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Never in my imagination, could I envision this after divorce (restrict visitation)

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After 22 years of marriage, our divorce finally ended after 2 1/2 years of disagreements and delays due to the pandemic.  My ex-wife went straight from our separation into her current relationship (within weeks).  I went into an emotional shell that I now refer to the "Valley of Darkness" that lasted 5 years.  We both said a bunch of horrible things to each other.  Now we don't speak at all.  We have two children, one is an adult and the other is a teenager.

February of this year I met a woman who has truly changed my life.  I am no longer in the "Valley of Darkness" mentioned above.  My new girlfriend and I spend every weekend together, and have gone on trips, including Europe.  She makes me so happy that I am finally no longer am angry at my ex-wife.  I don't think about my ex-wife much anymore, unless it's visitation with my youngest teenager (I will address this at the bottom).  My ex-wife and I have common friends and she is very aware that I am happy and my new girlfriend.  This has ultimately lead to my ex-wife becoming more angry and vengeful in every way possible. She is so angry that she told our oldest son (20 yrs old) who was living with me at the time, that she was having "lots of sex" with her boyfriend because she wanted to hurt me.  She now claims that it is impossible to be in the same room as me.  She hates me beyond words.

Here's the problem ... she refuses to communicate with me regarding our youngest son's visitation.  She insist that I communicate with her boyfriend instead ... they've been together since our separation almost 6 years ago.  I would not mind communicating with him, but he's a smug jerk who clearly has alternative motives to start s*** with me.  He uses childish names like "douche bag" to get me pissed off.  This ultimately leads to me not communicating and losing visitation with my son. They live about 400 miles from me, so coordinating visitation is not easy.

Finally, in our divorce decree it clearly outlines visitation with set times.  To this point we have not really been following the visitation agreement.  Up until this year, we would agree that I could have him about anytime I wanted.  That has changed this year.  Now I am dealing with an extremely bitter woman and her smug boyfriend.  I do not want more legal issues.  Does anyone have any real solutions outside of attorneys?

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What does your teenage son want when it comes to visitations or seeing you? Who pays for his travel? I’m asking to have a better idea of the logistics here. As you say, it doesn’t sound easy. 

More curiously did you leave or relocate from the original neighbourhood or did she? How did you come to be living 400 mi away?

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8 hours ago, lee777 said:

 our divorce decree it clearly outlines visitation with set times.  To this point we have not really been following the visitation agreement.  

Try to stick to organized regular visitation for the sake of stability for you child.  Keep adult fighting out of it and especially don't discuss your ex wife's love life with your young adult son.

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Document everything.

Note every communication refusal, every snarky comment from her bf. 

All txt messages regarding the visitations, all the inappropriate things she says to your older son. 

I have a good friend who got divorced a few years ago and his ex wife was puling the same stunts.

She refused to communicate so he requested a mediator. 

She didn't like this and told him because he did that he wasn't allowed to see his son.

He showed these msgs to a judge who went ballistic on her.

They now have joint custody.

OP, you may have to go down the legal route again. At least seek some legal advice.

For some sick reason she hates seeing you happy. 

Edited by JTSW
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19 hours ago, lee777 said:

Does anyone have any real solutions outside of attorneys?

My belief is that the solutions outside of attorneys tend to primarily be communication and both sides being reasonable, flexible, and respectful.

That doesn't seem to be happening in your case, unfortunately.

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People can often resolve things in mediation-- no judge, and no lawyers if they choose, but having lawyers helps.  Some places have mandatory, free mediation for working out adjustments to a parenting plan. 

If your parenting plan gives you visitation, your ex can't deny it to you.  I am almost sure that she can't deny visitation just because you two have deviated from it before-- at least, she'd need a court-ordered official change in the visitation for that, is my strong guess.  If she's placing restrictions on the visitation (like "Go through my boyfriend to arrange drop-off and pick-up"), then that might be just as bad as denying it, depending on how that works out.  And if you two need a coodinator or a go-between, it should be someone you both agree on, not someone one person unilaterally picks (especially if the person is biased and not skilled as a go-between).

I think there's an app called "My Family Wizard" that coparents use for communicating and for coordinating visitation.  I've heard that it also stores the communications and is admissible in court, or can be.

What I'd do is send your ex a message politely saying that you think it's time to go back to the official visitation plan for now, and just inform her that you're going to come collect your son on x date at x time (whatever's in the plan) and return him on x date at x time to her house.  I'd also add that you're happy to communicate visitation directly with her, but that if she'd prefer a go-between or parenting-time coordinator, then request that you choose one together.  A neutral person.  (There might be a service in whatever county handled your divorce.)

You may ultimately need to modify the details of your parenting plan:  You may want to add rules both parents have to follow, that are in the best interests of the child.  Such as discussing parents' sex lives, badmouthing the other parent in the child's presence, how visitation communications are handled; contact with significant others; et cetera.  Those rules can be added by mutual agreement, I am sure.  Your ex may not agree to even discuss those things, though.  An easier first step may be if you two can agree on coparent coaching or therapy for divorced coparents and child.  The way that works, as I've seen, is the coach meets with the parents and child separately.  Then works with people to foster a healthier envioronment for the child.  And:  If you ask to do that, but she refuses, then keep her refusal.  Even if you don't ever want to go to court, you want to be able to show the efforts you've made.

Long-term:  You'll have whatever fallout in your children to deal with.  I have a friend who went through something very similar.  His ex badmouthed him to his daughter, for years.  Now his daughter is extremely angry at the world.  My friend spend a lot of time and energy trying to get his ex to change and stop badmouthing him; trying to defend himself to his daughter; trying to figure out what his rights were.  He found a lot of solace in a couple of exciting and meaningful romantic relationships, and focused on those for a while.  He didn't set aside much regular one-on-one time or therapy with his daughter, maybe in part because his daughter wasn't very enthusiastic about spending time with just him. Then his daughter became grown, and my friend's relationship with her became a huge source of pain to him.  In retrospect, I wish he and his daughter had had the chance to get family therapy together, even during those years when she seemed unenthusiastic and difficult.  All the details of whatever his ex was doing have long faded into the background, and now all he wants in the world is for his daughter to be bonded to him and to be less miserable.  So that's my one-person perspective on that part.

Best of luck to you.  I do think this is a pretty common problem, so an attorney may be able to point you in the right direction with just one consult.

Edited by jakrbbt
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so the boyfriend calls you douchbag  and you feel insulted and don't visit your son?

Screw his nasty comments, you can see your son according to what the court decided, I feel like these are all excuses because frankly you can bring a lawyer if they didn't let you see the son.

You seem so busy having fun with your gf and busy fighting with the ex-bf to actually seeing your son.


Edited by Noproblem
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