Will I be in big trouble?

Charlotte - posted on 10/06/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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As part of the last court order, my 8-year-old daughter's father and I share each vacation period...which gives me about 3-4 days of vacation with her. My family lives 12 hours away. My daughters live in Chicago and Portland, OR. I can't always afford to fly and the drive takes about 12-14 hours. This Thanksgiving my eldest daughter, who lives in Portland, has begged us to come. She has been there for 6 years and I have never been able to visit her. I have my "vacation" with Natalie from end of school..Wednesday afternoon, until Friday morning at 11 am.
I have asked her father 5 times by e-mail if he would agree to give me the whole vacation period in exchange for his having her next Easter vacation. He has not replied. This is his passive-aggressive behavior. He waits until it is too late for me to make arrangements and then gives his "permission". I am thinking about this:
On the Friday before Thanksgiving, taking Natalie out of school and getting on a flight to Portland. When we are on the plane, I will call him and notify him I am taking her out of state. I will make sure I have her back for his allotted time at 11am on Friday. During that time he will miss 3 days of care for her. I know you can get in BIG trouble for "withholding visitation". I don't want to be met at the airport by police. But I can't get Natalie there and back on 3 days. It's a 5 hour flight. Christmas vacation, Easter, they are all just as bad...set up like this vacation. Should I do this? I want Natalie to know her sisters. She gets to see one about once/year and the one in Portland...never.

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Charlotte - posted on 10/07/2013

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Thanks, Jodi. I needed a thump on the head to realize how much this would cost me in the long run. He told me yesterday he would not give up his share of the vacation days during Thanksgiving break, even though I offered to swap for Easter. 3 days for a whole week! Just shows what a jerk he is. I'll have to disappoint my eldest but I don't want to lose the youngest.

Jodi - posted on 10/06/2013

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It absolutely matters. If you do the wrong thing, you could lose custody altogether. He has a right to his court ordered time too. if you want time outside the court order, you need to make sure you follow the protocol outlined in the court order. if you do that, and still don't get permission simply because he is being an asshat, then you need to file for a change to the orders.

Charlotte - posted on 10/06/2013

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I have the e-mails and will ask him verbally today. I don't have a cell phone so I can't keep texts. I JUST came off a court case with him regarding Natalie seeing a psychologist. She is having major behavior problems at school. I lost, despite school records, teacher's notes, meeting with the principle...all documented. I asked the lawyer to address the vacation schedule during this case, but she did not.
I do not have 1/2 of summer vacation...I have 2 weeks of un-interrupted time with her. My daughter, in Portland, works, so it would not be much of a visit during that time.
I know I can get in big trouble, but I don't see what matters anymore. Anything I do is stopped anyway.

Jodi - posted on 10/06/2013

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Yes, you could get in trouble. Is there anything in your court orders about how you need to make arrangements if it varies? Make sure you keep records of your attempts to contact him. I would definitely suggest you attempt contact via more than one media (ie. email AND text/phone). However, this is something you should discuss with your lawyer. it could become an issue.

If you have half of vacation with her, do you have her half of summer vacation? if so, why can't you do those visits then? If that isn't enough, it sounds like you need to change your court orders.

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