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Visitation Dilemma


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  #1  
June 2nd, 2011, 08:21 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Virginia
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Okay, I need a little advise...

My husband and I have recently gotten married and are expecting in January. I have a 10-year-old son from a previous marriage and he has a 4-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.

Right now my son's visitation with his father falls on the same weeknight and weekend that my husband has visitation with his daughter, therefore our kids don't get to spend any time together. A simple solution would be to switch one of their weekends, right?! Wrong! My ex is unable to switch because he has three other children and his ex wouldn't even consider rearranging her schedule and, in addition, it would interfere with his work schedule. Because of these factors, there is a 0% chance of me getting weekends switched at that end.

The only other option is for my husband to get his weekends switched, which is the ideal solution because his current weekend setup has been interfering with his work schedule. He has gone to his ex and requested that they swap weekends, but she refuses to do so because she said she'd end up having to get her current boyfriend to switch his weekends with his son (and only child!) and her best friend would have to switch her's as well. She could care less that my stepdaughter is unable to spend any time with her stepbrother, and that both of the children are upset about it, nor does it bother her that my husband has limited time he can spend with his daughter because he is having to work on those particular weekends.

Let me also note that my husband is a wonderful father who always gets his daughter during the time allotted and has never missed paying his $900-a-month child support payment! Not to mention he just "okayed" it last month for her to take their daughter to Germany to visit her family for three weeks. He bends over backwards to accomodate her, but yet she can't do the same for him.

I'm at my wit's end. For months, my husband has been asking her to switch weekends and she refuses because it interferes with her social life and, in the meantime, our children get no time together and we are unable to spend time together as a whole family. The only thing I know to do is have my husband stay on her in the hopes she will eventually cave in. I've even considered speaking with her myself.

Any thoughts or advise?
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  #2  
June 2nd, 2011, 08:47 AM
Doodlebug06's Avatar Doodlebug
Join Date: May 2011
Location: US
Posts: 1,397
It gets so complicated when we have so many step siblings and siblings! I know exactly where you are coming from.

I would maybe try having a sit down talk with her (the both of you) and let her know that it is stressful for the kids and unfair to the family situation for all involved.
If she refuses to swtich I think you could do a pro se petition to the court to change it since it also has to do with his work schedule. And just be able to bring in to the petition all of the things you have done to accomodate her and her family. I can never understand people like this. Luckily my sd's mom lets us have sd whenever we want her and shes really understanding that we really need her on the weekends we have my bio kids for sure. They enjoy being together and it really is special to have all the kids together at once.
I hope it works out.
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  #3  
June 2nd, 2011, 10:42 AM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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Wow, that is a tough one. I would see who could switch with you and be most reasonable to deal with. I don't know if the courts would interfere in this.

I hope you get something worked out! I know that when my ex was getting my kids, he would also get his other kids so that the kids could spend time together. He switched with me though, because I was the most reasonable to deal with.
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  #4  
June 2nd, 2011, 12:25 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Well that's a complicated situation. I however don't think that your dh's ex is being unreasonable. They had an agreed upon schedule & she set her life around that - quite understandable.

Unfortunately this seems like a situation where no one wins. My kids very rarely get to spend time with their half siblings (dh's dds). We just have to deal with it.
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  #5  
June 2nd, 2011, 12:42 PM
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Definitely a tough situation to be in with a lot of people involved. It can be extremely frustrating to have an unreasonable ex, especially when they have someone bending over backwards to accomodate them and getting nothing in return. I'm sure many of us know the feeling all too well.

Would she be willing to sit down with the two of you and the three of you together come up with some sort of compromise? I'm not sure how this woman's attitude toward you is, but maybe she would be more understanding see things from your side of things as another mother? It's worth a shot, the worst she can do is say "no" and you wouldn't be in any kind of different situation than you are now.

If that didn't work, I would definitely see what kind of intervention that courts are willing to do since the visitation is not working with DH's work schedule. Again, not sure how much good it will do, but doesn't hurt to try.

Wish you a lot of luck in your sticky situation.
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  #6  
June 2nd, 2011, 01:40 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 4
Thank you so much for all the suggestions! Its definitely a frustrating situation and I hate that our children from our previous relationships can't be a part of each other's lives and that we can't do things together as a complete family. It certainly does get complicated when there are step-siblings and half-siblings involved, but what can you do but try to work it out as best as you can?

I don't want this set up to continue throughout the children's lives because so much will be missed out on. I don't like having to ask my husband's ex to re-arrange her schedule either to accomodate us, but its not like my husband has ever asked much of her and has been willing to always work with her in the past when the tables were turned. Its only fair to hope she'd extend to him the same consideration.

I suppose we will continue to ask until some solution is made and I'm not beyond us three sitting down and discussing it together...I think that is an excellent idea! Not sure what her reaction would be to that. If all else fails, there is court, but no one likes to resort to that.
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  #7  
June 3rd, 2011, 06:15 PM
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Does your area have custody mediation available? Might try taking it in there. Have the main basis be that he doesn't get much time with her due to his work schedule and throw in there the addition about not getting to see her step sibling.
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  #8  
June 7th, 2011, 09:12 AM
mom2more's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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There has got to be some type of comprimise that can be reached. If you are on an EOW schedule maybe she would be willing to do 2 weekends in a row and then your dh could do 2 weekends in a row. That way she has 1 week with on the same visitation as her husband and friend and 1 visitation without the same weekend? And that would give you and your husband 1 weekend with all the kids per month, which is better than nothing?
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  #9  
June 7th, 2011, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2more View Post
There has got to be some type of comprimise that can be reached. If you are on an EOW schedule maybe she would be willing to do 2 weekends in a row and then your dh could do 2 weekends in a row. That way she has 1 week with on the same visitation as her husband and friend and 1 visitation without the same weekend? And that would give you and your husband 1 weekend with all the kids per month, which is better than nothing?
That's an awesome idea! Then everyone wins!
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