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-   -   How graduated is graduated? (http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f3/how-graduated-graduated-21297/)

Whoknew 08-31-2017 11:59 PM

How graduated is graduated?
 
Hi all, glad I found this site, one of a kind just not so glad about the reason why we're here.

Heres a little background on my situation.

- late 30s

- 2 kids, 4 and 2

- working dad, proud of what I have been able to accomplish in providing for my family.

- STBX is a stay at home mom. We felt this was best for our children until the birth began school. Plan was for her to return to work when our youngest started school.

- But no means was I the primary caregiver. I was lucky to see our kids for 2-3 hours at night. But weekends were all about family. We enjoyed what we could.

- I'm self employed, family business. We had debt untik very recently which we were able to pay off. Was looking forward to a more relaxed work schedule and put in more time at home.

- separation is fresh. Early July. Things progressing quickly, my application was served today.

- Currently see our kids M + W fron 4-7 and Sat from 9-7. This is very recent. Previously, Sats were from 9-2.

- STBX is trying to keep as much time as possible, limiting my access. Main reason why I served which from what I understand is atypical.

- conversations about mediation are not convincing. She'll go and if she agrees, great. If not, she won't listen.

- suggested med/arb and the downfall of having a third party make a decision for us. Said no thanks.

- I'm repeatedly trying to reconcile as well for our relationship was a lost connection that I thought could be saved.

My question is around parenting plans. She has no desire to discuss anything near 50/50 and this is wholeheartedly what I feel would be best. Especially around the amount of research I have been reading, this board included obviously.

We discussed last week about what her ideal plan is, she said the way it is right now is fine. At least for the next 2 years until our youngest starts school. I'm not in agreement with that at all, hence the application.

The ideal goal is to gradually settle our kids into this but how gradual is gradual?

A little more background, they have never been apart for anything longer than 4 hours in their entire lives. Until the Sat schedule was arranged. The anxiety level is high for her. Maybe the kids too but they've adjusted well in my time with them thus far. Overnights, a little concerned but nothing that can't be overcome.

Appreciate any sort of gradual direction. I keep reading about it but nothing in terms of specifics.

Thanks,

Wk

I



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foreverhome 09-01-2017 09:11 AM

" the way it is right now is fine"
How did it come to this? You have to change status quo soon somehow, otherwise it would be almost impossible later on.Also, if she doesn't want to communicate it's not good for your situation. Try to increase access, if its not possible than you'll have to wait your case conference and preliminary order. Talk to your lawyer.

Whoknew 09-01-2017 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by foreverhome (Post 223188)
" the way it is right now is fine"
How did it come to this? You have to change status quo soon somehow, otherwise it would be almost impossible later on.Also, if she doesn't want to communicate it's not good for your situation. Try to increase access, if its not possible than you'll have to wait your case conference and preliminary order. Talk to your lawyer.

The original M/W - 4-7 and SAT 9-2 was discussed when we first separted between us. I proposed additional parenting time to which she agreed verbally but wrote her an email to approve to send to my lawyer. She kept changing it, decreasing the times. After multiple times, I resorted to having my lawyer negotiate with hers because I felt it wasn't progressing.

The SAT was then changed from 9-7 for the next four weeks while we negotiated the next four weeks after that. Our proposal was the change the SAT to an overnight.

I had a discussion with my lawyer and advised I don't want to think about the next four weeks only and want to think longer term which is now our plan. Papers were served yesterday to her.

I want to be reasonable and of course ease our kids into transition which is why I'm asking how graduated is graduated. When can it be reasonable expected to fully roll into say a 2-2-3?

trinton 09-01-2017 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whoknew (Post 223182)
She has no desire to discuss anything near 50/50

Don't be surprised. That's the majority of women in family courts for you.


50/50 should be the minimum you accept. 2-2-3 works well for young children. When they get to school you could do 5-5-2-2 or week about. With that schedule, be sure to ask for offset child support and impute income to her - it's about time she get her butt in gear and secure a job.

Whoknew 09-01-2017 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trinton (Post 223194)
Don't be surprised. That's the majority of women in family courts for you.]

50/50 should be the minimum you accept. 2-2-3 works well for young children. When they get to school you could do 5-5-2-2 or week about. With that schedule, be sure to ask for offset child support and impute income to her - it's about time she get her butt in gear and secure a job.

She will debate that she has been home with our first child for the first four years (starting JK in Sept) and should be the same way for our second who would start in two years.

I am thinking I can counter by saying I am self employed who doesn't even need to be in the office on a daily basis and can work from home. Family business so they are fully supportive in allowing me to do whatever needs to be done in raising our kids equally.

Again she will argue why I didn't do this in the past. But the present is different as the future will be too. Make sense?

Would it be reasonable to propose 2-2-3 right off the bat or does it need to be a graduated transition. Say for the next ___ time period, 1 overnight. The next ___ time period 2 overnights until settling into 2-2-3.

I like your transition to 5-5-2-2/week about after our youngest is in school. Will keep the offset CS and income considerations in mind, thank you for that.

This would be a battle I am assuming.

LovingFather32 09-01-2017 12:52 PM

You haven't been too involved in their lives (weekends mostly). The good news is that your kids are still young.

What are her reasons for denying more access? You're offering for your kids to see you more as they grow older, which is unbelievably healthy for them. Any crim. records? addictions? Abuse? Or is she simply using the "status quo" card, like many do when they dont want dad to spend more time with the kids?

If you presented a great parenting plan (including major flexibility, etc) with the theory of your case centering around the fact that status quo has been when the kids were "infants", that now they are entering the exciting new world of childhood and eventually teens, that it would be in their best interests to be seeing both loving parents on a more equal basis to help out with many developmental milestones, etc.

Offer a graduated schedule leading to overnights...more nights...then 50/50 later. Bring in your caselaw, literature and counter her status quo argument by discussing your desire to not allow your ex to "create" a "manufactured" status quo as they get older and are more aware of everything. In my opinion a huge material change is that they're are older (just starting to verbally communicate, etc...and you now have flexibility in your job and want to be the most involved father possible.

50/50 is her decision. If she doesn't like it go get it. If you lose at least you fought your ass off to see your kids more, which is something to be proud of in itself.

Whoknew 09-01-2017 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LovingFather32 (Post 223198)
You haven't been too involved in their lives (weekends mostly). The good news is that your kids are still young.

What are her reasons for denying more access? You're offering for your kids to see you more as they grow older, which is unbelievably healthy for them. Any crim. records? addictions? Abuse? Or is she simply using the "status quo" card, like many do when they dont want dad to spend more time with the kids?

If you presented a great parenting plan (including major flexibility, etc) with the theory of your case centering around the fact that status quo has been when the kids were "infants", that now they are entering the exciting new world of childhood and eventually teens, that it would be in their best interests to be seeing both loving parents on a more equal basis to help out with many developmental milestones, etc.

Offer a graduated schedule leading to overnights...more nights...then 50/50 later. Bring in your caselaw, literature and counter her status quo argument by discussing your desire to not allow your ex to "create" a "manufactured" status quo as they get older and are more aware of everything. In my opinion a huge material change is that they're are older (just starting to verbally communicate, etc...and you now have flexibility in your job and want to be the most involved father possible.

50/50 is her decision. If she doesn't like it go get it. If you lose at least you fought your ass off to see your kids more, which is something to be proud of in itself.

You're right about my lack of involvement.

Her reasons are;
- She can't be without the kids for too long

- My work schedule that will result in being inconsistent for the kids. I am working on changing my role/reponsibilities

- My being preoccupied and not being able to give them my full attention as a stay a home mom

- I've never given the kids naps (yet I have within the last couple of weeks without any issue)

No crim records, addictions or abuse.

It's getting tense and conversations go nowhere and get heated so I'm thinking parallel parenting as a goal. I like your theory about centering my case, thank you.

Would two months be ok for a graduated transition to 50/50?

I would think since we served, we would await their response and take it from there. But I have already started preparing case law, thanks to the likes of your posts among the many other regulars here so thank you all.

I don't plan on being a taker only here and will definitely give on posts when I have enough knowledge to and get settled in more.

CoolGuy41 09-01-2017 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whoknew (Post 223182)
- I'm repeatedly trying to reconcile as well...

The above is a more fundamental problem.
Step 1 - Stop trying to reconcile.
Step 2 - Stand your ground.

The reason why she will not give you 50/50 is because she wants to take you for the Guideline amount of CS for 2. Keeping this in mind will help you in step 1.

Some tips for step 2:
- Do not dig yourself into a hole by consenting to a bad interim order. The interim could be, and by default is, the rest of your life.
- Do not write something like "she was the primary caregiver" in your affidavits, as that is another way you can dig yourself into a hole.

Whoknew 09-01-2017 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoolGuy41 (Post 223200)
The above is a more fundamental problem.
Step 1 - Stop trying to reconcile.
Step 2 - Stand your ground.

The reason why she will not give you 50/50 is because she wants to take you for the Guideline amount of CS for 2. Keeping this in mind will help you in step 1.

Some tips for step 2:
- Do not dig yourself into a hole by consenting to a bad interim order. The interim could be, and by default is, the rest of your life.
- Do not write something like "she was the primary caregiver" in your affidavits, as that is another way you can dig yourself into a hole.

Thanks CG, noted.

The interim thus far was agreed to for four weeks. Definitely pursuing long term.

With regards to status quo, wouldn't our older child starting school be a disruption in that? My SBTX is at her mom's daily from 9-2 with 1-2 overnights spent as well. Wouldn't this already be a disruption. This isn't something that arose after separation. This has been routine for 4-1/2 years.

About the primary caregiver, my lawyer wrote this in the Form 08 application:

The Applicant Father recognizes that the Respondent Mother was the primary caregiver during marriage, and knows that the bond between her and the children is very strong. However, he is a very competent, caring, and active parent who very much believes that the children will benefit from having equal parenting time with him and that it is in their best interests to spend equal time with each of their loving parents.

Do you think that is damaging?

CoolGuy41 09-01-2017 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whoknew (Post 223201)
The Applicant Father recognizes that the Respondent Mother was the primary caregiver during marriage, and knows that the bond between her and the children is very strong. However, he is a very competent, caring, and active parent who very much believes that the children will benefit from having equal parenting time with him and that it is in their best interests to spend equal time with each of their loving parents.

Do you think that is damaging?

In my opinion it sux and I would make some effort to downplay her contribution. But it might not be worth it for you to spend large $ trying to convince your lawyer to do what a random guy on a forum says. Instead you should focus on racking up some noteworthy experiences with your kids; e.g., taking them to doctor, dentist, go to a parent-teacher interview, etc. See if you can get someone (e.g. your mom) to help you.

To answer your original question, graduated is slower than you want. Making the push for some parenting time now is the correct thing to do.


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