Consider trying open-wallet therapy

 

            Posted on  Dec 20,2009   

            Consider trying some open-wallet therapy

Q.   When we divorced, my ex-wife and I were ordered to take part in what the judge called ``reunification therapy'' to be overseen by a guardian ad litem. The goal was to help me reestablish the great relationship I used to have with our three young children.

Since then, no matter what the guardian has asked of her, my ex has come up with excuse after excuse to avoid doing it. When the kids are finally with me, she repeatedly calls my cell phone, insisting she talk with each one during which she tries to sabotage the visit.

Is there anything I can do here - or is my cause lost?

- D.K., Granville

A.   Dragging your ex back to court only guarantees you'll pay more money to your lawyer.  My philosophy in these cases is to keep your mouth shut and your wallet wide open. While is sounds vulgar, in many situations, bribery can work miracles. When the kids are with you, don't hesitate to buy them sneakers, boots, gloves, winter coats, iPods - anything that you can afford that will pleasantly remind them of you when they take them home. Also buy something nice to send home to the kids who didn't come on that visitation.

 

Knowing you still think of them may encourage a reluctant child to eventually come to see you. While are no guarantees, I've experienced that, no matter how many roadblocks your ex-wife throws up, as the children get older, they will want to visit you more, especially if they know you've been a loving dad.

As for those harassing telephone calls, the short answer is send your ex an email saying that after she's had one conversation with the kids, you're shutting off your cell phone and pulling the plug on your wall phone.