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Dad refuses to let daughter with anxiety go back to mom's early. AITA?

Dad refuses to let daughter with anxiety go back to mom's early. AITA?

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"AITA for not letting my daughter go back to her mom early?"

My ex and I have a 6 year old daughter. We divorced when she was 6 months old and I moved out of state shortly after so I only see her for a weekend every 3-6 months.

She developed severe anxiety in June after an incident at her daycare. My ex has used this as an excuse to not have her spend overnights with me. She'd drop my daughter off with me in the morning, pick her up after dinner, then drop her off again the next morning.

I tolerated it for two visits but two weeks ago I said she is going to be with me the whole weekend without her mom picking her up for bath and bed or calling every couple hours.

My ex protested and said our daughter isn't ready for that but I have a right to spend these weekends with her without her mom interfering. My ex dropped her off on Saturday morning and was back at my house before lunch saying our daughter called her and asked to go home. Then my daughter came running out with her backpack and didn't want to come back inside.

I eventually picked my daughter up, brought her inside, and took her backpack. My ex wife gave her a phone so she could call behind my back.

The next day and a half were hell. She was having accidents everywhere, barely ate, wouldn't take a bath, and didn't go to bed until after midnight. My ex picked her up on Sunday night and my daughter started crying like I had been torturing her all weekend.

Now my ex is trying to take me to court to further reduce my custody and increase my child support, which I think is just to punish me for not letting her pick my daughter up early. She and her family are calling me a horrible dad and she hasn't called me or let me speak to my daughter since that visit so I wanted to know if I was the a@^hole.

Q&A with OP:

lorddofjellies asks:

INFO: You said you let it slide for the first 2 visits, and you get visits every 3-6 months. So its been roughly been 6 months since the incident happened? has your daughter been in any kind of therapy? Or has her mom resulted to helicopter parenting?

Y T A for how you handled it. But if her mom isn’t doing anything on her end to help with daughter’s anxiety then she is T A too.

aitaendvisit OP responded:

It's been 9 months. It happened in late May/early June. She is in therapy.

grated_testes asks:

INFO: You moved away and so only can do visitation every 3-6 months. Does her mother fly her/ road trip the kid to you and get a motel in your town? How is it that her mother is able to pick up and drop off the kid multiple times over the weekend?

aitaendvisit OP responded:

She drives here and stays in a hotel when she decides to let my daughter visit.

BDizzMcNizz asks:

Have you spoken to her therapist about what you all should be doing to support your daughter? Have you considered that therapist recommended not doing an overnight, not your ex?

aitaendvisit OP responded:

No. I've never spoken to her therapist.

sleepygrumpydoc asks:

Info: what does the current court order say as far as custody arrangement and visitation? How far away do you live in hours or miles? Do you want more visitation or are you trying to use your daughter to hurt your ex?

aitaendvisit OP responded:

I'm supposed to see her once a month. It's around an 8-9 hour drive or 90 minute flight.

Here's what people had to say to OP:

AnOutrageousCloud writes:

YTA You did what you wanted, not what was best for your daughter. Your ex was right. She wasn't ready yet. Was forcing the issue worth it?

hailbeavis writes:

Wait so the mom has to drive nine hours each way with a six year old in the car, then presumably pay for a hotel, for this guy to feel like a dad occasionally? Jfc the audacity of this guy to even think he might not be TA in every way here

joeswastedtime writes:

YTA your daughter is having extreme anxiety and your solution is to force more anxiety upon her, well done. She needs to feel safe - fk your custody agreement.

I can’t believe she has to take you to court to see that your daughter needs to be at her moms for nights until this gets worked out. Hopefully she’s already in therapy. You were at least seeing her during the day but that wasn’t good enough. And now, sense you decided to force her, she doesn’t want to see you at all. Are you proud?

Sources: Reddit
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