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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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  #21  
Old 02-02-2017, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by e28makaveli View Post
I also find it ridiculous that I am not allowed to step away for a weekend as it implies not wanting to spend time with my children. I must be missing something here.
You are indeed missing something. You think that the family justice system is fair, it is not.

As a father, there is an assumption that you are not the primary parent. There is a further assumption that you do not want to be the primary parent, and that if you say you want shared custody, you are only saying that to reduce your child support obligations.

To get shared custody as a father, you have to be perfect. That means, among other things, that you use 100% of the parenting time that you have with your children.

You are about to leave for an entire month. That screams to the courts that you are not a primary parent. This is not a surprise, since as a father they already knew that. You just confirmed their stereotypes. Even worse mom had to step in to fix the mess you made. Not only are you a lousy parent, but she is the real parent who does the parenting.

This basically destroys any chance you have of getting shared parenting. It means that you will get allotted less than 40% of the time with your children. It means that you will have to pay table child support, which means that you will not be able to provide for your children. They will get their clothes, their vacations, their food from their mother. Maybe you are the one giving the money behind the scenes, but mom is the one actually buying the stuff. Your contribution is unnoticed, no matter how often you try to bring it up.

It gets bleaker. Your kids are 90 minutes away. Sometimes the weather is bad and you don't want to drive. Sometimes they have birthday parties with a friend, and they don't want to miss it, so you miss that weekend. Soon every other weekend becomes once a month. You have less in common with them. It becomes harder to justify making the trip when they don't really want to see you as much either. Mom has a new boyfriend, and he's around a lot more than you. When they are having a hard time in school, they ask the boyfriend for help, because you're not around. When they need help bringing that heavy project to school, you're not the one doing it.

Soon you only start seeing the kids on holidays. Then they grow up, go to university. You see them graduate, and wish you could have been part of their lives.

...but at least you have your awesome job.


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If this is what the courts use to decide if one is a capable father, without looking at all the historical facts, then, I may be doomed indeed.
You take month long trips, that alone means that you cannot be the primary parent.

This is not a joke.
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  #22  
Old 02-02-2017, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
Amazing.

These are the parents not really interested in 50:50.....

My ex tried a similar thing once. Asked me to arrange my schedule to accommodate his work. I told him I was no longer his wife and no longer required to make his employment work for him. I told him to get a babysitter and take care of it like every other parent has to.

I make plans for when my kids are with their dad so that I am available to them 100% when they are with me. He can do the same. I shouldn't have to cancel my plans because he doesn't want the responsibility of planning ahead for his children.

I totally agree when Rioe said "You can't blame your ex for you having to cancel or delay a corporate meeting. Blame yourself for treating the situation as though she has to bow to your work schedule."

As you pointed out, it was YOUR weekend. You knew it was YOUR weekend on Jan 30. You had tons of time to make backup plans for child care and transportation on Sunday and Monday. This was YOUR responsibility to take care of. Not your ex's. I don't blame her for not responding.

And yes, you made yourself look like a Dad who cannot even simply arrange child care when he is only responsible for children from a Friday to Monday. Lame.
As a true sign of the coming apocalypse I agree with SnT 100%.
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  #23  
Old 02-02-2017, 11:53 PM
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I recommend the OP seriously consider what Janus has said ^^^^. I couldn't have written this better myself.
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  #24  
Old 02-03-2017, 12:38 AM
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I agree - Janus post is very, very good and likely accurately reflects reality for many people. I hope the poster reads it several times and takes note. Perception is everything, particularly at the start of family law litigation.
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  #25  
Old 02-03-2017, 07:49 AM
e28makaveli e28makaveli is offline
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Originally Posted by Rioe View Post
I've never said it spells doom. But since you have no agreement and a court is likely to get involved, you can't afford to do ANYTHING at this stage that makes it look like your kids are not your main priority. Leaving them for a whole month for your job gives that impression.
Point taken. However, I made a conscious effort to spend time with the children this weekend which she thwarted. Good thing I did not make that 90 minute drive, since she kept the children out of school. It is very easy to make all this work for the kids if the other person is a mature and responsible adult, even if I have to leave town for a month. I will still have phone access. I will still have FaceTime access assuming she allows.


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You haven't said anything about what kind of job you have. I'm basing my advice purely on the fact that you said it takes you out of the country for a month at a time, and it doesn't apparently have any flexibility for you to leave even a day or two later.
Well, how did you come to such a conclusion that because I am leaving for a month, there is no flexibility? I would be home on the next plane if such a situation arises, trust me on this one

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A parent taking the kids on a holiday for three weeks isn't remotely the same as a parent leaving the kids behind for work for four weeks.
Point taken and I am sure there are plenty of parents out there who have to travel for business. What about international assignments?

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I can only base my opinion on the information you provided. Which is that you believe you need to leave your kids for a month while you focus on your employment, and that you believe your ex should accommodate this.
She does not have to accommodate for this. But I tell you something, it is in the best of our collective effort if I maintain employment. This is not a stretch to ask. I let them take the kids to Newfoundland for 3 weeks and did not raise a stink


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You need a lot of things going on for two separated parents to have such a working relationship. One of them is an agreement in place, and another one is cooperation. You do not have either of these, therefore you must behave accordingly.
Point taken but I am typically hesitant to quickly cast judgement on others without having most of the facts. Without knowing the efforts I have been making, what I have gone through, my parenting model and what I do for employment, you cannot be casting judgement. Agreed that consistent travel is detrimental to the family unit but perhaps this is not my case.

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You said you normally have the children until Monday, but are asking her to get them on Sunday. Presumably, you would have them at other points during the next month, which you are also expecting her to accommodate you for.
Well, life is about flexibility no? I heard somewhere that the only certainty is death and taxes. If we cannot be accommodating to each other and instead insist on strict rigid schedules, well then, I am all for that. Cars break down, kids get sick, parents get sick, the weather also misbehaves and hey, people also have to manage careers. Schedules are mainly guidelines and while it serves all parties to try to abide as much as possible, I am sure there is also a point to be made in being accommodating lest things happen and they always do. When she got stuck in the sea in December, I did not cry fowl. All I asked what that they be safe.

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Yes, sadly, that's the key thought right there: hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. You need to plan around her utter lack of cooperation and then be surprised when you don't have to implement it.
I am learning to work with worse case. No need even hoping for the best. I am doing what needs to be done to protect my children.

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If your ex goes to court and presents a journal of all the times you gave up access because of your job, you are going to get hardly any time with your children. I'm just saying, don't give her any ammunition to use against you in court!
Points taken.

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And when we ask "what would you do if your ex was dead?" we don't mean how would you specifically handle things if she died during your trip. We mean, "how would you handle parenting in general with your job's travel obligations if your ex-wife was dead?" If your ex was dead, how would you handle going on this trip?
If my ex was dead, and thank goodness, this is not the case, I would have planned for alternate arrangement, well in advance.

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I find being coparenting while divorced is a truly bizarre blend of thinking "How would we have handled this situation if we had stayed together?" and "How would I handle this situation if my ex was dead?"
I honestly cannot see why two mature adults cannot work together as a unit to parent children in a divorce. We all work with teams even though we are not married to our co-workers. How does this work? Are you telling me we can only work together within a marital context?
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  #26  
Old 02-03-2017, 07:53 AM
e28makaveli e28makaveli is offline
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Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
Amazing.

I totally agree when Rioe said "You can't blame your ex for you having to cancel or delay a corporate meeting. Blame yourself for treating the situation as though she has to bow to your work schedule."

As you pointed out, it was YOUR weekend. You knew it was YOUR weekend on Jan 30. You had tons of time to make backup plans for child care and transportation on Sunday and Monday. This was YOUR responsibility to take care of. Not your ex's. I don't blame her for not responding.

And yes, you made yourself look like a Dad who cannot even simply arrange child care when he is only responsible for children from a Friday to Monday. Lame.
Haha, and what do you say for her withdrawing the kids from school yesterday? Do you realize that making transportation arrangements requires the other person to commit to the children being somewhere? Without knowing what our current model of transportation and child exchange is, how do make such decisions? Hmmmm...
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  #27  
Old 02-03-2017, 08:00 AM
e28makaveli e28makaveli is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
You are indeed missing something. You think that the family justice system is fair, it is not.

As a father, there is an assumption that you are not the primary parent. There is a further assumption that you do not want to be the primary parent, and that if you say you want shared custody, you are only saying that to reduce your child support obligations.

To get shared custody as a father, you have to be perfect. That means, among other things, that you use 100% of the parenting time that you have with your children.

You are about to leave for an entire month. That screams to the courts that you are not a primary parent. This is not a surprise, since as a father they already knew that. You just confirmed their stereotypes. Even worse mom had to step in to fix the mess you made. Not only are you a lousy parent, but she is the real parent who does the parenting.
Some good realities, and thanks for this. Points well taken.

Quote:
It gets bleaker. Your kids are 90 minutes away. Sometimes the weather is bad and you don't want to drive. Sometimes they have birthday parties with a friend, and they don't want to miss it, so you miss that weekend. Soon every other weekend becomes once a month. You have less in common with them. It becomes harder to justify making the trip when they don't really want to see you as much either. Mom has a new boyfriend, and he's around a lot more than you. When they are having a hard time in school, they ask the boyfriend for help, because you're not around. When they need help bringing that heavy project to school, you're not the one doing it.
Points well taken.

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Soon you only start seeing the kids on holidays. Then they grow up, go to university. You see them graduate, and wish you could have been part of their lives.
Points taken but perhaps this is not the case. Again, you cannot make all these arguments based on a single incident. Also, if she did not practice child alienation such as withdrawing the kids from school when I drive down there, perhaps, i get to spend more time with them. I get the point of appearing perfect in the eyes of the courts. Points well taken there.

Quote:
...but at least you have your awesome job.
Without it, no child support I would argue. There's some benefit here.


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You take month long trips, that alone means that you cannot be the primary parent.
Well again, a single incident does not equate to habit.
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  #28  
Old 02-03-2017, 08:01 AM
e28makaveli e28makaveli is offline
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Originally Posted by arabian View Post
I agree - Janus post is very, very good and likely accurately reflects reality for many people. I hope the poster reads it several times and takes note. Perception is everything, particularly at the start of family law litigation.
Indeed......
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  #29  
Old 02-03-2017, 08:19 AM
SadAndTired SadAndTired is offline
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Originally Posted by e28makaveli View Post
Haha, and what do you say for her withdrawing the kids from school yesterday? Do you realize that making transportation arrangements requires the other person to commit to the children being somewhere? Without knowing what our current model of transportation and child exchange is, how do make such decisions? Hmmmm...
You sent a lawyer letter stating that you didn't want the children this weekend. She did what she had to do which may have included not bringing the children to school yesterday to accommodate your work schedule and inability to pick them up. I think she acted reasonably. The only mistake she made was not letting you know.

What did you expect her to do? Leave the children at school and hope that you showed up?
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  #30  
Old 02-03-2017, 08:22 AM
SadAndTired SadAndTired is offline
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No, a single incident doesn't mean it's a habit but it does mean that you couldn't even handle a single incident without help from your ex.
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