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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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  #1  
Old 12-06-2012, 02:32 PM
levelplayingfield levelplayingfield is offline
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Default Where do I stand in this custody situation?

Recently separated, but living in same house until a custody agreement can be reached.

I want 50/50 of our two young kids (both under 4) and have provided a variety of options (week on/week off, 2-2-5-5, etc.) but she won't entertain any of it. Best she'll "offer" at this point is one overnight every two weeks, with visitation through the week (max of 6 hours total each week).

I am their father and want to be involved in their lives for the long term. She insists I want to avoid child support, which is so far from the truth it's incredible.

Context: We both work and have good jobs; have roughly equal salary; own the house; and there are no major issues (alcoholism, abuse, etc.)

She wanted out and now wants the kids.

This is early days for us, but we both have retained lawyers.

Any feedback from those who have been through this frustrating situation?

I am just not sure how the legal system works and want to get some sort of unbiased opinions on where I stand and my chances of being a father to my kids and not some visitor.

Anybody?
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:17 PM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Your chances are good so long as you play it smart/right.

Document all of your offers to her that provide for equal parenting time. 1 overnight every other weekend and 6 hours during weekdays is worse than the every-other-weekend-daddy-screwjob that any convict could get.

Journal ALL OF YOUR TIME WITH THE KIDS. If you feed them, get them ready for daycare, put them to bed, cook dinner, take them out...etc...Have a detailed journal of all of your involvement with the kids.

Don't leave the house. Focus all of your attention on the kids. If she tries to cause drama, remove yourself from the area stating you don't want to discuss this now. Wear a digital voice recorder at all times in your STBX's presense or in the house. Keep it running 100% of the time, it is less effective if there are holes in the recording.

The recorder is unlikely to be beneficial when it comes to parenting, but it will be your best defence against a false DV charge.

But stay kid focused. Take parenting courses. Take a cooking course. Take the St. John's Ambulance childrens first aid course. Do things to become a better parent.

If you are smart, and never engage your ex in any nuttiness, your chances for 50/50 are good.

Her reasoning that you are just trying to avoid c/s has as much logic as she is doing solely for the purposes of receiving c/s. You want to be an active and involved parent to your children and have frequent and meaningful contact with them, because that is what is in the kids best interests.

A few simple suggestions:

1. don't negotiate verbally with her in the house. If you are going to negotiate, go to mediation etc. Only send offers that allow you to have a paper trail, ie....email

2. don't stick your dick in crazy....I know you are divorcing, but sometimes strange things happen. You don't want to put yourself out there and possibly do something you'll regret.

3. unless it is something that directly relates to the immediate parenting of the kids, only communicate via email.

Hell, instead of rewriting this...just follow THE LIST (Print It) - Divorce Forum and Child Custody Forum
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:59 PM
Canadaguy Canadaguy is offline
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Contantly reiterate you are EQUAL parents and just because of divorce that will not change.

Do not listen to a word she says or her lawyer says. Instead, take what they say and find factual evidence against that point.

Know what you want (50/50 equal parenting, shared residency) and do not mediate away from that. What you decide now will affect the rest of your children's lives. Stick to you guns on this, let the petty stuff slide.

Follow THE LIST and post questions on here to assist and review with your lawyer as needed.

Your chances are only as good as the case you build against the case and accusations she throws at you.
  #4  
Old 12-06-2012, 04:07 PM
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MiViLaLoco MiViLaLoco is offline
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My ex and I separated when our child was 3 1/2. We went to 50/50 immediately and there were never any issues. Our child adjusted almost instantly. We took much longer!

Our child seeing each of us equally sent a strong message that we (the adults) were leaving each other, not our child. Our child is now 7 and really knows no difference as they have always spent a week at each of their homes.

Listen to the advice you have been given. Document, record, and do not leave the home, or let her leave with the children, until 50/50 is agreed upon. 50/50 parenting is what your children are entitled to the second she decided to leave.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:46 PM
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duplicate post

Last edited by Janus; 12-06-2012 at 05:52 PM.
  #6  
Old 12-06-2012, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levelplayingfield View Post
Recently separated, but living in same house until a custody agreement can be reached.

I want 50/50 of our two young kids (both under 4) and have provided a variety of options (week on/week off, 2-2-5-5, etc.) but she won't entertain any of it. Best she'll "offer" at this point is one overnight every two weeks, with visitation through the week (max of 6 hours total each week).
Everything Hammerdad said. Assuming that you do parenting things (bathing, cooking, etc.) the only easy way for you to lose shared parenting is a false DV charge. Keep that recorder on, no matter what. Remove yourself from any fight if possible, do not engage verbally in any way. If she wants to discuss things, tell her to email you or your lawyer.

If you don't do parenting things, start now. Split up the week temporarily, and cook meals on your days. Give the kids baths on your days. Bring the kids to a doctor for a checkup. Start a journal. Bring the kids to see your family. Read them books (well, you should be doing that anyway). Arrange playdates. Keep that journal updated.

Did I mention that you should start a journal of all the activities you do with your children?

Quote:
I am their father and want to be involved in their lives for the long term. She insists I want to avoid child support, which is so far from the truth it's incredible.
Well, she wants the child support from you, so from her perspective it makes sense that you want the same thing.

Quote:
Any feedback from those who have been through this frustrating situation?
Keep your cool. Your situation is very good at the moment. Do not move out of the house. Do not let the kids move out of the house. I was threatened in a similar way in the opening days, and offered pretty much the same thing. Once the ex realized that I was not going to budge on shared parenting without a court case, I got the shared parenting.

Quote:
I am just not sure how the legal system works and want to get some sort of unbiased opinions on where I stand and my chances of being a father to my kids and not some visitor.
Your chances are very good. You just have to make it through the next few months without getting hit with a DV charge or having the kids move out of the house. The latter is an emergency. If she takes the kids out of the house and doesn't bring them back, you should be filing papers within the week, if not sooner. Be very careful if she asks to bring the kids to sleep over at her parent's house. In our case, I matched any sleepover that she did. If she brought the kids to sleep somewhere for the night, I did the same, generally within the week. Otherwise, no verbal fights, and be super duper sweet to your ex in person.

Be polite, be careful, be firm. Your kids will have you as a father.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:00 PM
levelplayingfield levelplayingfield is offline
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Thanks for the input/advice/feedback.

Always open to hearing more views.

Stubborn is an understatement for her. Zero compromise.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:24 PM
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Starting taking your kids on trips out of the house - visit friends, playdates, skiing, hiking, shopping etc. Try to swing a weekend trip (easier in summer though when camping with other families is an option). That might help break in the idea that you will be doing stuff with them (without her) ... and that they will be back and all is still good. And get her used to the empty house.

'Nice' might not always be possible - but respectful, firm and business like should be your fallback ALWAYS.
  #9  
Old 12-06-2012, 07:35 PM
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Default Being a visitor in your children's life...

Keep in mind no matter how this goes, even if you end up with less than 50/50 you will only be a visitor if you look at it that way.

The amount of time is not as important as the quality of the time you spend with your children.*

For example parent A might have the children %70 of the time, but never takes the time to sit down and play with their children. Or rarely does.

Parent 2 has the children 30% of the time but ensures most of that time is focused on the child.

Which do you think the child would benefit from or remember most?

I truly hope that this situation goes well for you and that 50/50 works out.

However, do not lose sight that you will always be their parent and regardless of how much time you end up having with them, if you make the most of every moment they will *love you, respect you, *remember it and value it forever.*

Some parents give up and forget those facts. Then they assume and then act accordingly that they are just a 'visitor'.

Best of luck.
  #10  
Old 12-06-2012, 07:56 PM
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I was going to post stuff, but the others have beaten me too it. Instead...I have these words of advice...until the ink is dry on your final order it is fuzzy pink bunnies and glitter farting unicorns. Keep that in mind.
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