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Co-parenting troubles, need advice

Hi all -- I'm new here, but in need of advice. 

The background: 
I am a step-mom to a wonderful 12y/o boy and have been for 9 years. In that time, I have never been able to forge a co-parenting relationship with his mother. She will not communicate with me so every transaction goes through my husband, which has been palatable because my relationship w/ my step-son is very strong. We are due to have our first baby together (my step son's 3rd younger sibling as his mom has 2 others from another later relationship) and she has decided that my step son doesn't need to have a relationship w/ his baby brother or any of his other relatives on his dad's side for that matter. I should also note that my step son is very happy about his baby brother to be and has helped me this summer w/ brainstorming names, getting the room ready etc.

The problem:
She told us just the other day that for us to see my step-son, my husband needs to take off work for the duration of the visit (she lives 6 hours away so visits are long weekends, holiday breaks and summer) or we won't get him since he should be w/ his dad 100% of the time during the visit and never w/ other relatives.
 
This isn't financially feasible and I really don't see the issue in spending some of that time with me, his many aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents who all live in close proximity to us. This has never been an issue prior to our pregnancy.  I guess I don't understand where she is coming from -- could this be an old wound? Maybe she hasn't gotten over my husband after all this time or she's struggling w/ happiness in her world at this time. I just don't know, but I don't feel like letting her withhold him from his dad and loving family members is the answer.I really don't want to involve courts again or take any steps that would make it hard on my stepson, but I know his relationships with both sides of his family are equally important.  

Any advice on how to have my husband approach the issue with her? 


Re: Co-parenting troubles, need advice

  • Unless there is a Right of First Refusal, which usually do not cover stepparents and given this BM is married or has a SO it would cover her, she can pound sand for you need to care. 

    She cannot legally keep your SS from his father on the Court Ordered Visitation times. 

    So I would contact your lawyer to draft a letter that basically states that if the boy is not available for his next legal visitation, then you will go to court with a charge of Contempt.  

    As for making it hard on SS...this is the excuse that allows BIO parents to be this way.  

    Which is better for your SS?  To not be in your lives and to see his mother extort his father OR see his father stand up for himself and to a bully?  
    [IMG]http://i633.photobucket.com/albums/uu52/Iluminespics/IMG_4759.jpg[/IMG]
  • AdMom0129 said:
    Hi all -- I'm new here, but in need of advice. 

    The background: 
    I am a step-mom to a wonderful 12y/o boy and have been for 9 years. In that time, I have never been able to forge a co-parenting relationship with his mother. She will not communicate with me so every transaction goes through my husband, which has been palatable because my relationship w/ my step-son is very strong.


    Why hasn't your husband addressed this issue with his former wife and why has he not been intent on ensuring that there was a workable solution?

    This is nonsense --- I am guessing that she is still holding a grudge for him, and maybe you also, because he has remarried -- at any case, she is to be civil to you and your H needs to make sure that happens.

    We are due to have our first baby together (my step son's 3rd younger sibling as his mom has 2 others from another later relationship) and she has decided that my step son doesn't need to have a relationship w/ his baby brother or any of his other relatives on his dad's side for that matter.

    Make sure your H takes care of this right now and make sure that she cuts out this nonsense. None of this is acceptable or right.

    I should also note that my step son is very happy about his baby brother to be and has helped me this summer w/ brainstorming names, getting the room ready etc.

    The problem:
    She told us just the other day that for us to see my step-son, my husband needs to take off work for the duration of the visit (she lives 6 hours away so visits are long weekends, holiday breaks and summer) or we won't get him since he should be w/ his dad 100% of the time during the visit and never w/ other relatives.
     
    Make sure that the attorney who handled the divorce legally nips this in the bud. She's not complying with the visitation.

    This isn't financially feasible and I really don't see the issue in spending some of that time with me, his many aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents who all live in close proximity to us. This has never been an issue prior to our pregnancy.  I guess I don't understand where she is coming from -- could this be an old wound?

    No, this is childishness on her part and nothing more.

    Maybe she hasn't gotten over my husband after all this time or she's struggling w/ happiness in her world at this time. I just don't know, but I don't feel like letting her withhold him from his dad and loving family members is the answer.I really don't want to involve courts again or take any steps that would make it hard on my stepson, but I know his relationships with both sides of his family are equally important.  

    Any advice on how to have my husband approach the issue with her? 


    He needs to stand up for you and your stepson and he needs to get his attorney to take care of the rest.

    She is to be civil to you, she is not to use the kiddo as a middle man and she is to comply with the visitation/cutody agreement. End of story.
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    Do you have a legal custody agreement? If not, time to see a lawyer and get one.
  • I will say this though.  SHE IS PERFECTLY CORRECT IN NOT COMMUNICATING WITH YOU.  

    I cannot stress this differentiation enough.  In your house, you are the parent, i.e. you have equal rights/repsonsiblity with your husband in all things.  HOWEVER, when it comes to outside of the house, this is a bioparent only policy. 


    [IMG]http://i633.photobucket.com/albums/uu52/Iluminespics/IMG_4759.jpg[/IMG]
    KTdidit
  • She should NOT be communicating with you.  You are NOT this child's parent.  The sooner you come to terms with this, the better your relationship with this child will be in the long run.  Your husband is this child's father and he needs time alone with his father and he needs his father and mother to make decisions regarding his well being- not you.

    She doesn't get to choose whether this child goes to daycare or gets babysat by a relative or friend.  You need to call your lawyer and have him remind this woman about their divorce agreement and the breadth of her power.  He has the right to visitation and he has the right for the child to see you, his family member's, or the half sibling during that visitation.  She's jealous and acting petty.
  • Thank you all for the advice. I'm really okay not getting involved in their co-parenting conversations, I really am. But it is weird to me that she pretends I do not exist and has rolled that into the child my husband and I have together is of no importance to her son. I suppose that I just need to get over that. 

    They do have a legal custody agreement, but it has been only loosely referenced these past few years. We felt bad getting SS on the true every other weekend schedule as agreed to because he would miss 1/2 of sports games and other activities he values. This was supposed to be switched out for the full summer break instead of a 50/50 split on summer, but that verbal agreement didn't stand. And, we also offered flexibility letting her have our Christmas in exchange for only the 2nd week of that break so he could be with his newly born sister. Unfortunately, this flexibility hasn't been reciprocal so it's probably a better idea to have the agreement revised and be more concrete about it. 



  • AdMom0129 said:
    Thank you all for the advice. I'm really okay not getting involved in their co-parenting conversations, I really am. But it is weird to me that she pretends I do not exist and has rolled that into the child my husband and I have together is of no importance to her son. I suppose that I just need to get over that. 

    They do have a legal custody agreement, but it has been only loosely referenced these past few years. We felt bad getting SS on the true every other weekend schedule as agreed to because he would miss 1/2 of sports games and other activities he values. This was supposed to be switched out for the full summer break instead of a 50/50 split on summer, but that verbal agreement didn't stand. And, we also offered flexibility letting her have our Christmas in exchange for only the 2nd week of that break so he could be with his newly born sister. Unfortunately, this flexibility hasn't been reciprocal so it's probably a better idea to have the agreement revised and be more concrete about it. 


    There's nothing you can do about the flexibility not being reciprocated.  Unfortunately, you can't control it.  It sounds like your husband and you are trying to do what's in the best interest of the child, but his mother is being vengeful.  I get it- been there done that and it sucks.  This will probably always be the case, so you just need to come to terms with it.
  • Stop being flexible.  If you really don't want to enforce your husband's parenting time, then legally change the Court Order to reflect the amount of time you want to put in.  

    And when your SS is with you and is rude, then address it then.  Children are rude to adults, whether their parents are together or divorced.  But they should never be allowed to be rude or disrespectful to another adult, no matter who it is.  

    These all seem to be results of parenting choices you and your DH are making, not 100% the cause of a BM not wanting to talk about her son with her ex husband's new wife. 

    BTW - I am a stepmother, so my answer has nothing to do with sympathy for a Biological Mother and everything to do with my experiences and views on how an effective Blended Family work. 
    [IMG]http://i633.photobucket.com/albums/uu52/Iluminespics/IMG_4759.jpg[/IMG]
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