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Anyone break up with child's father who already has non-custodial child? (ren)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys, well I haven't been here in a long time but things with my DP are just as crummy as ever. I'm pretty sure it's going to end sometime in the not-too-distant future. He has a 7 yo that we get EOW and sometimes other times too.

Does anyone have experience negotiating visitation with a man who already negotiates it with another woman/child? I want to do it without CS because he already pays so much to her and it makes him resentful of her and DSD, which I don't want.

If you have experienced it, does the dad get both kids the same weekend? Was it hard to deal with logistics? I'm afraid that it's going to be impossible. Also I want to move 4 hours away from NYC and he might move 2.5 hours away so it might not be regular EOW... I do want my daughter to be able to have a relationship with her 7 yo half sister too.

If you or anyone you know deals with this could you just tell me how they do it and whether it works okay for all parties?
post #2 of 12
I'd suggest really considerig whether moving is best for everyone involved. There is a sibling relationship that would be compromised, as well as the logistics of having to figure out complex visitation. It's just SO much easier to try to stay in the same area unless there are absolutely compelling reasons to relocate.
post #3 of 12
I haven't done this, but you might want to tell him that you won't enforce support if he will agree to a "reasonable access" custody agreement. That might help give you the power to negotiate the scenario you want - visits that coincide with the visits of your dsd so that thier bond will not be totally broken.

And honestly, if you can both agree to a move, I think that can be a blessing. If he's bad enough news that you are willing to divorce him when you have a young child, he's probably bad enough news that you don't want your young child to have really frequent visitation. If he's lazy, play on his laziness. If he's cheap, play on his cheapness. Do what you need to do to create the situation where YOU are the ultimate arbiter of how and where your dd does her visitation.

Being able to forgo support is an excellent situation to be in. Make the most of that advantage!
post #4 of 12
Are you and the other child's mother on the same page regarding wanting the children to have a relationhip? If so, could the two of you come together and forge a friendship so the girls get to see each other more often than a night or two a month?
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone. Thanks for responding.

As for the move.... I mean.... yeah. DD is 1.5. I am not going to stay in a place I don't like for the next 16.5 years. The reason I want to get out of this relationship is that it's not the life I wanted for myself. (ie I want to be with someone who I actually enjoy talking to and spending time with.) I might want to stay here, but I'm only 26 and I want to have 2-3 more kids, hopefully with a man whom I actually love and like and respect. I can't sign off the rest of my 20s and 30s. I know it's selfish but I have to take care of myself.
The other twist is that DP hates NYC too and is only here because of his 7 yo. He hates it that he has to live here to have a relationship with her because he just wants to live in a quiet peaceful town away from all the crazyness. For ME to stay here would be an extension of that- in other words, my place of living would be governed by his ex, DSD's mom. As long as both DP and I want to leave NYC, I think we will be up to the hassle of dealing with non-traditional visitation.

As for the sibling relationship... I know that it is the RIGHT thing to want them to have a relationship, although DSD is not someone I would've chosen to be in my daughters life if I had my pick of all kids. However they deserve to know eachother and have a relationship.

Smithie, DP is actually not bad news at all in those ways. He's very responsible and a very involved, hands on, loving dad. I just don't like him as a person that much. I never did. I was attracted to his responsibility and reliability, and his love for me. I looked the other way when it came to his interests, values, intellect, humor, spirituality, goals, etc. I just can't sign off on living the rest of my life with someone whos views on almost everything I don't respect or like. Luckily he is a great dad and I know already that he will call her every day and go out of his way to see her as much as possible. (lucky me, i know, i am so grateful.)

Basically I have f'd up my life kind of badly and I need to get back on the right track... The problem is every time I try to imagine the future, it sounds pretty awful. I just was hoping that some people with experience on this could tell me that they have been where I am and now things are okay and their life is back on track.
post #6 of 12
I know this won't be a well-received response, but... since Dad is responsible, loving, hands on and involved, and you've f'd up your life (to use your own words) - why not let him take on the day-to-day raising of the child and you can move where you choose?
post #7 of 12

I was thinking this same thing.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ugh. I didn't f up my life by HAVING her, I f'd it up by getting myself into a situation where I have to now deal with custody etc. Having her has been the most wonderfully transformative and delightful experience in my life to date. When I said I f'd up my life, by "my life" i mean my ability to support myself, finish grad school, etc, which will be hard as a single parent. I would never in a million years dream of turning over the raising of her to someone else, no matter how loving. Im her MOTHER and I have a great relationship with her and love her more than anything in the world. I am literally sick to my stomach that not one but TWO people thought that that was a reasonable suggestion. My life would be empty and meaningless without her. Do you have children?!?!?!?!
post #9 of 12
The only help I can offer is, if there's any chance you or the child's father could still change your mind(s) about moving - don't move! I don't know your situation. There may be some pressing reason why you really have no other choice. I understand that. However, many parents feel entitled to move after a divorce simply because that's what they prefer to do - and it's a completely rotten thing, for the kids. Just imagine how you would feel if Dad kept custody and moved away with the kids. That's how your kid is going to feel all the time. He's always going to be hours away from one parent or the other.
post #10 of 12
I understand what you mean when you say you f'ed up your life and it didn't cross my mind that you would give up custody of your daughter - I think that was a low blow comment. Luckily there is very good public transportation from many good cities to NYC so I think if you could compromise and move somewhere that is within reasonable distance your child will thank you for it. You can be to NYC from Philly in less than an hour on Amtrak, same with places in NJ of course.

My other suggestion is that you come over to the single parents forum for advice as many mommas have been through this from your side of things.
post #11 of 12
"Smithie, DP is actually not bad news at all in those ways. He's very responsible and a very involved, hands on, loving dad. I just don't like him as a person that much."

OK, that's excellent news. I'm sorry for assuming the worst.

Is there any possible chance that the two of you, who are both not enamored of NYC, can agree to move to the same general area and establish separate lives and social groups? Do you know where you are doing your grad program? If your stbx's other daughter is not somebody you'd choose to have in her life, then you know what, DON'T choose it. He can choose it himself if he thinks it's important, and you obviously aren't going to stand in his way on that, so I'd basically dismiss the issue as Not Your Problem. If you could both agree on a location, then he could remain very involved in her life without being involved in YOUR life the way he is now.

OTOH, 1.5 is very, very young. If you see yourself marrying again and having more kids, then you might find yourself wishing desperately in a few years that you had made a clean break now and your dd was free to look at your next husband as her father figure without all the angst and conflict of the "blended-family" dynamic. That might be a reason to create a situation where visitation is minimized right from the start (i.e., a grad program that is far, far away from where your stbx wants to live). It probably won't be a popular opinion here, but I think it's worth considering. You may have options here that most divorcing mamas just don't.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for your input, everyone. I'm relieved to see that no one else suggested that I give DP custody and move somewhere else.. I have had this raw, sick feeling in my stomach all day thinking about that horrific idea.

Just to clarify again, I feel like I've made a mess of my life because now, I won't get to wake up every day with my daughter. I know from divorced people IRL and here that no matter the age, it's painful to have your child sleeping away from you regularly. I have set myself up for that pain and hardship, and the pain of being in regular communication with someone whom I might like to just walk away from. However, since he is such a great dad, I feel obligated by my sense of human decency to enable him to have a relationship with her. She will be the better for it, too, of course.

As for the moving, I see both points of view. A clean split and finding a new mate is very appealing and I hope to find someone someday that I am truly in love with, but I know that DP will always be DD's dadoo, kwim?
I'm actually not SO opposed to the idea of staying in NYC. I am doing a grad program here at the moment but I want to do this other masters program when I'm done with this one that is in another town about 4 hours from here. It can wait. I really COULD stay here, but I don't think he could. He hates it here and wants to live near his aging parents, in Philly. (still very close.) Bottom line is, we might be in different cities even if I stay here. And DD is a baby still so she will never know us as a couple, which I think makes it easier for many kids.

I guess I really still am just wondering how people who's ex has another ex (w child) deals with it. I also just really want someone to say "honey I know you feel like everything is a mess but it WILL be better in the future" and then tell me their story of how it got better. All i ever wanted in life was a big happy family and I'm feeling like I may be on the verge of destroying the one I have, which doesn't bode well. But on the other hand I have conversations with him nearly every day in which I am 100% certain that I can NOT stay. Ugh.
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