My husband of 1 1/2 years has 3 sons, 23,13, and 10. He has an excellent relationship with the 23 y/o. From the begining of our relationship, the younger two have made it clear they want to come live with us. Their mother is a good mother and we would have no reason to fight her for custody. They live about 15 miles from us, my husband has generous access to the boys, and willingly pays reasonable child support. They say they understand and know they can live with us when they are older if they wish as their older brother moved in with my husband when he was 16-20 years old.
The problem is that the boys, who are very intelligent and capable, have begun to not give notice when they are not coming for scheduled visitation. The court order is for every Sunday from 10-8 and 2 overnights a month. My husband, his ex and the boys made the agreement that when they have alternate plans they are to call by Thursday to let him know. In the past 10 weeks, there have been 2 times when we have arrived to pick them up on Sunday morning and they have not been available and 3 when my husband has called to confirm pick up times and has been informed by them that they have other plans set. My husband does not want them to miss out on sleepovers or get togethers with friends or relatives. He wants them to want to spend time with him. They are perfectly capable of picking up the phone to call (they have 3 #'s memorized and call often to chat or play online games with my husband) and at each incident, promise to call next time. We have not been able to come up with any logical consequence, as missing their next visitation only punishes their mother who has a life of her own. She states she reminds them to call which they admit. We live in a resort town at the beach, have a Jeep which we take out onto the beach and 3 computers for online games. They always enjoy their time with us and genuninely love me, so that is not the issue. We are at a loss and would appreciate any feedback.