With the new chapter in my life in full swing, my main goal was and has always been to see my kids more. When letting Trudy know that I would be moving to the same city as the kids, I asked her if she would be open to letting me see the kids more. I suggested changing it to every second weekend, and a couple of over nights during the week.
She informed me that she MIGHT be ok with every second weekend, but that she wouldnt agree to over nights during the week. She didnt really have a reason as to why, she just wasnt agreeing.
Over the next few weeks there was a ton of hostility towards her. Not only was she keeping me from the kids, she was keeping them from me. They Kept asking why they couldnt see me more.. that it didnt make sense that I was in the same city as them and they werent allowed to see me.
Trying to explain to an 11 year old and a 9 year old why I cant see them more is one of the most daunting tasks a father can encounter.
You want to be respectful to your ex and not verbally bash the woman, but at the same time, you want the kids to know that you are doing everything in your power to see them.
I would explain that their mother and I have an agreement from a judge that states when im allowed to see them. And that if I want to change it, then I need to go before a court again. I explained that it costs alot of money to go to court, but that I would make it happen.
My kids are very grown up for their age… they know whats going on now, and they know that their mom isnt being fair. They understand the concept of money, and even though I would absolutely love to spew some verbal diarrhea and tell them exactly what I think of their mom, they still love her, and it wouldnt be fair of me to do that. Soooo I just go on biting my tongue while trying to figure out my next steps.
During the next few winter months, I seen my kids every third weekend. Waiting patiently for summer to come because I would have them for 3 weeks. Not 3 weeks consecutively, but 3 weeks in the summer none the less. this summer was going to be the best summer ever with them. I couldnt wait.
Over the winter months, my kids were growing impatient with their mom. Constantly asking HER why they couldnt see me any more.
She replied to them “Your dad can change it if he wants”
I figured, well then.. ok now is as good of time as any.. so I asked her if I could see them more during the week. Again, she informed me that if I wanted to change it, to have my lawyer contact her lawyer.
Well I wasnt going to get a lawyer this time. I hated the system. I hated having to pay thousands to see my own kids.
Any one who knows me, knows that I have a problem with authority. For her to bark at me the way she did, made want to prove a point.
That I could beat her without a lawyer.
Lots of people self-represent. Why cant I? I spent the next few months researching how to change a final order. How to represent myself.
There was next to NO info out there on how to do so. So I set my plans aside for a bit. Summer was here and it was time to enjoy it with my kids.
This was going to be theeeeee greatest summer ever. I had tickets to a basketball game that I was going to travel to Minneapolis to see with my son, I had tickets to a concert (also in Minneapolis) that I was going to take my daughter to. We were going to go camping, fishing and just spending gooood quality time together.
Myself and my new girly girl (we will call her Lexi) had decided that we should take the kids and drive to the Yukon. Lexi has a friend that lives up there, and what a trip that would be. First things first.. we need to coordinate with Trudy.
I assumed that because I dont have my kids as much as Trudy, that I should have first dibs on the weeks I have my kids.
Literally the ONLY week that it worked for us to head to the Yukon, Trudy was taking the kids to her family’s place in Pennsylvania.
She wouldnt budge.
The rest of the summer went off without a hitch. Minneapolis twice, camping, boating, and even a little fishing.
Summer was coming to an end, and the kids were getting ready to go back to school. One common question that the kids kept asking… when are we going to see you more.
I had put it off long enough, it was time to really dive into it.. learn how to do this.
November came and so did the kids sports and activities.
Then something magical happened. Something that even right now makes me smile…
*Remember when we drew up our agreement, and because I was driving 4 hours each way to get my kids, I didnt have to pay half of extra expenses??
Well thats something that has never been changed since I moved to the same city… if she wants to change that, she can go through the courts and file an order to vary…. but she hasnt..
The magical words come from her…. ” Would you help me pay for the kids activities, this was $600, that was $400, this was $350…
Wait right there.
You wont change custody when I ask, and make me pay thousands to get a lawyer, but you expect me to change when you ask?
Nah… Doesn’t work that way…
But… I WILL take the time to ask her about switching custody to 50/50, and that I have no problem paying half of the activities, but we need to have it in the agreement. I told her that I was going to file the papers for it, but that I didnt want to blind side her with it, and wanted to know what she thought about it.
She says “Go for it”
I say.. “what does that even mean”… was she being snarky? Was she daring me?
She replied “well I dont think that changing the kids schedules is in their best interest, and that you living across the city isnt ideal, but if you ask the court for it, your probably going to get it, so there isnt much i can do”
Umm… what now?? Did I just hear that right?!?!?