I’ve tended to blog about my feelings more than about specific issues. Today there is an issue I want to share with you – one of the many hassles and, dare I say it, prejudices that custodial grandparents have to deal with.
I sometimes travel overseas for business, and I have friends in three other countries. I’d like to take him with me, should a trip come up at a time he can be out of school. He also has a great grandfather who is Canadian, and will be buried in Canada when that time comes. Joe is approaching 90, and his health is failing. All of these things, along with a heartfelt desire to show him more of the world prompted me to apply for a passport (for Austin) some two months ago.
Today, the State Department sent a letter informing me that I must have a court order allowing me to travel with Austin. Now, my custody documents not only provide me with the ability to “make all decisions regarding the care and welfare” of the child, but they also impart important responsibilities. I am responsible for his medical care and all decisions, all financial obligations, etc. But I need to go back to the judge to take him on a Disney Cruise for vacation? (pardon me please, but WTF????)
I’m still in debt to my attorney for the custody. I get no child support, no assistance for his expenses. I have day care, cub scouts, soccer, school fees, clothes, furniture, and day to day activities, all of which are now my responsibility. The judge OBVIOUSLY thinks I am a responsible individual. I am a home owner (well, along with the mortgage co I am)… I have a job that I am unlikely to leave, not to mention a fricking private zoo…. And now I get to have another grand or more added to my legal debt. Because some jackass at the State Department thinks that having full custody of this child means everything OTHER than traveling with him. By the time I manage to get this sorted there will be no money for a damned cruise. And I am feeling a tad defeated.