During and after divorce, many parents report that their ex’s house must be a swirling vortex of doom for kids’ clothes, toys and video games. Sometimes those things never make it back home; once your kids visit your ex, their belongings are as good as gone.
While it’s okay to occasionally lose a few things when kids are going back and forth according to the terms of your child custody agreement, if it becomes a chronic problem, you’ll need to let your Durham divorce lawyer know.
The Case of the Vanishing Belongings
While it’s frustrating to replace clothes, toys and games because your ex hoards everything, it’s also very expensive. Even parents who have worked out a fair child support agreement can find themselves overtaxed when they’re constantly buying items their kids already have.
In a perfect world, you could just ask your spouse to send the missing items home the next time he or she drops off the kids.
But it’s rarely that easy.
Exes aren’t always as cooperative as we’d like them to be. That means you might have to face some tough choices: do you send your kids to mom’s or dad’s with their favorite clothes, toys, video games and other possessions, or do you stop the problem in its tracks by sending them empty-handed with just the clothes on their backs?
Before you make a decision about limiting what your kids bring to your ex’s house, talk to your Durham divorce lawyer. He or she might be able to give you some pointers based on similar past cases.
Limiting Losses without Limiting Your Kids
If your kids are headed to mom’s or dad’s for the weekend, you’re probably well within your rights to expect that your ex will clothe them and entertain them. Sending them for a short visit with just one outfit should be reasonable, provided that your ex actually has the means to provide them with a fresh set of clothing during their stay.
Longer visits might require that you send age-appropriate toys, games and of course, more clothing. It’s often tough for a non-custodial parent to keep a rotating supply of clothes in the right sizes. Let your kids know, if they’re old enough, that you expect them to return with all their possessions—and let your ex know, too.
It’s okay to call your Durham divorce lawyer any time you have questions about visitation and your rights pertaining to your kids and their belongings. In fact, it’s a good idea to consult with your attorney in any situation that costs you money—and, potentially, your sanity.