Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Custody Quandry

Holidays for my children are governed by a custody agreement.  Christmas is handled differently than most other holidays, at least in my state.  Here,  the standard agreement is that one parent gets the children from noon on Christmas Eve until noon on Christmas day, and the other gets them from noon on Christmas day until noon the following day, and the arrangement alternates from year to year.  I happen to think that is the most ridiculous arrangement I have ever heard of, but that's the way it is.

Last year, my ex was "taking a break" from the children.  He claimed they were disrespectful and that he wouldn't be able to see them, so he stopped by a few days before Christmas for about five minutes and dropped off a bag of gifts rather than spending 24 hours with them.

This year, my children haven't seen their father since a week after he moved to Canada in early April.  They haven't heard from him via phone or email or any other way since Labor Day weekend.  So I emailed him a week ago and asked what his plans were for Christmas, whether he would be following the custody agreement, or if he needed to make adjustments, since he lives so far away.  I offered to allow him some extra time, since I thought he might wish to take them to his parents' house.

I have received no reply whatsoever. 

So what do we do?  Do we sit at home all afternoon on Christmas Day, skipping the traditional open house at my aunt's house, just in case he decides to exercise his custody rights?  Or do we go about our celebrating, and hope that he doesn't take us to court for violating the custody order?

These are the types of quandries that happen in broken families over the holidays.  Please pray that I, and others who are dealing with Christmas custody issues, will have wisdom and peace this season.  Thanks!


Cora said...

Oh, my heart breaks for you having to make these decisions. I would go about your planned festivities (letting his parents know your schedule as well as emailing it to him). Celebrate our Lord's birth with family!

Shelley said...

I too think you should follow your plans Leave a note just in case he does stop by. The success of custody is communication, which you have been doing!! I think that is a good solution, show him that you are not waiting, since he didn't respond! It is not difficult to reply or pick up the phone to talk to the kids!! And you are not "hiding" the kids from him, just spending Holiday time with family !

Our Side of the Mountain said...

((Denise)) I don't know about any of this stuff, but I would think that if YOU made an effort to contact him and make Christmas arrangements and HE doesn't bother to reply in a timely manner than you should be able to go about your celebrating. I would suggest e-mailing him a 2nd time (stating this was the 2nd time) and ask him to respond by, say 12/24, so that you can let family know you'll be joining them 12/25. (Perhaps making a copy of the e-mail for records?) I can't imagine that the courts would expect you and the kids to sit around for the holiday, doing nothing but waiting for a man who hasn't even talked with his kids in months!


Giggly Girls said...

Well I'm sure you could guess what I'd say. =o) Jessy had some good advice. I definitely wouldn't be sitting around all day waiting for him.

Joanne said...

Ditto to all of the above... Do NOT wait around for him to show up... because you know he won't.
(((Hugs))) to you and the kids.

Loving Our Homeschool said...

Sitting here shaking my head at yet another example of people's stupidity. And I don't mean YOU! I was going to suggest leaving a note on the door....I like that and Jessy's advice. Definitely do NOT sit around waiting for him b/c you know how unlikely it is that he'll actually show up! ((hugs & prayers))