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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 09-18-2015, 10:27 PM
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Default Trying to claim primary care - need help

Here is the situation.

I am the father and have had my two girls (ages 2 and 4) for very close to 50% of nights and weekends, on an almost every other day basis, for about 10 months.

My ex has picked up the girls from daycare on most days including the days they sleep with me, against my will. I have numerous emails to her telling her I disagree with her picking them up on my days. I am now taking action and going to school and daycare in attempt to get my kids on my days. She has been there at the same time and will not allow me to take them, and so far I have not wanted to create a scene, so I let her take them. She will then drop them off just before dinner or as she sees fit.

We have an interim agreement in place (template obtained from the internet), signed by both of us and a lawyer that states we both agree to 50/50 time sharing (signed about 18 months ago). There are no details of days and times. She moved out of the marital home 10 months ago.

She is now attempting to claim she had primary care of the children for the last 10 months and full child support.

She is attempting to get custody of the girls every school night, although she would allow me access before and after school and on weekends. This would still put her over 60%.

I want to maintain 50/50 time sharing and equal care of my daughters including drop offs to school, pick ups, bedtimes, nights, meals, etc.

She is threatening litigation.

What are my chances?
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:30 PM
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She has very little chance. It is crazy what people will do for money....
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Links17 View Post
She has very little chance. It is crazy what people will do for money....
Quote:
Originally Posted by climber9 View Post
Here is the situation.

I am the father and have had my two girls (ages 2 and 4) for very close to 50% of nights and weekends, on an almost every other day basis, for about 10 months.

My ex has picked up the girls from daycare on most days including the days they sleep with me, against my will. I have numerous emails to her telling her I disagree with her picking them up on my days. I am now taking action and going to school and daycare in attempt to get my kids on my days. She has been there at the same time and will not allow me to take them, and so far I have not wanted to create a scene, so I let her take them. She will then drop them off just before dinner or as she sees fit.

We have an interim agreement in place (template obtained from the internet), signed by both of us and a lawyer that states we both agree to 50/50 time sharing (signed about 18 months ago). There are no details of days and times. She moved out of the marital home 10 months ago.

She is now attempting to claim she had primary care of the children for the last 10 months and full child support.

She is attempting to get custody of the girls every school night, although she would allow me access before and after school and on weekends. This would still put her over 60%.

I want to maintain 50/50 time sharing and equal care of my daughters including drop offs to school, pick ups, bedtimes, nights, meals, etc.

She is threatening litigation.

What are my chances?
You have got to put your foot down; you have let this happen for 10 months too long. Give a copy of your agreement to the daycare and write to whoever is in charges so that they are aware of the situation and what she is doing, explaining the days you should be picking up the children. She is leveraging the fact that you do not want to create a scene. She is trying to establish status quo, so that when you do come up with a final agreement, she can point to what the children are accustomed to. Put it in writing again to her that on your days you will be picking up the children and that unless you ask her, you do not need her help. If you believe she will create a scene and will potentially lead to a call to the police, make sure you have a voice recorder or better yet a video recorder to protect yourself. Take a friend who can act as a witness. I think you have to force the issue, pick up the children on your days and let that scene play out. If this does not work, you need to get a lawyer involved, but it will lead to a long drawn out process where she could potentially setup even more status quo.
She has probably spoken to an unscrupulous lawyer who explained how to secure primary care giver status and the effect this has on the level of child support she could receive for the next 20 years. Who takes the children to dentist, doctor appointments? Who stays home to take care of the kids when they are sick? Who takes them to afterschool activities, if any? Make sure you are involved in each of these and can prove that you both, not just her, have a primary attachment to the children. If she is blocking you from any of these, again put it in writing that you disagree with her attempts to setup a false status quo in deliberate attempts to minimize your role as an equally involved parent. Request that she you both attend a meeting with a parenting coordinator and or mediator to avoid expensive litigation. Send her a list of three of four parenting coordinators and ask her to choose and give her a deadline when you expect a response. If she refuses, document it and proceed with your lawyer. But do not let her establish herself as the status quo primary parent. You need to deal with this now.
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:32 AM
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^good advice^

I would also suggest that right from the start you do not to use the term 'access' anywhere in anything you write. Instead refer to it as "parenting time."
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Old 09-19-2015, 11:31 AM
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Was your agreement turned into an order and filed in court? If the court process has not been started, get on it so that YOU are the APPLICANT and she is the RESPONDENT. It makes a difference.
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Old 09-19-2015, 03:59 PM
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The above advice is good, just be aware that the daycare staff aren't able to intervene or assist you, even though you have an agreement (I've been on the board of directors of day cares facing these issues). They aren't party to the agreement between you and Mom - their only legal responsibility is to ensure that children leave their care with a legal guardian - which could be either you or Mom. By all means let them know that this is the situation and that you are going to be picking up the kids per your agreement, but know that they can't get involved, and if Mom shows up before you, they have to give her the kids.

(However, if you have a good relationship with one of the staff, they may be able to tip you off as to when Mom usually picks up the kids, or even stall her a bit ...)
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:23 PM
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Thanks everyone for the advice and support.
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