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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 05-25-2006, 09:48 AM
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Default Joint Custody with every other weekend.

Well ...

After thinking that we had custody ironed out at 50/50 ... seems my spouse wish's to recind on that and go for joint custody whereby I see the kids every second weekend from Friday to Sunday.

At 50/50 custody, I had agreed to keep the house and buy her out cause the numbers could have worked out ... now, with her wanting joint custody, the numbers change as does my ability to keep the house. I informed her that with joint that selling the house was our only option as I would not be able to carry the cost of maintaining a single family dwelling. She seems to think that selling the house is MY issue to contend with after agreeing to keep it based on 50/50, however now that she has changed her mind, what options are there when it comes to the house????

This is so ... tough, at times. I know many would say go for 50/50 but really, it boils down to 'What is best for the kids' ...

At this point, there a some things I do know what I want ...

I DO NOT want this to get adversarial.

I DO want the kids to have a decent standard and upbringing.

I DO believe she is and will be a great mother and caregiver at least for the next few years ... they are young and constantly call for mom!

My concern is that if I hand her 'joint custody' ... I know she gets full CS based on table amount ... which is great cause I do want my kids to have a decent life but what happens WHEN I want the agreement changed to eventually state 50/50 when the kids are at an age and maturity level for this to happen? Remember, I DO NOT want this getting adversarial ... I know of better ways to disperse $$$ and that is to the family.

I guess at this point for her, 50/50 is out of the question cause she feels it's not in their best interest cause of their age. Fine. My concern is what happens if I agree to joint of soul custody today, but wish to have this changed in the future? Her lawyer basically stated in the draft seperation agreement that if her or I could not agree on Custody that our only option was court! So to court today or to court in the future, is the question?

So, joint custody and I have a small say and give her full CS amounts or soul custody and trust she will do what is right by the kids and pay her full CS and move on with my life?

I'm so torn!

Oh Lord.

Hubby

Last edited by hubby; 05-25-2006 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 05-25-2006, 10:42 AM
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Hubby :cry
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Old 05-25-2006, 12:08 PM
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There is a bus leaving for Montreal tomorrow... why don't you put your head under it.

I will reply later on this. I am going for lunch with another father that is in the exact same situation. Joint custody and 50-50 and everything settled, now she has gotten vindictive and they are off to court over money, custody, etc.

I just got back from the lawyer yesterday. Over money (again... for the 100th time). At least I have a court order for joint custody and 50-50 access. BTW, my child was under 4. The too young is just another excuse.
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Old 05-25-2006, 03:11 PM
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[QUOTE=Decent Dad]There is a bus leaving for Montreal tomorrow... why don't you put your head under it.

Like this guy really needs to hear you say something that ridiculous to him....I am so sorry that some people feel that they rule and others druel......I apologize for the rest of us sane people on here......I understand this can be frustrating ( I am currently fighting a "pissing match" with my ex thats now going to mediation.....blablabla.....) I feel for you........hubby dont let this guy (decent dad) get to you........you keep your kids in mind and dont lose sight of that.......all children deserve both their parents........if you cant financially afford the house then sell it........however then you have other issues to dea«l with........split of profits of house after debts settled....then finding a new place.......could be more of a hassle than its worth though in the end.........alot for you to think about but whatever you do dont listen to head uop his ass decent dad........bad statement to make to a man facing the loss of his marriage and children....you should be ashamed decent dad
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Old 05-25-2006, 03:36 PM
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Littleman,

DD is a good person, when I read his post, I was not offended. It all depends on the context ... DD may just have forgotten to put the smily face.

DD is an advocate of both parents having rights to their children.

There was no hurt done, ok, I did have to read that sentence serveral times, but the message from above came through clear ... it was meant to convey ... stay and fight.

It's just that by nature I am a 'peacekeeper' ... goint to 'war' is not part of who I am. I am saddened and do not wish to hurt anyone for in the end, I hurt myself.

Hubby
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Old 05-25-2006, 04:16 PM
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Obvisouly I was joking. I have been following his situation and offering advice from the beginning. But, I am already on trial in RL, so I'll let it go.

But seriously, hubby is in for a rough ride. What caused this massive 180 turn of events?
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Old 05-25-2006, 04:35 PM
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I'm not sure what caused the change, she may not have really been convinced when she had agreed some time ago. Her concern is the children's ages ... at least that's what I gather.

My pressing question is what are the implications if I agree to joint or soul custody today and with to change at some point in the future? My challenges lye in the inability to educate my children in the french language and cause of their age, there preferance for mom. I know that with time and as the kids grow, this will become less and less of an issue but it is a reality in the now.

Blessings to you

Hubby
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:45 PM
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Hubby,

Status quo arrangements are very difficult to change especially if things are going well for the children. If your spouse did not agree at a later date in the future, your only option would be to bring the matter to the courts to decide. However, this is somewhat problematic. Before you could vary the agreement, the onus is on your to PROVE a material change of circumstances. If you cannot prove and demonstrate a material change, expect the court to to endorse the status quo arrangement.

I am not sure what is meant by the "Children are to young" This statement is not reflective of modern social science and resembles the tender year's doctrine, a highly biased discriminatory piece of legal fiction.

Incident's of custody and access are determined on the best interest of the child test including the principle of maximizing contact. Why should an existing established relationship between a parent and child be marginalized to an alternate weekend regime? would this not effect the child in some way?

Here are some arguments for a sole custody regime from an article located at

http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/jcarguments.php

The "Children Need Stability" Argument

This argument revolves around the false notion that children need unvarying sameness (stability) above all else, to the exclusion of the other parent's involvement if necessary. The classic refrain is that the child "won't be able to manage" (cope) with two different caretakers, two different homes, etc. This argument makes it seem as though having both parents involved will somehow "upset" to the child or that the child will become "confused" when going back and forth between the parents. In the "Stability" argument, emphasis is placed on geographic location, rather than parenting skills or involvement. There are other variations on this theme, but they all center on the child being unable to deal with two homes.

Yes, children need stability, but even more important is the need for consistency and predictability, or an awareness of what is to come. Children cope quite well with change when they know what to expect; not knowing what's coming next is the cause of most of the stress that children experience. Children don't get confused when both parents take care of them in intact families, confusion for children occurs when one parent suddenly leaves or is forced out of the child's home and life. Giving both parents parenting time with the child contributes to continuity in the child's life, not confusion.

The "Parents Won't Cooperate" Argument

In this argument the unspoken assumption is that because one or both of the parents won't cooperate with the other or one parent won't agree to joint custody, any form of joint custody is impossible. This presumption allows either spouse to decide to "not cooperate" and thereby ensure that no form of shared parenting is ordered by the court. This tactic is often used by mothers, since they are overwhelmingly more likely to gain custody.

Refute this argument by noting that divorce rarely occurs because of non-cooperation related to parenting issues; more often it is due to infidelity, drug and/or alcohol abuse, emotional or mental health issues, financial pressures, and a host of other reasons- but rarely over issues related to non-cooperation in parenting skills or styles. Even though the parents are unable to stay married to each other they may still be able to collaborate on tasks needed to raise their children.

By ordering both parents to work together the court makes it clear that both parents are important. Another factor is that over time, the animosity level between divorced parents often drops. Emotional wounds heal, and the task of raising children can serve as a focal point of cooperation. Conversely, stripping a parent of the ability to help to raise their own children creates tremendous feelings of animosity, bitterness, and hostility in the "discarded" parent- making the chance of real cooperation much less likely.

The "Child Gets Upset When Away From His Mother" Argument

When you hear this argument, look for an insecure mother, or a mother that has managed to create an overly-dependent child through too much attention, or from spoiling the child, or possibly by the use of scare tactics (such as negative statements about the other parent). This 'dependency' is, in actuality, a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more the child is kept with the 'favored' parent, the more dependent he or she will become.

It's not unusual for children to be a little anxious when separated from the parent they spend the most time with (this is especially true of young children), but this is not a valid reason to deny or limit the other parent's time with the child. In fact, this is a good reason to increase it- no child should be so dependent on a parent that it affects them in a negative way. Once the child learns that they can be away from the 'favored' parent without anything 'bad' happening, they will become more self-assured and experience less separation anxiety.

continued;
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:46 PM
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continued from previous;


The "Child Gets Upset When They See The Other Parent" Argument

Sometimes this argument also takes the form of "the child is scared of the other parent" or "the child doesn't like the other parent". The first version may simply mean the child is unfamiliar with the other parent, or it may mean that the child has been conditioned to be scared of the other parent (through the use of negative statements by the 'favored' parent). The second and third versions of this argument may indicate something more serious, such as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS).

Most children naturally want to love and bond with both parents unless there has been some sort of actual abuse going on. It is important to find out if the child is actually making these kinds of statements or if these are claims made by one parent in an attempt to prevent or reduce contact with the other parent. If the child is in fact making these statements, the possibility of PAS should be investigated.

If the child truly appears to be upset or fearful of contact with the other parent, the most probable cause is simply unfamiliarity with that parent. Children thrive on familiarity and spending time with a 'stranger' may indeed make them nervous or upset. The common-sense cure is to gradually increase the time the child spends with the 'unfamiliar' parent, preferably in an environment that the child is accustomed to and feels comfortable in. Reducing contact with the 'unfamiliar' parent will only increase the child's unease with that parent.

The "Child Can't Adjust To Different Parenting Styles" Argument

Unless the parents have extremely and radically different parenting styles, this argument can be dismissed by pointing out that this issue is almost never a point of contention in intact families. It would be unusual, to say the least, if both parents had identical attitudes and parenting styles; such is rarely the case in 'whole' families where the parents are together. This line of reasoning is probably one of the most baseless and unfounded 'arguments' against joint custody.

This argument can also be refuted by documenting and comparing the parenting styles of both the mother and the father, and then demonstrating that they aren't really all that different. Concentrate on comparing items like disciplinary styles, hygiene practices, educational desires, and religious orientation. When compared side by side, it's likely that you'll find more areas of agreement than disagreement, and the areas and scope of disagreement will probably be relatively inconsequential.

The "Father Wants Joint Custody To Maintain Control" Argument

Essentially, this argument totally discounts the idea that fathers love their children and want to be a part of their lives. It also presumes to label the father as a 'control freak' simply because he desires some say in how the children are raised, as if he had no right to do so. This argument is best countered by showing that the father has played an active role in the children's lives (or has tried to). Keep in mind that many fathers are prevented by the mother from taking an active role in raising the children. If the mother has interfered with the father's involvement, it's likely that you'll see this argument used. You can also help to refute this argument by asking the court to recognize that both parents have a right to provide input concerning significant issues in the children's lives.

The "Father Wants Joint Custody Just To Lower His Child Support" Argument

As in the preceding argument, this argument seeks to discount the idea that fathers might actually love their children and want to be a part of their lives. This same argument is often used when the father seeks sole custody; however, rarely is it said that "the mother wants sole custody just so she can get more child support". This argument is a little harder to counter because most States will lower a child support obligation commensurate with time spent in the care of the other (non-custodial) parent. As in the preceding instance, showing that the father has played an active role in the children's lives (or has tried to) can be an effective answer. Also, since the reduction in support is generally not a huge amount, it may be worth it to run the calculations so you can show the relatively small size of the decrease.

The "Tender Years" Or "Father's Can't Nurture" Argument

Thankfully, this argument has all but fallen by the wayside. To use this argument these days would likely indicate desperation on the mother's part, not having anything more substantial to use as a 'reason' for opposing joint custody. Most judges will no longer 'buy' this argument, and it may in fact work against a mother who tries to use it. This argument is rooted in gender bias, and is unlikely to influence many judges these days. It is unlikely that you will hear this argument put forth in a modern courtroom; any attorney proposing it would most likely be accused of gender bias.

lv
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Old 05-25-2006, 09:22 PM
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Hubby,

Have you considered selling the house and buying two smaller town homes in the same area. Ideally walking distance. Then the kids could pop into Mom's for homework help and vice versa drop by Dads on Mom's time, depending on who is cooking the better meal.

Love Grace
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