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  • Child visitation

    I have sole custody of my 4-1/2 year old son. His father has vistation every other weekend from Friday at 6 PM to Sunday at 9 AM. He also gets every wednesday night from 4:30 - 8 PM. Father gets an all day visit for fathers birthday and every other year for our son's birthday.

    With my son approaching starting school this coming year (we are in a year round track), I'm concerned about some of the visit times. His father lives 45 minutes from here, and we are supposed to pick him up from the visits so we never get home from the Wednesday visit before almost 9 PM, which is past his bedtime (which has always been 8 PM). Also with this schedule, he would never have time to do any homework. The school he will be attending, due to special educational needs, is an all day Kindergarden. I've talked to his father on a few occasions as to what we would do about this and he doesn't feel it is his responsiblity to help with the homework. He also stated that since he gets him on fathers birthday and every other birthday for son, our son would probably not be in school those days.

    I'm wanting to go back and have the visit orders changed due to my son starting school. He needs time to do his homework on Wednsdays and get to bed at 8 PM (any later and he's really cranky in the mornings, we've tried changing his bedtime before). I'm also wanting to change the birthday orders so that my son doesn't miss school.

    How would I go about getting the orders changed and are they likely to be changed for these reasons?

  • #2
    Why do you have to pick your son up on Wednesday evening? 45 minutes is not very far, so why doens't Dad drop him off or meet in the middle? I would try and accomplish THAT first.

    As far as homework, if school gets out at, say, 3pm, and he goes to Dad once a week at 4:30, you will be hard-pressed to convince a judge that a kindergarten student can't get his homework done in an hour and a half on one day out of 5.

    As far as missing school for birthdays, again, at just 45 minutes away, I don't see why Dad can't just pick him up from school those days. Most schools will actively discourage parents from removing children from school for anything other than illness (vacations, etc). Perhaps you could try and work that one out through the school.

    To get a modification of the visitation orders, you will need to prove that there is an error in the current visitation schedule that is having an ill effect on the child. From what you've posted, there's not. If there's more info, though, we'd like to hear it if we can help!!

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    • #3
      Homework shouldn't be an issue for a Kindergartner, most schools limit the amount of homework for children younger than 9 to less than 30 minutes a day. Kindergartners rarely get homework to begin with. The meeting in the middle idea seems like a good option.

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      • #4
        He has not been reasonable about anything recently. My son is currently in a special pre-k program per his IEP. This program is designed to continue once he's in school and includes tutoring. He has a speech delay, as well as dyslexia. So even the homeowrk he gets now from his preschool (designed to take 5-10 minutes) takes him a long time and we have to take breaks. His father refuses to do any of it with him also, which is part of the problem.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bornt View Post
          He has not been reasonable about anything recently. My son is currently in a special pre-k program per his IEP. This program is designed to continue once he's in school and includes tutoring. He has a speech delay, as well as dyslexia. So even the homeowrk he gets now from his preschool (designed to take 5-10 minutes) takes him a long time and we have to take breaks. His father refuses to do any of it with him also, which is part of the problem.
          Does Dad seem to think that the child does not need an IEP or have any type of special education needs? I have encountered, in my own family, people who are basically afraid that having a child in "special ed" is somehow a reflection on their abilities. It is a sad (and selfish) thing, but it can make parents apprehensive about getting on board. I actually have family members with dyslexia, and I know how aggravating it can be, and I am so happy that you caught this early and can deal with it now (my own sister was not diagnosed until she was 17!!! She was held back, had to switch schools, went to multiple special tutors, and finally was tested only after she scored something ridiculous like a 7 on her ACT her junior year).

          All that happy crap aside, can your son's teachers be of any assistance? Can they have a conference with your son's dad and explain how important it is for him to be on board? If you set all of this up, and you can document that Dad still won't help, you may have reason to petition the court for a modification of the weekday visits -- that they are detramental to your child's education, with proof of course(affadavits/testimony/ect. from his teachers and tutors).

          As far as the travel, I would still recommend you try first to meet in the middle. If a judge does not agree that your child needs shorter Wednesday visits, at least getting him in bed a little earlier, even just half an hour, might help.

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          • #6
            His father is also dyslexic (as am I) and through many conversations has said that he knows early detection and help is important but has also said "helping him with this isn't my problem"

            My other frustration is that it's ALWAYS "nana" (paternal grandma) doing the visits, which I fully support but father is rarely at the visits (by his own admission). I have talked to the grandmother and she sees no reason for the wednesday night visits to continue now that he will be starting school. She just asks that she be able to do things with my son outside of visit times (whenever she's visiting here in this area) and I have no problem with that.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bornt View Post
              His father is also dyslexic (as am I) and through many conversations has said that he knows early detection and help is important but has also said "helping him with this isn't my problem"

              My other frustration is that it's ALWAYS "nana" (paternal grandma) doing the visits, which I fully support but father is rarely at the visits (by his own admission). I have talked to the grandmother and she sees no reason for the wednesday night visits to continue now that he will be starting school. She just asks that she be able to do things with my son outside of visit times (whenever she's visiting here in this area) and I have no problem with that.
              So, then it sounds like the issue is resolved with Wednesday nights, no?

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