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Midweek visits

NeverEnough321's picture

I have been asking around on this topic and would love to hear from anyone here. Just a quick background: SO has 3 kids, 14 SS, 13OSD, and 10YSD. His current visitation schedule is 2nd, 4th, 5th weekend with Wednesday night dinners. He has had 2nd and 4th weekends w/ Wednesdays for the last 9-10 years and recently got the 5th weekend. Holidays are still being worked on. He only recently got scheduled phone calls with the kids (2022) because BM would not allow for kids to pick up when SO called them, now it is unscheduled as long as the call time is reasonable. Oldest two seldom answer, but SO tries not to take it too personally. SO also used to do all the pickups and dropoffs, but the judge recently changed it to receiving parties do pick ups. 

OSD13 recently skipped the midweek visit saying she wanted to do something with her mom. SO wasn't bothered by it so I tried not to dwell too much on it. She tends to do this once every so often and I figure she's tired from cheer, she wants to hang out with friends, or it's her time of the month and she just doesn't want to say it to her dad. I really try not to factor BM too much as an influence, it's just healthier for me not to go there. SS14 and YSD10 still came for dinner, but I see how groggy SS can be some times. SO has let them know that he always wants to see them, but it's okay that they have social lives and extra curriculars. SS14 just started a new high school and doesn't quite have a social life yet and is waiting until spring to do any sports. He's in his too-cool-for-school phase.

I would like to mention BM because she is usually strict on following the CO, even if it sucks for her, because she doesn't want to get caught violating it (she will definitely look for loopholes), but she will make everyone miserable in doing it. For example, YSD has told her dad that BM will complain that they can't do something fun because she has to spend time picking them up now. If BM is in a bad mood, then everyone is walking on eggshells. When she picks them up, she parks down the block. She just really makes these exchanges unpleasant and I'm afraid she is just making these visits in general unpleasant because the kids have to deal with her in the car ride home. 

Does anyone here have an opinion on midweek visits?

I am wondering if eliminating it would impact the kids' relationship with their dad, is it a slippery slope? If any of the kids were to stop coming, SO wouldn't see his kids for 2 weeks at a time sometimes.  Are there alternatives? We would love for the kids to come and go as they please when they are old enough, but if SO were to let up a bit and BM is still strict to sticking with the CO, the kids would probably see their dad even less. We are not trying to eliminate the midweek visit right now. I am just trying to see if anyone has had this schedule work for them, or modified to something else that works better. 

As they get older, their needs change and the schedules will require modifying. How do we maintain the relationships if this visit were to stop, with a BM who hates SO and will most likely influence the kids to limit contact? Just do our best? 

Yesterdays's picture

What do your Wednesdays with the kids look like? How many hours do you have them and what do you typically do on those days? Also.. How far away do you live from BM? 

NeverEnough321's picture

We have them from 5-7pm on Wednesdays. The CO says pick up is 4-5pm, but BM has established 5pm and SO is tired of fighting her. We live about 10 miles away, about a 20 minute drive. SO (and sometimes me, I don't go every time) used to pick up the kids when they were still in elementary/middle school and stay in BM's neighborhood for dinner. Pick up a quick meal, go to the park, drop them off by 7pm. Now that the oldest 2 are teenagers, they have preferred to go back to our home where they can lounge around, watch tv, be on electronics, or pick up something they want from their rooms. YSD10 just goes with the flow. She likes the playground but also likes playing with slime at the house or watching youtube. This started happening before it was established that receiving parents pick up, so sometimes they would only spend an hour at the house and SO would take them to pick up something quick on the drive back. 

Now that BM picks them up, they are less rushed to leave, I make more meals at home, and theres just (a little) more time to catch up and hang out. The kids haven't complained to us about anything so far, only YSD's comments about BM's complaints. I guess I'm assuming they aren't voicing anything because they are so used to keeping complaints to themselves with BM. 

Yesterdays's picture

I would at the very least keep to all the scheduled visits from the current court order.. And luckily bio mom by the sound of it wants to adhere to what was written as well.. So use that to your advantage. In court keep trying for more time and access. Try for 50 50...since you live so close. And clarify that holidays and custody wording to be more clear so BM can't take advantage. Personally I would keep the mid week visit and make sure the kids show up.

As far as custody you could research other custody schedules online. We did 5225 for years but it was a lot of shuffling back and forth so I don't recommend that. Although the weekends alternate which is nice. Right now with my teens we do week on, week off and it's fine. I like it best because it's easy. Less transitions.

NeverEnough321's picture

Fewer transitions and more time would be great! But BM won't veer from the CO. She put herself through summer MWF 3-8pm because she absolutely didn't want SO to have more time. BM is against any modification that allows SO more time.

Unfortunately, we are only fighting for holidays now. Anything close to 50/50 won't happen unless SO changes jobs. The judge made it clear that his work schedule (6am-2:30pm) was not in the kids' best interest. No amount of arguing from the lawyer would change the judge's mind. I think there is something in the CO that only BM or SO can drop off and pick up, so if SO cannot drop them off at school himself, the judge would not give him overnights. When it was argued that the kids do not go to school in the summer, the judge said, why would I give you over nights if you will not be there in the morning. BM didn't get flack for having a job because it was already a routine. It's a whole thing that SO is unlikely to revisit because he just got hired full time for his job. The judge said if he changes his job to something like 9am to 2pm, she will give him overnights. haha. 

We will absolutely keep the current visitation schedule. I've just heard a lot of arguements against the midweek visit, so I wanted to get more perspectives. There aren't a lot of equivalent alternatives to a midweek dinner, other than an overnight that would be hard to convince a judge to agree to. 

notarelative's picture

The judge said if he changes his job to something like 9am to 2 pm...

Judge is fine with BM not working (with the youngest child being 10) and wants DH to only work 25 hours per week. That's just babanas.

So if he works 25 hours per week, effectively cutting his pay almost in half, and does not work enough hours to get company health care, he can have overnights. Will this judge be adjusting CO to reflect the judge requested hours? Somehow I doubt that's on the table.

NeverEnough321's picture

Everyone was very aware of how ridiculous the judge sounded except the judge herself. It was all very unreasonable. 

Survivingstephell's picture

Keep the visits and have DH start critical thinking skills with them.  If they do share something about BM, wonder why and let that hang.  Give them something to ponder.  Never answer the question.  Truth and facts.  They are old enough.  Dinner is a great time for communication, low key type.   A break from their BM sounds important and letting them know your home is a low pressure atmosphere is key in these situations.  Acknowledging the daily pressures they are under (from school and wherever else) is important.  Your home should be a sanctuary for them.  Not free from responsibility, but an example of normal.  That was our goal.  For the most part it worked.  

NeverEnough321's picture

Thanks for your perspective. The majority of what I've received so far (outside of steptalk) is that kids/teens and even some parents found it disruptive, for multiple reasons. I guess I'm wondering what to expect or what is the best option, but family dynamics can vary from family to family. Showing them an example of normal is a great way to put it. I'd like to think our home is more normal than BM's, and maybe the kids recognize that. I am glad it worked for you. 

The kids are trained to not speak about anything specific to BM to us and to not speak about us to her. BM doesn't want to know about the stuff we do and she doesn't want us knowing her business. We asked how their labor day was and they said they didn't do anything, just chilled. YSD let her dad know later that they actually went camping. I understand they are trying to follow BM's rules but it's pretty ridiculous how far into their brains she has reached. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I mean, yeah, all that rigamarole for 2 hours a week seems pretty disruptive. It would be better to add an extra day onto one of the weekends per month. More time and less stress. But - if BM won't play ball, best to follow the CO. 

Thumper's picture

Not a fan of 2 to 3 hours of mid week craziness. as soon as the kids eat their last fork of food, they have to rush to go home. 


Tell bm so shove her 2 hours up her A**  Smile

Rags's picture

As the NCP, DH can decline the Wednesday visitation.  Denying visitation is one of the only advantages that an NCP has.  That, and holding the CP accountable for delivering on raising and caring for kids as the return for CS.

If a 2wk gap is too much, DH can do the Wed on Wks 1&3 as he has WE 2,4 & 5.  No need to take them all.

Harry's picture

Kids do not have a choice in if they want to go for dinners or not..  They must go..If you start letting this slide it's going to get worse..ITS CONTROL ..  your SO must control his and his DK time. There no reason for a 13 yo OSD is to busy to spend 5 to 7 with her father.  She has to eat .   But you are letting BM get the upper hand.  You must take back your power and insist on following the CO