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What is considered joint decisions?

Biostep7777's picture
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HCBM is completely incapable of including DH in any decisions. This week she made the decision to have youngest SS take the bus even though DH rather him not due to unnecessary exposer to Covid. She just made that decision without him. Then she talked to SS about baseball and her and SS decided which team he would like to do and then she told DH about it completely excluding him from the convo. The thing is SS is already on a swim team and DH doesn't like then doing more than one sport a season because there is overlap snd BM just "let's then choose" which team they want to do if there are overlapping games/meets. So, this is going to be another fight of course. 
 

So, they have joint legal custody. What is considered joint decision making? I mean the definition is so vague. Would it be things like if he takes the bus or not? Or which baseball team he's on? I mean, these things seem petty but it's literally always an argument over every little thing so we want to pick our battles. 

Gimlet's picture

Is this the same SS that is doing travel baseball or a different SS?  Is your husband expected to help pay for these activities and take SS on his time?

Biostep7777's picture

Different child. Yes he is expected to pay and yes he would be taking him during his time. 
 

Gimlet's picture

Tog and others will give you better advice, especially since I am in a scorched earth sort of mood today, so I will refrain from that and just offer support. 

This sucks and I am sorry you're dealing with this bullshit.

Winterglow's picture

I was under the impression that he only paid for things he agreed to. He didn't agree to this and should not be paying for it nor taking his son to it on his time.

tog redux's picture

She is never going to consult with him on decisions. And if he argues she will say that this is what SS wants and he's not allowing it. So pick those battles very carefully. I wouldn't fight either of these. 

Biostep7777's picture

Yes. This has been the main reason we started a lawsuit. She excludes him from everything. Literally, everything big and small. 

tog redux's picture

It's not going to change. She's not capable of allowing him to have any control or input. The best you can hope for is being given permission to not take him to activities that she schedules on his time.

justmakingthebest's picture

I will say that one good thing that came out of our many court battles due to BM obviously over scheduling my SS, was that it states "Father's time take precedence". 

I would not pay for any sport or activity that was not mutually agreed on. I would however take him to the activity as long as there wasn't a conflicting plan - trip, family birthday, etc. 

Make sure he is putting it in writing that he only agrees to one sport/extra curricular activity at a time. 

strugglingSM's picture

In my experience, a HCBM will only include a father in decisions that she has either deemed of no importance or where there he only one clear answer. As someone already pointed out, any time there is disagreement, HCBM will argue that dad is going against what the children want. Another hallmark of HCBMs is pushing adult decisions off to the children and then claiming that she is only doing "what the children want." My DH used to fight to be involved in decisions and even had proof that he was working to be actively involved, but BM was excluding him. However, BM and her lawyer merely pointed to all the times that DH didn't respond immediately or didn't answer the same question five times in a row as "proof" that BM was trying to involve DH, but he was "ignoring" her. Because they went to mediation and not a judge, they now have a "process" for consulting with the other parent about decisions, but BM does not follow it (for example, every year since their agreement one or both SSs has changed teachers without DH knowing until it showed up on the school portal). All "joint decisions" are only used as a means for BM to get attention from DH, not to actually have adult conversations about actual parenting issues. Moral of the story is that "co-parenting" cannot exist with a HCBM.

tog redux's picture

Honestly? My DH just gave her sole custody when she wanted it, as he said "she acts like she has it anyway". It wasn't worth the fight. If you don't want to go that far, just pick really important battles and let her make all the decisions while keeping joint custody. It's not worth the endless battle. 

Biostep7777's picture

The issue is if we do that then all of DH's time and money will be gone and I mean completely gone. Trust me, I'm done!! But we have to pay for all of this crap and we have to run them around to 10 different activities all weekend so it's hard.

tog redux's picture

Letting her make decisions doesn't have to mean paying for everything. Sort out a fair arrangement for how much he pays, and get in there that it's his discretion whether they attend on his time.

strugglingSM's picture

At the last mediation, DH got it added that he doesn't pay for anything he didn't agree to beforehand. He doesn't like having his weekends interrupted by other plans, but skids are in high school now, so really, his weekends are often disrupted. BM is supposed to tell him in advance. Sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn't. DH has decided that he would prefer to have almost no contact with her, so he only confronts her when something is really disruptive to what he'd planned. 

CastleJJ's picture

Our BM does the exact same thing. She never consults DH on anything (yes, she does have sole legal so she technically doesn't have to) but then she argues that DH doesnt "coparent". Her goal is to control what happens during her parenting time and DH's parenting time under the guise of "coparenting". BM never notifies DH of important things, just dumb things to maintain contact and remain relevant. All she does is notify DH of decisions she makes (like she enrolled in sports or dates of scheduled appointments) but then attempts to interfere with DH's parenting decisions when he has SS. BM used to send DH emails about how she disagreed with XYZ that occurred during DH's time. It could be anything from rules in our house not matching rules at her house, letting SS stay up late, letting SS watch XYZ movie or play XYZ game, letting SS eat dessert, having so and so babysit SS, etc. The judge finally told her to stop doing that, but it took a while for her to stop. 

When DH argued this in court, BM and her attorney pulled the same card that BM was trying to involve DH by sending info about dates of scheduled appointments and saying that she enrolled SS in sports, but that DH failed to respond timely, etc. In reality, BM was only informing DH of her decisions, not consulting or trying to coparent with him. 

Ultimately, your DH needs to parallel parent. He takes care of skids during his time and BM handles the skids during her time. There is very little overlap. He does not agree to pay for anything that is not mutually agreed upon or court ordered. He isn't obligated to take skids to BM's obligations if he has other plans. Look up "Parallel Parenting" in Google. 

With HCBMs, you will never win. BM used to deny DH childcare and medical care during his time because it "violated her sole legal custody". SS got really sick during visitation once and BM wanted DH to jump through all these hoops to secure medical care including having DH drop SS off with BM's parents an hour away and have them take SS to the doctor. When DH refused, BM agreed to let DH take him to an urgent care and later accused him of medical fraud. During another visit, we wanted to enroll SS in a summer day camp (as daycare) and BM flipped saying if DH couldn't take 4 weeks off of work to see SS during his time, then there was no point for SS to have visitation with DH. DH had it put in the CO that he can make medical and childcare decisions on his time, especially due to long distance. BM can't manage medical or childcare from 4 hours away. DH only has to notify her of vendors used with phone numbers and addresses. 

Luckily, we are long distance so BM handles essentially everything, DH gave up arguing and limits the conflict. I couldn't imagine doing 50/50 with her all the time. Focus on your own household and ignore the crap. Definitely try Parallel Parenting.

strugglingSM's picture

Exact same BM...except DH has joint legal and she just ignores it. She loves to tell DH what she "doesn't approve of" on his weekends...meanwhile, Skids are basically unsupervised she doing all kinds of crazy things when they are with BM. With BMs like this, it is a lose-lose situation. 

skell76's picture

pertains to medical, religion and education. 

In DH's CO they have for activities if it overlaps on other parents time the enrolling parenting has to have agreement from the other parent.  HCBM enrolled SD in dance which is fine and when we enrolled her in violin lessons we got a nasty email that why didn't we consult with her. Um you enrolled her in dance and swim lessons with zero convo.  None of the violin lessons land on her parenting time either, it's just simply she doesn't like to have anyone else make decisions for SD except her.  

Honestly the bus, her parenting time she can make that decision.  Sports like others have said she'll hide behind the fact that the kiddo wants to do it.  I would personally note/document concerns to the BM ie: I understand SS is now enrolled in XYZ and the numerous activities are concerning because of grades or whatever the reason is so let's say SS starts to fail school because he's doing too much then there's history of that.  I hope that makes sense.

I would think anything that overlaps on other parents time warrants a conversation (not sure how it's worded in your CO) but HCBM's ......rules don't apply!

tog redux's picture

I agree. Let the kid choose his team, and take the bus on BM's time. DH can keep him off the bus during his time. 
 

Neither of these things are hills to die on and HCBMs love to fight - you'll never win. 

Biostep7777's picture

If we let the kid choose, he will do whatever she wants and we will be responsible to pay thousands of dollars. The kids never choose. They are puppets and she is the puppet master. 

tog redux's picture

Right, I forgot he has to pay for everything. But it says that if he agrees, he pays, right? Then don't agree. But don't fight about it, just don't pay for it. And don't take the kid to it.

strugglingSM's picture

Another thing DH did was say at a mediation that he has a certain amount he could afford to spend during the year on activities for SSs. Once he had spent that amount, he wasn't spending anymore. He prioritized the activities he wanted to do with SSs on his time and then gave BM documentation showing her what he had left for each kid. They were supposed to meet each June to discuss the plan for the upcoming school year and agree on their budget. They met once. BM acted like she was  "afraid" of DH (who is the most mild-mannered, teddy bear of a man) and then just took his budget assumptions didn't include all the "extras". He refused to budge on the total amount he was willing to pay and she couldn't really argue her way weird that...esp since it was in their agreement that he didn't have to pay for anything he didn't agree to and she had argued that she shouldn't have to pay for skiing because that was on DH's time. In the end, DH paid for skiing and BM paid for everything else, which is how their agreement currently reads after a subsequent mediation.  

Dogmom1321's picture

It is pretty specific in our CO.

Extracurriculars: the other parent is not allowed to schedule any events during the other parent's time. Ex. Signed up SS for baseball? Fine, but he does NOT have to go when he is with you. 

Medical: BM has "tiebreaker". She chooses doctor, makes decisions regarding medications/treatments, counseling etc. DH still has access to medical records. 

Educational: DH has tie-breaker. SD goes to school in oiur school district for our address. He get final say as far as educational services, ex. 504 plans, tutoring, etc. He cannot schedule tutoring sessions on BMs time. BM still has access to educational records. 

 

All other "day-to-day" decisions are to be made by whoever the child is with. 

ESMOD's picture

I also thought he only had to pay 50% of things he agreed to.  He needs to stop agreeing.. put his foot down and say he isn't agreeing or supporting this with his time or money... let her make her unilateral decision for her own time.. she can't control what your DH does on his... but in that same vein.. she does get to make a decision on him taking the bus.. that doesn't rise to a joint decision in my book.  your DH may not like all her decisions.. but if it is for things not on his time.. it's not his call.

Biostep7777's picture

Bus is on his time. He picks up/drops off as well as she does (actually more right now because of the days he goes to school because of Covid) That's why I was asking. 
 

He doesn't agree but if he doesn't she throws a fit saying he's hurting their son, he wants to do it, why is he being so controlling, yadda yadda and makes him look bad in front of the judge. Nobody cares what she thinks. We do however care what the judge thinks and we are about to be in front of him in a couple months. It's not going to look good if DH doesn't agree to things the kids want to do and she will look like mother of the year. He can't afford it?? Of well! Suck it up, go broke. Doesn't matter apparently to the courts. We all know this system is broken as hell. 

tog redux's picture

You have to decide if you want to please the judge, or be sane. If your goal is to please the judge, then yes, agree to everything she wants. If your goal is to be sane, then don't - but don't expect the judge to be happy. 

Honestly - the system didn't decide he had to pay for everything, HE did that on his own. So he has to at least get a fair judgment from them on who pays for what. 

Rags's picture

Joint decisioning between Xs is a naive concept at best IMHO.  Each parent chooses what is best for the kid when the kid is with that parent.  Neither parent should be able to commit the child for activities during the other parents kid time.

We never shared anything about SS's life with the SpermClan, and they never shared anything about their time with him with us.... unless they needed something .... usually money related or something that they thought would inconvenient to step up and do.  The best example for that was when SS got a rusty old fishing hook stuck in his leg while on a SpermClan camping trip and SpermGrandHag had him bombard us with calls about the last Tetanus shot he had gotten.  We were on a vacation of our own when that happened and did not have his medical records with us.  We told him that they would have to take him to a Doctor and get the hook removed and a Tetanus shot.  The Hag was hell bent on us leaving our trip, returning home, and answering her questions.  We had our lawyer call her and run her over the coals that is SS got sick because she was too F'n lazy to do the right thing we would put her under her local over pass through law suit after law suit.  She left the camping trip to get SS to a Doctor.

I tend to be a proponent of no contact between Xs except for kid related critical events.

Riding the bus or which baseball team a kid joins are not critical events IMHO.

Don't get me wrong.  We were sensitive to their stupid choices and in the early blended family years tried to force them to participate reasonably in discourse regarding SS.  The Judge gave us clarity on what constituted clarity regarding division of responsibility in the CO.  After that, we made sure we knew the CO the county supplemental rules, and the State regulations in detail.  There was no indication that they read any of them.  After that, we controlled it all very carefully to minimize the negative impact on SS and to keep them under the slime covered rock they hid under at the bottom of their shallow and polluted gene pool.

Don't over think things.  Control what you can, the rest..... is irrelevant IMHO.

Good luck.