference/joint custody question?

Lisa - posted on 09/02/2015 ( 8 moms have responded )

5

0

2

Hello. I have joint custody with my ex for our son. On the weeks our son is with his father, his father places him in daycare. The daycare has an open policy that parents can come, have a snack, read, help with homework etc. and has parents make use of this. My son has asked that I come on those weeks to review his homework. I come in, I spend 30-40 minutes reviewing his work and/or answering questions and leave quietly. My ex, however, feels this is a violation of our joint custody and is now making quite a stink at the daycare stating it's "his week". I have been candid with the providers stating that I understand this, I have violated no access, no visitation, nor interfered. On the rare instance my ex has come to get our son and I was still there, I have stood up, said goodbye to our son and left (or he left before me if I am cleaning up the table area to leave it tidy for the daycare). The daycare has stated that there has never been an incident when this has occurred, but because he has custody during that time they are worried I am violating a court order or they can get in trouble. I have politely explained that if their policy is parents can come, I am not violating their policy nor am I interfering with custody, visitation or his decision to place him in daycare but merely reviewing his homework and that this is about the child not the father, no one has done anything wrong, and everyone is getting upset over nothing. Am I wrong? The daycare, I feel, will be treating me and my son differently from everyone else because of their idea of joint custody and fear of my ex, as well as my ex, who routinely tries to block my access to our son while he has him (no phone calls, etc) is now using daycare to block any access when I'm not breaking our court order, joint custody or the facilities rules...yet everyone is on pins and needles (except for me) that everyone will get in trouble. I say no one is doing anything wrong EXCEPT my ex. Am I wrong? I feel this is reverse interference nor healthy for our son. I do not prevent access to my ex to our son when he is with me (he has full use of computers to send emails and phones to call/receive calls, come to appointments, practices, games) but the reverse is true when my ex has a son. He treats it that if our son is with me, he can see/talk to our son (at will as he doesn't always) but when our son is with him I can have no access to him whatsoever. Any guidance is appreciated, particularly with this daycare issue because it's starting to put focus on us (which I do NOT want), treat my son and i differently and cause anxiety and stress for all involved when the simple fact of the matter is I believe HE'S violating the order or misusing it to invoke a power struggle and i'm not doing anything wrong, i'm following the rules of the court order, joint custody and the daycare facility AND being their for our son when he's asked me to be. Thank you.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Dove - posted on 09/02/2015

11,618

0

1348

Your ex is an idiot. Generally speaking if it's a choice between a child going to daycare or being w/ an available parent.. the court would rule that the child can be w/ the available parent regardless of who's 'week' it is. If your court order does not include this... ask your lawyer about getting it put in. Seeing as how your son is 10 he is certainly old enough to let the court know that he wants to see and speak to his mom.

I'm not a lawyer and it's certainly possible that I am not correct, but unless there are current court orders forbidding you from having contact w/ your son on his father's time... no one should be getting into any trouble and it makes your ex look like a petty idiot.

Talk to your lawyer asap though.

8 Comments

View replies by

Michelle - posted on 09/03/2015

3,549

8

3244

If it states in your court orders that there should be reasonable phone calls while your son is with his Father then you need to speak to a lawyer and have your ex in contempt of the court orders.
In regards to him using the daycare, that's his choice. Yes, it would be better for you to look after him if it's suitable but really you can't dictate what goes on when he has your son. I know it's hard but unless your child is in danger you have to step back when it comes to what's happening at his house.

Raye - posted on 09/03/2015

3,761

0

21

It would be best if the father can get a grip on his own insecurities and do what's better for the child. I agree with Dove, if it's a choice between daycare/babysitter or an available and willing parent, it should be the parent regardless of whose allotted time it is. You are not interfering when the father is around, and only helping the child when the father is not there. Seems like a no-brainer. But the father is treating the child like a possession that he can store away however he wants. That's not good for the child. I say, if you can't get the father to work with you on this, then speak with a lawyer.

Sarah - posted on 09/03/2015

8,728

0

21

I agree, you don't want to drag you child into a mess between the two of you. More than likely he will just be asked the the judge or a CASA worker if he enjoys your visits. the daycare workers may be asked if he seems anxious or stressed after a visit. Ar you looking to change the custody agreement or add phone access and daycare visits?

Dove - posted on 09/03/2015

11,618

0

1348

He doesn't necessarily have to testify for/against either parent cuz you are right... he should never be asked to 'choose', but he could have a one on one just talking to someone (lawyer, judge, or even just a counselor willing to speak in court on his behalf) about what is happening and what he wants (which sounds like he just wants equal access to both parents... which is his right that his father is interfering with).

Lisa - posted on 09/02/2015

5

0

2

Dove, I agree with you and no, there is nothing that prevents my access. And yes, consulting an attorney may be the best option which i desperately wanted to avoid or having our son get involved. No kid should have to testify for/against their own parent, but it may be that that is what has to be done to end this for him.

Lisa - posted on 09/02/2015

5

0

2

Michelle, Thanks for getting back to me so soon. Yes, I understand what you are saying. It's a very long story (as I'm sure many of us have) but I was very involved in my son's life and his father was not involved. He fought for custody because he said he wanted more time with him to bond (severely summarizing here) and was awarded the joint custody after 10 years of him being with me primarily and his dad's lack of involvement. He was then placed in daycare or he goes to other people's homes, his father won't let me talk to our son on the phone and won't tell me where he is when they go out of town, etc. The court order says that we are to have reasonable phone access with our son. In the past there were specific times set in the court order but that never worked so it was changed. My son knows i'm trying to reach him but apaprently my number is blocked and/or put on silent. My son has asked to go to our home when there is a need for a babysitter or daycare but his father tells him "No, you shouldn't be with your mother. You're better off with (fill in the blanks)." Now, i'm a fit parent and have raised 3 kids who have done very well. I own 2 businesses and volunteer hundreds of hours a year. The issue is that my ex feels that now he can cut off all ties to me when it's "his" week without realizing that our son, 10, wants BOTH parents in his life and going from having me there every day to being literally cut off every other week in every aspect has caused great stress to him. My ex also will not take him to a doctor when he's sick or medicate him when prescribed. So I took his medicine to school the other day to meet when he was heading to daycare and he stated the it was way too loud to do his homework, can we sit in the lobby, i review it with him when he's done and then he'd go in. My ex went crazy that I had been there, even though I had my son leave some work to do at home with his father, i was gone before his father arrived and didn't do anything to interfere...just give him medication he needed for strep throat, review his work, hear about his day (since i wouldn't get to talk on the phone) and left. The daycare has no rules on parents coming to do this. The court order doesn't prevent it. I didn't do anything to interfere. It's my ex interpreting that i'm injecting and it's his way to control the situation that I have NO contact with our son every other week. I feel I haven't done anything wrong and he's upsetting people about a court order that simply says our son is with him one week, with me another and we have reasonable phone access (and then a holiday schedule). I have always been open with my ex...he can call, my son can call. When we are at events that his dad DOES show up to, i encourage our son to go say hello and spend time/talk to his dad. My ex, in situations like that, whisks our son off (used to be crying because he wanted to see me) when he can - but our son has gotten too smart in the ways of being whisked away and usually finds his way to me. So it comes back to the daycare is concerned about breaking court orders and getting in trouble. I say none of us are and although I may be there from time to time to review homework and see our son because i'm prevented otherwise, no rules are being broken. I was recently introduced to the idea of parallel parenting which i thought was ridiculous but am beginning to think it might be a good idea - but that is NOT the same as completely cutting off the parent from the child during "his" or "her" week as i look at it that this is about the child's life, not week on/week off and that a child needs both parents in their lives... What do you think?

Michelle - posted on 09/02/2015

3,549

8

3244

I was going to comment that it's probably best to not to go regularly when it's his time with your son but when you said that he denies phone calls etc when he has him but expects to phone him when you have him, it changed things a bit.
What do your court orders say about phone calls etc when your son is with the other parent? If your court order doesn't have anything about it then maybe you need to put something in writing.
I have done shared care for over 10 years and I do let the boys have their time with their Dad and try not to get too involved in that time. I also expect my ex to do the same and for the most it works.

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