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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!

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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.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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...


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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.

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I've reread your post, and I'm still puzzled as to why you and he haven't been on the phone or emailing long before this to set up the summer. Yes, I know you got divorced so you didn't have to talk to him, but you MUST communicate about the kids. My ex and I talked way ahead of time to set up visitations and schedules for our daughter. I certainly would never have planned fun trips for kids at a time when he could reasonably expect to have them without communicating with him. This sounds a bit like setting him up to disappoint the kids (Gee, weekend with Dad or Sea World). Bend over backwards not to put your kids in the middle. It is all about them, and their time with both parents. Change your trips for some other time, and communicate and be flexible, for your kids' sake.

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I have lots of experience with the standard visitation schedule through my best friend. I am assuming your standard visitation schedule stated that he had visitation for the entire month of July unless he notified you otherwise by April 1st. Despite the fact that he did not exercise his right to visitation on the 1st of July, he does have visitation for the whole month. You can request to have the kids for one of the weekends during his extended visitation but other than that you have to let him have them whenever he wants them until the last day of July. The previous poster was correct that you need to document every time he neglects to have his scheduled visitation, but you should contact him when he does not pick them up as scheduled and ask him what his plans are. If you do not let him have custody on the weekends in July he requested you are violating the decree.

Remember the whole, 1st, 3rd & 5th weekend visitation does not apply during this extended visitation. You are legally obligated to let him have the kids anytime during July. I would say from watching my best friend (her divorce is just one year old) that regardless of his inability to follow the decree regarding visitation (or anything else), you should follow it no matter what. Don't give him a reason to drag you in front of the judge. He does not have to exercise his extended visitation, it is available for the benefit of the kids, but you don't have any legal grounds for denying him visitation during that period just because he has not had them for the entire time. Never make plans during "his time" unless you have checked with him first.

That being said, if he wants to exercises his visitation on the rest of the weekends in July, he can come get them when he wants and return them to you when it is convenient for you. You can also let him know that you will be notifying the court of all the days in July that he chose not to have the kids and maybe the judge would be inclined to reduce the extended visitation to something he is capable of handling.

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You will not be in viloation of the decree. You are correct in what you read. If you have made other plans, he will have to understand that. With that said the more you can do to be his partner and work with him regarding his visitation the better it will be for everyone involved, especially your children. I have been dealing with divorce decree and visitiation issues for over 10 years with my husband's ex-wife. A lot of times I have to be pro-active about visitation, even if it is in the decree. (Learned that the hard way driving 58 miles each way to find out they were not there or they had other plans.)I recommend talking or emailing the month before about his plans and what you have planned for the kids. That way he can feel more involved also. Good luck, have a great trip and feel free to ask me anything anytime.

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Adjusting to the newness of divorce can be messy--especially if one parent is not dependable. You do have to abide by the custody agreement, but I would document every time something like this occurs. If this becomes a pattern, your children will be the ones to suffer. You will want to have some documentation in case you return to court to revise the custody arrangement.

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Please work on better communication going forward - even if it's just a brief email saying "Are you planning on utilizing your July 1-31 visitation?" or using a shared online calendar to lay out who is "on duty" when. Do it for your sake and do it for the kids' sake.

I'm very fortunate in that my ex would be fine with my responding, in your situation: "I'm sorry, but since you didn't exercise the visitation or tell me otherwise, I've made other plans. Can we work around them?" Tho we communicate by phone, chat or email daily, and something like this wouldn't come up, I don't think. (Having said that I realize that he's not 'optioned' his July 1-31 nor has he advised me of other plans ... we both swap days and weekends so much that I don't think it even occurs to us to map out big chunks of time!)

Personally, I'd ask first if he can change his plans so that the existing plans can be accommodated - especially if the kids are already expecting and looking forward to this trip. I'm not 100% sure what your *legal* obligation is here - my decree says that my ex has to give me written notice by April 1st that he plans on exercising any extended visitation over the summer. Is there no language about giving you notice in your decree?

Victoria, fab single mommy to two girls

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I would talk to your lawyer.
In my experience, you have to have them available for the entire visitation period and you can't make plans for them during it. My ex is as unpredictable as yours and ir really messes things up for our family. I'm sorry you have to deal with this as well.

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.

You have gotten some excellent advise but I did want to throw one thing in. My daughter's ex has the kids for the month of July as well and refused to pay for the daycare while he had them under his care as his mother could watch the children. My daughter had to either pay the childcare even though they were not there in order to not lose their place and have to find another daycare or take her chances of losing their spot in daycare and go from there. Of course she was in no position to be searching for another daycare and the children love the daycare they are at. She decided to talk to the director of the daycare and to her amazement they were very helpful and promised her the children would not lose their place and they would hold it and were more than willingly to work with her. Of course they don't want to lose customers as well and not being paid one month from someone who has been with them for so long, they aren't stupid if you do the math. So the ex has the kids, his mother is watching them for the month and they will just go back to their own daycare August 1st. Everything worked out. As everyone has said, communication is the key in everything and most things can be worked out if everyone is civil to one another and has the children's best interest at heart. You might want to later modify your decree to include he pays for daycare when he has them for the month. If it is not in there then he doesn't have to pay it. As for him not following the decree with his visitation, the judge doesn't care that he didn't have the money, he didn't follow the rules, so you are under no obligation to follow him around and know what he is doing and you have every right to go ahead and make your plans. Good Luck to you and it is so sad that these poor little ones have to go through all this mess as they just love both their parents and it is very sad when the parents do not get along or communicate. The children are the ones who eventually pay the price.

Hello D.!! I do believe that since he did not pick them up when indicated in the decree then he lost that visitation. My decree allows my ex to choose dates for the summer but is required to notify me by April 1, if this does not occur then it falls to the default starting on June 15th for 6 consecutive weeks. If I do not receive his itinerary by the 1st of June then he loses his visitaion for the summer. I would definitely check with your lawyer to be sure you cannot be found in contempt but he cannot just pick up and drop off at his convenience, that's not fair to you or the children especially when you have made plans. Been there done that, not fun. Good luck to you!!

well me, im kind of tacky and would say you didnt follow through with the 1st and WE ALREADY HAVE PLANS TO GO HAVE SOME FUN, but then again i completely understand the whole money thing & transporting them as to i have 3 myself (2) different dads its really hard and the kids are the ones that suffer. he could have, should have COMMUNICATED WITH YOU. i would tell him to arrange something after sea world. the kids need some fun, mine told me the other day they are having the most boring summer ever because we havent gone anywhere. now im trying to get a loan just so we could go to sea world or padre or port aransas or even schlitterbahn just for a weekend because of money and time off from work. you are more than welcome to email me anytime thanks A. ____@____.com

As someone who grew up with divorced parents since I was 8, I say to do everything you can to make sure your kids get to see both of you. Show your kids that you will do whatever it takes to give them the opportunity to be with their dad. Do not make it a battle because the kids will lose.

We all were happiest when my parents acted like friends. I think my mom finally started working with my dad when she saw him bending over backwards to be accommodating. Maybe your ex will do the same.

I wish I could erase all the memories and fights my parents had over visitation.

Just remember that you are forming your kids' well being during these years.

That was really inconsiderate of him not to inform you that he would not be able to pick them up when he said he would. What I'd do is go ahead w/your plans and invite him along (I'd make him buy his own ticket, he may try to get a "freeebie" ticket from you to avoid having to pay). Just say that you two had made arrangements, he didn't hold up his end. When he didn't contact you, you made plans w/the kids & already purchased tickets for the park. You expected him to p/u the kids on the scheduled day, he did NOT call or email or text or let you know in any way that he would not be able to keep the set schedule so you made other plans w/the kids. If he says that you could've called, (you didn't say whether you tried to contact him) say that it's his responsibility as their father to let them know he can't come up. Offer to take him along, if he declines then sell him the tickets if you've already purchased them (they usually CAN be transferred if your name is on your ticket, just follow the instructions) & also explain that if this is going to work out between the two of you then he needs to step up & communicate that he just cannot change his mind w/o notifying you & p/up the kids whenever he gets a chance. That's also very disappointing to the kids. They were expecting him on a certain day, here it is two weeks later & now they have other plans to look forward to & excited about just to have to change them again?? It doesn't sound like he's thinking of the kids, only himself. He should most definitly convey to you his delimma, if he can't pick them up, he needs to tell you. To just change all of a sudden pre-arranged plans is really hard not only on you but on the kids. It may not seem like it but it can be very disappointing to them, even if they don't act like it. Ask them how they feel. I think it'd be wise to sit down all of you & discuss this, it involves the kids too. You didn't say how old your kids were. If at all possible, have the kids explain to their father if they feel disappointed, they need to tell him that. They need to tell him that if they're frustrated that they again have to change their plans due to his inconsiderations. If he insists on you not going to Sea World, just him & the kids do something, I'd ask for reimbursement. It sounds like he's trying to use the kids to manipulate you & take advantage of you, knowing that you're a person wanting to play by the rules & not want to mess up the custody arrangement. Don't let him 'wally' his arrangement. If he tries to keep them longer than the 31st, say no. It's his fault, his doing, his choice not to see them on the 1st. He should know he cannot manipulate you into giving him his 'full month' of visitation when he let 2 wks pass already. That's his fault, not yours & that is CERTAINLY not fair to you or your kids. Good luck!!

Dear D.

It is very sad that you are experiencing that with your ex husband. My recomendation is to have a plan B in case your ex doesn't make it and have no explanation for it. Regarding your ex, he is gonna learn the hard way how things can affect the relations with his kids and maybe the next time he be more responsible.

A little about me:
New in San Antonio, Texas, looking for a job,married and have a 14yeard old daughter.

Unless both of you want to pay more money for more lawyers, you don't have to do anything here. IE, go ahead with your plans and tell your x you are sorry, but he didn't abide by the provisions in the standard plan, so there is no need for you to either. When he finds out how much money it will waste going back to court to deal with this, he will probably realize he needs to be give you more notice on when he wants the kids. You both have to find a way to communicate with each other - it's that or pay more money to the lawyers for what they call 'modification' of the agreement. Good luck to you! I'm also divorced with an ex over an hour away who rarely abides by the standard order. In a year the longest he has had my son is 3 nights. (instead of the month he is supposed to have him every summer) again, good luck!!

Okay, I know this sounds heartless, but it is HIS responsibility to contact you if he can't pick the kids up, not the other way around. Yes, compromise is necessary, but speaking as both a divorced mother who went through this and watching my daughter go through this with her ex; it's time for him/her to step up to bat and take responsibilty for communicating with you. I always cancelled plans (he refused to discuss things); basically bent over backwards - and when my children were adults found out that they resented me for cancelling plans to accomodate their father! If this was the first time; call him, tell him that he needs to select other dates; offer to help with child care, etc. BUT, do not cancel plans, especially if you have already put out money. If this is an on-going thing; too bad, so sad! He should have considered this and contacted you in time.

Having not read the other posts, I will tell you that I would stick with the plans you have made. Let him know that he didn't advise you that he was coming and so you made plans. Offer to arrange for him to have them some extra time in August.

However, communication is the key to all compromise -- and divorce is ALL ABOUT compromise. Probably the best thing would have been to contact him and say, "Hey. I haven't heard from you and you were supposed to get the kids this month. I am wanting to make plans for such and such dates and wanted to know if you would have a problem with that." He probably would have been more agreeable OR if he didn't then you could have made your plans for a time when it didn't interfere with his schedule.

As for not having childcare arrangements for him, yes - that is his problem - not yours. BUT, if you had gotten with him beforehand, you could have put the ball in his court by saying, "I have to let the daycare (or Mom, or the babysitter....whomever) know when they will be with you. Of course, they can continue to go (wherever) while you have them, but you will need to pay them directly." Unfortunately, I tried to have it put in my decree that he HAD to pay childcare if he missed his visits and my ex wouldn't sign it.

Good Luck

I'm afraid that your ex husband, although he failed to pick up the children on the first of the month, is entitled to disrupt your plans for July - the law supports his request, since by law he should have them for July unless he notifies you otherwise.

I'm sorry that you and the children have to suffer for his poor planning and poor communication, but that may be one of the reasons why you are divorced in the first place...! I have been divorced for eight years, and I have suffered through a lot of things that I felt were unfair - having him bring his girlfriend to stay during the girls' weekends with him (which upset them), having him restrict their access to their friends during his weekends, having him restrict their access to me (via phone) on his weekends - the sad fact is that while he has the children legally, he is entitled to make decision for them that you won't agree with. In plain language, it sucks. Thus I recommend what other posters have said - that you improve communication with him, preferably via e-mail so that you have a written record of his plans and responses to you should you need to appeal to the court later on (which you should avoid at all costs). Because you will be connected to this man until the children are 18, it behooves you and them to maintain as cordial a relationship with their father as you can; it is the children who suffer when you two are at odds.

GOOD LUCK - I have been where you are now, and it is really hard. Feel free to send me any messages if I can be of help.

You have had some great advice, but I would like to add to that and say that the 1-1/2 hr drive is a very long time for kids, and I can understand the financial part of child care and paying child support at the same time. Money just does not go as far any longer.
He should have contacted you he was not coming. However, like someone else said try communicating by e-mail, sometimes it is easier to do that and this also keeps them from fighting, because the same things in words may come across much friendlier than them picking up something in the voice that may come across good (like anger, disappointment etc.)
When I was divorced my ex could pick up the kids any time there were no restriction. He could have them all holidays as I had them year round anyway. It worked out very good, and I still had them most holidays anyway.
Good Luck.

Communication between the two of you is the only solution. He should have let you know his predicament before July 1st and when he didn't you should have contacted him to find out what was happening. So now both of you are in a spot you don't want to be. Can you compromise and give him one of the weekends? Or can you work out with him plans for August? Let this be a lesson learned on how valuable communication is between exes when it comes to your children.
Good luck!

I think that you got lots of advice about how terrible men are, especially if they are your 'ex-husband' - because those are the folks that are scorned. But why fall into the trap of living with hatred, complaints, being a victim. My gosh, pick up the phone! Leave a message. Your note sounds like you are still in high school. You are an adult who is a mother. You are to be a responsible, caring, POSITIVE influence on your children. Put your children and their welfare first, try and have a civil and kind relationship with your ex-husband. If your ex-husband learns to 'grow and be an adult and responsible father along the way' - that's even better...but don't wallow is misery because you're being childish about what's fair and what's not. You'll spend your whole life keeping the scales balance between you and your ex-husband - just to make sure he doesn't get any more than you and you don't get less - and all you'll do is become bitter and worse yet leave your children with the same unhealthy behaviors. People get divorced because they can't communicate and can't compromise and can't work together - well guess what, divorce requires even more of the same three things when there are children involved and you have to do it with added financial strain and not being face to face.....I wish you the best in your growth in life...


Hi well you have had alot of responses, I am going to paste a few lines from my divorce decree regarding the summer visitation, and you can make the call then.

7. Inability to Exercise Possession - Each conservator is ORDERED to give notice to the person in possession of the child on each occasion that the conservator will be unable to exercise that conservator's right of possession for any specified period.

8. Written Notice - Written notice shall be deemed to have been timely made if received or postmarked before or at the time that notice is due.

So according to that since he did NOT give you timely notice he is NOT entitled to get the kids whenever he decides no matter if it is in the month of July or not. I am a paralegal here in El Paso and have just run into problems with my sons father. He has worked overseas for the past 6 years and obviously I never followed the standard visitation, I allowed my son to see his father whenever he came home to visit. BIG MISTAKE. No that he is back permantely he is exercising his July visitation and wont allow me to take my son for a family vacation next week. So dont give in and make a side schedule once you get back. Make him follow the standard visitation if he cant follow that then too bad for him that's why the law had put in the guidelines to follow a standard visitation. I learned the hard way and was way to nice to my x and when it came down to him returning the favor the joke was on me.

Good luck and stick to your guns.

Well to be completely honest, I have gone through similar situations before. I tried to accomidate my ex to some degree for the childrens' sake, and not for his. However, according to most standard Texas divorce decrees, if they do not notify you within 14 days that the schedule will be changing then you do not have to comply with the new schedule. However, my suggestion to you is that you compromise, and allow one of those weekend's or an alternative but not the other. Since you have already made some major plans, the kids will suffer some if they are not able to do any of them, but they will also suffer some if they are unable to see their Dad at all during the next month. Hope this helps. I know how difficult it can be with someone that doesn't comply with the divorce decree. It does make things quite difficult in knowing what's right and wrong legally as well as what's right and wrong for the children. My ex for the longest time just called and showed up whenever he wanted. I tried to accomidate for the children, but if I had already made definite plans then he just had to wait his turn. Especially if they were big plans and I had already put deposits or spent money on tickets, ect. I hope this helps. I will be praying for your family. I'm sure whatever you decide will be ok. Just keep your kids in mind, and what they might want. In some cases I gave my children some of the decisions, and just didn't tell my ex that they were the ones to make that decision so as not to cause problems with them when they were with him.

After dealing with a difficult and non-compliant ex for the last 5 years, my suggestion is stick to your plans. The only way he can contest it is if he files for contempt against you and gets a hearing in front of a Judge (which costs money that he probably doesn't have and time he doesn't want to waste). If he acknowledged that he did not pick up the kids at the beginning of his scheduled visitation and you subsequently made arrangements, it seems that would be his problem. If he doesn't like it, tell him to take you to court over it and he can explain to the Judge what his reasons were/are for not exercising his visitation. It's not the most reasonable way to handle it, but if your ex is anything like mine, 'reasonable' is a relative term. Don't ruin your kids' summer trip because Daddy doesn't want to play by the rules. I know that sounds harsh but sometimes that's just the way it is. I am sorry for your difficulties, I've been there.

I should mention, though, that my Decree states that I can choose one weekend of visitation (of my choice, not his) during the July visitation month. Perhaps you could make that designated weekend the weekend of your trip...

I wouldn't worry because you're not the one in violation. He didn't show up to get the children, didn't call and didn't write (like it says in the divorce agreement). I live in Texas and my ex did the same thing but I knew he would. Explain to your ex that since he didn't show you've already made arrangements/plans but give him a week he can take the kids, without interrupting your plans. Like the first week of August or something like that. If he tries to go to the judge about it then your case is in good standing because he didn't show, you made plans and then when he decided to show you gave him an alternative.


As I understand, visitations are as scheduled unless otherwise agreed to by both parties. W e ran into similar problems with my step-daughter's mother who ignored all the times she was supposed to have a visitation, and wanted to take her for weekends and such which was prohibited by the agreement. I would look into the paperwork, but I am fairly certain that the only way he has a legal right to have them on non-appointed days is when you have agreed to it. What you might do is tell him that you have made plans for that week and ask if there is another time that is convenient for him. Make him think his time is important to you as well and he may be willing to give a little at his end.

H. G

Work at home with no selling and no risk! Turn monthly expenses you already have into monthly income! Ask me how!


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.


Hi D.
It is unfortunate that you are in this situation, however, you are right in making plans- if he has an issue with the arrangement he should consult your attorney or have his aattorney consult yours- this will be a learning thing for him and he will soon understand that your schedule is notset around his convenience. He should call at least if he knows he will not be able to keep the agreement and if you can work something out that is convenient for you and the children then that is good. IT is not fair to the children to have their schedule and plans upset just to make it convenient for him......there will always be an exception of course- but your children and their feelings and expectations come first. Try and schedule another time for him when it is convient for you.
good luck and blessings

The only advice I can give you on this topic is to make sure you and your ex-husband develop an open line of communcation - via the best means possible - in an effort to avoid this type of confusion in the future.

Perhaps you can explain to him your situation and what you've made plans for - include the kids as to what they may want to do - and readjust the visitation schedule is possible. It sounds as if the ex will see them at night - and they would be in daycare during the day. He might be open to an adjustment to the schedule.

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