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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my STBXW states she is totally against having the kids "bounced around" and claims she isn't trying to "take my kids", but her initial proposal for joint custody doesn't seem like that to me!
She is proposing every other weekend from friday to sunday at 4pm. On my non weekends, I get monday for dinner from 5-8pm. Then I get every thursday night for a sleep over (at the only house they have ever known to this point).

I really want to shoot for joint custody. I realize that will really "never" happen as I work until 5-5:30 daily, so no chance of getting kids from school. I also operate on days and can't always get them to school either. But I really feel like I would be accepting getting shafted here.

So how bad is it on the kids? Does the few nights every week thing work? How about alternating weeks? How about bi-weekly? Not just the can it be done, but what have people seen as the good/bad in this.

I love my kids, we all are still in the same town and live less than 1/2mile from each other currently.

I told her that with this schedule it makes it so easy for them to drift to her. to spend more and more time there, and less time with me. Has anyone seen this?

help...
 

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Her custody proposal actually sounds pretty normal to me. How old are the kids? If they are young, I think alternating weeks is too much time away from one parent. It's better to see each parent more frequently, even though it will seem like they are being "bounced" around.

Who is moving out of the house - you or your W? The way it was explained to me is that it's better if the kids have one primary "home" (the home they have been living in) and they go "visit" the other parent, like camp or sleepovers. They need a sense of a home base. Otherwise they will feel like a football being passed back and forth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
we haven't gotten a formal plan for holidays and vacations yet. the informal is alternating.

I'm just so sad. I didn't want to be a live the life of a bachelor at 42. I was the one who was enjoying the mundane aspects of this time in our lives. The comforts we worked so hard to achieve. I didn't want to NOT be a dad. I was the one who loved coming in the door yelling "DADDY's HOME!", I was the one playing catch, playing dolls and now playing video games with them. I wasn't the one who felt the need to go start fvcking around so I could relive the college years I never had.
 

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Can you get someone who can pick your children up at school and bring them your house on your days with them? That way you can have them 50% of the time.
 

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Don't accept this....

Go for joint custody, you can't have a real relationship with your kids every other weekend.

I guess you are a doctor, she might be doing this for child support.

She probably has to start working to which won't make her as available as she might be now.... That being said you can try to work out changes to your schedule to accommodate.

If you do care about your kids, its especially important they have a meaningful relationship with you, the father (its associated with all sorts of positive outcomes)

Also, in a lot of cases, what you agree to now becomes binding for life unless there are "material" changes....

Don't even get me started on mobility (if your stbxw wants to move away with the kids)....
 

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How old are your kids? We have been doing week on/week off with our 10 y.o. son for about a year and a half now (so he was 8 when we started). I moved out during the summer and we tried shorter turn-arounds at first, but once school started, alternating weeks was better. He's been able to have a room at each of our places, and we've tried to be very meticulous about transferring the things he wants/need when we switch off. I should add that the 'off' parent gets him from 11 a.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. Sunday. The 'off' parent usually sees him after school for an hour or so, as well.

Week-on/week-off is actually quite common around here. One parent is designated primary if parents live in two different school districts, for example. At 14, state law allows the child to have more say as to which parent s/he wants to live with.

If you can make it work so that you have 50/50, go for it. You don't have to take a lesser role as a parent because the marriage fell apart. The two things are separate. NearlyEx tried to use what 'other people' were doing as a way to convince me at first, but I made it clear that I wanted to be just as involved as possible, like I was when we all lived together. DS and I have gotten closer since the split, actually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They are 8, 12. Boy and girl respectively.
I am trying my best to take a step back and say "what is REALLY best in this case...for them?" I know I need to see it that way, as opposed to what makes me feel best, or what I may think is fair. What is getting to me is the finality of it all. If I start to agree with all of this, it never gets changed once set in stone. I'm not a bad dad! I love being a dad! I love just hanging with my kids! I love reading books with them, playing games with them and just being goofy!

I had at one time envisioned a day (far in the future) when it would be much more relaxed, that they would just "pop" over to the house when they felt like it, and we wouldn't have to have this conversation of whose time was when. It is her rotten attitude which is poisoning it all. Part of me just wants to ignore all of this at the moment and see if it blows over. She is just so angry right now!

And I want to be so angry that once again, my kids and I are getting the shaft for her poor life choices! Am I selfish for wanting to be included in their lives? Arrrrgh!
 

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You seem to think that she controls the outcome here.

You have as much legal right as she does. Perhaps it's time that you file for divorce and have your attorney file a 50/50 custody and time sharing plan.
 

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Ele is right -- your rights as a parent are no less than hers. Of course you are not selfish for wanting time with your kids -- and they should have time with you. Fight for what you want. So what if she's angry. She doesn't automatically get to drive the process because she's the mom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thank you EleGirl and angelpixie. In the end you are right. I need to stop worrying about what she will think. She obviously cared very little for me or my feelings. I got off the phone with my attorney a little while ago. She told me that the preliminary stuff is all voluntary to sign anyway. And she stated may be harder to change for the final divorce paperwork, so I'm just gonna ignore it. Let things ride as they are at the present and continue to work for my kids.

This is exhausting.
 

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I need to have my mother bring the kids to school / daycare for me in the mornings when I have the children.

Daycare is open until 5:30-6, along with the before and after school program.

If you have to go to work early, is there any family who would be willing to bring the kids to school for you in the mornings?

Does your kids school have a before and after school program?
 

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Forget about what your wife wants. I would think about the kids first, you second and her third. Think really hard what it may be like for the kids when they are with your wife. From what you said, it sounds like your wife has some selfish tendencies. This may extend to when she has the kids. I would work out a schedule that works for you and the kids and present that to your wife. It may our may not be 50/50. Heck, it may be 75/25 with you as primary. Think it through thoroughly. Have a plan for mornings and afternoons when you work. I'm in a similar situation. My wife is looking for greener grass and wants to end our family. I'm quite upset that it means I will lose up to 50% of time watching/participating in our children's lives. I feel for what you're going through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I do think my STBXW is all about her kids. She is a good mother. I don't want to rewrite the marriage history to think she is anything but good with the kids. BUT, I don't think that she is the ONLY good parent for our kids. We have always been a fantastic "team" she and I.

I am not trying to think of her, her situation, or how she nuked our family at all in this. I do think she is selfish and self serving, but in that, I also feel this unwillingness to meet me halfway on anything is more about getting under my skin and making my life miserable than anything else.

Would she be a great mother and do it well if I were dead? Absolutely. BUT I'M NOT DEAD! I'm super involved, coach all my sons teams, pick my daughter up from dance every chance I get, do homework, make dinner's the whole nine yards! AND I loved it! I dig the family thing!
 

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My kids are 6 and 10. We're in the stages of writing up the parenting plan with 50/50 child time. The STBX also works 12-hour shifts, including weekends, with a two-week cycle instead of the usual M-F. My house is "home" as someone mentioned in an earlier post, mostly because this is where they've lived the past few years. He has the kids every other weekend and some nights throughout the week so that we each have the kids for seven nights out of the two-week period, and they spend 2-3 nights in a row at each house. He gets the kids on his days off from work, because it is very hard to find child care around a 12-hour work schedule, and that'd be a very, very long day for little kids. STBX only moved out a couple of weeks ago, so we just started, but the kids seem OK with it. They are happy to see each of us. I like it, though I worry about the kids with him because he hasn't really been involved in their daily lives before, but I hope he'll turn it around when I'm not there to pick up the slack.
 

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Then keep it in your life as much as you can. And, I might, add, good for you for being such a great dad!
 

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And while we're talking about this, what has been peoples' experiences with teenagers? Do they still follow the 50/50, or more casual stop by when they feel like it?
 

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And while we're talking about this, what has been peoples' experiences with teenagers? Do they still follow the 50/50, or more casual stop by when they feel like it?
Depends on the age I think.

My son stayed with the schedule until he was 16. His after is abusive... yells a lot, etc. One night his father was upset about something and started throwing books at our son. Now DS was about 6' tall at the time and pretty big. His dad is 5'6". DS picked up his father and slammed him into the wall telling him to never go after him like that again. ( I used to tell that man to treat DS better because one day the boy would be a lot bigger than he. Guess that day had arrived.)

DS also says that his step mother (father's wife) treats him like he's a second class citizen. So he does not like that either.

That was the last time DS stayed at his father's house. DS is 24 now. He visits his dad just about weekly, they have gone on vacations together. But DS has never stayed at his father's house again.


It gets to a point at which it's hard to tell them where they have to stay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you everyone for chiming in. I do really appreciate the input. Gives me much to think about.

I can see all sides. And unfortunately, the best reality would have been for us to reconcile. Which is not a possibility given her attitude. That nonwithstanding, the next best is to give them the best two parent arrangement for them to grow with each parent in a way that is nurturing and static enough for them to adapt to the routine. That is my opinion. She will have hers, and we will eventually end in mediation, I am sure. But I feel much better about it now. I think there is a workable solution in all of this. And a way to keep the kids happy.

Thank you all.
 
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