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Husband and his ex have never followed divorce decree for 3 years, now she wants to follow it. What can we do?

Fort Worth, TX |

My husbands divorce decree states that for mother's day weekend, his ex gets their son starting at Friday 6pm of that weekend. Here's the problem, since the existence of the decree (3 years) we have never followed that rule for Mother's or Father's Day and several other things in the decree as well. We have one week on, one week off visitation. Mothers Day weekend happens to be on our week, so seeing as how we have never followed the decree I didn't even think about not making plans that weekend. We have tickets to a major league baseball game and also a coming home party for a military friend that weekend. My husbands ex has decided this year, one week before, that she wants to follow the decree and get him on Friday at 6pm regardless of the fact that we have never done that and we have plans involving my step son. She is threatening us legally if we don't follow the decree. Is the ball in her court even though the precedent has been set in the past 3 years to NOT follow the decree? How can this even be fair?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. There is probably not anything that can be done before Mother's Day. Even in week-on, week-off arrangements the Mother would usually have possession of the children on Mother's Day (and the Father on Father's Day). Though you probably won;t be able to get anything done in the next week, you should consult with a family law attorney about modifying the schedule to reflect the schedule that the parties have.

  2. Sadly for you, she is correct. If you are the one negotiating with your husband's ex, perhaps that could be the problem. Let your husband try to make a plan with her, maybe even switching weekends or giving up extra time. You CANNOT be the one to do this.
    Good luck.

  3. The decree can only be varied from by mutual agreement. Otherwise it needs to be followed or you are in contempt. You may be able to rush into court and get some emergency temporary orders but it will be expensive. I suggest laying it out to her and the expense involved, and offer to give her your father’s day as a trade or other extra weekend or enticement. Then you may wish to modify the orders to reflect the time that you actually have had with the child.

    This does not establish an attorney/client relationship. Dallas, Denton, Collin and Tarrant County, Texas practice area. Principal office located in Lake Dallas, Texas.

  4. It is crummy of her to do that, but legal. Discuss the situation and see what compromise you can make.

    This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.

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