So my daughter is 5. Her dad left when she was 1, then came back when she was 3 and left again when she was 4. She lives with me. She's always lived with me. She sees her dad almost every day - he picks her up from school and she stays with him until I get home from work. Starting about five months ago, she started staying over at his house one night a week.
Now her dad wants to take her out of state, by plane, for a week with his family. Knowing my daughter, I don't think she'll do well. If she does two days away from me (like, one night at her dad's, then one night at grandma's) she melts down. I finally got her going to bed on her own and sleeping in her own bed. When she's with her dad, there are no rules - no bedtimes, no off-limit foods, no off-limit TV shows (another discussion entirely).
My gut says no. I wanted to make sure I was being fair, so I asked my sister in law if she would let her go. She said the same thing - she won't do well that long away from you. I asked her preschool teacher - same thing. I feel bad - mostly because my ex's mom emailed me saying how much she wanted to see my daughter. But I'd rather feel terrible and do the right thing by my kid than be bullied into a decision I don't feel comfortable with.
So, what would you do?
We do not have a court order. We were never married. He doesn't want to go to court because he doesn't want to have to pay child support, so I'm not worried about that.