Hi Readers — Allow me to introduce Rob, a dad headed for divorce court tomorrow. He sent this note asking whether I think what he did “proves” he is a bad dad, as claims his ex.
I have no idea who he is, why he got a divorce, or anything, really, other than the fact the incident he describes below strikes me as a decent parenting decision. Here goes:
Dear Free-Range Kids: I am going to court on Monday morning to request an increase in my child custody from 6 days to 7 days per 2 weeks. Pivotal to my ex wife’s argument to deny me this increase is that, “The plaintiff [my ex-wife] is concerned that the defendant has in the past made poor choices travelling with children. One one occasion, leaving their son alone at Disney World…” Here are the details from my ex-wife’s Affidavit to the court:“In August 2009 the Defendant [me] traveled with the children to Disney World. He left [our son] alone when he and [our daughter] went on a ride. [Our son] had a cell phone which I had given to him… It is not appropriate to leave children alone in Disney World.”She is using this as one of the fundamental reasons to deny an increase in my children’s custody. Personally, I don’t think this was an unsafe act. My son was never lost — he was attending a Jedi training camp inside one of the most safe, secure and child-friendly places on the planet.He made four attempts in over four hours to be chosen as part of a mock Jedi training camp. The first three we waited with him. The fourth time, my daughter and I returned about 10 minutes after the event was done and met my son at the agreed place, as arranged.The children and I had also drilled and practiced extensively prior to leaving for Orlando regarding, “What to do if lost.” Which he never was! Our son is very responsible, intelligent, social 9-year-old. I don’t think that leaving him in Disney World for 30 minutes while attending a Disney-organized event should impact my ability to gain increased custody of my children.