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Which is more traumatic for a four year old?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Which is more traumatic for a four year old


My STBX and I are “negotiating” how we are going to split. I asked for the divorce because I do not feel connected on any level, as a parent he was not as involved as I would have liked to see, he didn’t share my parenting ideas and he was still smoking pot. I really wanted this divorce to be amicable for the sake of my DD, and was hoping she could still have a good relationship with her father (regardless of my disagreements with him) and that we could still be a family and have family time together, maybe spend holiday or other important days together. He suggested a default marriage with 50/50 custody on paper but agreed that she wasn’t ready for that. He also at that point agreed to spousal support of 1.5 years (we have been married 6 years). He said he wanted to have a 50/50 custody split on paper, but he agreed to let me have her more time depending on how ready she felt. However, he had a fit one night over some small thing and after DD and I went to sleep smashed my Mac, deleted all my contacts from my cell phone, and deleted all my pictures (most of DD) from my cam. He doesn’t know I know because he hid the mac in his car . I know he is very upset about the divorce and I want to give him a chance for a “temper tantrum”, but I was uncomfortable with how angry he got. I also remember a conversation we had before I told him I wanted out, which involved a friend of mine who is going through a divorce and the father insists on having child on his day even though the child is crying and in considerable distress at pick-ups. I felt the dad was wrong but he told me he felt that the child just needs to get used to it. All of this prompted me to ask him to put what we verbally agreed on paper and instead of going for a default divorce I filed a response and told him I will want the agreement to say I will have her most of the time. Now he is upset I filed a response because it is a bit more expensive and he does not want to pay me any spousal support (I have been a SAHM). The house is currently “upside down” and the mortgage is under his name and I had signed off my rights to the house at the time of purchase. At this point he is trying to refinance but is also working on a short sale. My question is which of these should I do/which do you think is least traumatic for DD who is 4 ?


  1. Work full time and place DD in preschool (Montessori that she had visited before, but I had pulled her out because I felt she wasn’t ready, although she was improving a bit by the time I had cancelled enrollment end of January 2011 ), and try to get STBX to refinance and then rent the house from him (I figured at least she can live in the house she is used to).
  2. Insist on spousal support and only work part time, I would have to move, not sure where I would end up (I want it to be safe area), might be an apartment (she spends a big part of the day playing in the mud in the backyard though.
  3. Move overseas, eventually work part time, be able to live in a safe environment, have family support and ability make my own decisions. (He had suggested in the beginning for me to move back to Europe with her, he would basically give me enough money to get there but financial support after that would probably dwindle down.


I guess I’m mostly wondering if it is justified for me to take her overseas. He likes to take her places and play for a little bit when he is home, but I think he just get’s tired of her and I don’t think he would be willing or happy to care for her on a daily basis. She does want his attention but is definitely more comfortable with me. I would like for her to be able to have a good relationship with him but I don’t know if it is worth it for her to have to be in school full time because of it, if I could have greater financial freedom(=more time with her) in Switzerland.

post #2 of 6

I would not sign anything for 50 50 custody. At all Ever. ( again) 50 50 means no child support mama.

Guys trick there ex's into doing this saying it would be better for kids... it's not. They need stability. A home. One home and IMO most of the time with the mother.

If you can get him to agree to going back to switzerland that is what I would pick.


post #3 of 6

And child support can be court ordered....

post #4 of 6

You are living in a state that favors 50/50 physical.  I would try to work with our stbx on getting an agreement that your child can handle. 

As for the child support, if he makes more money than you, he will be ordered to pay child support.  Even with a 50/50 physical split. 


And you will probably want to run moving overeseas (or anywhere from where the child is currently living) with an attorney.  You will not legally be able to take your child with you unless you get your stbx to agree to it (and you will want his agreement in writing and signed off on by the judge) or a court to allow it.  And then you will need to be prepared for her to have long periods (think the entire summer and most school holidays) with her father.  And it is very likely that you will be ordered to pay all transportation costs since you are the one who moved away. 

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

I guess what I'm really trying to figure out is not so much how to legaly do things, but rather which of these options would cause the least trauma to her/ which do you think a four year old can live with better in the long run:


if she'd be placed in prescool full time (along with child support which he agrees to I would be able to support DD and me and father would be more likely to cooperate with co-parenting because he won't be upset about paying spousal support),


or insist on not only getting child support but also spousal support so that I only have to work part time to make ends meet, the judge will probaply grant spousal support for 1 and 1/2 years, but dad will be upset that he has to pay me spousal support and we will have to deal with an uncooperative dad during divorce and co-parenting,


or have to move to Switzerland away from her dad and if needed after some time mom would work part time. (I think he would agree for to move her to Switzerland, we have talked about it before, I would probably get full custody, but he would only pay me the very minimum and I would try to visit with DD once a year or more depending on what I can afford, he may or may not come and visit and may or may not eventually move as well to be closer to us. He was raised by his grandmother and is sticking around until at least she is in a nursing home. He sais he would then move closer, but I'm not sure he would really do that.)


Thank you so much for your opinions, I feel so much guilt for asking for a divorce and I just want to do it as easy as possible on everybody but I'm having a really hard time figuring out "what's best".


Thank you so much!

post #6 of 6

You can't ignore the legal part of the situation.  Especially with one of the options being moving to Switzerland.    What you will likely find is that you are free to move anywhere you wish, your daughter is not.  So it doesn't matter if that would be easier on her or not if it legally isn't an option.  Which it probably is not.  And to be honest, it really isn't fair to your child to have her father effectively removed from her life like that should you be able to move to Switzerland with her. 


BTW, if you are allowed to move to Switzerland with your daughter, she's going to be seeing her dad more than once a year.  He will get the majority of the summer, this is typical for long-distance parenting plans, and most of the school holidays.  And probably at your expense since you are the one moving away. 


As for the other two, well, IMO, the temporary part-time job would be the better solution.  But it's not a long-term solution unless you can find a way to work out of the home full-time.  You are very likely to be imputed income to full-time with the amount being based on your educational background and earnings history.  If that puts you at near what your stbx makes, spousal support is off the table. 


Even if you do get spousal support, it is likely to only last 3 years at the most.  And if he pays spousal support during the divorce process, that just may count towards the total time. 

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