Help! My ex is a trucker! Parenting scheduling quest
My ex and I have a 5 year old. He was a local truck driver but took a national job because he likes the pay and the freedom.
I am at a loss as to how to work out the parenting schedule. He has been gone for 40 days at a time and then wants "make up" time on top of his regular time when he comes home. His live-in girlfriend even came to my house and demanded my daughter when he was out of state. The court said he is not entitled to make up time when he is gone. I am willing to work with him but he is not honest about his schedule and basically wants everything to drop when he comes into town.
I am at a loss how to work this situation out. He keeps saying he is "entitled", he is "entitled". For instance, he has Christmas this year and wants to take her from December 24th through January 5th. I also work full time and those weekends and holidays are very precious time for me with our daughter even though I do have her otherwise. Those times are my "down times".
We worked hard to come to an agreement on a schedule and finally came up with one that worked and then he chose a job that took him out of state for weeks.
He works for a national moving company. Can any of you tell me, does he have a choice to go out for 2 weeks and then back for a few days? Do you usually sign a contract about how long you will be on the road when you are hired on?
I feel it is important for our daughter to have a good relationship with her father but I also realize that at 5 years old she needs consistency. I have told him his parents are welcome to take her for a day visit anytime. I also encourage our daughter to call her dad.
Any suggestions from those of you who have had to work this out? How do you do what is best for the child and yet work with a trucker's schedule.
I should also mention we live less than 20 miles apart.