Christmas visitation schedule question. Paperwork states that he gets the week before
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 11/25/2012 by hilsmom in NSBR Board
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Bingcherry
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Posted: 11/25/2012 3:15:04 PM
She really doesn't need a new court order. School trumps Christmas visitation. My ex and I have the exact same situation. This year is his year for Christmas. He is technically supposed to have her the week before and the day of. She doesn't get out of school until the 20th and that's when he will get her. So yes, his week will be cut short.

No judge is going to side with him on this.



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lttlecrybby
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Posted: 11/25/2012 3:15:24 PM

There are plenty of longer distance children of divorce. Plenty of them have similar visitation arrangements. If they are flying or driving 8 hours, I can assure you that they will not be flying back and forth to attend classes each day. There must be some way they deal with this.


Surprisingly we do not have the empty classrooms filled with meaningless busy work activities the week before Christmas that so many of you seem to think. We are giving finals the week before Christmas break. We literally work right up until the last day of the break. We are not allowed to have an all day free for all on the last day. Even in the elementary schools here they work until about the last hour and a half of the school day and that is when they have their celebration. My daughter is in elementary school and has had some type of test or completion of a project or presentation on that day. For the few students who do miss.....and out of about 130 kids we might have four or five, we try to put together a packet of work for them to complete. With finals though that is not always an option. I can't send a final exam home with a child and I can't give it to them early either. That often leaves a student who comes back from break and is overwhelmed with make-up work. I will also say that in all the years I've put together packets of work for students, I rarely ever get the work returned to me.

My custody situation is very similar but fortunately my ex and I live about 20 minutes apart even though we are in different school districts. This is the first year he doesn't get a full week out of school with her before Christmas. He gets his week BUT she is in school through the 21. If one of us moved where the other parent could not get her to school I would seek to have the arrangements amended. You can't decide that you're just not going to abide by the court order as much as it sucks for her to miss school. It is a legal document.


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Posted: 11/25/2012 3:15:42 PM
I can understand the cringing about he attitude of missing a few days of school is ok.

But I can't count the number of times people here have stated "family is more important" when justifying a visit to Disney World during the school year.

This is a court order. There really is not an option for the OP unless she wishes to be in contempt of court.





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Bingcherry
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Posted: 11/25/2012 3:21:32 PM
I also wanted to add that in my state, the police wont even get involved in custody issues, even with a court order.



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Posted: 11/25/2012 3:21:54 PM
Sharon, are you an attorney? And if so, how many family court matters have you been involved with.

In my experience, your 'advise' is absolutely wrong. The attorneys on this thread are telling her the exact opposite of your incorrect suggestions.





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readsomething
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Posted: 11/25/2012 3:24:23 PM
Well, I agree with Lauren. That happens about once a decade, I think.

You can't change the directives of the court order. You just can't. If he were a different sort of person, the sort of person he is NOT, both of you might be able to work out some compromise. However, again, he is not that sort of person, so your only alternative now is to change the court order.

It's probably too late to do that this year. And attempting to do so at this late date would make you look bad, anyway, IMO. So ... suck it up, have her miss school (alert her teacher and your icky ex that HE will have the responsibility of having her make up any work). A court order is more important than school attendance rules. I get that you want to instill a work ethic in her -- but this is a problem that is bigger than both of you right now, and your only choice, really, is to do what the order says.

As many others have said: The problem here is not the school. It's not even your ex, because frankly, drunken, abusive ex-spouses are not known as a bunch for their willingness to compromise when necessary. The problem here is your court order. It clearly makes it difficult to give ex-H his week before and ALSO allow her to attend school until the break begins. Perhaps instead of wording the court order so that he gets a "the full week before Christmas" he should instead have a split visitation, something like "two days before Christmas and five days afterward," or something. Word it so that it has nothing to do with Christmas' date, but instead complies with her school break. And use generic language about complying with the school break, not dates, because those dates change every year, of course.

This may be the first time you've encountered this issue. I know it sucks. But your attitude will help determine, in great part, your DD's attitude. I understand that you fear for her safety while she's gone. Some elemental part of you remembers the past and fears (rightly) that he will repeat it. However ... you have a court order. Failing to comply with a court order is NOT looked kindly upon by the officials who make these decisions. Any failure to comply on your part will be a "permanent mark" on your record. It sucks, but if you fail to comply with the court order, you will be looked upon as more of a problem than your ex-h. If you need help from the courts in the future, you're going to be seen as less than trustworthy, at a minimum. If anything, you need to be doing quadruple backflips to look like you are the person who is entirely obsessed with complying with the letter AND the spirit of the court order.

It always worries me when divorced parents get to a place where they believe they can compromise. I understand why it would be good -- it's easy, it's simple, everyone's on good terms. But things can change in a flash. The only thing, in many instances, that saves a parent is that danged court order. THAT is the final law, until and unless it is changed.


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Posted: 11/25/2012 3:30:46 PM
I don't think anyone is saying that missing school at any age is okay, but she's 7. You're an experienced parent; you know that you can help her with whatever work she will miss that day - it's not as if she's missing a week of AP Calculus that is going to make a difference in her career. I'm not diminishing what 7 year olds learn, but surely you can nicely go to the teacher, explain that you are following a court order even though you would rather not and ask her to give her the work in advance so that it can be completed. Any teacher who won't work with you, isn't a good teacher. This is not a choice, it's a court order.

And as for a school counting that as an unexcused absense, I would be taking that before the school board if they tried that crap with me. If you are following a court order for visitation and don't otherwise have an attendance problem, I don't see how it's unexcused. They will know in advance. If a doctor's note is good enough for illness, then by gosh a court order should be good enough for someting like this.

You can be right (although I don't think you are) or you can do the right thing. Even if you get this mess straightened out by a new visitation schedule, I can promise you that you will have a bunch of these types of issues in the future. That's the unfortunate byproduct of divorce.


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beachgurl
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Posted: 11/25/2012 3:47:41 PM
More bad news. That packet of work that the teacher will put together for you, don't count on your ex being responsible for it. You know him better than we do, so calmly think through what his response will likely be. You can say it is his responsibility all you want, but if you know in your heart that he is unlikely to make sure she gets it and complete the work with her, then you need to do it.

You need to do it because you are her mom and you love her. So before you make your plans for that last week, set aside time to work on it with her. If a miracle occurs and she comes back to you with it completed, you can use that time to review. If you plan on this in advance, it won't disrupt your plans when you need to do it.

REAL LIFE: I would be the one who would talk with the teacher in advance. I would get the packet. I would make a xerox copy of everything. I would keep the copy with me and send the original in her backpack when she left.

If it ended up missing when she returned, we would start from square one with little drama and make it work. If you don't have that copy, you are left with no way to send her back prepared, unless you bother her teacher on her own vacation. Just make the copy and set aside the time. You need to be the bigger person. Just do it because you love her. ((hugs))




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Posted: 11/25/2012 4:46:02 PM
Yeah, dont let her miss school. It might affect her college acceptance status.

Seriously, youre being ridiculous. Its SECOND GRADE, for petes sake! But I suspect you want t be upset about this sonothing anyone says is going to help.

Good luck to all of you.

Captain K
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Posted: 11/25/2012 4:57:33 PM

As a teacher it makes me cringe when I read here that "oh they won't be doing a lot that week anyway" attitude...It's so not true in this day and age of Common Core etc.


Thank you. I teach each and every day of the year.



Me too Blind Squirrel.


Really? Even on standardized testing days? Even on the last day of the year? Using hyperbole just makes you look like you're either out of touch with reality OR mistaken/playing the martyr.

OP, follow the court order.

tamhugh
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Posted: 11/25/2012 4:59:39 PM

Well, here is the way it worked in my real life. We followed the order. We did not negotiate. At times she missed school. She missed many activities. Divorce sucks.


One of my close friends is divorced and has two children with her ex. In the early years, they used to try to negotiate and change things up around the holidays to suit their schedules. They all ended up arguing and miserable. Her lawyer finally told her that they needed to set a schedule and stick to it with no debating or negotiating. She claims that things are much smoother and happier since they did that.

karlee03
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Posted: 11/25/2012 5:05:05 PM
My 2 cents is if he wants to be with her during that time before school is out then he should come to town get a hotel and take her to and from school each day until vacation starts. I don't think it is ever a good idea to let a child miss school. Even at an early age. I have 3 daughters all grown and I had a visitation with my ex husband who lived 5 hours away. We didnt always see eye to eye but he did have enough sense to know that the kids needed to be in school. He was one that tried to make my life miserable but school came first even if he did lose a day or two.

mdoc
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Posted: 11/25/2012 5:12:31 PM
I would comply with the court order this year, since it's probably too late to do much about it, and then I'd work on getting it changed so that it works for two parents who live a distance from each other. I'm assuming that at age 7 your daughter is in either first or second grade, and I don't think her education will suffer for missing 3 days of school, especially 3 days right before a holiday. I'm sure there are teachers out there who teach right up until the last minute, but at my kids' school so many kids are pulled out of class in elementary school for an early start to vacation that the teachers plan around that and not a whole lot goes on right before a break. You can tell your ex that you expect him to get your D to school, but I wouldn't plan on him doing so.

Christine58
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Posted: 11/25/2012 5:57:19 PM

Really? Even on standardized testing days? Even on the last day of the year? Using hyperbole just makes you look like you're either out of touch with reality OR mistaken/playing the martyr.



Yes on the last day...our last day is on a Monday...NYS Regents exams start that Wednesday so am I teaching that last day...you bet your ass I am.




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Posted: 11/25/2012 6:01:16 PM

I'm of the "no one was ever kept out of Harvard because of an unexposed absence in the third grade" mindset. That said I would hope her Dad had lots of fun activity to make up for what she will miss in school. Those last few days were always such fun.




And that's the worst part. He is working every single one of the days he is insisting on having her. So she will be with an unfamiliar sitter, NOT "spending the quality time" with her dad.

Having pulled my divorce papers, the exact language used in that paragraph states "One week during Christmas VACATION, in even numbered years to include the week prior to Christmas and Christmas Eve and in odd-numbered years to include the week after Christmas and to include Christmas Day; the actual pick up and delivery times for the Christmas holidays to be determined and agreed upon by the parties."

The whole week before does not fall within her "vacation". It probably never will. And yes, next year, I will have to hand her over on Christmas morning for an entire week. I understand that. HE will get a whole, uninterrupted week. But they are also out until the 7th this year. I offered to let him have her the 31st to the 6th to avoid her missing school. Nope. He won't budge.

I am going to call his attorney tomorrow and see if she can work something out so that DD doesn't have to miss her school days. I cannot help but think that those days are important, regardless of her age. And no, I have never pulled one of my kids out of school to go to Disney either.


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hilsmom
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Posted: 11/25/2012 6:13:03 PM

Yeah, dont let her miss school. It might affect her college acceptance status.

Seriously, youre being ridiculous. Its SECOND GRADE, for petes sake! But I suspect you want t be upset about this sonothing anyone says is going to help.

Good luck to all of you.


Seriously? I got out of bed this morning and thought "hey, I really want to be upset today, so here's something I can pounce on!" YOUR helpfulness is overwhelming.

By the way, it's first grade. And so far this year, she has learned to read entire books and write complete sentences, as well as solving many simple math problems. She is best with word problems, so we practice on those a lot. So yeah, she has learned a lot this year. More every single day.

And yes, many of you have posted helpful suggestions, and I appreciate them all, believe me.

Lauren, you are in family courts. How long before I can begin filing things in my new county instead of my old one? One of the reasons it took me so long to get a divorce is because ex-H knew the only family court judge in our old county personally, and I had absolute hell getting things done. He managed to get things like "assault on a police officer" and mulitple DUI's swept under the rug for years. He would not be able to do that here, but I have only lived here for about 4 months.


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Posted: 11/25/2012 6:25:51 PM

I have offered him the 21 to the 25th at nine A.M., and an extra weekend (giving him 4 weekends in a row) to make up for it.
Please start saving now for the expensive therapy your child is going to need in the future.

My parents did similar idiotic things, though not quite this bad. Really, making a child get dressed packed and gone early enough to be 80 miles away on CHRISTMAS MORNING!!?? What the frick is wrong with parents!?

I'd let her stay all day on Christmas with him and then come home that night and have a second Christmas with you. But don't ruin her Christmas morning with her dad. That is just disgusting and selfish.




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Posted: 11/25/2012 6:42:18 PM


Don't let some of the attitudes on this thread get you down, especially coming from those that have never been in this situation. My exDH and I divorced when my kids were 9 and 5, so I have been there...done that.


And that's the worst part. He is working every single one of the days he is insisting on having her. So she will be with an unfamiliar sitter, NOT "spending the quality time" with her dad.



THIS would really take me over the edge!! Sounds like your ex is just being an ass over the entire situation because he can. Yeah, your DD will have loads of fun with the sitter for that whole week. Were is your "quality time with Dad" now??



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Posted: 11/25/2012 6:45:51 PM

Really? Even on standardized testing days? Even on the last day of the year? Using hyperbole just makes you look like you're either out of touch with reality OR mistaken/playing the martyr.



Captain K, yes. I'm so very sorry your teachers did not.

You, my dear, are out of touch with the duties of a modern day classroom teacher. I am not paid to babysit.

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Posted: 11/25/2012 6:54:12 PM

I'd let her stay all day on Christmas with him and then come home that night and have a second Christmas with you. But don't ruin her Christmas morning with her dad. That is just disgusting and selfish.




Wow. You know nothing about this man. He has never had a single concern for a holiday celebration in the 22 years I have known him. Christmas morning with her father does not and never has consisted of the Leave it to Beaver moments you may be imagining. It's was usually me making sure they had gifts and breakfast, and him having a beer and heading out to his work shop to play with his car or boat or whatever toy he had at the time. So yeah, my disgusting selfish self will be picking her up on Christmas morning and making sure she gets home to spend time with her sister, her grandparents (he doesn't really speak to his parents!), and her mom.


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meridon
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Posted: 11/25/2012 6:57:23 PM
Not a lawyer here, but could it somehow come back to bite you if she misses 4 days of school as unexcused absences? I'm thinking if attendance records are used in subsequent court proceedings, if you're the custodial parent and you were letting her miss that much school without a reason the school would excuse, could it pose a problem? Maybe something to ask your atty.

And BTW, as a teacher, I totally take offense to the whole "they won't be missing anything anyway" philosophy. If I have to be there, we're doing work. Kids sitting around with nothing to do are a nightmare. And at that age there are class parties and activities that she'd miss. Missing one or two days would maybe be okay but practically a whole week of instruction is another story. That could be a whole unit of instruction on a topic, so if you do go that route, please check with the teacher in advance to see what DD needs to do while she's gone.


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shecallsmenana
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Posted: 11/25/2012 7:02:05 PM
My son has his ex have joint custody of their 7 year old. And I'm so proud of the both of them and how they work with each other. They have court orders but talk to each other around the holidays for the best interest of DGD. There have been many times ds has had to take the high road even when he did not want to (in the early years of separation). But he'd do it all over again for the best interest of his dd. Even if that means his ex wins which at the end of the day it's not about him or ex it's about their dd. And I'm very proud of the way they are handling it all.

An old boss of mine taught me about taking the "high road". Sometimes it is the hardest thing we will do but it is by far the best thing we will do

I know you can say but he this and he that as can my son. But it was not about him and ex. So please try and remember that.


angievp
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Posted: 11/25/2012 7:10:54 PM

That is my point! It isn't going to be doable on most years. We will BOTH have to compromise. I am understanding that. HE is not. That's the point. It was set up by both attorneys (his and mine) so that we would alternate CE and CD. Apparently there was no contingency plan by either attorney for the time before or after, and yes, ALL parties involved knew where each of us would be living.


Hold, up, wait a minute. Regardless of what the attorneys wanted, it is always the client's job to make sure that you review papers and verbalize your objections. It does NOT make sense that you both entered into an agreement which you knew beforehand that you would NOT be able to follow. That sucks for you. Your X is not REQUIRED to compromise--he is trying to get visitation according to the Court order.


Your child is not in Harvard Law School. She is seven. Send her to her father and in the future, for God's sake, read before you sign anything.

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Posted: 11/25/2012 7:26:49 PM

My 2 cents is if he wants to be with her during that time before school is out then he should come to town get a hotel and take her to and from school each day until vacation starts.
Wait, it was the OP that moved. SHE could transport her DD to and from school each day until vacation starts.

Go ahead and call the lawyers and see what they say, but if they say stick with the decree stick with it. If you try and change it without going through the courts this year, it will reflect badly on you when you go to try and get it modified.


As a wife of someone who may work holidays, the actual day is just a day. It may be that you will have to learn to celebrate on a different day.

If I was a kid, I would hate being shuffled back and forth on Christmas day especially if I went from a preferred setting to a non-preferred one.


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Posted: 11/25/2012 7:27:09 PM
I guess I don't understand why you think that her father (the other parent) doesn't have any say in her education and missing some days. I agree it's not really that big of an issue, and I'm very pro-school. But lets face it, those last few days before the holiday are almost always wasted and frittered away. I'm sorry, but watching movies, or having pajama days or holiday parties, IMO is not enough teaching to be of great concern.

OP, if the agreement is that the week is his, and you are dead set against her missing, then I think you should be responsible for getting her to and from school from his place, if you were the one who moved especially.



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Posted: 11/25/2012 7:32:25 PM
While I don't have children, I agree that it is worded poorly.

One week during Christmas VACATION, in even numbered years to include the week prior to Christmas and Christmas Eve and in odd-numbered years to include the week after Christmas and to include Christmas Day; the actual pick up and delivery times for the Christmas holidays to be determined and agreed upon by the parties.

As pointed out, unless 12/24 and 12/25 fall on a weekend, then the two dates will always fall in the same VACATION week. It doesn't make sense otherwise. And the fact that it says vacation implies that she should not be pulled from school, but there is no way he could get the first week of vacation and you have her on Christmas day.

I would definitely work to get that changed for future years otherwise you will be dealing with this every single year. I'm surprised at how it's written up and how everyone agreed to it unless no one consulted a calendar.


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Posted: 11/25/2012 7:37:23 PM

the exact language used in that paragraph states "One week during Christmas VACATION, in even numbered years to include the week prior to Christmas and Christmas Eve and in odd-numbered years to include the week after Christmas and to include Christmas Day; the actual pick up and delivery times for the Christmas holidays to be determined and agreed upon by the parties."


The language you quote is quite specific. IANAL, but it seems you have zero wiggle room the way that's worded.

If you have a court order in place, follow it. TO THE LETTER. It's not up to you to interpret it or try to adjust it at this point. Grin and bear it and adjust it later, as the several family law attorneys on this thread have advised you.


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Artbabe
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Posted: 11/25/2012 7:47:34 PM

to departmant of family and children services. We will only accept a parent note for three absences, the rest have to be dr. notes. Now if a parent is in the military and is on leave from active duty, that is considered an excused absence for the child to spend time with their parent. A regular custody situation where it conflicts with the school calendar.....that would NOT be excused. The parent is expected to get the child to school.


It must be a lot different in Ohio. In my district the students get 9 unexcused absences before we have to report it.

I'm a teacher and I don't think there is a problem with her missing school if that is, indeed, what the court order says. It sounds like from your update that it is the vacation that is split, not the calendar days. Maybe I'm understanding that wrong.

Our school district has lessons each day, even on the days before break. It is a bit offensive that people think we aren't educating on those days. The child will definitely be missing valuable learning. However, I believe that the family trumps school. I don't have a problem with kids taking time off of school to go on a vacation and I don't have a problem with students taking time off school to visit a parent.


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Posted: 11/25/2012 7:51:02 PM
Unless I've missed something, you COULD give your attorney a call first thing tomorrow, explain the problem, and ask what the chances are of getting in to have a modification hearing within the next couple of weeks. By my calendar, you've got three weeks to get it taken care of. Worst counsel will tell you is that you won't be able to be seen.

eebud
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Posted: 11/25/2012 7:51:13 PM
This year, I do think you will have to let her go and if it means she misses a few days a of school, then you and/or your ex will need to work with her teacher to make up the work. For future years, it would be a good idea to try to get the visitation schedule revised

I don't have the exact wording but the way it works for my DSS is that they alternate years as to who gets Christmas. Whoever gets Christmas has the kids beginning the day they get out of school until something like 3 days after Christmas. They then go to the other parent where they will stay until the day before the return to school. School is never affected. However, every other year, you don't get either Christmas eve or Christmas Day.






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Donna in GA
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Posted: 11/25/2012 8:31:27 PM
To avoid issues of truancy, I would take a copy of the court order into the school. At least the school would then know that your dd is not just missing school on a whim.

I hate that people assume that schools do nothing right before a break. I taught new material last week up until the Thanksgiving break started. Two of my classes had tests on Tuesday. School has changed a lot since we were all students. I have to teach every single day.

writermom1
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Posted: 11/25/2012 9:00:23 PM
Yes teachers we get it. You are changing lives every single day. Every second is precious. We applaud your passion.

OP I hope your DD - and entire family - has a wonderful Christmas and Christmas season.

As an aside I grew up traveling on Christmas
Day and loved it! I truly hope you get a solution that suits all of you perfectly.



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hilsmom
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Posted: 11/25/2012 9:04:59 PM

I guess I don't understand why you think that her father (the other parent) doesn't have any say in her education and missing some days.


because he has not once cared to have say or participate. Not once in this child's life, or in the life of our oldest daughter. When youngest DD started Kindergarten last year, just before we split, we lived literally two miles from the school. He refused to attend a single event, including registration and open house. He was available, just preferred to stay home and drink. She asked him to go. He told her he was busy.

I have to say I was certainly prepared for many different views on this topic. What I was totally unprepared for was to be personally attacked and called names. I mean, I was actually called disgusting and selfish by a woman I have never met, but have interacted with on these boards for years. (By the way, Shih Tzu Mommy, looking forward to seeing you on the Cricut thread in GS. Yep. Same lady.)

I will be checking with his attorney tomorrow, as she did the original wording, and at that point she had gotten enough of his crap too. I will let her reason it out, and will deal with whatever comes. I am a good person. I am a great mother. I know because my daughter says so. Hers is, in the end, the opinion that matters.

For everyone who was so very helpful, thanks again, and God bless!


Happiness looks good on everyone!

freecharlie
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Posted: 11/25/2012 9:13:12 PM

As pointed out, unless 12/24 and 12/25 fall on a weekend, then the two dates will always fall in the same VACATION week.
I'm not sure that is how it works. This year my kids are done on the 18th and go back the 3rd or 4th. The first week would be Wed-Wed.

My district, on the other hand, goes until the 20th and I have a work day on the 21st.


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WorkingClassDog
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Posted: 11/25/2012 9:27:03 PM
I don't have any advice but wanted to say hang in there.

To bad she is the one that is affected by all that!

I do think missing school is huge. I hope it works out.



mamato1
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Posted: 11/25/2012 9:39:20 PM
At this point, I'd offer to switch weeks. If school is very important to you, why not take the week your dd is in school and deliver her to Dad Christmas Day?

Really, the way the situation reads to me is that You've decided things should be laid out a certain way and your ex wants what the custody papers say he's entitled to. There's really not much compromise on your behalf in the situation you're presenting to him. You're suggesting two extra weekends, but that's really different time than four consecutive days. Kids need time to acclimate and in subbing weekends for consecutive days more time is tied up in gas, transportation and acclimation. It's really not equal.

Now, I'm sure it's possible that he's being a total asshole, but he's still only insisting on what the court papers says he's entitled to.


~*Jamie*~
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hilsmom
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Posted: 11/25/2012 10:09:11 PM

At this point, I'd offer to switch weeks. If school is very important to you, why not take the week your dd is in school and deliver her to Dad Christmas Day?


That was my very first initial offer. He declined. I am no longer willing to just give it to him, either. Next year, he isn't going to just give me HIS week I am sure. HE has CE, CE night, and the early CD. He is not wanting to give this up. The ONLY thing he is willing to accept so far is for her to miss the four days of school.

I will also say that neither of us anticipated this, probably because schools here normally let out around the 16th or so, and begin again on the 3rd or 4th.

And while I have heard over and over that this is only first grade, not Harvard, I do wonder how many students that actually attend Harvard got there by missing school unnecessarily.

I know this man. This year will set a precedent for him for years to come, and if it's "okay" for her to miss now, he absolutely will not give a damn in the coming years what the circumstances are school and grade-wise, he will expect the same. He does not think like most adults.

Either way, I will consult his attorney tomorrow, and see what she can do. I was honestly just hoping to hear from other peas with custody arrangements and see what their situations were.

And for the record, our paperwork does state that when either party moves, it is the responsiblity of BOTH parties to meet halfway between residences to exchange for visitation. This was put in because all parties involved knew DD and I had begun moving to be in place for her new school year.

I do also want to state that while I said I would not give him my week entirely, I was still willing to let him have the last half of my week in addition to the extra weekend.


Happiness looks good on everyone!

~Lauren~
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Posted: 11/25/2012 10:13:15 PM

Unless I've missed something, you COULD give your attorney a call first thing tomorrow, explain the problem, and ask what the chances are of getting in to have a modification hearing within the next couple of weeks. By my calendar, you've got three weeks to get it taken care of. Worst counsel will tell you is that you won't be able to be seen.


I don't claim to know about every state or every jurisdiction, but in my fairly small county, the OP would not be getting into court before Christmas. Larger counties are even more busy. Courts are scheduled months in advance except for emergencies; domestic violence generally. By no stretch of the imagination is a person having to abide by a negotiated agreement that is only several months old is not an emergency, nor is a child missing the three days of school before Christmas.





Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian - Henry Ford

hilsmom
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Posted: 11/25/2012 10:27:56 PM
You are right Lauren, it will probably take a long time to get a hearing. Hopefully his attorney can work something out with him and it won't be necessary. She has actually been pretty helpful to me, in spite of being counsel for him. She is the third lawyer he had to hire. The other two bailed as quickly as they could.


Happiness looks good on everyone!

sacteach
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Posted: 11/25/2012 10:28:49 PM
The order says VACATION, does that not refer to the time off of school? It doesn't say, "The week prior to Christmas" which would mean the 18th-24th, it says Vacation, so I still don't understand why he thinks she would have to be pulled from school for 4 days. The way it's worded implies that whenever the vacation begins, he gets the first week and you get the second week. The problem is that it also refers to CE and CD which contradicts the vacation weeks part.

Honestly, it's horribly written as you can't meet both conditions each year- a week of vacation and either CE or CD. I still don't understand how no one figured that out (you, your ex or the attorneys).

When it was written up, what were you expecting to happen to his week? When were you thinking it would begin/end?

Flypea1
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Posted: 11/25/2012 10:33:56 PM
My DS just turned 18 he was 3 when I divorced. My advice is stick with the court order if you and your ex can't come to an agreement. Learn to deal with missing some important days. I have 3 kids and looking back over the last 15 years I missed plenty of days but made up for it when they came home. We had re-do's on Thanksgiving,Christmas,birthdays, etc. They were lots of fun and all 3 kids remember it fondly. Bottom line is divorce sucks and it's even worse when you have an unreasonable ex. Good luck to you.

hilsmom
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Posted: 11/25/2012 10:35:03 PM

When it was written up, what were you expecting to happen to his week? When were you thinking it would begin/end?


Honestly the schools where we used to live were always out by the 16th, and they went back right after the 1st. It wouldn't really have been an issue.

Also, we were both told that the way our agreement is worded is pretty much standard visitation for our area. As stated, I completely understand that next year, it would be MY turn to have to split my time with her, rather than the full week at once. It would NEVER occur to me to interrupt her school attendance for such a thing.


Happiness looks good on everyone!

~Lauren~
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Posted: 11/25/2012 10:35:24 PM
In all honesty, I believe you should let this go for this Christmas. Don't call his attorney and try to have her convince him to agree to a modification. Just go with the order this year. I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill and it is going to cause more upset for you and your daughter if you insist on trying to force him to your will. We're talking about one Christmas and three days of second grade. You plan on filing for modification so this doesn't happen again. Just let it go. Send her as per the order.

I can't force you to do this obviously, but I've been doing this type of work for 30+ years. I've seen and heard it all. This is minor. It may not seem like it to you right now but I promise you, it is.





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*~*amanda*~*
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Posted: 11/25/2012 11:24:57 PM
I agree with Laurens previous post.

I'm not an attorney but based on my experiences as a divorced mom I would follow the court order and seek a modification.

I totally get what you're saying and feeling about wanting to spend Christmas with her but the reality of divorce is that you no longer get all the 'family time'. There will be sometimes you have to celebrate an occasion on a different day. The date of the celebration isn't as important as the celebration. please try not to lose sight of that.

My visitation order states that xdh gets the kids every Christmas Eve until 6pm and I get them every Christmas Day. My kids were 6 and 1 when I got divorced and it was important to me that they wake up in their own beds and home for Santa. I have up other things to ensure that I would get that.

I get what you're saying about your xdh being a butt. I really do. Mine committed a crime, tried to frame me for it, faked amnesia, and went to jail. We don't get along real well so I do know where you're coming from.

I also realize that when you're making the agreement you don't think of every potential situation that could come up and create a problem in the future. it sounds like this is one of those things.

My advice from a been there done that position? Send your daughter the first week of the vacation, see an attorney about a modification, and celebrate Christmas the next time you're able to with the whole family.



Burning Feather
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Posted: 11/25/2012 11:45:01 PM
Let me just tell you a universal secret of almost all divorced moms.

When you are going through it, almost every single hill seems like one that you are willing to die on.

A few years down the road, you will look back at those hills and realize they weren't worth dying on after all and regret some of the things that you said or did.

Trust those of us who are telling you that this is not the hill to dig your heels into.


Carla

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beanbuddymom
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Posted: 11/25/2012 11:56:26 PM

Having pulled my divorce papers, the exact language used in that paragraph states "One week during Christmas VACATION, in even numbered years to include the week prior to Christmas and Christmas Eve and in odd-numbered years to include the week after Christmas and to include Christmas Day; the actual pick up and delivery times for the Christmas holidays to be determined and agreed upon by the parties."


Given that you feel he will use this year as precedent, and that the language is so badly written and so open to interpretation, I would call and request a mediator in family court to help you with this.

For the fact that that week before he is suggesting time that does not include her vacation, and because you are court ordered to determine and agree upon between you and your other party (exH) - and you are not able to come to an agreement, I feel you need a third party to Help you understand and interpret the current wording. THEN you can file to have future visitations worked out and have it worded better.

Lastly I would try to avoid involving your DD in ANY of this. Get someone to help you out with this - it's really not fair if she is missing parties at school the last few days before Christmas to go sit with an unknown sitter while he is at work - that just doesn't sound right, considering he is supposed to have visitation during her VACATION.

So I'd have someone help interpret that since you both don't seem to come to agreement. Place all the FACTS down (doesn't matter if she wants to go or not) and see how that works out. Good luck -



scrap4maddie
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Posted: 11/26/2012 12:00:45 AM
I would contact the school councilor and/ or principal and let them know what is going on. They can tell you if they will excuse the absence. You can then explain to your lawyer.


~Erica~







leftturnonly
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Posted: 11/26/2012 12:16:35 AM

He has never had a single concern for a holiday celebration in the 22 years I have known him. Christmas morning with her father does not and never has consisted of the Leave it to Beaver moments you may be imagining. It's was usually me making sure they had gifts and breakfast, and him having a beer and heading out to his work shop to play with his car or boat or whatever toy he had at the time. So yeah, my disgusting selfish self will be picking her up on Christmas morning and making sure she gets home to spend time with her sister, her grandparents (he doesn't really speak to his parents!), and her mom.


Here's the thing...... Christmas is a whole lot more than a date on a calendar.

If he's going to be anything remotely like this, than it just isn't going to be Christmas for her until she's with you anyway. Ignore the calendar date and make the time she comes home Christmas..... or even another Christmas eve.

"I know Santa comes on Christmas eve, but I really missed sharing this with you. I think Santa might know how hard this is for kids who have to go to two homes, and I bet if we put your stocking out, he might come." I'll bet you two dozen donuts she'll be very excited to test it out.


I had to go to school up to and including Christmas eve. Last time I went back to visit, it was still true. We had off the week between Christmas and New Year's and that was it, so I'd suggest you consider it a possibility that her vacation time may be much shorter than you both had originally assumed before you go in to change the court order.








If PC is the way to get to Heaven, I'm going straight to Hell.



Basket1lady
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Posted: 11/26/2012 12:34:13 AM

"I know Santa comes on Christmas eve, but I really missed sharing this with you. I think Santa might know how hard this is for kids who have to go to two homes, and I bet if we put your stocking out, he might come." I'll bet you two dozen donuts she'll be very excited to test it out.


I posted above about how we travel over Christmas. If the kids ask for large gifts from Santa, I don't worry about taking them on the plane. I have them write in their Santa letter that they will be in MN for Christmas.

Usually, I'm pretty good at steering the kids towards asking Santa for small gifts. But one year, DS asked for a bike and there was no talking him out of it. "Because bikes are expensive, Mom. So I'll just ask Santa for it." That year, on the way to the airport, I "forgot" my purse and had to run back into the house to get it. I quickly pulled the bike and a large gift for DD (a large kitchen) and put them under the tree.

On Christmas morning, they both had a gift from Santa, along with a note telling them that Santa left something for them at our house as well. When we got home from the airport after the trip, there were the toys, all ready and waiting for them. Needless to say, they loved that plan!

I would say that about the only good thing with having divorced parents is that they get to celebrate birthdays and Christmas twice. That's not all bad when that is YOUR family tradition. Yes, it still stinks to be the parent left out. But don't assume that your child will suffer with having two holidays. Find fun ways to make this new tradition YOUR tradition. And get things straightened out before next year.


Michelle

gypsyz3
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Posted: 11/26/2012 4:16:27 AM
Honestly, if you are so adamant that she not miss school that week, the only fair alternative is to give him the first week of Christmas break - Friday thru Friday. Yes you would miss Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but you are the one who wants to change the agreement, not him. If it were the other way around it would infuriate you to think of missing a whole week with your child because your ex doesn't agree with a court ordered schedule.

I know it sucks but it will suck even more for this poor kid who you want to be in a car for 160 miles round trip various times during "HER" vacation. She would really get so much more from only having to make that trip once during Christmas break. Because from your posts you keep offering up random extra days but don't take into account the extended commute. I would be more sympathetic to your plan if your ex was local.




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