What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? We live in Ne, paperwork was done in Colorado
Here is a little background. My ex and I divorced in 2004 (Separated since 2001) we have 3 children who are currently 9,11 and 15. Divorce, custody and child support were handled in Colorado. We have both since remarried. In 2007 it became necessary for me to move to Nebraska and the children came with me. Our divorce decree/parenting plan did not require me to have his permission – just required that I notified him which I did. The visitation was redone so he had every other Christmas/Spring break and all summer (1 week after school ends to 1 week before school starts).
After the last 3 summers it has become apparent to me that something needs to change. Dad is trying hard but he seems totally incapable of restraining his new wife (he works nights and sleeps days) and she refuses to agree with anything he and I have agreed on for the children.
Just an example the children were provided with phones (the younger two shared one while the teenager used her own) to allow ease of contact for them with both myself and their friends. Dad was fully aware of (and agreed to) this BEFORE they went for visitation. Step-mom announced they were disrespecting Dad by wanting to talk to their friends and confiscated the phones and refused them access. (Unfortunately the children overheard Dad having an argument with her over this in which dad said it was okay while he was asleep but SHE still refused to return the phones and he gave up the argument). She even refused to let the kids talk to Grandma over the summer (which resulted in a welfare check by the local PD).
The children’s therapist refers to step-mom as a “High Profile Step-Parent”, and has advised we attempt to have the visitation changed – not to cut Dad out but to limit exposure to Step-mom. The kids love their Dad very much but have all made it clear that they do not like the treatment they receive from step-mom (during our last therapy session the oldest announced that she would refuse to go visit as soon as she was old enough). Dad has spoken to the therapist on several occasions but does not seem to care one way or another. The children are terrified of talking to him about it (We have all tried to encourage them to speak with Dad on this matter – by we I mean myself, my current husband, their therapist, my mother, and his mother) because (as they tell us) any and all discussions are family discussions and include the entire household step-mom included.
I have always insisted that Dad be part of their lives and I have mixed emotions about this. I am extremely tired of attempting to co-parent with step-mom (when by my orders I do not even really have to co-parent with DAD) but do not want to restrict parenting time with Dad. At the same time I cannot continue to ignore her constant interference. Is there any legal (and enforceable) way I can insist she remove herself from parenting decisions for our children? I don’t think either of them realizes that her actions are sabotaging the children’s relationship with Dad.
Yes I have tried to talk to him about this – he seems to think that it is merely because I do not like her and tells me “what occurs in his household is none of my business” – which is usually true unless it directly effects my children at which point I need to know.
Has anyone had any success in having orders written that made it clear that the step-parent to back off - and did it actually work? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?