S1 is now S2! I hosted a big birthday bash on the weekend for him. He is such a loved and loving little boy.
STBXH took advantage of this special occasion to finally address my response to his parenting plan amendments. His email was hostile, demanding, accusatory, and threatening. Unnecessarily so, I thought, given how measured and reasonable my email was. My L even commended me for how child-focused it was.
Here are the key sections. Keep in mind that family law in Australia is more conservative than the US, recommending children under 4 live with their primary caregiver and spend substantial and significant time with the other parent. It's expected that children will transition to infrequent but regular overnight stays between 2-3 years old.
STBXH: I would like to have S2 overnight this weekend as it is my weekend and I would like to celebrate his birthday with him. You have had him all weekend last weekend, it is only fair that I get him to celebrate the same amount of time.
He forfeited this visitation time last weekend to attend a car race in another state. I don't think I need to change the current parenting plan to accommodate.
Me: Happy to extend Tuesday visit to include dinner and bath to give you the opportunity to participate in his evening routine and get him acclimatised to your house.
STBXH: If Tuesday visit is to be extended it is in S2's best interest to stay overnight here, building a routine of becoming familiar with his fathers environment, not alienated.
Accusations of parental alienation are unfounded as I have never deviated from the current parenting plan. STBXH has forfeited time on a near-weekly basis. I am willing to transition to overnight visits in a manner that ensures S2 feels safe and supported given he has only spent one night away from home in his life. S2 has not yet 'officially' spent any of his visitation time at STBXH's house. I'm happy to work with him to achieve this, but I need to know his address first.
Me: I agree to one weekend that includes an overnight stay per month. As you have not shared your address, I agree on the basis that the overnight takes place at MIL or SIL's place.
STBXH: You are trying to be overcontrolling and manipulative by not letting him stay at my house. I am his parent, his father and one of his legal guardians, if I wish him to stay at my house so be it. How dare you try and take my rights away from me. You may ask where he is staying and I will let you know. You are not welcome at my house.
Children have rights, parents have responsibilities. There are no rights to take away. And the idea that I want to be anywhere near his house is laughable.
STBXH: We are both equal parents and if you want equality to stand it is not a pick and choose scenario. Either be equal and fair about things or give up on equality. You preach it only when it benefits you.
I don't want equality. I want what's best for S2. I have no idea what exactly he is referring to here. I have never been unfair or self-centred in any of my decisions throughout this process. I have always put S2 first in everything I do, unlike STBXH.
He ended by telling me he will go for 50% custody with alternating weeks if I don't agree. "Your choice", he said.
Sigh. My L also informed me that he has retained legal counsel regarding the consent orders so there will likely be further negotiation.
Feeling like I was so close to being settled and now the cat's amongst the pigeons. Just need to remain patient and calm.
W32 X30 S2
June 2019 | Runaway husband May 2020 | Legal separation Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing