41 answers

Who Can Pick up the Kids

My ex wants his new wife to pick up the kids from school...I don't agree.

I'm the residential parent...and we do have the right of first refusal. He works until 6:30 (his choice...he could be done with work at 3:30...but says he has to work more to pay the child support) on the nights he get the kids from after school until 7:30. He want his new wife...because she doesn't work...to pick the kids up from school at 2:30. So they can spend time with his family...even though he's not there until 6:30. My feeling is I get off of work at 3:30 and want to spend every minute I can with the kids. I chose a different job when we got a divorce so I be home right at 3:30. I think that they should be with me until their dad gets off of work...not with his new wife their 2 kids.

He told me that she is picking them up...end of story. Of course I said no she isn't and the foolishness begins. In our divorce decree it says "parent or relative" is to transport the kids. Is the new wife legally considered relative? What about the right of first refusal?

Do I have a leg to stand on? Can I refuse to let her pick them up or not?

Help!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow...I wasn't expecting that. A decision hasn't been made. However, everyone gave me alot to think about. Obviously I didn't explain my full situation...it would take 100 pages. My concern is I'm not sure how she treats them. I'm just clear as to how she treats me and treated me. Me, my ex, and his new wife all worked together and were friends. They started having an affair while I was pregnant. I tried to talk to her about things and she said she was doing nothing wrong. They both denied the affair until the day they got married. It's an ugly situation. I just want my kids to be happy, safe, and healthy. They tell me stories...which I take with a grain of salt because they are so small...and talk with their dad about them and he always says...she would never do that or say that. I'm also constantly being told that his family is none of my concern. Which then of course makes it harder to be objective in this situation.

Thanks again for everyones input.

More Answers

It doesn't sound like this happens every day maybe 1 or 2 days per week? I think it is good for your kids to bond with their new step sisters or brothers and step mother. Another thought is that maybe when he gets home they all have dinner together and him having to come and pick up the kids for 1 hour at dinner time is pretty silly to me. I think "stepmom" qualifies as a parent, not a relative, so I see no reason why she cannot pick them up. You should be happy that she wants your kids to be included in their family and home life. This is a wonderful thing. Be thankful. She must care for them or she wouldn't want anything to do with them. Just a few thoughts. I think there are much bigger issues that you should be on the lookout for and worry about. This is not one of them. Also, I do not see going back to court and presenting this to the judge (and paying your lawyer) will benefit you or the kids really. You might look like a drama making control freak in the judges eyes...unless your kids are in danger when in the stepmoms care. Also, what happens at your ex's house is really out of your hands. You cannot make things happen the way you want when your kids are there. Let it go.

3 moms found this helpful

M., I am not familiar with the "right of first refusal" but what I am familiar with is family dynamics. Why on earth would you think that your ex husbands wife and children are not your children's family? If you were to remarry would you consider your husband to be part of your childrens family? if you had to work late would you consider it ok for him to pick them up? I don't know your exhusband or his wife. But I do know that when you make children choose between parents there are no winners. Ever. It sounds as if you have hostility between yourself and ex. The economy is bad. lots of people are working more hours. Its great that you were able to get a job that gets you off work at 330. I don't think it makes him a bad parent because he has to work later. I don't think it makes him a bad parent to want his wife and other children to spend time with these 2. you might want to speak to the school councilor to get their take on it but mine is that your being petty. Sorry if that sounds rude.
sherry

3 moms found this helpful

Honestly I think you should let your kids spend that time with their father & new family. Their step-mother is absolutely part of their family! And they need to bond with her and their other siblings. That part of their family is just as important as the time they spend with you, whether you want to see it that way or not. This isn't about you. It's about what is best for the kids. There's no reason why the wife shouldn't be able to pick the kids up from school! I think you're being ridiculous. I grew up with divorced parents and although my mother couldn't stand my father, she NEVER let that (or his subsequent wives) get in the way of my time with that part of my family. I spend lots of time hanging out with my step-mother and step-brother and it brought me closer to my father! You need to let go a little bit.

2 moms found this helpful

Honestly, unless there is risk to their life or danger to their well-being I think you're being petty and childish.

You are divorced. He is remarried. You absolutely have the right to be upset over that situation. You do not have to be happy about that whatsoever. However, if you want to do what's best and healthy for your kids, you wouldn't stand in the way of letting them form a healthy relationship with their step-siblings and step-mother. Whether you like it or not, these new people are now part of your children's extended family but more importantly their support network. Now, if the children are in danger with the new step-mother or step-siblings or if they are in an unsafe environment, then there's cause for great concern.

Just my opinion.

2 moms found this helpful

It's time for some self-reflection. Do you have a problem with their step-mom picking them up because it would adversely affect them (the children), or is your objection rooted in spite and anger over the divorce? Seems to me to be the latter. While this is natural, don't lose sight of what is most important--the best interest of the kids. If you have a negative attitude regarding the ex's new family, it will surely be picked up by the kids, and that's not healthy for them.

2 moms found this helpful

New wife is not a relative. That being said, it may be good for the kids to play with the other kids and to be on good terms with all the adults that are around them. The main question is what is the environment that is being created? Is it loving where all the adults including step mom are nurturing the children? What will the children be doing when they are at his house? If the answer is watching TV or playing video games etc, then I wouldn't want that. If it is doing other more constructive things, having a good time, then maybe it is fine. Does he have them every day after school? That seems a lot. One of the most important things between you two is that you avoid fighting. It really isn't healthy for the children and they don't need to be used as pawns to continue animosity. I would think through this for a little while to work out what is really bothering you. You certainly have legal rights and the step mom is not a relative, so you can go to your lawyer and look at modifications. On the other hand, you may want to encourage his wife to be a good friend to your children and to provide them support etc. You certainly don't want her to be alienated and for their home to be an unwelcome place for you children as they are likely to be there plenty. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

You have some objective & subjective advice here. The good news is there is a simple solution. You may not like it at first but it will definitely work out best for everyone in the long run. Allow her to pick them up. Explain to your children what the situation is objectively. To get into a debate or power struggle or foolishness with your ex over this situation will negatively impact your children. Who, from what I can tell, are tremendously important to you. If they are safe with her and you have no real legal reason to keep them from her (i.e. she's got DUIs or is physically abusive or is an addict) then allow them to spend time with her. Let it go. The negative energy associated with this type of debate isn't worth it. I speak sincerely as a single working mother. I know it's never easy & I know they are YOUR children - your babies. They are precious. But it's ok & they will be fine. The point is for HIM to spend time with them. I get that & I feel you on that too. But he's working overtime to pay child support, right? What you could do is forgo the childsupport in exchange for his spending more time with your children. Just consider it & think of the long term benefit. As women we want them to "pay". But what type of remuneration will be most valuable for the kids? His time or his money?

2 moms found this helpful

I suppose you can refuse whatever you want and force him to take you to court to specify who can pickup and what times. It seems to work this way with divorce all the time. This is unfortunate and a waste of money. Can you negotiate the drop-off location instead, like ask him or his wife to drop-off at your house?

I have no idea what the law says about this one or how it defines allowable family members, so I look at it from the kids' perspective. They now have a life separate from you a few days a month. This life includes another family. They should be provided ample time to learn their place and contribute to this part of their life. Blending siblings is not easy, no matter how long ago the transition/divorce took place.

Leaving work earlier on pickup days may be a goal for your ex, but getting to the point where he can do this is a process. He isn't likely to share his struggles of making this happen with you because it makes him vulnerable. Plus, his priorities (and repercussions) for wealth and security are no longer between you and him, they are between him and his new family.

Best wishes.

2 moms found this helpful

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