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Dad see's kids every weekend or 3 weekends/month?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Wanted to know if anyone does this? And how does it work for you? As I mentioned in a previous post, my STBX wants 50/50 custody but I'm concerned that he isn't consistent enough to handle all the responsibilities of school work and I think I'd like the kids to have more consistency during the school week with their own bed ect... Friends have cautioned me against giving away every weekend to the EX but I tend to work my second job on weekends anyway and I thought that maybe if I was scheduled to have at least one weekend a month, that would be good since I will have the kids most of the week. STBX and I get along well enough that if one of us wanted to switch weekends because of events or whatever it would work out. I would also be willing to give up one night a week, maybe on Wed since STBX says that he can't go 6-7 days without seeing the kids.
post #2 of 36
We do every weekend (during the school year) because of distance (70 miles) and work (my SD's mom works weekends). It works decently for us. There is flexibility, too--if my SD's mom has a day off or she want to travel, we can work with it.

The distance eventually may become a problem if my SD ends up in sports or what have you, but we'll worry about that when we get there.
post #3 of 36
I've been protective of weekends because I think it's unfair to everyone for one parent to have all the "have to" time (weekday routines) and the other to have all the "get to" time (weekend unstructured leisure time). We usually both have kids for some part of every weekend. So dad *does* see kids every weekend and at least weekly, but I'm not relegated to the role of "person who makes them do homework and stick to a schedule" either. We've been able to be flexible for the most part. (And we have the same issue here, where he does not get them to bed, check in on homework, or even feed them regularly. He also seems to think that he's exempt from doing anything but go to work and come home on days he works, but that was how it was when we were married, so no big surprise there.

So I do have a bias, but think that finding what works for you and your situation is fine too.
post #4 of 36
We have every weekend, and it's hard. Weekends (for us) are not just playtime, but DSD seems to think it's vacation time for her (and he was the typical "Disney Dad" on the weekends when I met him). We've had to discuss a couple of times that she is part of the family, and as part of the family she has chores when she is here (cleaning her room and breakfast/lunch dishes, so not a lot). She is still expected to brush teeth twice a day, do her homework, etc. We don't have a set mealtime, but all meals are eaten together, and mostly at home. She has a set bedtime, has to take a shower every saturday night. We do run into a problem with her "forgetting" to bring her music instrument or backpack. Never seen her forget the iTouch though.

Honestly, I would love to have 1 weekend a month where DP and I could relax and reconnect and do major chores. However, she needs to be here and know we want her here, DP does miss her (even an hour after she's been the biggest teen brat in the world), and her mom works on weekends. Except when she doesn't want to (sorry, couldn't resist that one).

I think the key is setting expectations and agreeing on parenting in the beginning if you can. DP and his ex had a very rocky divorce, so this has only come together for us in the last year or so. If you can hash it out together it can work.
post #5 of 36
OP, do NOT agree to 50/50 physical custody. You have said it yourself, you do not trust your ex to take care of the must-dos. Get a lawyer and argue your case in family court.

If you can get joint legal with EOW visitation in court, then you will be in the position to advocate for a stable life for your daughter. You can locate in the town of your choice and tell your ex that a weekday overnight would be just fine with you if he lives close by. Then you can pull the plug if your daughter is showing up to school exhausted with undone homework.

Do not favor your ex over your daughter. Your daughter needs stability. Your ex can have exactly as much parenting time ad he earns by taking care of those must-dos.
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickerbaby View Post
I would also be willing to give up one night a week, maybe on Wed since STBX says that he can't go 6-7 days without seeing the kids.
Who would want to go 6-7 days without seeing their kids? Here, it's the minimum that NCPs get one day with the kids every week, after school. That's separate from weekend parenting time. The idea is that it's better for kids when both parents have some responsibility for school work and routines. My ex does 2 weekdays every week and so did my husband, when he was his son's NCP and his ex-wife lived here.

It's the most normal thing in the world to assume your ex won't handle things "right" with the kids. After all, the fact that you're divorcing indicates the two of you aren't seeing eye-to-eye and valuing each other like you once did. But:
1- His interaction with the kids will necessarily change, the more he cares for them without you around. Unless he's actually so irresponsible that he'd tell them, "Homework, schmomework. Let's go surfing!", you should give him the opportunity to become a full-service parent, rather than claiming all the real responsibilities as your territory and relegating him to being the fun, weekend guy.
2- An important part of successful "co-parenting" (as opposed to endless feuding, tension and complaining about your ex - which would certainly affect your kids) is accepting that you're not going to have the same control over how your kids are raised that you would, in an intact family. Your ex is not going to handle everything the way you think he should, nor are you going to do everything to his liking. But kids are generally able to adjust to different routines and expectations at each parent's house... and it's usually best for them when both parents parent them, rather than one parent being treated as incompetent because he doesn't do everything the same way the other parent does.
post #7 of 36
I agree with Jeannine about both parents having an equal right and responsibility to be part of children's day-to-day life. I'm sure my husband's ex would have said the same about him when they split up because she felt he was unreliable as a partner, and because she had most of the responsibility for their daughter when they were together because she was at home and their daughter was a nursing infant. However, my husband has been the stay-at-home parent with my step-daughter and our subsequent children, and he is fully capable of that work... he'd just never had the opportunity to rise to the occasion when they were together.
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickerbaby View Post
Wanted to know if anyone does this? And how does it work for you? As I mentioned in a previous post, my STBX wants 50/50 custody but I'm concerned that he isn't consistent enough to handle all the responsibilities of school work and I think I'd like the kids to have more consistency during the school week with their own bed ect... Friends have cautioned me against giving away every weekend to the EX but I tend to work my second job on weekends anyway and I thought that maybe if I was scheduled to have at least one weekend a month, that would be good since I will have the kids most of the week. STBX and I get along well enough that if one of us wanted to switch weekends because of events or whatever it would work out. I would also be willing to give up one night a week, maybe on Wed since STBX says that he can't go 6-7 days without seeing the kids.
My husband has his son every weekend except for one per month. The way it is written in their custody agreement has caused confusion because it didn't specify which weekend. Four years ago, it was ordered they come to a mutual agreement over which weekend their son stays with his mom. There are still issues of confusion regarding what defines her weekend. :eyeroll
post #9 of 36
right now we do 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. i really feel the less back and forth for ds2 the better. this fall i'll bewatching ds2 3 days a week so dx can go to school so i agreed he can have one of my weekends since i'm having him during dx's weeks. .

im comforble with this set up because dxs gf is great with ds2 and i trust hes being well cared for
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post #10 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all these responses..and thank you Jeannine for the suggestions. I do think that maybe when the responsibility for the kids "have to's" is totally on my STBX husbands shoulders..he will hopefully step up to the plate. He is a good dad in a lot of ways.
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
OP, do NOT agree to 50/50 physical custody. You have said it yourself, you do not trust your ex to take care of the must-dos. Get a lawyer and argue your case in family court.

If you can get joint legal with EOW visitation in court, then you will be in the position to advocate for a stable life for your daughter. You can locate in the town of your choice and tell your ex that a weekday overnight would be just fine with you if he lives close by. Then you can pull the plug if your daughter is showing up to school exhausted with undone homework.

Do not favor your ex over your daughter. Your daughter needs stability. Your ex can have exactly as much parenting time ad he earns by taking care of those must-dos.
I really have to disagree with this post. Especially with the input that OP will be able to relocate to a town opf her choice (not necessarily - not if Dad lives in the same school district and it involves changing schools) OR that OP can pull the plug on overnight visitation if there are homework/attendance problems. THAT would have to go back through court - OP can't just decide not to send the kiddo.
post #12 of 36
The OP can just exactly that, if she gets an appropriately worded custody and visitation order (i.e. EOW and selected holiday visitation only, the right to make schooling and medical decisions on her own, either parent has the right to move X miles from their current location without the consent of the other parent, etc.) There's no guarantee that she'll get exactly what she wants, but given that she doesn't trust her ex's parenting, it would certainly make sense to hire a lawyer and at least TRY to create a situation where she'll be able to give her daughter stability without going back to court if ex can't step up.

If you think somebody might cause you or your child a whole lot of grief in future, you don't hand them the stick to beat you with. It's great that the OP wants to enable her dd to see her father more than EOW. But if something happens along the way that makes her think the situation is not truly in dd's best interests, she'll be really grateful that she's not tied to a visitation schedule that includes weekdays. It's about having options. In a 50/50 arrangement, the quality of her dd's daily life would depend on her ex pulling it together more than he has thus far. Is that possible? Sure. Likely? I have no idea. It's certainly not something I'd bet my child's happiness on without a legal skirmish.

You don't ask, you don't get.
post #13 of 36
If there is a provision for a week-day visit, whether it is for a few hours or overnight, she CAN NOT take that away w/o a court's agreement. Period. end of story.
post #14 of 36
Quote:
If you think somebody might cause you or your child a whole lot of grief in future, you don't hand them the stick to beat you with. It's great that the OP wants to enable her dd to see her father more than EOW. But if something happens along the way that makes her think the situation is not truly in dd's best interests, she'll be really grateful that she's not tied to a visitation schedule that includes weekdays. It's about having options. In a 50/50 arrangement, the quality of her dd's daily life would depend on her ex pulling it together more than he has thus far. Is that possible? Sure. Likely? I have no idea. It's certainly not something I'd bet my child's happiness on without a legal skirmish.

I very much disagree with the whole attitude that fathers need to be allowed to parent. OP says "he is a good dad in a lot of ways". What more can you ask for? Of course you won't agree on everything, but should now her EX demand full custody because maybe he disagrees with how mom parents?

I cringe at the whole assumption that dads need to be kept in check when it comes to their children. Lets take a child away from a mother, and tell her she is allowed to see her kid EOW, and MAYBE once during the week, but lets also remind her not to get too comfortable, because we don't trust her to make the best choices regarding her child (as we choose to define "the best"). Lets make it clear, that if she steps out of line, we are "pulling the plug" on her visitations, and she can go fight the courts for it. Does that sound cruel to you when speaking of mothers? Well it sounds CRUEL to me when speaking of fathers.

We can't stand double standards when it comes to women's rights, then how come we tolerate them so easily when it comes to men's?

And if we are talking about the best interest of the child - then please give up seeing your kid for 25 days a month, and then tell me again, what is the best interest of the child here. Abuse and neglect cases aside, I firmly believe that the BEST interest of the child doesn't mean giving up seeing one parent. I also believe (being on the sides of both), that it takes a lot more effort to be a part of your child's life when you do not have custody during the week.

My advice to the OP: don't make it more difficult than it has to be. Talk to your ex, keep those communication lines flowing. Give him the room to be a parent to his own child. Best of luck to you!
post #15 of 36
"OP says "he is a good dad in a lot of ways". What more can you ask for?"

Um, somebody's who's a good dad in every important way? You know - like the guy who lives in my house and coparents my children. Nobody would leave their child overnight with a babysitter who had (for instance) a track record of getting them to school late, unbathed and with undone homework. CPs are regularly expected to put up with all that and more from NCPs who were never primary caregivers during the relationship and never seem to develop the skill set during the years after the breakup. Once the OP has agreed to 50/50 physical custody, her ex would have to screw up EXTREMELY and she would have to spend thousands of dollars in lawyer fees even to have a chance of getting her dd out of a bad situation.

A lawyer may tell the OP that she has no basis to seek primary physical custody based on her specific concerns. These things vary state by state, county by county, I'd even say judge by judge. But until she speaks to a lawyer in her area and is totally upfront with them, she is not going to have a realistic idea of what she can expect.
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
"OP says "he is a good dad in a lot of ways". What more can you ask for?"

Um, somebody's who's a good dad in every important way? You know - like the guy who lives in my house and coparents my children. Nobody would leave their child overnight with a babysitter who had (for instance) a track record of getting them to school late, unbathed and with undone homework. CPs are regularly expected to put up with all that and more from NCPs who were never primary caregivers during the relationship and never seem to develop the skill set during the years after the breakup. Once the OP has agreed to 50/50 physical custody, her ex would have to screw up EXTREMELY and she would have to spend thousands of dollars in lawyer fees even to have a chance of getting her dd out of a bad situation.

A lawyer may tell the OP that she has no basis to seek primary physical custody based on her specific concerns. These things vary state by state, county by county, I'd even say judge by judge. But until she speaks to a lawyer in her area and is totally upfront with them, she is not going to have a realistic idea of what she can expect.
Why is the assumption that he is not a great dad in every important way?
Why is the assumption that mother is a better parent? Why is the assumption that a father has to prove he is capable, but a mother just is? Why is the expectation for the dad to mess up? Who defines a better parent? What defines a better parent? Why is the advice given revolves around "keep control", vs. "develop communication and parent together"? I have seen far more capable loving dads than unfit dads. This does not sound like the "unfit" father to me.

Why is it okay to rip a child away from a dad, and "allow" him to see his baby 6 days a month, but not okay to do the same to the mother? I just don't get it. Maybe because I have seen both sides of the fence, and have been with a dad who had to fight for the right to remain in his child's life, because the lawyers gave exact advice you are giving to the OP. And guess what.
For 12 years the dad that had to be "controlled" in the way you describe, paid cs, picked his child up whenever allowed, went to all school events, helped with projects, talked to teachers, paid for fun lessons, drove to doctor's appoinments, all while being NCP. And when then tables turned three years ago and DSD moved in, her mom turned out to be the one who can't handle being the NCP: not paying CS, the one "who has a life, and can't come this weekend, or the next, or the next...", the one who doesn't have time for doctors or teachers, and no money for school trips, but enough to buy a bike and several condos on a beach.

That's why I take the advice given with a grain of salt. Real life. Real people. Bad advice based on prejudice of father being the worse parent of the two, yk?
post #17 of 36
"Why is the assumption that he is not a great dad in every important way?"

I'm not assuming. I'm choosing to take the OP's concerns at face value. She posted here because she was concerned (rightly!!!) that a 50/50 physical split would leave her with no recourse if her STBX, who historically has not had a handle on the "must-dos" of caregiving, didn't develop the capacity to do the less-than-fun parenting stuff that needs to be done during the week. It's pretty clear that she doesn't hate this guy. But not-hating and trusting are two different things. When I don't trust some one, especially with something as important as my child's happiness, then I do what I can to protect myself (and my child) from the consequences of things going badly.

I'm sure your husband is a great guy and a great dad, Oriole. But I'm not sure why you'd advise a woman on the Internet not to seek legal counsel in dealing with a STBX that you know nothing about (except that the fact that she's concerned about his caregiving ability) just because YOUR husband was an exemplary NCP who would have provided stability and security in a 50/50 physical custody split.

OP: get thee to a lawyer. Tell him/her everything, including where you see yourself in five years, if you hope to relocate, whether or not you feel STBX and you can decide about the kids' schooling/braces/travel together without major drama, if you'd like to move towards a 50/50 split as the kids get older, etc. Then let him/her negotiate a custody agreement on your behalf. It is just a bad, bad idea go in without support and try to work out something so vital to your family's happiness with a man you are emotionally estranged from to the point of deciding to get a divorce.
post #18 of 36
I think I agree with your friends against giving up every weekend. For one thing I think it sets up a "good cop/bad cop" dynamic where you would get all the responsibilities like homework, getting them up in the morning, appointments, etc and get to be the bad guy all the time and he would get all the fun weekend stuff with minimal responsibility. I think it very important to have down time with children to relax and have fun and see you as more than the person who cracks the whip. And two, if you really want 50/50 then make it 50/50. If he is a "good father in many ways" than he needs to step up to the plate and be her father in every way.
Also, I think it is interesting that you mention a second job. How many jobs does he work? What about child support? Would you be able to give up or cut back on the second job with child support?
FC
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
"Why is the assumption that he is not a great dad in every important way?"

I'm not assuming. I'm choosing to take the OP's concerns at face value. She posted here because she was concerned (rightly!!!) that a 50/50 physical split would leave her with no recourse if her STBX, who historically has not had a handle on the "must-dos" of caregiving, didn't develop the capacity to do the less-than-fun parenting stuff that needs to be done during the week. It's pretty clear that she doesn't hate this guy. But not-hating and trusting are two different things. When I don't trust some one, especially with something as important as my child's happiness, then I do what I can to protect myself (and my child) from the consequences of things going badly.
Well, if he is a loving involved dad, why wouldn't he take care of things that need to be taken cared of? When people are married, they take on different roles to make sure family life flows smoothly. Someone has to provide, someone has to fee the kids lunch when the other parent is not there, someone has to take them to birthday parties.

The question the OP has to answer: what makes someone undeserving to take care of / see their children for two weeks? Does the dad fit that description? I think the criteria would have to be pretty harsh, otherwise you will have to be willing to apply it to moms out there as well. Is it regular scheduled meals? What do you tell families that don't sit down for a meal now? Call CPS? Does the OP think that the dad will not take the child to a hospital if needed? Won't feed the child? Abuse the child? If the answers are no, then the dad has as much right to take care of his kid as a mother. That's all I'm saying. Would you want someone to scrutinize your parenting and decide how much you deserve to be a mom? I bet the dad wouldn't want his parenting to be examined any more differently, yk?

Quote:
I'm sure your husband is a great guy and a great dad, Oriole. But I'm not sure why you'd advise a woman on the Internet not to seek legal counsel in dealing with a STBX that you know nothing about (except that the fact that she's concerned about his caregiving ability) just because YOUR husband was an exemplary NCP who would have provided stability and security in a 50/50 physical custody split.
I think it is always of value to seek legal advice, no matter what the situation in divorce. So I would never advice someone not to speak to a lawyer. But I think there is a difference in speaking to a lawyer to get advice, and going in with "I want to have full control over what happens with children, and I want to make their father to always comply with MY terms".

What I encourage people to do is to be honest with themselves. If the dad doesn't do everything the same way as mom does - that's okay. If the dad wasn't primary caregiver - that's okay. The child has two parents, both parents deserve to have the input in how their children are raised, kwim?

If you wouldn't call CPS on your neighbors provided they did the same level of parenting as this father, then you have no right limiting his parenting time. At least that's how I see things.

Quote:
... if you hope to relocate, whether or not you feel STBX and you can decide about the kids' schooling/braces/travel together without major drama, if you'd like to move towards a 50/50 split as the kids get older, etc. Then let him/her negotiate a custody agreement on your behalf.
Another thing I don't get is relocation. Do you want your ex to take your children and move away? How outraged would you be if that happened? Now, why is it okay to do to a dad? I guess I come to these discussion with a different point of view, and I hope that whoever shares their situations will consider if what they are doing is the right thing, and if they would want it to be done to them, and if their actions will really line up with what's best for the child. Teaching them that their mom's and dad's input is of value in their life, and allowing them to spend the time with both parents - that matters.

ARe there situations where dad's parenting time has to be limited? I'm sure there is. Are there situations where mom's parenting time has to be limited? I'm sure there is. My only voice in all of this: please don't act out of selfish and controlling reasons. If we are to teach our children kindness and consideration - then we have to live it. If we are to teach them that mothers are just as important as fathers - then we have to live it. It's okay if not everything goes our way. Divorce means more painful compromise on both sides. Both sides. Dads don't always like the decisions that moms make, and the other way around. It doesn't mean that one parent now does not deserve to see their children regularly or to have the input on their upbringing.
post #20 of 36
Parents often have different ideas on what are the "must dos." I know that DH's ex would claim he isn't up to the tasks of parenting, but honestly, she has no idea. All she knows is that she was the primary parent and he was the primary wage-earner when they were together. Many years ago. Men, just like women, can become much better parents once they are given the opportunity to parent.

But our "must dos" and hers are different. Let me give you an example. Both households get kids ready for school and do homework. Our household encourages the kids to be active and eat healthy. DSS, (9), has shown up for the summer now overweight. How an otherwise healthy 9-year-old with two skinny bio-parents can have a muffin-top over his jeans is truly beyond my comprehension. But honestly, what court would care that he's a little pudgy? He's slimming down already with us -- we let him eat as much as he wants but only of good food, and we take him to the pool a lot. To us, this is a "must do." Does this mean she doesn't deserve to see her kids? Of course not. You shouldn't expect to agree with all his parenting decisions, nor he with yours.
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