My original divorce
date was Nov 2000. I am a 50% managing conservator and have maintained a 12 yr healthy relationship with the children's mother
and my two children, daughter 16 and son 14. There have been no further legal matters before the court since the time of the original decree. I have been remarried 10 yrs and have a 2 yr old son with my wife and stepmother of my first two children. They have maintained a healthy relationship with her as well. We live approximately 1.5 miles apart. Due to the 51/49% visitation
schedule and my earnings in 2000, I presently pay full child support
During the summer of 2011 up to the point of my daughter turning 16 in Aug, relations with my daughter began to deteriorate (this did not involve physical or verbal violence on either part). Basically my expectations regarding her freedoms and privileges being tied to school performance and a general mutual respect between us is/was stricter than at her mother's house. And although I have always provided a private room and full wardrobe for her, my level of spending was also surpassed by her mother. Things escalated after her mother purchased her a car and my spending was insufficient in her opinion for homecoming in Oct 2011.
At that point I allowed her to break the visitation schedule and spend homecoming with her mother so she could enjoy the greater freedom and spending she now expected. I also advised her at that time I was not going to force her to honor the visitation schedule and desired her time with me be desired rather than forced. She has elected to fully exercise that right until the present date.
I advised her mother that due to our daughter's continued failure to communicate with me in any form I was reinforcing my rights of visitation. This resulted in a temporary order
restricting that enforcement and court hearing date.
Although I value and want a healthy relationship with my daughter I also understand she is of age to weigh in on matters of visitation. Therefore, I do not intend to fight her free will in this regard outside of wanting what is best for her including a some sort of consistent contact with me, even if below my personal desires for amount of contact.
What is your advice in how to best pursue this so the matter does not become a long drawn out legal battle with longer term negative consequences for all of us? Also, in the same regard, how do I minimize the financial burden to accomplish a quick, mutually agreeable and what's in the best interest of my daughter solution. Lastly, since a legal petition has been made to the court by the children's mother requesting financial data, does that provide opportunity from relief of maximum child support since my last 3 yrs earnings as evidenced by my tax returns are substantially less than in the prior 9 years?