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  1. #1
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    Apr 2013
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    Default Dispute Over Children's Activities, Vacation Schedule

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Michigan

    I have never posted on a board before, but I am financially drained from my ex taking me back to court that I cannot even afford to call an attorney to answer them for me. Here is my list of questions:

    1- my ex is putting our kids in horseback riding lessons (despite the fact we agreed in co-parenting therapy to not enroll them in things they do not want to do and they do not want to do this). Last year they were taking lessons for the first time and for some odd reason they were riding bareback!!! So unsafe. Our son fell off a horse, hit his head and then the horse stepped on his foot, fracturing it. Ex chose not to take him to the hospital instead choosing to still leave the next day for a weekend away with the kids. While they were gone our son complained about his foot hurting so bad from all of the walking that 4 days after the incident they took him to the ER while on vacation. I was not notified of ANY of this until 6 days after the incident. We have joint legal custody. Ex just gave me basics, not diagnosis or anything. I had to call eveyr hospital in that area, fax over my divorce papers to every one as well just to find out if my son was seen there. I found the hospital and they faxed my Doctors office the info. THe next day I got the kids back for my half of the summer. I also have sole physical custody. Ex has every other weekend and 3 hours one night a week. We found out at the Doctor that since he was not treated right away and proceeded to them walk al over a large town for 3 days before being seen his fracture was bad, but untreatable at that point. It was also noted he should seek immediate help from an orthopediac surgeon, none of that I was told by my ex. Fast forward to this year. His letter for his summer plans with them includes these same lessons. The kids do not want to go, our son is scared. In fact, his foot still has so many problems he was seen as recently as this past March for pain. He is 12 years old. He knows what he wants to do and not do. I was led to believe last year these lessons were with a professional at a ranch. I just found out from the letter he wrote that it is just a friend of his giving these lessons. It is not a professional insured ranch. I believe it is dangerous. Do I have the write to fight this???

    Also, ex is taking the children on vacation during his half of the summer. Our order states:
    During extended summer parenting time, the parent who is not exercising extended parenting time shall have regularly scheduled weeknight and alternating weekend parenting time provided that the child has no out-of-town vacation travel plans. If out-of-town vacation plans prohibit the other parent from exercising their alternating weekend parenting time, make-up parenting time must be provided. Any out-of-town vacation plans and make-up parenting time, if applicable, should be confirmed between both parents, in writing, with a copy to the Friend of the Court no later than May 1 of each year.

    First off I am pissed because he is taking them during one of my weekends, offering make up time of course. It was a weekend my daughter was in a wedding!! I was told I have no say in this. But my questions is it does not state when I have make up time, is it assume that since it is a weekend I can pick any weekend during the year that he normally has them (minus of course holidays, etc...)?

    Also, He is requesting that I allow him to take the kids to his company picnic, on a weekday, during my half of the summer. He did not request to switch days with me, just that he wants them for this 7-8 hour picnic. He has done NOTHING to work me me on anything...I mean nothing at all. I cannot stress that enough. Even our co-parenting therapist says ex's anger and unwillingness to compromise on anything is resulting in co-parenting not working. Do I let the kids go? I am not a petty parent, but seriosuly he refused to allow me to have them for a 2 hour period last summer, on his night (in exchange for an entire Saturday) for dinner with my uncle who was in town. I told him that he should remember that when it comes time for his company picnic...oh and here we are. He just says no to everythign I ask him, because he knows it hurts me.

    Lastly, due to the unwillingness to co-parent with me do I request sole legal custody? He has refused to agree to allow our children to seek therapy (the therapist saw them to diagnose them and said they suffer from emotional abuse from their dad). This therapist also was just voted the best therapist in our county and the 2 surrounding counties!! I had to take ex to court to fight that and I won. He fought me on braces for our son, speech therapy for our daughter, and the list goes on and on. Research shows that when parents can't co-parent one should have all say in matters which they cannot agree upon.

    Thank you for your help!!!

  2. #2
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Many

    There are different parenting styles. Wow, a therapist who is everyones BFF. No wonder she was popular.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    244

    Default Re: Dispute Over Children's Activities, Vacation Schedule

    Quote Quoting momtofour
    View Post
    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Michigan

    I have never posted on a board before, but I am financially drained from my ex taking me back to court that I cannot even afford to call an attorney to answer them for me. Here is my list of questions:
    1- my ex is putting our kids in horseback riding lessons (despite the fact we agreed in co-parenting therapy to not enroll them in things they do not want to do and they do not want to do this). Last year they were taking lessons for the first time and for some odd reason they were riding bareback!!! So unsafe. Our son fell off a horse, hit his head and then the horse stepped on his foot, fracturing it. Ex chose not to take him to the hospital instead choosing to still leave the next day for a weekend away with the kids. While they were gone our son complained about his foot hurting so bad from all of the walking that 4 days after the incident they took him to the ER while on vacation. I was not notified of ANY of this until 6 days after the incident. We have joint legal custody. Ex just gave me basics, not diagnosis or anything. I had to call eveyr hospital in that area, fax over my divorce papers to every one as well just to find out if my son was seen there. I found the hospital and they faxed my Doctors office the info. THe next day I got the kids back for my half of the summer. I also have sole physical custody. Ex has every other weekend and 3 hours one night a week. We found out at the Doctor that since he was not treated right away and proceeded to them walk al over a large town for 3 days before being seen his fracture was bad, but untreatable at that point. It was also noted he should seek immediate help from an orthopediac surgeon, none of that I was told by my ex. Fast forward to this year. His letter for his summer plans with them includes these same lessons. The kids do not want to go, our son is scared. In fact, his foot still has so many problems he was seen as recently as this past March for pain. He is 12 years old. He knows what he wants to do and not do. I was led to believe last year these lessons were with a professional at a ranch. I just found out from the letter he wrote that it is just a friend of his giving these lessons. It is not a professional insured ranch. I believe it is dangerous. Do I have the write to fight this???
    Does your order have anything in about a time frame that each is to notify the other on medical issues? What did you do as far as medical treatment when the child was returned to you and you knew what had happened? Did you take these issues to FOC or the court?

    Also, ex is taking the children on vacation during his half of the summer. Our order states:
    During extended summer parenting time, the parent who is not exercising extended parenting time shall have regularly scheduled weeknight and alternating weekend parenting time provided that the child has no out-of-town vacation travel plans. If out-of-town vacation plans prohibit the other parent from exercising their alternating weekend parenting time, make-up parenting time must be provided. Any out-of-town vacation plans and make-up parenting time, if applicable, should be confirmed between both parents, in writing, with a copy to the Friend of the Court no later than May 1 of each year.

    First off I am pissed because he is taking them during one of my weekends, offering make up time of course. It was a weekend my daughter was in a wedding!! I was told I have no say in this. But my questions is it does not state when I have make up time, is it assume that since it is a weekend I can pick any weekend during the year that he normally has them (minus of course holidays, etc...)?
    Per your order though he can take one of your weekends and offer you make up time. Did you notify him before you gave permission for you daughter to be in this wedding? Even though it is your weekend, your order has different rules concerning weekends. You really needed to let dad know prior to having your daughter commit to this weekend. No you don't get to pick any weekend throughout the year, make up time=like time for the time missed. So you can pick only a weekend that is in the summer for make up.

    Also, He is requesting that I allow him to take the kids to his company picnic, on a weekday, during my half of the summer. He did not request to switch days with me, just that he wants them for this 7-8 hour picnic. He has done NOTHING to work me me on anything...I mean nothing at all. I cannot stress that enough. Even our co-parenting therapist says ex's anger and unwillingness to compromise on anything is resulting in co-parenting not working. Do I let the kids go? I am not a petty parent, but seriosuly he refused to allow me to have them for a 2 hour period last summer, on his night (in exchange for an entire Saturday) for dinner with my uncle who was in town. I told him that he should remember that when it comes time for his company picnic...oh and here we are. He just says no to everythign I ask him, because he knows it hurts me.
    He does not have to make changes to the schedule. Of course the courts like to see 2 parents working together and changing for each others needs, but bottom line he does not have to do this. My daughters ex use to do the same thing, he wanted things changed for himself, but then when she wanted something changed, he said no to everything. So she used a combination of things. Sometimes she just let him have his change, other times she told him she would change it for like make up time for her. If he would not agree to her getting the make up time for the day he was taking of hers, then she told him no. Now he still continued to not change for her, so if she wanted something changed, she just sweetened the pot, and gave him double, sometimes even triple. Was this fair to her, nope, but with the combination of using the above, he eventually got it, when she refused from time to time to budge on changing things when he would never do it for her. It shows the court to that one parent is often going above and beyond and one parent is never working with the other.

    Will the court care much about this, depends on the person hearing it. Most often though, they tell you and often put it in the order(if this gets brought to them to many times), that you have a schedule for a reason and since there are problems, STICK TO THE SCHEDULE. Really makes it tough then when you do need something changed, if your order says you have to stick to the schedule. But as I said depends on who is hearing the case if it amounts to anything.

    Lastly, due to the unwillingness to co-parent with me do I request sole legal custody? He has refused to agree to allow our children to seek therapy (the therapist saw them to diagnose them and said they suffer from emotional abuse from their dad). This therapist also was just voted the best therapist in our county and the 2 surrounding counties!! I had to take ex to court to fight that and I won. He fought me on braces for our son, speech therapy for our daughter, and the list goes on and on. Research shows that when parents can't co-parent one should have all say in matters which they cannot agree upon.
    Legal custody has to do with MAJOR DECISION making, some of what you have here is non cooperation with minor issues. Major would be school, medical, religion. All these major issues, neither of you could agree, so it went to court, they are not going to fault dad on that, as he had every right to fight therapy, braces and speech therapy.

    Who the heck voted your therapist number 1 in the county? Are we talking every day Joe's here, or are we talking the therapist's peers in the field of mental health? I work in mental health, I live in Mi, the only thing I can come up with is that this was one of those area magazine or news station vote for the best. Where anyone can vote, and they do for everything under the sun, like best hair salon, best restaurant and so on. These are just a bunch of consumers opinions.

    What research is it that shows only one should have say in uncooperative cases? Much depends on the circumstances of the case, often times both parents are the reason there is no cooperation, then who should have the say? That's the thing when your talking about studies or opinions, there is always another side that has a different study or opinion.

    Now with all that said, I do understand how hard it is to work when one parent does not cooperate and makes everything so difficult. But you need to think clearly, make the right moves, do things with the court or FOC as they happen. I'm not sure if on some of this, you have taken the proper steps and you may at this time be out of luck. Steps forward though can be changed and done right and you might get further with it. Some courts just take the view, that 2 people have the right to come to joint decisions, when they can't the court makes the decision. They don't care if they have to do that a million times in a case. In Mi much can be done through FOC we have an extra department that can do a lot of this stuff, so they tend to let it go. Hope is that the 2 people get with it and start working together, but if not, they are find with stepping in on a regular basis.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    11

    Default Re: Dispute Over Children's Activities, Vacation Schedule

    Our order just states we have joint legal and i believe an injury like that requires immediate notification. It was brought up in court and a letter sent to FOC. They did nothing but order us to coparenting therapy. Ex does not even go anymore, I go alone. The therapist was supposed to help u make decisions. I worry for future safety as it is an unsafe lesson.

    When i was gone with the kids last spring break (2012) he took his make up weekday during summer and also he was owed a make up day for our daughter's birthday that HE missed yet FOC said he could make up. He also made that up during summer. That confused me so i assumed it was not summer time for summer time.

    What does that mean he does not have to change the schedule? I understand if I don't allow him to take them the day he wants, which is my weekday, then it does not look good. I do not see why I should allow him to take them seeing as the many requests I have presented were denied and I would not even imagine taking that to court, because i choose to follow the order.

    Going for sole legal would be because he has chosen to put anger toward me above the best interest for the kids. In October he found out our daughter had an asthma attack at school and called the hospital to tell the ER he refused permission to see her. It was an emergency they could not refuse me treatment. I just spent 5 hours at the library reading coparenting books, pery therapist request. You can even google it.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Dispute Over Children's Activities, Vacation Schedule

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Quoting momtofour
    View Post
    Our order just states we have joint legal and i believe an injury like that requires immediate notification. It was brought up in court and a letter sent to FOC. They did nothing but order us to coparenting therapy. Ex does not even go anymore, I go alone. The therapist was supposed to help u make decisions. I worry for future safety as it is an unsafe lesson.
    Many FOC's have guidelines with these things in them but they are just guidelines, that can't be enforced. So if your order is not specific on notification, then dad technically did nothing wrong and is not in contempt. FOC can only deal with what is in your order, they can't make orders, they can't change them. They can make recommendations to the court, they can try and get both parties to agree and sign those recommendations. But in order to deal with the situation you had, you should have filed directly with the court, as FOC could not help in the matter.

    Process you need to follow and if you follow it right you will get further on things. Sometimes you should by pass FOC and file directly with the court. Sometimes you should not agree to FOC's recommendation and sign them, instead object to them and go before the Judge. Sometimes you should not bother taking things at all to FOC when they actually can't do anything about it, if it is not already in your order.

    When i was gone with the kids last spring break (2012) he took his make up weekday during summer and also he was owed a make up day for our daughter's birthday that HE missed yet FOC said he could make up. He also made that up during summer. That confused me so i assumed it was not summer time for summer time.
    Usually something in the guidelines that say like time for like time, has examples. However again those are guidelines, they don't have to follow. I find that they tend to favor NCP's with make up time, often not even caring if the NCP is the cause. But they don't always give the same to CP's. You can try through them and see what they say, maybe your FOC don't care and will let you take it whenever you want. But it is suppose to be like time for like time, since it is summer, then your make up time should be summer.

    What does that mean he does not have to change the schedule? I understand if I don't allow him to take them the day he wants, which is my weekday, then it does not look good. I do not see why I should allow him to take them seeing as the many requests I have presented were denied and I would not even imagine taking that to court, because i choose to follow the order.
    You as the CP can't cancel any of dads time. You can try and get him to swap with you, but he does not have to. You don't get to tell dad, well I have something going on Wed, so pick another day, your cancelling dads time, and he is entitled make up time and you are in contempt. Now on the other shoe, dad can cancel any time he wants, and your out of luck, you can't make him get the child. Now if he just don't show up and it was not agreed upon, you don't owe him make up time.

    You also don't have to change the schedule for dad either. But if ya both take on the no changing, then your stuck when something comes up and it is not your time, your kid ends up missing it.

    Going for sole legal would be because he has chosen to put anger toward me above the best interest for the kids. In October he found out our daughter had an asthma attack at school and called the hospital to tell the ER he refused permission to see her. It was an emergency they could not refuse me treatment. I just spent 5 hours at the library reading coparenting books, pery therapist request. You can even google it.
    Look up "parallel parenting", it is what you do when you can't co-parent, and it what the courts expect you to do. It's what my one daughter did, and her ex eventually got it and now they co-parent. Parallel works, but co-parent is ideal, but it's what many situations have to do. I got another daughter now in a split situation and co-parenting is failing, her ex won't work with her. So she is going to try and do parallel.

    You have to have a lot to get the court to remove joint legal. You might on the medical, I don't know, I'm missing much of your story. But this other stuff is not going to get joint legal removed, it's not major stuff. Combined with good medical issues, it can be used, but again I have no clue if you have anything good on medical.

    Your wording on the ER, does not make sense, so I'm not sure exactly what he did there. Did your daughter get the care she needed at the hospital for her asthma attack? What did dad do to prevent that and do you have proof of that? I've actually been involved with a case with medical neglect, that person did get joint legal removed, but dad straightened on up and got joint legal back within 8 months. That was my one daughter's case. Now I have another daughter in a split situation, child happens to have asthma, dad does not follow the treatments, it causes problems. So I do understand what your talking about and your fears, but if you don't do this right, your going to get nowhere.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2013
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    Default Re: Dispute Over Children's Activities, Vacation Schedule

    Thank you for the great advice.

    I just wanted to clarify that dad is requesting to take the kids iMY time, not his. It was never his time and when he denied my request for switch days last year I understood ad never attempted to keep the kids from him. rf.

    - - - Updated - - -

    my keyboard is screwing up. Lol. My therapist suggested parallel parenting

  7. #7
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Dispute Over Children's Activities, Vacation Schedule

    I got that your not in a habit of denying him time. I understand the wedding is on your weekend in the summer, but your order has specifics for summer parenting time.

    Also, ex is taking the children on vacation during his half of the summer. Our order states:
    During extended summer parenting time, the parent who is not exercising extended parenting time shall have regularly scheduled weeknight and alternating weekend parenting time provided that the child has no out-of-town vacation travel plans. If out-of-town vacation plans prohibit the other parent from exercising their alternating weekend parenting time, make-up parenting time must be provided. Any out-of-town vacation plans and make-up parenting time, if applicable, should be confirmed between both parents, in writing, with a copy to the Friend of the Court no later than May 1 of each year
    I'm reading this as this is dads extended summer parenting time, but it is your alternating weekend parenting time that the wedding falls on. But if dad makes out of town vacation travel plans that prohibit you from exercising your alternating weekend, all he has to do is give your make up time. He gets to pick when he takes his out of town vacation plans during any time period of his half of the summer, does not matter if it falls on your weekend. The part you would need to agree upon is when your make up time is, that is the part that needs to be confirmed between both parents and put into writing and sent to FOC along with dads out of town vacation times to, by May 1st.

    About the only thing you can argue on this is when your make up time is. As I said technically like time for like time, but sure you can try and argue that you can take that after the summer. If he won't agree, then FOC is going to have to make that decision, your FOC might give it to you anytime, some don't. They almost always favor the NCP in picking their summer time vacations. For yourself and your child, you should always wait in making your own plans until after May 1st. If something comes up like this wedding, then you need to get the ok from dad, since it falls on his half of the summer, and get it in writing, with him signing it, then he can't change his mind. Now you have something for FOC.

    Seriously look into parallel parenting. There is all kinds of info online, there are books and articles on it. It actually is a 2 part thing, but it can work for many cases. You sound a lot like my daughter did when her situation started. She wanted to co-parent, she wanted peace, but her ex was another story. The courts offered her no help, they would not order counseling or co-parenting classes, their view was just grow up and co-parent and she was left wondering how do you co-parent when the other does not want to. I happen to come from a divorced home, so I know what it is like for the child. So we put our heads together and came up with a plan for her to try, where she was co-parenting by herself. Little did we know at the time, this plan actually had a name to it, found that out years later. In her case, parallel parenting gave her some peace, led to her ex doing it to, and eventually that mended everything and they both went to co-parenting. Won't happen in all cases, but parallel parenting works great when co-parenting can't happen.

    Also the other day I was looking through info on other counties in Mi, I ran across a page from Midland county, that has some short, to the point things on co-parenting. The simple things they listed and explained, is how courts look upon this co-parenting and how they expect you do do it, regardless if your dealing with a pain or not. Once you understand parallel parenting, these things they list on this site apply to that to and make so much more sense. Here is the link http://co.midland.mi.us/departments/...?id=13&pid=526

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Dispute Over Children's Activities, Vacation Schedule

    I understand the extended summer parenting time. I questioned why you quoted the company picnic and then said that was his time. The picnic is during my half of summer, on my normal weekday. The question about his summer vacation was on make up time only.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Dispute Over Children's Activities, Vacation Schedule

    Sorry didn't realize I had quoted the company picnic part, as that is your time, I just confused that with the summer vacation, and messed it up.

    As far as the company picnic, you can do as you please there, since you do often work with him. Your choice is to tell him no, can't do it this time or just do it and forget his behavior on exchanging times when you ask him. If you choose to tell him no, be careful how you put it. As I said and you already know, you have to have something to show the court you work with him on changing things. You do have that, so it is ok to not work with him from time to time. If you end up in court, you can show you do work with him, while he never works with you.

    As I said sometimes my daughter told her ex no, when he was not exchanging anything for her. Sometimes if she wanted something changed badly enough, she would offer him double time for the one time she wantd. Sometimes she just exchanged for him. By doing a little of all 3, the court was happy with her, they were not happy with him, as he never changed anything for her, unless she offered him extra. Ya keep track of it all, best to do things like this through emails, and save those emails.

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