Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce - Page 3 - Talk About Marriage
Life After Divorce Divorce is complicated, and change is never easy to cope with. Use this section for help and advice on living life after a divorce.

User Tag List

 74Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
post #31 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 34
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

Update on the Date Night issue...

My lawyer sent her counsel a letter Tuesday outlining my concern about how this established time has effectively been cut in half since her re-marriage, it also outlined how she is using her husbands calendar and colleagues as an excuse in saying the girls are unavailable to have dinner with me. The letter asked her to reconsider our previously agreed upon Wednesday (yesterday) dinner and mentioned that if we we cannot find a solution to work together on maintaining these Date Nights moving forward that I would have to enact the mediation clause in our PSA.

Her lawyer responded to mine that his client was repeatedly informed me that she has been open to discussing January date requests.

My ex-wife sent me a letter yesterday saying that she did not appreciate me getting our daughters hopes up in asking her in person for a dinner date (which she agreed to but later backed down from) and then said her solution to make things better was to insist that from now on I send all requests for dinner dates in writing. She followed up at the end with a statement about how I should keep in mind that spring activities will create hardship on us all as we try to maximize our time with the girls.

She's setting the stage to use spring sports as an excuse. The irony in this is that she started working recently and her mother is babysitting/watching the girls about 10 hours a week. I've asked her about picking up the girls from school and spending that time with them and she insists that her mother only does this occasionally and that it's not a routine thing. She's trying to hide the fact that she's now working, because she wants it to appear that she's at home with the girls more than she is. When we negotiated this years daycare schedule for our 5 year old my only request was that she only be in half day on Fridays that she is with me... but she went far and above out of her way to make that not possible. Signing stuff at the school without my knowledge and coordinating schedules with teachers while leaving me in the dark... she is threatened by any time I spend with my daughters. I suspect this is because she observes the great relationship I have with them and feels threatened by it?

Anyway... my response to her e-mail yesterday was to send the following:
Quote:
Date Night Schedule 2017

[ex-wife],

I have acted to maintain our established Date Night schedule, where for the last three years I have taken one of our daughters to dinner each 10-day period they are with you. Coordinating both verbally and in writing I've been flexible, providing multiple date options. Though with a recent increase in the rejection of said requests, the frequency of Date Nights has effectively been cut in half.

In order to remedy this, create cohesion, and preserve this healthy activity which we've agreed is important to prioritize in the girls lives, here is the Date Night schedule for 2017 (4:30pm - 7:30pm).

[daughter 1]
1) January 20th 2017
2) February 16th 2017
3) March 16th 2017
4) April 12th 2017
5) May 11th 2017
6) June 8th 2017
7) July 6th 2017
8) August 3rd 2017
9) August 31st 2017
10) September 28th 2017
11) October 26th 2017
12) December 7th 2017

[daughter 2]
1) February 2nd 2017
2) March 2nd 2017
3) March 29th 2017
4) April 27th 2017
5) May 25th 2017
6) June 22nd 2017
7) July 21st 2017
8) August 17th 2017
9) September 14th 2017
10) October 13th 2017
11) November 9th 2017
12) December 21st 2017

When a conflicts arise with one of the dates, we should communicate at least two weeks prior. This communication in advance allows us to discuss alternate dates with the focus being on continuing this valuable tradition for our daughters benefit.

No response is necessary if you concur with this and I will pickup DD on the 20th of January at 4:30pm at your house for our first "Date Night" of 2017 and drop her off at your house at 7:30pm. As we've arranged in the past, please send any homework along with them (on busy nights)... we have had fun working on it together during our dinner dates. I am excited about getting this important activity with our daughters back on track and appreciate your support.
I think she's kind of cornered herself on this... by asking for everything to be in writing. I'm curious to hear her response to this, which I'm guessing will be a rejection of it, in one form or another.

Thomas0311 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #32 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 11:02 AM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5,589
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJJEAN View Post
Your exW seems like a chronic liar as well as serial cheater. Considering her H's experience with his former spouse and your exW's tendencies to lie and play the victim, imagine what she may have told him about you that he believes! Of course he thinks he's helping her and the kids by interfering. You're the bad guy, remember?

Yes, I think you were wrong not to reveal the truth to him when you first met. Too late now, though, because you are right that he would think you were making it all up and he wouldn't believe such things of his poor, sweet, oft mistreated, wife.
The flip side to this is everyone knows that when an ex comes forward with a warning, that it is never fully believed, especially when it is a horrible monster of an ex...perfect setup that because that way if the ex actually does come forward with a warning...it is just confirming that they are a lying, horrible jealous, whatever else ex that they were portrayed as. Add in the natural human psychology that we tend not to want to admit that we made a bad choice, and it is almost self preservation to believe what the partner says about their ex, rather than have to admit that it is the chosen partner with the problem.

"Let's never stop having sex. We're so good at it, we OWE it to sex to never stop having it."
-My wife
samyeagar is offline  
post #33 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 01:39 PM
Forum Supporter
 
CynthiaDe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,547
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

These date nights with your daughters are of extreme importance to their well-being. This isn't about you or your ex. This is about the emotional and even physical health of your girls. Please have a written agreement of when and how these are going to occur, legally drawn up, and signed by both of you.

For more on my marriage philosophies check out the marriage section of my website:
The Feminine Review

Standard Evidence Thread: http://talkaboutmarriage.com/coping-...ence-post.html
CynthiaDe is offline  
 
post #34 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 02:15 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 831
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

Thomas, I don't know what your financial situation is compared to your XW's but if you can afford the legal costs more than she can then it might behoove you to just go mediation/court so that she learns that fighting you over these issues is going to cost her money. Once that sinks in she can decide whether the hassle of giving you what you want is worth more than the money it is going to cost her to fight it.
Bananapeel is online now  
post #35 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 34
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananapeel View Post
Thomas, I don't know what your financial situation is compared to your XW's but if you can afford the legal costs more than she can then it might behoove you to just go mediation/court so that she learns that fighting you over these issues is going to cost her money. Once that sinks in she can decide whether the hassle of giving you what you want is worth more than the money it is going to cost her to fight it.
I think this may be an effective tactic, and it is my goal to get this to mediation - I think that even if my lawyers letter scares her this time, she'll slowly work into the same patterns again and again. I have a lot of disposable income and no debt. Living well below my means at the moment. In all other things I pay 85%... but with mediation she selects three options and I get to choose from them. We split the cost 50/50 and must mediate at least 4 hours as long as someone doesn't feel resolved... that could certainly be more of a pain for her financially.
Thomas0311 is offline  
post #36 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 34
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

Quote:
Originally Posted by CynthiaDe View Post
These date nights with your daughters are of extreme importance to their well-being. This isn't about you or your ex. This is about the emotional and even physical health of your girls. Please have a written agreement of when and how these are going to occur, legally drawn up, and signed by both of you.
You are absolutely correct. I have enjoyed this time more than anything else. When I get that alone time they really open up about their world, I get to hear all the fun in their lives, how school is going, what they think about. It's also individualized so they feel overjoyed to have my attention 100% devoted to them. When I have them together, they tend to compete with each other (typical siblings stuff) for my attention and often it's difficult to really get my youngest to open up because her sister is extremely talkative, outgoing, and inquisitive. Bossy, even. But in a very good way... for a girl. I'm much more able to promote their self esteem and independence when talking to them individually. My youngest is much more talkative and outgoing when I have her one on one. Gets hyper even... it's so cute.
Thomas0311 is offline  
post #37 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 03:41 PM
Member
 
MJJEAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: MI
Posts: 2,278
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

You mentioned asking for extra parenting time when your ex is working and your daughter spends time in daycare or at Grandma's. In my state it's common for parents to ask for "first refusal"in their custody agreements. What that means is your ex has to ask if you can take the kid(s) and only arranges a sitter if you cannot and vice versa. Might want to ask your lawyer about including a "first refusal" clause.

Caution: Some daycare centers require a certain number of hours/days per week or the kid loses their slot. In that case, you wouldn't want to be too much of a stickler if that extra half day makes the difference between quality reliable daycare and not.

Follow the evidence where it leads and question everything.
MJJEAN is online now  
post #38 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 34
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

Found mention of that in our PSA...

"In the event that either party will require overnight care from a third party (not including a relative related by blood or marriage) for the children while in his or her physical custody, then the other parent shall be offered the right of first refusal to provide custodial care for the children conditioned upon such other parent being available for such purpose. Compliance with this provision requires prompt communication between the parties."

So unfortunately her mother or husband wouldn't qualify.
Thomas0311 is offline  
post #39 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 04:09 PM
Member
 
MJJEAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: MI
Posts: 2,278
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas0311 View Post
Found mention of that in our PSA...

"In the event that either party will require overnight care from a third party (not including a relative related by blood or marriage) for the children while in his or her physical custody, then the other parent shall be offered the right of first refusal to provide custodial care for the children conditioned upon such other parent being available for such purpose. Compliance with this provision requires prompt communication between the parties."

So unfortunately her mother or husband wouldn't qualify.
So change the language if you're revisiting the legal agreement anyways. This "first refusal clause" seems to be only for overnights and allows for a 3rd party related by blood or marriage to babysit. The first refusal clauses I typically see are "first refusal", period. Day, night, degree of relation, none of that matters. If Parent A cannot mind the child(ren), Parent B gets first refusal. End of.

Follow the evidence where it leads and question everything.
MJJEAN is online now  
post #40 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 07:20 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 62
No need to speak to her about it anymore. Just go back to court get ordered the time you want and advise ex you will not forgo any time with your kids.

As far as what she does and with who on her time you have no say in that.

Yep they are trying to get rid of you. But I wouldn't worry too much. He law protects both parents equally unless you can prove one parent is unfit which is very hard to prove. Back to court you go!!

fall222 is offline  
post #41 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 34
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

Our PSA requires 4-hours of mediation prior to court in any dispute related to custody... but essentially that's just a step towards court (because if we don't agree then after mediation it is probably clear if one side isn't being reasonable). Every time I've stated mediation needs to take place, she's cooperated. I'll just need to bring that up more, and sooner... in these issues.
Thomas0311 is offline  
post #42 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 34
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

My older daughter (7 year old, almost 8) is a very logical minded kid, and she is all about fairness and doing the right thing. Earlier this year she started telling me about situations where her mother had lied to her... often involving me, but sometimes just the interaction between them.

One example:
DD: "Can I take toy X to Mom's this weekend!"
Me: "Nah, remember our rule, you need to bring back toy Y first"
DD: "It's lost, Mom says I lost it."
Me: "Where did you see it last?"
DD: "I had it in bed when I went to sleep, but when I woke up it wasn't there anymore."
Me: "Did you check on the floor, or around the bed."
DD: "Yes, I looked everywhere."
Me: "Well sometimes things get misplaced... that's ok. I'll tell you what, check again this weekend as hard as you can, and if it's still missing we'll just call it an accident. Then you can take toy X next week as long as this doesn't become a habit."
DD: "I think Mom is hiding them."
Me: "Why do you think that?"
DD: "She does that with our toys when she doesn't like something we've done."
Me: "So your toys go to time out to teach you?"
DD: "No, she always says we lost them, but really I know she took them."
Me: "I think she's trying to get you to address a concern about something else. What do you think that is?"
DD: "Yeah, but it's not fair... because she's lying."
Me: "Well, yeah... I suppose.
DD: "I'm pretty sure she has toy Y, and she's making me look for it even though she has it."
Me: "Well lets ask her when I drop you off."
DD: "She'll just lie to you about it, she'll say it was my fault..."

So a conversation like this is pretty standard with my daughter... she's very insightful. I've become aware the last year that she's vented about her mothers actions that she doesn't understand... particularly the lying. Some of this can actually be turned into a good lesson of life just isn't fair sometimes and people don't always act as you expect, but you can find what motivates them and learn methods to accomplish your goal to make both you and them happy. She's too young for a lot of that though. I started to question myself... to make sure I'm not promoting this. Really, as I see it, this boils down to a personality clash... my daughter is wired a lot differently than her mother. She's just naturally a tune to a more structured, fair and on the surface way of doing things (which is actually a lot like me)... I think some of that is taught, but the majority seems to be hard wired. Her younger sister is so opposite... she's rather please people, and will fudge the truth to accomplish that goal. This daughters however, was never like that, fairness and bunt was always her way.

I suspect her mother is frustrated that she is more like me... and I think her mother is playing games with her in order to punish (teach, in her mind) her and try to get her to follow her not to cut and dry, or clear, set of rules.

Anyways, I'm digressing... the point here is. I had a conversation with my daughter not long ago telling her that calling her mother a liar isn't a good thing, but that she should rather get to the bottom of what is motivating her mother to act as she is. I thought about this later and wondered... I don't want to invalidate my daughters observations and feelings. I also don't want to be a platform to promote her growing up resenting her mother. Some earlier also mentioned the possibility that the kids are learning to play us against each other... I tend to think of this daughter as always being truthful. Her and I just sort of have that understanding of always being honest with one another (which is why she points so harshly to the lying). I try not to engage in the confirmation of lies (such as the "well yeah, I suppose" comment above) because I don't want her to start to excuse things that she can find work arounds for.

In this case it may very well be that her mother is jealous she's enjoying a toy from my house (that behavior fits with her past)... but it could also be that my daughter really lost the toy and because of her observations of he's mom behavior jumps to the conclusion that mom is hiding them. It's easy to blame her, to me...

How does one find a middle ground with this? Any advice?
Thomas0311 is offline  
post #43 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 09:00 AM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 831
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas0311 View Post
Our PSA requires 4-hours of mediation prior to court in any dispute related to custody... but essentially that's just a step towards court (because if we don't agree then after mediation it is probably clear if one side isn't being reasonable). Every time I've stated mediation needs to take place, she's cooperated. I'll just need to bring that up more, and sooner... in these issues.
Since you are in a somewhat hostile situation it will do better to just go ahead and tell your attorney to schedule mediation now so that your XW knows you are serious and she actually has real financial consequences for her actions. Then don't talk with her about resolving this outside of mediation (she'll try) and force the mediation to happen. It's OK to discuss this with your attorney and let them know that you are planning on forcing mediation as a preventative for future disputes and then your attorney will get the ball rolling.
Bananapeel is online now  
post #44 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 34
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

She replied to the note above negatively... stating that her new families life is too dynamic with too many unknowns upcoming on their calendars to commit to the entire year. Then said now that she knows my preferred dates, she'll do her best to accommodate but that I need to understand and be respectful of her relationship with her daughters and her time with them. She then talked about spring sports becoming a potential issue and said she's moved their bedtime forward to leave more time in the mornings, so she wants to reduce the dinner dates from 3 hours down to less. She said beginning of each month she'd let me know if the date I provided would work, and if not she'd allow me to ask for alternatives... ugh... I've been giving her 15 date nights options for the last two months, all of which has been rejected.

Forwarded this to my lawyer and said I'd prefer not to give her the opportunity to back pedal by arguing with her on this. I'd rather get the facts in front of a judge to show that her words don't match her actions... in that she's been actively working to undermine these date nights.

What's more, my daughters have been asking more and more about why these date nights keep getting cancelled. I have stayed as neutral as possible with them telling them their mother and I are working on a solution to why they keep getting pushed off. My older daughter then told me her mother asked her to keep a secret about them... she continued to say that her mother made up a conflict last Wednesday (dinner with a friend) and that friend never came to dinner, followed with "mom always lies, how can get away with this?" *When I asked her why that's a secret... she told me that her mother doesn't want me to know when she lies, and asked her daughter to keep it from me. What is so odd (yet fits everything I saw with this woman when married to her) is that she does so well at seeming proper on the outside. She projects working with people and compromising, but when it comes to actions she takes advantage of people and situations for her own gain. Her daughters are given a window into this world (because as she grew up her own mother did the same to her). My daughters are both becoming increasingly upset about this, as they compare the honesty issues between their mother and me.

It's a difficult place to walk, keeping them out of this, while they also get wrapped up in it when their mother says ok to dates, only to later reject them for made up reasons (and then letting her own daughters know it's a game she's playing). er actual goal in this is for me to uncover enough of it to ask, fight or lash out at her over her selfish actions... in order to feed her personality disorder issues. It's difficult, because it's next to impossible to co-parent with someone like this. Any compromise made is then the new norm and slowly worked to get even more in the future. There is no such thing as building up good will... as I've done since her re-marriage in being more lienient to the date night times... which she's now trying to state are an accomodation on her behalf... and not what it really is (and important thin for her daughters development).

I hope I have enough now to take this to court.

Last edited by Thomas0311; 12-28-2016 at 01:15 PM.
Thomas0311 is offline  
post #45 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 12:55 PM
Forum Supporter
 
CynthiaDe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,547
Re: Co-Parenting Challenges After Divorce

It's a manipulation game with her and she is deliberately teaching it to your daughters. Get legal involved and put an end to her ability to interfer with your time with the girls. Perhaps it would be easier if you kept the girls overnight rather than only for three hours on date night. That is less disruptive to her schedule. Not that you should or do care about her schedule, but two can play the manipulation game and you can turn it back on her. Further, it would be easier for the girls since you would be able to continue with homework or whatever until a normal bedtime.

Speaking of bedtime, don't both households have the same bedtime schedule for the girls? Did she just make a major change in their routines without consulting you?

You are right that coparenting is not an option. She has set this up to be an adversarial situation and the only thing you can realistically do about it is to have this arranged legally, so she has no options, but to follow the parenting plan that is no longer flexible. She may have a problem with the lack of flexibility, but that is her own doing. She took advantage of your flexibility and used it again you and the girls. Now it's time to for you to push back and make this right. You're on the right path.

For more on my marriage philosophies check out the marriage section of my website:
The Feminine Review

Standard Evidence Thread: http://talkaboutmarriage.com/coping-...ence-post.html
CynthiaDe is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on Talk About Marriage, you must first register. Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Important! Your username will be visible to the public next to anything you post and could show up in search engines like Google. If you are concerned about anonymity, PLEASE choose a username that will not be recognizable to anyone you know.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
He says he wants divorce, I don't think he does and I sure don't fallen22 Going Through Divorce or Separation 138 03-31-2017 02:38 PM
My separation and probably divorce Oscarquevedo83 Considering Divorce or Separation 2 08-14-2016 06:18 PM
Divorce advice needed life.is.pain Going Through Divorce or Separation 47 07-27-2016 09:59 PM
Divorce, over the precipice AvoidDivorce Going Through Divorce or Separation 20 07-03-2016 06:34 PM
Divorce, dating and going all the way Threeblessings Going Through Divorce or Separation 2 01-31-2016 02:56 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome