Originally Posted by greenemami
just have a moment, but Pinksprkly... I would love to hear more about how you transitioned your dsd from EOW to week on week off.
We did it over a period of months. DSD's mom was not all for the change at first. DH was in an interesting position while this was all going on, because they had no legal parenting agreement. Technically, DSD's mom had a lot of power - when a child is born to a single mother in MN the single mother has sole custody (legal and physical) unless the father initiates court proceedings. It doesn't matter what the BC says, etc. I'm not sure that DSD's mom knew this, though.
At their monthly parenting meetings, they spent a lot of time arguing over the schedule. DH had to be really careful to stay calm and only discuss the issue at hand. She accused him of a lot of things at that time. He purposely kept paying full CS (which he always did, even without a court order) to show her that it wasn't about the money. He figured they could talk about money later.
We started with the switch on Friday (she was in daycare at the time, and DH would pick her up in the afternoon) and she would stay with us until Monday. We did that for a month (so two times). The next time she stayed until Tuesday. The next month it was Wednesday. The next month, Thursday. Then, somehow, we got stuck. DSD's mom just did not want to give up that last day. We started this in the fall and it was done by spring. I think there was one month in late spring where we had been at seven days on, seven off, and DSD's mom wanted to go back to 6 on, 8 off. We did that once, then back to the every other week.
DH had the CS discussion with her during the winter. He picked that time because the laws in our state changed on the first of that year in order to take both parent's incomes into account. Also, DS was about to be born and he would factor into the new calculations. So CS dropped significantly for us at that time.
By June, the schedule was set and DSD's mom stopped fighting it during the summer. I think part of it was that she realized that DH was not going to give up. Part of it was probably that she was suddenly engaged to a supposed millionaire secret military bank robber and they were making plans to move to Greece after they got married in two years. She assumed that DSD would move with them (DH decided that he was not going to have that discussion until the date was a little closer), so she may have been assuming that this week on/week off thing was temporary.
We moved during this process, and it was then that we really set up her room. We also bought her a wardrobe to have at our house. It took time to build things up, but a year in, she probably had as much paraphrenalia as any kid living somewhere 100% of the time. When she started kindergarten in the fall, we really started the two sets of belongings thing. She needed things like a backpack and a lunchbox for school, and both DSD's mom and I purchased them. And it turned out to be easier that way.
DH retained a lawyer about 6 months after that. he and DSD's mom spent the next year negotiating the parenting agreement, and it was approved by the court last fall. He (we
) wrote it, and then he and DSD's mom negotiated the individual points. It was a long, slow process.
CS changed when the lawyer calculated it, because putting it into a calculator online and having someone do it manually can result in different numbers.
The timing of everything was very deliberate. DH also made sure that he was involved in parental decisions and doing parental things (like taking care of registering DSD for school, taking her to the doctor and the dentist) just in case it ever came down to a court battle (Not that he wouldn't have been involved, but he took more initiative).
So that is about it. I cannot tell you how glad I am that the process is over.