Tag Archives: custody

When Custody Handoffs Go Wrong

My son was booked on a flight home from visitation with his mom this past Friday.

After a series of unrelated texts, I realized my son was not enroute and on a layover, but was instead still at his mom’s house.  Packed and ready to go.

Photo Credit: Frank Spee via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Frank Spee via Compfight cc

My ex apologized for the oversight (looking at the departure time from the layover city instead of origination city) and I started the rebooking process.

Fortunately, American Airlines quickly rebooked him for the following day and I did not have to pay any additional fees.  He arrived safely on Saturday evening.

How would you have reacted in this situation?  What would you have texted or emailed to your ex?

Within moments of finding out my son would not be home Friday evening, I cycled through several emotions, but once I caught my breath, the logical side of me kicked in and I went into problem-solving mode.  How do I explain this to the airline?  Will I need to use more miles/pay a fee?  What if he cannot get home until Sunday or Monday with all the holiday travel?

The emotional response quickly gave way to problem-solving.

Unless your ex habitually violates custody agreements (in which case you should reach out to your parenting coordinator, lawyer, therapist…whoever can help remedy the behavior), it is best to go through your emotional response before unloading on your ex.  Doing so would only add to the stress for you and your kid.

For the occasional hiccup, remember parenting (and co-parenting) is a marathon and showing some flexibility will diffuse a bad situation rather than escalate it.

Again, if your ex has a habit of doing this or does so with malice or no remorse, I would recommend seeking outside counsel to correct the behavior rather than go it alone and risking an emotional escalation with no custodial resolution.

Has your ex accidentally or deliberately violated your custody agreement?  What have you found to be the best way to approach these situations?

Do You Know How Much Your Kid Hurts?

Few people can make you laugh and think as much as Jon Acuff.

I have seen Jon speak live twice (once at Donald Miller’s Storyline conference and once at the ICON Conference), and both times I found myself writing down some hysterical lines and some incredible wisdom.

A lame photo the author took of Jon Acuff on stage at the ICON Conference

A lame photo the author took of Jon Acuff on stage at the ICON Conference

At the ICON Conference, he asked the adult crowd if they had celebrated the gift of not being a teen with social media.  He went on to explain he had shaved a stripe in his eyebrow to look more like Vanilla Ice when he was in high school.

Not long after, he reminded the audience empathy was not just understanding what someone needs, but acting on it.

Last week, Jon wrote a blog post and it took my breath away.  You can read it now or after you finish this short post, but do read it.  Especially if you have primary custody of your kids.

Photo Credit: ashallowtown via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: ashallowtown via Compfight cc

My son lives with me between 41 and 43 weeks of the year.  That means he lives away from his mom the same number of weeks.

When I read Jon’s post, I first wondered if he sat next to my son this summer and got the age wrong or altered it to protect privacy.

Then I wondered if my son cries on his flights between our two homes.  Next, I wondered if I showed him either empathy or sympathy for the pain he endures being split between two parents he loves.

He and I have a solid relationship, but I could always do more to make sure he knows I love him and do not want him to ever feel badly about missing his mom or wanting to be with her.

Jon spoke the truth – divorce causes extraordinary pain, and as dads we need the reminder…especially when we have custody.