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3 Bumps

Is this visitation with dad or being housekeepers/ built in babysitters?

I have 3 DD (11, 13 and almost 15). My ex and I are divorced (about 6 years now) and he just moved back to town a year and a half ago (before then, he came to see the girls twice a year for a day or so each time). He also got remarried 2 1/2 years ago. Now that he lives in town, he has my girls one weekend a month. The problem is my girls are always complaining about how much work they do over there. He married his new wife because she was pregnant, she has the baby who is now about 2 and then got pregnant with twins who are now 3 months old. So my girls tell me that they spend the whole weekend cleaning the house and taking care of the babies so she can sleep (she also has a 4 year old from another relationship). Their dad has started working most weekends since his new wife doesn't want to get a job or reduce their spending (like I did when we were married, not much money and 3 small children). He even asked to stop paying child support for my children because of all of that. I told him if he wants to take me back to court to try to get a adjustment, that's up to him. We went and because he has been working extra weekends and because child support hasn't been changed in the 6 years since we have been divorced, the judge actually said he owed more, though I waived that and said he could keep paying what he was paying. Anyway, my DD's hate going over there because of all the work they do. Now, I am not a parent who thinks children shouldn't help out around the house during the summer, they each do about 30- 45 min of cleaning, not including their bedrooms and laundry, but them doing all the housework AND taking care of the babies while they are SUPPOSED to be spending time with their dad is just ridiculous. I have tried to talk to him and he says "so what, they should sit on their butts while my wife cleans the house and takes care of the children"? So I am thinking about taking him to court and asking that he get them every other Sat but he HAS to be with them and they can't be used as maids or babysitters. My other idea is to add up what the girls do over there (above and beyond what they should be) and send them a bill for each one of my DD's for their services. I mean, my almost 15 year old and 13 year olds babysit and get paid for it. If they are watching these kids 20 hours in one weekend they damn well better be getting paid for it, even my 11 year old ends up watching the 4 year old. What would you do in this situation? Now I get that SM is overwhelmed and so is their dad but they shouldn't but used as maids or babysitters for a home they don't even live in.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 7:03 PM on Jun. 9, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Answers (23)
  • Wow you are a very goof woman with waiving that extra support! That is so awesome of you. How I see it,t hat your girls are old enough to say if they want to go over there or not. Let them tell their dad that they want one on one time with him not a weekend of cleaning his house and taking care of their siblings.

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 7:07 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • *good

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 7:07 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • At their age they can testidy and tell they judge what is going on and ask for what they want. By the time a child is around 15-16 most judges will not enforce visitation because the child can drive or is close to it and has a life. They have jobs, are in high school doing sports or cheer, and things like that. I would go ahead and go back and just talk to the kids about what they want. They can probably get the visits reduced to time in the summer and even made to go somewhere for vacation with him outside his home so they do not have to take care of the home.
    Otherwise Id ask for sole custody. He obviously cannot handle the household he has. Otherwise he wouldnt be using his kids as maids.

    Answer by gemgem at 7:07 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • I would meet with your lawyer and have your children make statements about this. There are child labor laws. If he doesn't agree to pay for their services or to stop all the nonsense then I would say see you in court. I would blow up if I found that out. It isn't your children's responsibility to take care of these other children. What's fair is fair and you should drag his ass to court, get the more child support, get the children paid for their services, and still let him have visitation.

    Answer by Bugzmomma at 7:09 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • Jeeze...I would have a nice long conversation with that ex of yours about your kids being USED like that. Old enough or not..they are there to spend time with their dad and if they cant do that they should at least be able to enjoy their surroundings. They can clean up after themselves...make snacks for themselves but that stepmom needs to step it up and so does the father.

    Answer by MissyNewMama at 7:09 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • bugzmomma, that doesnt work when its your OWN children.

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 7:09 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • I would have right of first refusal put in even with her being married to him and as pp said they can testify at this age to what is going on. Best of luck.


    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 7:10 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • mommy of two, I didn't want to take the extra money since I don't need it and he has to work 6 days most weeks just to pay what he is already plus support his family

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 7:15 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • gemgem, I already have sole custody, he just has visitation

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 7:16 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • To be honest, I doubt either plan would work. I don't think a judge would issue an order stating your ex HAS to spend X amount of time with the children while they're in his custody, or what he is and is not allowed to have them do while there. I also doubt he will pay for their services.

    Just playing devil's advocate here, but have you witnessed what goes on in the house? Children (even teenagers) tend to exaggerate things, especially the amount of "work" they have to do. I do not agree with using the girls as maids or babysitters, but I do believe that they are part of the family and should help out, and when there are younger siblings, more help is generally required of the older siblings. Your daughters, I'm guessing, could be wrong, probably don't have a great relationship with dad, given his absence and long distance, so being at his house isn't going to be as comfortable as it is at yours either.

    Answer by MeandMyBabes at 7:27 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

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