37 answers

Summer Visitation - Houston,TX

Hello Moms,

This is the first summer since the divorce became final and I have a visitation question for you. I am wondering if any one has dealt with this and how you handled it. According to the standard visitation in Texas, my husband was supposed to have the kids from July 1st till the 31st of July since he didn't notify me of a different schedule. On the 1st he didn't come get the kids. At that point I went ahead and made some plans to go out of town to see family and I planned a trip to San Antonio to Sea World . Now my x has informed me that he wants to come get them this weekend and next weekend, which is when I have already made plans for them. I don't want to violate the custody agreement, but I have also already made plans. When I asked why he didn't pick up the kids on the 1st he said he didn't have the money for daycare on top of his child support. We live an hour and a half from each other, so it is too far to commute the kids everyday with our work schedules. Any suggestions or prior experience on dealing with this would be helpful.

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I know this is a difficult situation and I do not want to seem heartless, but you should have called him when he didn't show up the first time and you should not have made other plans without talking to him first. Have you put any money out? Ask him if he can change his plans to August. Communication is key in these situations.

Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Hello,

I am also a single mom. From the way I understand it, if he did not give you an alternative schedule by the due date and also did follow through on the July schedule, then you do not have to comply.

We have joint custody. I have more decision making power than my ex on my daughters well being. Basically, what that means is I must communicate with him, but my decision in the end stays. We do work together on most things. Best of luck in getting it worked out.

Danabeth

I have the same visitation schedule, but my ex always picks her up. I would suggest calling the lawyer you used for the divorce and ask. If you can't do that, just call any lawyer and ask. They'll usually give you an answer like that for free. Seems to me that HE violated the agreement by not picking the kids up. But they are going to want to know if you called him to see why he didn't pick them up. I would recommend from now on that if he doesn't stick to what he is supposed to do that you call him, email him and/or send a certified letter to him (document all that you do), asking why. That way you're covered and if he doesn't respond, he's not! Sticky situation. Probably though, it'll be recommended that you go ahead and let him have the kids. But call and find out.

More Answers

My custody experience is through my husband and his ex. I'm not sure of what your relationship is with your ex, but (from your post) it really looks like your communication is seriously lacking, and that is key. You two should have confirmed the schedule beforehand...called when he didn't show up...called when you were ready to confirm your other plans. Even if you hate each other, there's no way around communication.

Maybe you can agree to cut him some slack on the support when he's paying directly for childcare (when they're with him). Of course, I don't know the arrangements, and I'm not putting all the adjustment on your end. I'm just trying to emphasize the importance of trying to work together. It's not gonna be easy at first because you have to get used to the new family dynamic. You can't let it stay like this, though. They have counselors who will assist with adjusting to being divorced, helping you to know what to expect (the natural feelings and behaviors associated with where you are in the healing process) and how to move forward.

2 moms found this helpful

D..... My background on my response comes from sitting on both sides of the fence - both as someone who watched a husband trying to see his children from his first marriage and from the other side of the fence where you sit now. That being said, you may not like my response, but it comes from my experience.

My advice – COMMUNICATE! COMMUNICATE! COMMUNICATE! You need to find a way to communicate with your ex-husband on these matters so there are no surprises like this in the future. If you don't communicate with each other, you're only setting yourself up to have more of these types of incidents occur. Believe me, this type of turmoil benefits no one – not you, not your ex-husband and most importantly, a drama-fest over visitation does NOT benefit your children.

Since he did not take the lead in communicating with you, I would take the lead in communicating with him. You may think that it’s not your responsibility to take the lead and I won’t debate that point with you at all. But, consider for just a moment that as a man, he may be terribly embarrassed and even angry to have to ask you for permission to see his own children. How would you feel if the situation were reversed? He may also be embarrassed to have to admit to you, his ex-wife, that he doesn’t have the funds to pay daycare on top of child support. For a man, admitting to you that he can’t pay the additional funds for daycare is psychologically equivalent to admitting failure as a man - not something you want to do with a woman whom you’ve already failed as a husband. Regardless of whose responsibility it is, you need find a way to have good communication with your ex-husband on all matters pertaining to your children.

Secondly, my advise if FLEXIBILITY AND COMPROMISE. I’m not talking about “giving in” compromise. I’m talking about compromise that benefits the children. I would just encourage you and tell you that your children need both of you. In order to be healthy, well-rounded adults, they need a relationship with not only you but their father as well. It will be a terrible loss to them if they grow up without having that relationship with their father. Sometimes, both of you are going to have to bend the letter of the law and be flexible and compromise in order to make this happen. I’ve watched my daughter-in-law for years refuse to bend. My daughter-in-law’s ex-husband is a soldier. He was deployed overseas in Iraq and managed to get home on leave. She refused to allow him to see the children while he was on leave because it was not his court ordered visitation time. Personally, I think her actions were unconscionable court order or not. Her actions did not benefit her children. This was a time when flexibility and compromise for the good of the children should have been exercised.

Personally, I would not have made plans without first picking up the phone and giving the ex a call to find out what the scoop was and why he didn't show up. BUT, I've danced at this rodeo before and experience has taught me the importance of communication. This is your first dance.

Since neither of you communicated with each other regarding visitation this month, I strongly encourage you to do so now and find a compromise that both of you are comfortable with. More importantly, find a solution that benefits the children.

2 moms found this helpful

I know this is a difficult situation and I do not want to seem heartless, but you should have called him when he didn't show up the first time and you should not have made other plans without talking to him first. Have you put any money out? Ask him if he can change his plans to August. Communication is key in these situations.

Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Unfortunatily with a standard visitation this is his weekend to have them. You do have to make yourself and the kids available to him. You do need to open up the communication thought so that this will not be a problem in the future.
If he wants visitation next weekend that will be up to you as it will be your weekend for the kids. My suggestion is to let him have the kids so that they can see there father as much as possible, but I would make it clear that this can not be a habit and that you had already made plans.
Is there anyway that you could include your ex in ya'll Sea World trip (he would obvilously have to pay his own way. Just a suggestion. Please think about what your kids would want and need. Good Luck raising divorced kids is not easy.

FYI: My hubby and his ex don't talk at all and now we have not seen or heard from them in 7 months. We do call and leave messages all the time and they never get returned. We drove three hours to try and get him on June 15 and were told no at the door. Now we are trying to hire an attorney in Corpus to try to get visitaion reestablished.

2 moms found this helpful

D.,
Not knowing the entire situation, I'm going to be rather blunt.
It's not your problem that he doesn't have enough money for daycare and child support. He would have had he stayed married to you! Do you have problems with child care and your income? If so, does he care? A man's income goes UP when he divorces a family ~ a woman's income goes down.
He knew this was coming up and should have prepared for it.
My understanding is that if he didn't contact you and make arrangements before the 1st, then he's in violation and he misses out on seeing them.
That's the legal side. The moral side is that the kids need to see their dad. You should explain all this of this to him, including your new plans for the month, and come to a compromise. This time goes by so quickly and single mom's have to make huge sacrifices, even when a divorce is not of our choosing. (I don't know your situation). Therefore you need to hand over the kids on his terms if he doesn't try to compromise. Remember, it's for the kids, not him. He in turn needs to remember that child support is for the kids, not you. This all stinks, I know! I'm so sorry that this is happening. God bless whatever decision you make.
There! Wasn't I of NO help at all???? Sorry, but the simple truth is that there's never a fair solution in a divorce.
Best of luck and try to have a good summer!
D.

1 mom found this helpful

I would cancel the plans or work out a compromise with him. Your kids need to spend time with him. He should have called you and/or you him when he didn't get the kids in the first place. But, since neither did, ask him if you can keep your plans and reschedule the time with him. Communication between you two is soooo important for the kids' sake. Keep it simple and courteous even when you don't want to. I know this must be hard, but since this is the first summer, how you handle this will affect the future visitations. Just remind him that he needs to call beforehand so that you can know how to pack for them and what to expect. Hopefully, it will all work out for the best.

1 mom found this helpful

Well....obviously you two do not communicate. Your ex husband should have let you know in advance that he was not picking up the kids on July 1, and why. But on the other hand, since the court order says he gets the kids in july - you should not make any plans for july without checking with him first. Bottom line - you should change your plans. Look at it this way - maybe you can have a few days away just for yourself!

(FYI - in the future, should this situation occur again and he cannot pick up the kids by July 1 - but will agree to let you make plans with them in july, be sure to get it in writing!!)

Sorry you are having to go through this...

L.

1 mom found this helpful

First of all TALK but if he didnt come get the kids it is his lose, but on the other hand you can make it civil and say to him i have made plans lets meet up next weekend instead. yes he has to notify you and if not the degree should tell you in other words his lose you cant make a man take his kids but you can tell him i want to go by the degree and nothing else other wise it is your decision to go with verball agreements. Or you can say for sake of arguement tell him OK and let him get away with it and he will think it is Ok for next and he will continue to do this same thing to you each and everytime. Oh and make sure you document everything, that way nothing comes back on you. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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