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Can he insist on holiday dates?

(58 Posts)
hotdiggitydawg Sat 30-May-15 16:48:51

We have a court order saying term time pattern continues throughout holidays, (Me having DS Wed and Thurs, ex DH having him Mon and Tue and us alternating weekends.) with an additional one week for each parent (7 nights) at Easter, an additional week each at Xmas and two separate additional weeks each during the summer.
Court only finished in Oct last year, so so far we've only dealt with the Xmas hols (ExDH decided he wouldn't take up the 7 day hol option) and the Easter hols (ExDH took up the 7 day hol option, but stayed in his flat for five days then took him camping 2 nights).
Now we are approaching summer. Do the dates have to be agreed between us or is it ok for him to dictate his dates, giving me no choice? He has emailed to say he is taking DS away July 23rd for 7 days. My son's oldest friend's parents are getting married July 25th and it is a three day wedding weekend, events on the Fri nite, Sat and Sun. We have all been super excited about it and looking forward to it for a year or more. I checked the calander and that weekend was one which I would have care of DS, so in April this year I rsvp'd to say yes and booked accommodation and they have ordered special meals for my son even who has allergies. DS knows about it. Ex DH didn't know about it as he never talks to me except to threaten me. I did not think I would need to inform him as it was a weekend DS was timetabled to be with me. BUt horror of horrors, he's now emailed to say he's taking him away that week!
I said I'm so sorry we already have long standing plans for that weekend and explained the wedding, rsvp, DS's oldest friend, etc. Even outlined the list of fun events they are putting on for the kids all weekend which DS knows about.
Ex DH is saying tough; the entire holiday period is up for grabs and first to communicate their dates, gets them.
I haven't specifically asked the lawyer about this as it's Saturday and I've run out of money to keep asking lawyers stuff, but they did say in response to a previous, query of mine that I can tell him "Sorry those dates are not convenient" when arranging our period of 7 days over the hols.
I've explained that we need to check with the other parent when arranging our 7 day hol period to ensure there are not clashes and agree dates. But he says the court order means all dates are up for grabs and first come first served, so he's taking him. Is this true?
My ds will be devastated to miss the wedding weekend. He also finds it very hard spending prolonged periods with his father (Dad with nasty temper, etc.) , but that's another story.
Can anyone advise?
My instinct is to just reply again saying
"we need to consult with the other parents to arrange dates for our 7 day hols, and unfortunately that weekend is not available as we are at a wedding." BUt he is saying I am going against the court order.
The court order just says "Two seperate additional weeks with each parent during the summer hols, following which the term time pattern recommences." It says nothing abbot how those 7 day periods are agreed.

HappyGoLuckyGirl Sat 30-May-15 17:28:51

Stick to your guns. what a knobber. angry

He can't just insist on taking him, especially as it's your weekend anyway!

hotdiggitydawg Sat 30-May-15 17:52:53

I am trying to stick to my guns. Well I WILL stick to my guns. But he is writing saying I;m flouting the court order etc.
He is indeed a first class knobber. I just didn't know how the court order generally works in this respect as I'm new to it and have an ex who will take any conceivable loophole and try to use it to be a big fat bully.
He has been known to juts hang onto DS to get days that aren't agrred. And get to school early and get him etc. to prevent me picking him up as timetabled. Knobber.
I just want to word my replies correctly without having to pay a lawyer again!
So saying:
Dates for the 7 day holiday period need to be agreed. is fine?

hotdiggitydawg Sat 30-May-15 18:45:58

DO other mums on here have a similar court order and is this how they interpret it?

hotdiggitydawg Sat 30-May-15 21:27:26


doormat123 Sun 31-May-15 08:40:27

Hi….Not sure I can help….I have almost exactly the same agreement as you, although not by court order…we usually agree the time in the holidays in advance. But it takes ages, I emailed him re the summer in April, and have asked a couple of times again and he just doesn't reply…
How old is DS? Has ex already actually booked the dates?

fortunately Sun 31-May-15 08:42:56

For exes who ignore, always put a line on the end of any communication saying "if I don't hear from you by x date I'll presume it's fine".

Perfectly legally acceptable and stops then from stonewalling you.

OP you are not being unreasonable. Dates should be agreed by both of you.

hotdiggitydawg Sun 31-May-15 08:44:28

I don't think he's booked and paid. He says another family is going so he can't change dates. I imagine his only friend with kids is having a family hol and dh is hoping to accompany them with ds.

hotdiggitydawg Sun 31-May-15 08:46:40

Thank you! He makes you doubt yourself as he writes these long flowery pompous emails telling me how I'm floutimg the court order, riding roughshod over it, etc.

RandomMess Sun 31-May-15 08:50:42

Yep just stick to your guns.

I would keep replying short and sweet that it's not possible but you will continue to accommodate him having the holiday weeks he would prefer.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. If he took you to court it's not going to get there before the end of July anyway....

doormat123 Sun 31-May-15 08:55:12

You just spurred me into emailing my ex saying we really need to discuss the holidays!! I usually have them more during the holidays as he works full time and I only do part time, and I had wanted more than 50% custody… but I'm so sick of it all and of waiting for him so I just said let's stick with term time arrangements (we've both already booked a summer hol abroad with the kids).

I've tried that tactic…saying that if you don't reply by xxx, and he always responds immediately and says that he won't agree to responding by xxx and that he will let me know when he has had a chance to look at it!! How do I respond to that?

I wrote 2 emails about dates, and one I said that I will just take it that we follow term time for this summer, and the other one is about weekends in Septmeber and I said to let me know by Friday…let's see.

OP - how old is DS? I had one situation where ex and me didn't agree a date, and I felt awful but in the end I asked my (teenage) boys what they would prefer, and they chose to stay with me on that occasion. Felt awful doing it that way tho.

I think that you should stick with your guns, but also bear it in mind for the future that you need to agree July/August way in advance.

Am interested, if you don't mind me saying….but nobody else I know has 50/50 arrangement….I hate it…..I didn't go to court, but was sure if I did I would have had more time…x

doormat123 Sun 31-May-15 09:01:42

Lol that made me smile that it won't get to court before the end of July smile def stick to your guns x

peggyundercrackers Sun 31-May-15 09:02:51

I think you need to organise suitable dates with each other - I don't believe it's a case of who says first gets the dates however I also don't think you should have booked the dates up with the letting him know so in your case I think your both at fault.

I think you both need to grow a pair and do what's right for the children and stop referring to solicitors or the court order - your both adults and should be able to settle things without getting solicitors involved.

hotdiggitydawg Sun 31-May-15 09:07:54

Yeah thanks peggy. You obviously haven't ever had to deal with an ex who is entirely unreasonable and will say "X" if you say "Y" no matter the circumstances and no matter what would be best for ds. It is extremely tricky.

hotdiggitydawg Sun 31-May-15 09:09:14

Ds is 9

Ratbagcatbag Sun 31-May-15 09:19:39

I hate people blokes like this. Grrrr on your behalf.

Stick it broken record technique.

The date for the wedding has been fixed. DS is looking forward to it so therefore that week is not available. You are however free to pick from a,b,c,d and e. Dates are arranged for the benefit of DS, not just up for grabs, so forcing DS to cancel something he has been looking forward to for months is not in his interest. As above though there are five more weeks where you can pick from.

If he kicks off let him try and go back to court. You are being more than fair.

doormat123 Sun 31-May-15 09:20:37

Ok, so you really can't ask him.

I think just keep sticking to your guns. Or how about asking him that you would cancel DS's share of the break but if he reimburses you for it?
Or take this time also to say re going forward something like for any plans during the holidays you wI'll discuss xx months beforehand before either make plans.

He is saying you can't go because you haven't told him, but you booked thinking he hasn't asked to go away therefore it's your weekend anyway.
Tbh I would keep replies short and sweet and just say sorry no can do, you have plans and surely he understands a wedding would be a priority.

doormat123 Sun 31-May-15 09:21:40

Isn't it horrible how even after the divorce it just doesn't end....

Ratbagcatbag Sun 31-May-15 09:22:46

If he responds that you are flouting the court order. I'd reply back with:

It's unfortunate you feel that is the case, when agreeing to the wedding for us both I could see it was on mine and ds's weekend together.
As advised previously, you are able to pick from a through to e for your weeks.

Keep repeating as required.

My only concern would be he'd pick the week before then not return him for the wedding.
How long until DS is 10?

RandomMess Sun 31-May-15 09:22:52

I do agree that you need to work out a more suitable approach moving forward. Did he get his choice over Christmas & Easter? If so then it's not unreasonable that you get choice this summer holidays.

I would also in your short & sweet reply mention (again) how much DS is looking forward to the wedding and he would be VERY disappointed if you stopped him going... Ensure that you always mention DS needs at the heart of contact arrangements.

hotdiggitydawg Sun 31-May-15 10:20:29

DS is 10 in Oct.
DH said he wouldn't take up the 7 day hol option at xmas as he hadn't had time to plan one (we'd only just got the judgement in Nov) and at Easter he asked for a particular week and I gave it to him. (Tho as I said.. he only actually went away for 2 nights)
They struggle spending time together. He takes ds to his parents most of his contact weekends.

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Sun 31-May-15 10:43:27

stick to your guns. Say you're happy for him to pick from any other time over the holiday, but that ds would be devastated to miss this weekend.

The dates are to be agreed not dictated. In future I would suggest that you try to arrange the whole year before January. You can still be flexible later on, but then you both know what to expect and won't book things for times when you won't have the dcs.

i have a similar xh. The court saw what he was like and the first year was decided in court by mutual agreement, with instructions that future arrangements would be done in the same way. I am open to moving dates where it is possible, but if it's not then the arrangements stand.

If he wants to try to take you back to court, say that you're happy for a judge to decide what is in ds's best interest. Yes they could decide against you, but they wouldn't be impressed with his attitude. It's about compromise and flexibility and doing what is best for ds.

I know the worry about telling an ex about important dates too. I know xh would do everything he could to try to ruin things if he knew plans.

Whenever he picks ds up against contact arrangements, or refuses to return ds as agreed, he is breaking the court order. You are not.

Keep a list of all dates when he breaks the order. If you do end up back in court then make sure that the judge knows he has kept ds without consent. Keep any emails or texts sent at the time too.

Hopefully things will settle after you've been in the routine longer.

hotdiggitydawg Sun 31-May-15 10:59:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HeadDoctor Sun 31-May-15 13:16:00

This could easily go before a judge before July with an emergency hearing. If dates are to be agreed it looks like you've both done the same thing in booking without agreement.

And yes your latest post sounds correct. Your court order clearly needs tightening up if you can't agree.

hotdiggitydawg Sun 31-May-15 16:08:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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