My ex-wife (now F30) and I (now M31) divorced in 2021, and while it was cordial and uncontested at the time, the "co-parenting" idea we envisioned never really took off. I say that as we have very little communication and no path to discuss our children's wants and needs. In May of 2019, her sister, BIL and 3 kids moved into our IL-suite due to financial hardships.
At the end of 2022, her sister's family moved out and her mother, father and teenage brother moved in, in a sort of 1:1 switch. So, now my former MIL is living in her basement/IL suite.
Part of our divorce decree agreement is that we both pay half of childcare costs to her mother for after-school care ($40 a week) for watching the children until we get off work.
Jumping forward now, our divorce decree also states that visitation pick up and drop off will occur at an agreed location. Given the dynamic, we felt her house was a good middle ground. We live 15 minutes apart, I work 5 minutes away from her house.
I pick up the kids on my visitation days, and I also drop them off as well. I may occasionally request she pick them up for legitimate reasons, which are typically rebutted with "why can't you drop them off? Why do I have to come pick them up?" The decree also states that both parents will be present at pick-up and drop-off for visitation.
Lately, my ex has not been present at drop-off. At times ,she will not answer my call to see when she may be home (i.e. are you 5 minutes away, or an hour away?) I have expressed that I do not like leaving the kids with her mother, as they are not her responsibility. She argues that we "pay her to watch them, so what's it matter?"
Last week, she failed to be home at drop off when I was on time. I called and informed her that I would be taking the kids back to my house where she could pick them up when she was ready.
Immediately after she hung up, her mother walked out to see why we weren't coming inside - I can only assume she texted her mother as we were talking and asked her to go outside. I, of course, let the children go inside with her mother and left.
The next time this happens, I will be driving away and not parking my car at her home to call her to see where she is and she will need to pick them up from my house.
AITA for wanting my ex-wife to contribute to visitation pick-up and drop offs because her mother should not be responsible for taking care of her kids? I pay her for after-school care (2:30-5:30) every day. After work, the children should be in our care, not her mother's - that is my opinion. So yes, we pay for her to care for the children when we cannot be present ourselves.
The problem I'm having is that our children regularly express that their mother does not come home before they go to bed and that she has come home in the early morning hours, waking them up as she gets into bed. They explain that they don't like going to bed without her as they feel unsafe and scared.
The affect it's having on the kids has driven me to a point to have to find a way to have her abide by the agreement as best I can by taking the kids back to my home when she is not present at drop-off.
YTA. I'm so confused? If her mother doesn't care then why do you care? It kind of seems like you're trying to punish her and you're coming up with any reason to try and control her...If she gets paid to watch the kids then why can't she be the one present when picking them up?
I care because she is abusing her mother living her as a means to not be there for the children which is confirmed by our children expressing their sadness of her being absent at bed time. Her mother is paid to watch them from 230 - 530 (when we get off work), in lieu of them going to after-school.
Because her mother lives with her, she is abusing the convenience and, according to our children's account, not coming home until early morning hours. It's affecting the children and her Mother is unaware that the agreement states she shouldn't be absent.
Then...... Go back to court. Let them know that SHE broke the agreement y'all had.
"her Mother should not be responsible for taking care of her kids"
"we both pay half of childcare costs to her mother for after-school care ($40 a week) for watching the children"
Pick one, dude. You literally pay this woman to be doing what you say she should not be doing. YTA
I pay her for after-school care (2:30-5:30) everyday. After work, the children should be in our care, not her mothers - that is my opinion. So yes, we pay for her to care for the children when we cannot be present ourselves.
The problem im having is that children regularly express that their mother does not come home before they go to bed and that she has come home in the early morning hours, waking them up as she gets into bed. They explain that they don't like going to bed without her as they feel unsafe and scared.
The affect its having on the kids has driven me to a point to have to find a way to have her abide by the agreement as best I can by taking the kids back to my home when she is not present at drop-off.
NTA. There is a legal document dictating the event. Co back to court and amend it that if the other parent is not able to be at the drop / pickup location they must call the other parent who must pickup the phone. Your ex is taking advantage of her mother being at the house. Rules are Rules and you both need to follow them.