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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 02-14-2019, 11:49 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Default How to come up with a final Parenting Plan?

So. assuming my ex doesn't fight the OCL report- and right now that's a BIG assumption. The report basically handed me a blank slate to suggest a parenting plan to help us reach a resolution. Because otherwise- it basically said "mom gets everything. father gets supervised access".

My lawyer said our strategy is to wait for the final report (2week turnaround)- and then offer a very good final parenting plan. He said to use these next few weeks to think about what I'm comfortable with- in terms of access and supervision.

Custody is not going to be negotiable. Sole is what I will be seeking. I will be open to joint with final say (so really- sole). But even with sole- I'm open to having all major decisions to be worked through with a parenting coordinator if agreement cannot be reached by the parents.

For now- it's just status quo on the supervision and access schedule- which is Wed. 2:30-5:30, and Saturdays 10am-5pm.

I don't even know where to start. We do have a co-parent counsellor. But let's be real- those sessions are not very productive right now. My ex is going to be on his best behaviour in the next ones because he wants something.

Here are the factors:

Our daughter
I want what's best for our daughter- she's 2.5 now. She's extremely verbal- BUT and it's a big BUT- she's 2.5...if you guys remember your toddlers at that age- they lie like cheap rugs all the time. They can't really distinguish between what they are told happened and what really happened. I worry about what is being said to her. For example, she asked me the other day "is mama fat?"- and we don't speak like that in my house...so you know where she's getting it. I ignored it. But I have concerns of what is being said to her and most importantly- how she's being managed/disciplined. Each kid is different- but our daughter is definitely strong willed. Meaning- she's a handful- full out tantrums. But she's also a good listener and responds well to firm boundaries. I don't tell the ex how to discipline her. In co-parent counselling- I've told him what works at my home.

My ex

My ex has issues. Major anger issues. I'm not convinced he can handle her for long periods of time. The OCL noted this and said that she had concerns about his ability to control his anger with a 2 year old. So that's the background.


...
All that being said. I want to actually reach a resolution that allows our daughter to keep spending quality time with dad- to be increased- as long as she's safe.

What does gradual increase of access look like?

How did you guys arrive at a final parenting plan?

How often do you allow a parenting plan to be revised? What major milestones should I consider?

...

I should premise all of this on the fact that nothing gets increased unless my ex actually gets help and I'm as sure as I can be that he's safe to be around our daughter.

Last edited by iona6656; 02-14-2019 at 12:28 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2019, 10:46 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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bueller?.....bueller?
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  #3  
Old 02-19-2019, 02:56 PM
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I saw your ex pass out at 31 flavours last night. He must be pretty sick.

The problem is that I don't know where to start either. You have not really indicated your goals here. Are you looking to have a schedule that looks good in court but really minimizes time with Dad? Are you looking for a schedule that actually maximizes time with Dad, given the constraints of his parenting deficits? Those are very different schedules.

If your goal is to look good on paper but minimize time with Dad, maybe break it up into stages?

Stage A: The current Wed/Sat partial nonsense
Stage B: Extend Saturday to 7pm
Stage C: Extend Wednesday to 7pm
Stage D: Saturday overnight to Sunday morning 9am
Stage E: Saturday overnight to Sunday 5pm
Stage F: Wednesday overnight (and school prep! Aaaahhh!)
Stage G: etc.. or maybe that is all

Then have criteria for advancing:

Stage A until he completes anger management course.
Stage B until he has completed 4 months with no incidents (explicitly list what constitutes an incident. Eg. More than 10 minutes late on pickup or dropoff without notice, more than 30 minutes with notice, any display of anger during exchanges, etc.)
Stage C until he has completed 4 months with no incidents
etc.


Some clause where you agree to review the situation every 6 months, and at your sole discretion you can advance him to a different stage.

A clause where it gets revisited once she starts school... or maybe once she starts grade 1.

It looks good, and you know he will screw up at some point so you still retain complete control. Win-win. Well, Win-lose, but you win

*****

Now, if your goal is to maximize with Dad, just change it whenever you want. I don't see the problem.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:43 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
I saw your ex pass out at 31 flavours last night. He must be pretty sick.
you're old too.

Quote:
The problem is that I don't know where to start either. You have not really indicated your goals here.
Two year old gets to keep a relationship with her dad- while he gets help...

and demonstrates that he's not a harm to her because he can't control his anger- and because he has indicated that he'll do anything to really piss me off.

How does he demonstrate this? Not sure- but a start would probably be convincing a therapist that you're safe to be around your own kid. I mean- most people can do that right? The fact that he lied about it- and didn't convince the OCL makes me pause. How stupid do you have to be to not say "mea culpa. mea culpa - I can't believe how awful that was. I've realized the errors of my ways- I will do anything to change to be a great dad to my daughter". But he didn't. And I don't know what's worse- that he actually doesn't think what he did was so bad so he didn't bother to hide it...or that he's so stupid that he thinks people who are trained to figure this out would buy his bullshit. [mind you- *I* bought his bullshit for 6 years].


Quote:
Are you looking to have a schedule that looks good in court but really minimizes time with Dad?
No.

Quote:
Are you looking for a schedule that actually maximizes time with Dad, given the constraints of his parenting deficits?
Yes- this. But also something that I can actually sell to him that properly ends the fuckshit that is family court litigation.

Quote:
If your goal is to look good on paper but minimize time with Dad, maybe break it up into stages?

Stage A: The current Wed/Sat partial nonsense
Stage B: Extend Saturday to 7pm
Stage C: Extend Wednesday to 7pm
Stage D: Saturday overnight to Sunday morning 9am
Stage E: Saturday overnight to Sunday 5pm
Stage F: Wednesday overnight (and school prep! Aaaahhh!)
Stage G: etc.. or maybe that is all

Then have criteria for advancing:

Stage A until he completes anger management course.
Stage B until he has completed 4 months with no incidents (explicitly list what constitutes an incident. Eg. More than 10 minutes late on pickup or dropoff without notice, more than 30 minutes with notice, any display of anger during exchanges, etc.)
Stage C until he has completed 4 months with no incidents
etc.


Some clause where you agree to review the situation every 6 months, and at your sole discretion you can advance him to a different stage.
okay- so the partial is not nonsense. It's what is safe given the circumstances.

and I like everything else- I think I can sell it- with the a third party- parenting coordinator who is also a social worker/clinician who can help determine whether when and if we move stages.

I don't want to minimize dad's involvement in her life. Just want to make sure she's safe. But your proposal has merit- I could probably move around some timelines- and get his input into this with the assistance of the co-parent counselor.


Quote:
Now, if your goal is to maximize with Dad, just change it whenever you want. I don't see the problem.
The problem is that this is all a big game of chance. With my kids' life and my life on the line. Super dramatic? Yes it is. Because it HAS to be. Trained people look at our situation and say "hey- lots of risks of indicators he might kill you or your child...but just factors"- I mean, it's hard to make this call. No one really wants to do it- because it's a balancing act of denying a father his right to be a father v. protecting a kid. It's also very hard when said person refuses to acknowledge risk factors.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:35 PM
tunnelight tunnelight is offline
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Quote:
My ex has issues. Major anger issues. I'm not convinced he can handle her for long periods of time. The OCL noted this and said that she had concerns about his ability to control his anger with a 2 year old. So that's the background.
I thought the observation visits with the child and father were positive?
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:49 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunnelight View Post
I thought the observation visits with the child and father were positive?
They were. He's been having great visits with her- which is why I think we need a parenting plan that continues to increase his time with her.

The problem is that there is an outlying factor where he clearly has "anger management issues" - call it that if you feel like being generous...and if you don't, he's an abusive asshole. When things are not done to his liking- not only does he scream- and shout all kinds of vile names..he also has a tendency to break things- and on the odd occasion- resort to physical violence.

The OCL rightly said she's concerned about how he would handle a two year old on a regular basis. Remember your two year old? they're mini tyrants who are extremely frustrating.

So what I need to do- because he's clearly not capable of figuring this shit out on his own (it's been a year- he has the $$$ to pay a bay street lawyer- so he has the resources)- is propose a phased parenting plan to say- if you do A, then you get increased time, after B, you get overnights. etc etc..I'm just trying to figure out what that looks like.

Anger management course?
Parenting course?
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2019, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
you're old too.
I'm not a nymphomaniac though, I'm a compulsive liar.

Quote:
okay- so the partial is not nonsense. It's what is safe given the circumstances.
I was not judging as much as you think, just acknowledging that his current level of access is quite close to zero.

Quote:
But your proposal has merit- I could probably move around some timelines- and get his input into this with the assistance of the co-parent counselor.
I was just brainstorming an incremental approach to parenting time. Obviously you can make your own stages. I think the idea of getting his help in creating the stages would be useful. I would still make the initial stages yourself and then ask for his input, so that you have laid the framework around what is reasonable.

Quote:
The problem is that this is all a big game of chance.
I don't think 20 hours a week is any more risky than 10 hours a week. Any level of unsupervised parenting time is risky. If he is going to harm you kid at 20 hours a week, he can easily do the same at 10 hours.

I guess you could argue that his parenting capacity is enough to handle 10 hours but is insufficient to deal with the rigors of a 20 hour week with the kids.

My minor bias is that my ex claimed (in writing and in person) that I was incapable of being a parent. Meanwhile, since then, I've dealt with over 90% (close to 100%) of dental, medical, or school issues. The parenting stuff. So, any time someone says "my ex can't parent" I'm always a bit skeptical... Parenting is not an inherent ability, it is a learned skill.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:16 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post

My minor bias is that my ex claimed (in writing and in person) that I was incapable of being a parent. Meanwhile, since then, I've dealt with over 90% (close to 100%) of dental, medical, or school issues. The parenting stuff. So, any time someone says "my ex can't parent" I'm always a bit skeptical... Parenting is not an inherent ability, it is a learned skill.
I'm going to out myself on this- and admit that I straight up did the same shit. My answer to the ex's application was basically "you're a horrible person for X, Y, and Z...AND you can't parent worth a damn". I've since dropped the second part. People get angry- and let's be real- women often do the majority of parenting when the kids are little. When I separated I was pissed that I did all the heavy lifting and then my ex came in with "but I'm really involved." I've since moved on...and you're 100% right that it's a learned skill.
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:49 PM
tunnelight tunnelight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
I'm going to out myself on this- and admit that I straight up did the same shit. My answer to the ex's application was basically "you're a horrible person for X, Y, and Z...AND you can't parent worth a damn". I've since dropped the second part. People get angry- and let's be real- women often do the majority of parenting when the kids are little. When I separated I was pissed that I did all the heavy lifting and then my ex came in with "but I'm really involved." I've since moved on...and you're 100% right that it's a learned skill.
Does your ex have any mental illness or disability that hinders his learning?
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
women often do the majority of parenting when the kids are little.
I'm hopeful that the "use it or lose it" parental leave for fathers will help to rectify that situation.
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