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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 07-22-2009, 12:04 AM
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Default My Ex wants 50/50 custody

Ok, crappy time in life, we are divorcing.
Currently living under the same roof - (different floors) but not for long.

I would like to take all 4 of my children and move out soon

My question is this -

He keeps telling me that he is going to challenge me for 50 / 50 custody.
However, he works full time and I stay home full time with the kids. I gave up my career for them!!! He says there are many studies that prove this beneficial for the kids.

My lawyer doesn't seem to be answering my questions directly -(waiting for his cheque to clear ) How challenging is it for a Dad today to get this custody arrangement? What do I need to do to challenge him?

I'm blown away by this - he has never taken this much interest in the kids. Now what do I do?
I'd be lost and broken with out my kids, they are my world!~
Anyone been in this situation before?
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:24 AM
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Default 50/50

I don't know your wholde situation, but as a father who has been granted good access by the Court, but my ex refuses to obey the Order, I have to question you.

I only ask to have my share of time, and I have found that when it is with held it only leads to accusations on both sides.

Unless there is an issue of abuse, why would you oppose 50/50 sharing? Is there an issue with location? they are his kids too, and unless you have a very good reason to restrict his access, I hope the Court will be reasonable for him.

I know it is dificult, but believe me, making it easy for the kids and appearing to remain friendly (not friends) will be better.

I have not seen my children for over 3 yers although Access Orders are in place, and they are not that far away.

Really think about what you want before you give in to feeling that you will not have your kids anymore. It may be better in the long run. I know it looks grim now, but 10 years from now you will at least not find yourself in my situation.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Broken View Post
Ok, crappy time in life, we are divorcing.
A tough time for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Broken View Post
He keeps telling me that he is going to challenge me for 50 / 50 custody.
That is good, good for him, good for the children. Equal custody works great for me and for my kids. He really should not have to 'challenge' you as they are equally his chidren. Resisting his parenting rights will cause problems for your family - divorcing is enough, if you fight his rights (and those of the children), you will be making things worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Broken View Post
However, he works full time and I stay home full time with the kids. I gave up my career for them!!! He says there are many studies that prove this beneficial for the kids.
That is the way things were, but things are changing. Time for you to get back a career, time for him to work less and raise his chidren as a divorced father. Being raised by two parents is better than one. I don't think my kids feel they have lost either parent, but if I only parented them every other weekend, I am sure they would. Besides, two perspectives, two parents is better than one - I am sure you each bring something to the parenting table. My former spouse, who stopped working when our first was born (we have 3) went right back to school when we separated, got her career back and is now working, as am I. We are equally responsible for ourselves and share equally in the raising of our children, even though we don't have much to do with each other outside of that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Broken View Post
My lawyer doesn't seem to be answering my questions directly -(waiting for his cheque to clear )
The best thing a lawyer knows how to do is to cash cheques. That is their number one priority. It is not their priority to help you resolve this time in your life as reasonably and fairly as possible, but to spend as much as possible getting the most they can for you, without concern of fairness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Broken View Post
How challenging is it for a Dad today to get this custody arrangement?
The law does not state that you should get custody. The default is 50/50 unless there are valid reasons - so hopefully he will get 50/50.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Broken View Post
What do I need to do to challenge him?
uhhh, a self centered viewpoint, a disrespect for him as a father, ahhh the desire to make your kids feel like they have lost a father...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Broken View Post
I'm blown away by this - he has never taken this much interest in the kids. Now what do I do?
Not much interest?? He works full time to support 5 people! This allows YOU to stay and raise them, that is a pretty big interest. He sees them every day and interacts every day with them as their one and only Dad - and you want to take that away from him and your children?

He has not been doing most of the work with the kids because that was your job, his was to work and provide for his family, but he still was there everyday with them. Now your marriage is over and all you want is for him to just step out of the way, keep paying, while you stay home and continue as if nothing happened? Things are changing, big things, and he does not want to loose his children anymore than you, he wants to be their father, and he will learn as I have to be 100% on 50% of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Broken View Post
I'd be lost and broken with out my kids, they are my world!~
Ditto for him!

Don't fight him, support him in his desire to equally raise the kids, and in doing that support your kids and their right to continue to have a real parenting relationship with both their parents.

Last edited by billm; 07-22-2009 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:49 AM
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unless he is abusive to the kids then 50/50 is the way to go. It the best for the kids. Like billm said your son to be ex worked to feed clothe and shelter 5 people. He lived in the same house as the kids so I am sure that he had a role in parenting. Would you have thought he was more involved if he would have quit work and stayed at home and you be the one working and supporting the family? You say you would be lost and broken without your kids, well you are not losing them you are sharing them with their father. When these kids grow up and start living their own lives, what happens then? Will you still be lost without them? Start getting your career back on track so when they do leave the nest you are prepared to live your own life.

If they love and have a good relationship with their father then it is up to you as a good mother to encourage that bond and not try and throw roadblocks in the way of the father to spend time with his kids.
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:40 AM
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wow - Thanks for jumping all over me in my first ever post of uneasy feelings.

Maybe my words didnt' come out "Politically correct"

My ex did support my children by working - BUT -

So did my parent - they have provided money monthy because my ex hides money and withholds it from the family.

Also - yes he works full time - but he has never been around. He choosing "other entertainment" in his evenings and weekends until recently.
He has never, and I mean never remained faithful - infact - I look like an idoit to say that I put up with it.

When our last child was born he came to the hospital for less than 2 hours ! and then he was gone again with "her" again because he couldn't figure out his place in life.

So let's talk fair.
I didn't have a choice but to give up my career - I made less than 30K and couldn't pay daycare for 4 as well as working full time.
So now what you are suggesting, is that I get back on the horse- go to work and make less than I pay out to daycare - and challenge him to pay half? YA RIGHT - my parents again - put money in my account yest. just to purchase food for the week.

So Billm my question to you is this - really? yes he has rights - I would never take his right to see the children away - but 50%? when he has never taken the time in the past 12 years?????????


So - I am not disrespecting him - I call it how it's been seen for years!
I agree - some fathers are awesome - but not when you lie, cheat and treat your family with so much disrepect. Now is not the time to look like a shining star.

Argh - kids are wanting juice - I will finish this later
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:34 AM
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WOW! After reading your post I can see that I am in the same situation, though with a little different circumstances. I completely understand your feelings with him having 50/50 custody.

My husband sounds like the same kind of guy, spending all his time in the garage, outside with neighbours and not inside with my daughter and I or helping out. Basically he had it all...a family, a house, food, clean clothes and didn't have to lift a finger once he got home (all with me working FT as well). Though mine is not a cheater, he has been verbally, emotionally and physically abusive, taking advantage of me constantly, then putting down for not getting everything done to his satisfaction.

Anyway, I think that the responses on here are based on a regular, fair marriage, and it doesn't seem you've had one. You presented only the relevant facts, understandably so. You are concerned with his parenting skills, as he has show very little of them in the past. My husband too has just started taking on his responsibilities with both the house and the kids, and seems to want credit from me. How can I erase the past years for 5 days worth of effort?? I think this applies to you too.

Have you asked your lawyer what the likey outcome would be if you fight for primary custody? A good lawyer will be able to answer you, direct you to what is likely and help you understand why. If your lawyer can't do this, ditch them. YOU are paying them, they should answer what you ask. Take advantage of any free legal advice you can get, if you aren't paying them, the lawyers are often able to answer your questions honestly.

Also, have you tried going through mediation or the collaborative process? The courts really won't care who has done most of the parenting, despite what they say (primary caregiver etc. which I'm positive you are) if there is no reason to withhold 50/50 custody. Maybe you can work something out where you are their primary home, and the kids spend lots of time with him (maybe even 40%) by visiting as often as possible.

Remember, everyone on here is in the process of divorcing, or has already done it. I'm sure there are bitter feelings, and people have a hard time putting aside their biases. Read with a grain of salt.

I wish you good luck.
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:24 PM
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I think you will find that shared custody (50/50) has become widely accepted now. Although is often opposed by Mom's and fought for by Dad's for some reason. In the end genrally granted though. For good reason in my opinion.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:09 PM
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If you are just starting down this road, you might want to start thinking about how much this is all going to cost. Going thru lawyers and courts - not even getting to trial - can run (each of you) EASILY $50,000. $100,000 or more is not out of the question if you get into an entrenched fight. This is your kids' money and its disgracefully wasteful. Do you want to go there? No experience with mediation, but it sure sounds like a better option.

Also, bitterness is high right now, but it is not the purpose of family court to give you vindication or remedies for your husband's failings (or vice versa). They will be looking at the interests of the children going forward from here.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:28 AM
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Just my two cents but the way your spouse treated you really shouldn't affect his right to see his children unless the children are in danger. Sure he was a cheater and a jerk but you have no idea how he will be with his children as a single dad unless you give him the opportunity. The children need to know their father. Period. And if he's willing to make a huge sacrifice and care for them 50% of the time - let him! It won't be easy for him - especially if he hasn't spent much time caring for them.

And as someone who is without the two most incredible little girls on the planet 50% of the time let me tell you this - you will adjust. You've poured your heart and sole into caring for your children. Take the extra time you'll be getting and start looking after yourself. Trust me, it's hard, I know. I'm still adjusting and it's hard to find yourself after being a mom for so long but you will. And you'll start to enjoy the alone time.

Separation is tough. Take a deep breath and do what's right for the kids - and that means letting go of all the crappy, shitty things he's done to you.

Oh, and BTW - if he thinks a 50/50 split in custody will mean he doesn't pay support he's in for a BIG surprise.

Good luck. And Breathe.
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