My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Utah
My ex and I have been divorced now for just over 4 years. We have 5 children ages 16 to 6. We share both legal and physical custody 50/50. The kids are with her for a week and then come to my house for a week. We have followed the dictates of the divorce decree without many issues when it comes to parent time.
A couple of weeks ago my eldest daughter and I got into an argument and she decided she was just going to stay with her mom from now on. When I asked her mother to back me up that she needed to come to my house when she was supposed to be at my house she told me my house wasn't a prison and that our daughter should be able to stay where she wants when she wants.
When my week for the kids came around again my ex didn't have my daughter come to my house but brought the other kids. I have spent the last week trying to determine what I should do. During this time I haven't broached the subject with my ex and my ex has pretty much been silent on the matter and I'm sure she thinks I am just going to let this slide like many other things she has done that have violated our divorce decree.
I have one week before the kids come back to decide how I want to proceed. The difficult thing is that I don't want to alienate my daughter by filing an order to show cause and forcing her to come to my house but at the same time I feel like this sets an awful precedent for my other kids should they also decide they would rather be at their mothers. It should be noted here that the kids attend schools in their mothers neighborhood. While I don't live to far away I spend a considerable amount of time driving them places so they can go to school, play with friends, go to activities etc. It just isn't convenient for them to be at my house and it is starting to feel like they really don't consider my house to be home. I have looked at moving closer but just can't afford to live anywhere near her neighborhood.
I know I have options legally. I have a good attorney but with that goodness comes a hefty price per hour that I really can't afford at the moment. I am hoping that someone here can offer insight into the best way to proceed.