Arranging Parenting Time When a Parent is a Trucker

by Linda
(New York)

My ex-husband started OTR a year ago. We went back to court this last spring and now have an "open" arrangement for his parenting time since he is otr so much.

I have truly bent over backwards to accommodate his schedule. For the past 6 months he has had the last week of the month home. I made plans for a vacation with our daughter to see family out of state after he called me and said he would be home for a week on Father's Day weekend.

Plans got changed and he is now going to be home the exact time of our vacation. Reservations have already been made with no return on the deposits because of the deal I got.

In court the Judge told him I would be allowed to plan vacation times etc and he cannot expect me to drop everything if he rolls into town. I feel bad that he won't see our daughter for 2 months but then he did have a local job but wanted something more lucrative so he went otr.

I think it is very important for our daughter to see her dad but on a rare occasion it just doesn't work out. Any one out there have a similar problem and how did you work it out?

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Jun 25, 2009
Child Visitation
by: Jennifer Schnittker

Of course the child is the most important, but I also have to stress, that if you have plans--Keep them.

Sometimes things like this happens. Although from the way it sounds, you have been more than accommodating. It should however not be expected that you should trash your plans because he could not make it home.

I would go, then allow him a visit at another time that is convenient for both.

Fair has to be for both parties.

Enjoy your vacation ;)

Jun 20, 2009
Kids are most important
by: Linda

Thanks Jimmy - the child should be most important person in all decisions made. I know him being otr will present its challenges but I want things to be as consistent as possible for her sake. I also realize his schedule is unpredictable and as I said, I am very willing to work with it.

Kids grow up too fast and it is important that she have a good relationship with both her mom and dad. Mom and Dad should be her biggest cheering section throughout her whole life and that is why I am willing to work so hard at making that happen.

It has a lot to do with making her feel secure in an insecure world.

Jun 20, 2009
Arranging time
by: Jimmy

Well, I always say it's not a perfect world out there. Your kid not seeing her dad for a particular month won't hurt. I would just add do not mess up the kids life too much. I've seen it happen so much where the ex's feud and have no regard for the poor kid as he/she grows up. Jimmy

Jun 19, 2009
Thanks for your answer
by: Linda

Thanks Hervy for your answer. My ex actually gets our daughter for one week per month and it has worked out to be toward the end of the month so I planned accordingly for vacation. I wait for him to tell me when he will be home and I accommodate his schedule.

He acknowledged when he signed on to be an otr driver that he would be gone a lot especially in the summer. He has constantly said it is more lucrative to be driving but fails to realize how much he is missing out on our daughter's life. He did have a good local job.

I appreciate your input and hope that he will at some point realize HE is important in her life and not want me to give our daughter to his present girlfriend for his parenting time.

I'll continue to work with his schedule as best but I tend to think that this is the nature of the beast when you are an otr.

Thanks for such a great place to get answers!

Jun 18, 2009
Truckers and planning parenting time
by: Hervy

Hi Linda,

Arranging parenting for a trucker parent is definitely a challenge, but first I really want to commend you and thank you for recognizing the importance and trying so hard to make it happen.

I know its a very frustrating situation.

Of course the judge is right, you can't be expected to drop plans all the time because your life and your daughters would be in chaos.

I have some thoughts, if your ex know the family that you were visiting and they all got along, maybe he could take his vacation there (some companies allow it other don't)

Also, unless he has made some concrete plans why can't he change his vacation time so that it is not a conflict. I don't know of that being problems with companies. I guess there are some that won't let you take vacation when you want but usually as long as you tell them far enough in advance you can do it.

Why did he change from the original plan, if it's because he has something else planned for the time off he did choose? If so and time is not about seeing his daughter it might be time for you to have a talk with him about prioritizing. (I don't know the situation, I am just making sure that isn't the situation)

Now as far as the future of this situation with him seeing his daughter more frequently. I don't know what part of NY your in but there are plenty of trucking companies that love drivers who want to go to New York. (because most drivers don't want to go to NY so there is a need for them)

Why doesn't he go to a company where he can get back into New York on a more regular basis? If he wants to see his daughter as much as you want him to see his daughter I don't see why that should be a problem.

I don't think you should feel bad because you are doing what you can to make things happen. Just continue to work things out, and if he has the same level of concern about seeing his daughter but lack ambition to make it happen, you might have to do some calling for him.

I you want you can get a trucking magazine from the truck stop and they have companies listed with maps showing their travel lanes, hiring lanes. Find trucking companies that need drivers to go to New York and find one that pays equal to or better than the one he is at and pass him the information.

Hope this helps some.

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