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how do you negotiate custody prior to separation?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
STBX and I are still living together and planning to separate soon. It's his choice...not sure if he is thinking divorce or just trial separation at this point. We are living together amicably for the most part, however, discussing child custody is starting to lead to some very heated arguments. My attorney hasn't had much to offer on this (guess I need to start looking for a new attorney). How do you come to agree on something like this if you both have just completely different ideas in mind? FWIW, he is saying that 2 1/2 yo dd should stay with him nights while 5 mo old ds stays with me. I am all for both kids spending several hours every day with him, but not ok with dd spending all nights with him. We are at a standstill on this issue, so I'm not sure how we come to agreement without filing for divorce yet?
post #2 of 4
is he moving out? tell him that both kids have to stay overnight in their own house (ie, with you). since he is the one initiating all of this, separation/possible divorce, let him be the one to compromise. i would not agree to anything that you don't want to become a precedent later on should he follow through with a divorce. i would be very surprised if a court ordered one child to stay all nights with the father while another stayed all nights with the mother. tell your husband/STBX that the kids are siblings and therefore should stay together (and in their own home).
post #3 of 4
Agreed...determine exactly what you want and then stick to it. Perhaps you can make a plan for increased daytime visitation as your children get older so that your STBX feels like there's room to grow. Initially when I was discussing custody with my STBX, we went to mediation, and I had proposed a visitation schedule that increased incrementally over the next 4 years. Is there a possibility of getting family mediation where you live? Here, you can obtain 6 free sessions...

Also, I'd consult another lawyer. A lawyer works for you and if you aren't satisfied with the services, you can feel comfortable finding someone who will give you the information you require (but perhaps not always what you want to hear!).
post #4 of 4
I have been separated for 8 months. DS2 was 16 months when DH left. They started staying the night straight away. It didn't have any affect on DS2 (or DS1). I think it's reasonable for him to want your DD overnight. In saying that though, I would only do one night - any more and I think it could start becoming a problem for her.
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