There is trouble in paradise again. Today’s topic. Summer Visitation. Well, that and visitation in general. Hubs’ kids are teenagers now. One of them has a summer job and is working to save money for a car and is learning how to prepare for adulthood since he will be an adult in only 2 years. Wow. So hard to believe. The younger one has one year left and then he starts high school, summer marching band lessons and traveling to varsity football games every weekend with the band. Their lives are busy. However, the non-custodial parent has said she will NOT agree to take them back and forth to events that occur during her visitation periods because of work. So far, she has also said she will not allow them to stay with their Dad so they can attend their events either. Basically, they are going to be forced to go to her house and stay home alone day in and day out to accommodate the parent rather than assist the child. So, what do you do? Do you take a stand? Or would you just let it go?
An acquaintance of mine recently took her ex husband back to court for a similar issue. Her daughter is involved in select softball and has tournaments several weekends per month and they practice year round or darn near year round. Her ex wasn’t paying full child support, wasn’t paying his part of the kids medical bills, and wasn’t willing to work around her daughter’s schedule. So, they went back to Court. She felt she had no other choice than to let the Judge decide what was best since her ex wouldn’t work with her at all. Guess what happened? She won her hearing on all accounts. Child support was raised. He was ordered to reimburse medical bills. And their new court order now says that Dad can have one weekend per month with the kids that does not interfere with the kids’ activities. This mom was an advocate for her kids, the Judge saw that, and she got every single thing she asked for at her hearing.
I HATE family law drama y’all. Working for attorneys for 20 years and watching people waste time, energy, emotion, and money all for a Judge to make decisions for them that they should have been able to make themselves drove me crazy. In fact, it’s why I made sure to work with my ex to reach an uncontested agreement at the time of our divorce. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Hubs. Poor Hubs. I wish with all of my might that he and his ex could reach agreements without the requirement for lawyers and judges and court hearings but they just can’t. For whatever reason that I do not and will not ever understand, their Mom simply will not budge.
In my devotional today the first question was “how do you respond to worst case scenario conflict? Through fight or flight?” When it comes to your kids, isn’t there a natural “papa bear” tendency to put up a fight even if otherwise that’s not your nature or typical response? If anything in your life is worth fighting for, isn’t it making sure that your kids have an advocate to fight for what’s best for them? Their needs. Their schedule. Their lives. Isn’t it supposed to be about and for the kids?
8 years down. Only 5 to go. We’ve got this!