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Now he's bringing DS's friends into the drama

Posted by on Oct. 26, 2015 at 8:48 PM
  • 11 Replies
Ex sent me an email offering to split Halloween with me 2 weeks ago (he knows it's a big deal to me and he also knows I'll buy DS a costume and he won't have to - which I would have anyway, for DS, not to help ex). We have split other holidays - like last year we split Easter in half bc he didn't want to pay for the basket or Easter egg hunt, so he gave me the morning and then took him for dinner. Didn't think anything of it, and thanked him and asked him what times.

My son had a school costume parade Sunday (ex missed it but asked for photos after the fact). All his little friends from the party were there with the moms, and 2 of the really nice moms with boys in his class suggested doing a fall festival on Halloween morning. So I sent ex an email and told him I needed to confirm what times so I could coordinate. He tells me whatever - this to this time. I finalize the plans. Now this evening he sends me this text message:

I can take XXXX to wherever you guys decide, and you can meet us there. I don't want to miss out on enjoying the day with him and seeing him all dressed up.

1. WTH - I had the written offer and acceptance before making plans. It was HIS idea to give me the morning. I didn't ask, he offered out of the blue.

2.,He really has to drag people I JUST met into this? My son's new friends and classmates and their parents? What is he thinking??

If I cancel, then we make a horrible impression and they have to be made aware that ex is playing games. I can't even lie and say he's sick bc they all have school together. But if I go, everyone will be exposed to an awkward and potentially explosive situation.

3. Miss out on him being dressed up?? Does this mean he isn't taking him trick or treating? The idea was is have him like 9-3, and he would have him from then on. In costume. Ready to go. Wh is that so complicated? He could take him to the Halloween parade, and trick or treating and wherever else.

What is his problem?? Why all of a sudden after months of playing games and hiding DS and I'm not telling you where he is on my time even when the CO requires it, is he now trying to play happy family and inject himself into our lives - at DS's expense??
by on Oct. 26, 2015 at 8:48 PM
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tottaxi
by Battle Weary on Oct. 26, 2015 at 9:15 PM

What is the visitation schedule for Saturday?  Who has DS that day?  Does your court order address Halloween as a holiday?  How does it address other holidays?

If it is not a holiday listed in the court order then it isn't a day that has to be shared.  Don't share it.  At some point it will land on each of your parenting time.  Until then there are plenty of Halloween venues to attend.  If this is ex's parenting day then just tell that to these women.  Sorry, we can't attend.  It's DS time with his dad.

If it is your parenting time you tell ex that the day is yours and go fuck himself.

Follow the court order.  No exceptions.  Not for you.  Not for him.  Anything else is asking for trouble.  People make too damn big a deal out of their need to celebrate on the actual holiday.  What difference does it make?  At DS's age he isn't going to know the difference and when he is older he isn't going to care because he will know that one of the few perks that come with being in a family of divorce is that everything gets celebrated at least twice.

STBSingleMom
by Bronze Member on Oct. 26, 2015 at 9:49 PM

Halloween isn't listed as a holiday (it was an oversight because I was so stressed about all the other things, but all the other holidays are listed as alternating years - we don't split any of them down the middle). Last year, it fell on his time, and he forfeited it because he had plans to go out (and I happily took the day and we had a blast). He usually offers to split one day holidays with me when there's an expense for DS, and I see it as him giving up his time sharing, rather than focusing on just how cheap he is that he'd rather give up half of a holiday of his to avoid paying for a kid's costume or some Easter eggs. 

I couldn't agree more about celebrating on different days. I got to take DS to trunk or treat and there's a village festival going on this week that I plan to take him to. We went pumpkin carving and we've done more Halloween stuff already than ex will do all day on Halloween. Ex has him for Thanksgiving, so I have plans to do my dinner with him and start tree decorating, etc, before he leaves. But I never turn up forfeited time from him - and he cancels or shortens his visits all the time. I don't get why this has to be different.

I feel like, when I told him that there were plans, he had to somehow be in control and make his presence known. Again, it's using DS as leverage and he can't stand that without him we have a calm, normal life (We go do all the kid things and celebrate holidays without drama now. I volunteer at the school and schedule play dates, and now I can actually have people over to the house without worrying about him drinking or flipping out in front of company, and he is still living like a teenager and drinking like a fish and doing God knows what - but it isn't normal, healthy, family-oriented stuff that a parent does). My life with DS is finally peaceful - and it's not the punishment and torture ex wanted me to have. And now I have friends - new friends who are normal and have kids - not the bar flies and junkies he hangs out with - and that makes him angry.

Even the trunk or treat, we both got notices from school in the mail and by email with when the kids had to be there, when everything was, etc. He never even asked if DS was going, and he only asked for photos when I said I was going to be 5 minutes late for his goodnight call because of traffic getting out of the school (because seriously - starting at 7 pm every night, he calls over, and over, and over, until I answer, and if by 7:02 DS isn't on - which has only happened less than a handful of times, like if DS has to go potty or if he's stalling getting out of the bath, the nasty texts that I'm violating the CO start). Then he said, "Oh, I hope he had fun. Please send photos." Yeah, so you can try to show them in court like you were there. But I do because 1. it's the right thing to do, and 2. then he can't say in court, "She won't even send me a photo of our kid at a school function."

Today, on DS's actual birthday, I picked him up from school and we had lunch, came home, played his Mario game, colored, then went to a movie (we had the ENTIRE theater to ourselves - there was no one else there!), had dinner, read a book, went to bed. It was great - no cowtowing to parents or ex and just a lovely day. And DS said something that really stuck with me. I try not to badmouth his dad (sometimes it is SO hard, but I listen when he vents and reaffirm his feelings and let him know I love him). He was stressed out on the way home from school - said he was scared today because he didn't think Mommy was going to pick him up. I said, Hey, I know this has all been really hard on you kiddo - but I want you to know I love you, etc. He said it makes him sad. I asked, "Does it make you sad that Daddy doesn't live with us anymore?" And he said, "No." And I said, Well then why are you sad? And he said, "Because I don't want to go to Daddy's house anymore. Daddy makes bad choices and I want to stay with Mommy." That shouldn't be a response from a 4 year old. His sadness should stem from the loss of a regular presence of a parent - not from having to continue to have contact with that parent. And that speaks VOLUMES about my ex.

tottaxi
by Battle Weary on Oct. 26, 2015 at 10:38 PM

What is your need to tell ex of your plans?  And why do you send him pictures?  I don't tell ex anything about what our plans are on my time.  I do not even tell DS if he is going to see his dad prior to something we have planned because ex is likely to try to rain on our parade.  He can take his own freaking pictures, too.

I am getting the feeling that you have not established firm boundaries.

There are not going to be any awards given for being NICE.

 

STBSingleMom
by Bronze Member on Oct. 26, 2015 at 11:03 PM
So when we first separated, I was told by lawyer #1 that I was to send regular email updates (daily) and photos of anything significant to show that I was not trying to alienate. And both lawyers got their claws into both of us and it was this constant tug of war from him - he demanded ridiculous details (random texts in the middle of the day to demand to know "Where is my son right now? What's the address?" Because his lawyer told him that if I didn't give him that level of detail it was concealment - and I lived with this for a year.) My lawyers would always tell me, what do you have to hide? Tell him bc if you don't, this judge is going to grill you bc he's pro dad.

Ex actually created an jCloud account and linked it to my devices (I still don't get how - but Apple confirmed it AND sent me written notice to submit to court as evidence and to file a police report for cyber stalking - because ONE thing I had on my phone was "Find my phone." And because my location was on, he was able to track my every move. The day I figured it out and turned my geo-tracking off, he started texting a storm of threats, accusing me of leaving the state and taking DS - I was at a pizza shop having lunch down the street from my house. Called police and wanted charges filed - the cop said, "Well if you had my kid I would want to know where you were, too." I showed him the criminal statute against cyberstalking in FL, and he said, "Lady, I can't even set up an email account, and we don't have a cyber crimes unit here." Bullshit. The city where I live is the spam capital of the world (like online spam) and there are constantly news stories about computer-related things going on. He just sided with my ex and felt he had a right to stalk me.

Neighbor would tell him that someone stopped by (God I remember the one night my garbage disposal went and one of our mutual, MARRIED friends came to fix it - person hadn't been there 5 minutes and ex is texting and saying I know you have a man at the house, I'm gonna this and that." Called police - they wouldn't do anything. Cop said, "If my wife had some guy in the house at night around my kid, I'd want to know who it was. He has a right to know." Very clearly the person was fixing my sink - it's not like I was soliciting male prostitutes to the house. What about the threats? "Well, he's clearly just angry, I can't blame him. I'd be pissed if my wife was in my house with some guy I don't know around my kid."

I have been basically beaten down from thinking there is any kind of justice here, and assuming that I'm held to a completely different level than my ex, and that I will be forced to live under a microscope until my son is old enough to have his word in court or he turns 18.

As for the plans - I don't regularly tell him what my plans are. I mentioned it as a way to get him to stop jerking around and settle on a time (look - these are school people, not my BFF, I can't plan this the same morning and I cannot commit to plans unless I can definitely have him). As you can see in his text, he doesn't know what the plans are.

And as for pictures - I do send significant ones - like DS graduating from swim class or first day of school - so that the judge can't say anything later (remember my statute doesn't slow for sole custody in like 99.9% of cases - and keeping my majority means meeting 20 criteria that determine "best interests of the child." One criteria spells out, "Which parent is more likely to keep the other parent informed about the child's welfare, daily activities, milestones.." .I can copy the direct language - it's spelled out in the state law that we are obligated to do these things, and failure to do so is grounds for custody modification.

Quoting tottaxi:

What is your need to tell ex of your plans?  And why do you send him pictures?  I don't tell ex anything about what our plans are on my time.  I do not even tell DS if he is going to see his dad prior to something we have planned because ex is likely to try to rain on our parade.  He can take his own freaking pictures, too.


I am getting the feeling that you have not established firm boundaries.


There are not going to be any awards given for being NICE.


 

STBSingleMom
by Bronze Member on Oct. 26, 2015 at 11:09 PM
(l) The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child.
tottaxi
by Battle Weary on Oct. 27, 2015 at 9:13 AM

 "EACH PARENT".  I would focus on that.  Tit for Tat.  Not a one way street with you doing all the informing and him doing the receiving.

I don't see anything here about pictures.  You CAN dial it back and still be in compliance. 

The local cops seem to be taking an unusally personal stance.  "If my wife"...well, you're NOT his wife.  You're his ex wife.  Tell them that.  And say "I am not expecting you to do any more than document this incident so that I have a report of what occurred."

If your ex is doing his bit as far as being involved in activities...and that would mean major activities in conjunction with school, not play dates or birthday parties or outings with personal friends...he would be informed of them himself through his own contact with the school.  He can take his own damn pictures.

I think you and your ex have taken the court order too literally.  My ex is this way and it is this kind of expectation of knowing every fart that DS passes that is what he bases his contempt charges on.  He has never gotten anywhere with those charges.  My attorney says his interpretation is not reasonable.  I think this is the case with your ex.

Talk to your new attorney.  Ask exactly what the expectations of the court are.  And ask how you can use HIS not sending you pictures and informing of similar activities against him if the level of disclosure IS that high.  I'd talk with other people to find out what their court order states and what they are required to do in this regard.

Are your devices still linked?  If so, dump them.

Quoting STBSingleMom: (l) The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child.

 

STBSingleMom
by Bronze Member on Oct. 27, 2015 at 9:22 AM
This is the list of factors (language is direct pull from the statute but on the state site it's buried halfway down the page below CS, relocation, etc): http://www.mbc-lawoffice.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Florida-Factors-for-Best-Interests-of-the-Child.pdf

The point of the factors is that the courts are supposed to go down this list and look at evidence presented by both parents as to how they are complying with each of the factors. So, for example, ex is arguing that I'm not encouraging a "close, loving and bonded relationship" because I sought supervised visitation. My argument (through the lawyers) is that the law includes other provisions that stipulate that the child should have a SAFE relationship that's close, loving and bonded without endangering the child.

On everything else - he knows nothing and does nothing and I have the other factors covered.

As for my judge - I've been told follow the order to the letter bc he's already threatening me that alienation is illegal (if I don't voluntarily switch to 50/50) and I haven't denied a single visit. He has made up his mind that I'm going to be on the losing end and they don't want me to give him any ammunition.

Quoting tottaxi:

 "EACH PARENT".  I would focus on that.  Tit for Tat.  Not a one way street with you doing all the informing and him doing the receiving.


I don't see anything here about pictures.  You CAN dial it back and still be in compliance. 


The local cops seem to be taking an unusally personal stance.  "If my wife"...well, you're NOT his wife.  You're his ex wife.  Tell them that.  And say "I am not expecting you to do any more than document this incident so that I have a report of what occurred."


If your ex is doing his bit as far as being involved in activities...and that would mean major activities in conjunction with school, not play dates or birthday parties or outings with personal friends...he would be informed of them himself through his own contact with the school.  He can take his own damn pictures.


I think you and your ex have taken the court order too literally.  My ex is this way and it is this kind of expectation of knowing every fart that DS passes that is what he bases his contempt charges on.  He has never gotten anywhere with those charges.  My attorney says his interpretation is not reasonable.  I think this is the case with your ex.


Talk to your new attorney.  Ask exactly what the expectations of the court are.  And ask how you can use HIS not sending you pictures and informing of similar activities against him if the level of disclosure IS that high.  I'd talk with other people to find out what their court order states and what they are required to do in this regard.


Are your devices still linked?  If so, dump them.


Quoting STBSingleMom: (l) The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child.

 

MomMomMomMama
by on Oct. 27, 2015 at 9:29 AM
I don't know your story, so I am not sure why you can't both go....it's not like you have to talk to each other.

I don't like my ex...my DH doesn't like his. My ex especially makes things high conflict, but we can go attend an event for a child without saying a word.

Am I missing something? Why not forward him the agreement you made, say that you're confused as to what he's asking for, and ask for clarification, and tell him that you'd like to arrange things so no one misses anything. If he starts drama, you simply say...since we cannot agree, we must default to the court order and leave it at that (keeping all documentation).

ETA...my ex makes threats all the time. I never respond with emotion, just factual business like info. It has worked for 12 years now....he's never followed thru with any threats.
STBSingleMom
by Bronze Member on Oct. 27, 2015 at 9:43 AM
It's not an "event" really. It's a play date with 2 moms from school and their sons. So it would be the 3 of us, the 3 kids, and him. And my ex has a lengthy history of substance abuse, alcoholism, and physical abuse against me. If it were a school event where all the parents were going, that's one thing. But to go do a few things at a little fair and get lunch with the boys, not talking to ex isn't really an option.

I only scheduled the play date because ex had given up that morning weeks ago and I knew I would have DS.

Quoting MomMomMomMama: I don't know your story, so I am not sure why you can't both go....it's not like you have to talk to each other.

I don't like my ex...my DH doesn't like his. My ex especially makes things high conflict, but we can go attend an event for a child without saying a word.

Am I missing something? Why not forward him the agreement you made, say that you're confused as to what he's asking for, and ask for clarification, and tell him that you'd like to arrange things so no one misses anything. If he starts drama, you simply say...since we cannot agree, we must default to the court order and leave it at that (keeping all documentation).

ETA...my ex makes threats all the time. I never respond with emotion, just factual business like info. It has worked for 12 years now....he's never followed thru with any threats.
goldpandora
by Bronze Member on Oct. 27, 2015 at 11:08 AM
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He doesn't get to invite himself to things that are not official. This is just three moms getting together, not a public event. I would write him that he agreed to the times, that he's not invited but  that he can enjoy the rest of the day with is son and trick and treating. Do NOT give him any details and he can't turn up. If this is on your time (or time he conceded in writing) has has no business intruding. You are rebuilding your life and do not need him tearing it all down. In future, do not tell him about anything that is not "need to know" information. 

If the worst comes to the worst, cancel out and tell the other moms that your ex decided to enforce the court order after forfeiting that morning so your son has to go with him. Then give them a weak smile and shrug. I bet they'll understand that he's being an arse. 

Your ex doesn't understand the difference between public and private events. As for the photos, he knew that event was on and didn't go. Why he didn't go is irrelevant. What is important is that it is not your job to give him photos from an event that he could have been at. 

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