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what do you wish you had put in divorce settlement/parenting agreement? - Page 5

post #81 of 305
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyrose View Post
I am reviving this thread to ask (and it may have been asked, I didn't read every single post) what are the consequences if you and ex come to certain agreements and he doesn't follow through? What can you do legally, or otherwise? TIA.
According to my lawyer, there is not much you can do. If he fails to exercise his visitation, for example, you can't force him to do so. And, as a general rule, YOU are still bound to live up to your end of the agreement no matter what he fails to do.

However, depending on what exactly he is not following through on, what the other parts of the agreement say, and the age of the child(ren), and a bunch of other factors that depend on your very specific individual situation, his failing to follow the agreement might maybe just possibly (depending on the situation) give you legal grounds to refuse other parts of the agreement.

For example, if the agreement states every-other-weekend visits and 5 weeks in the summer, if he completely stops all weekend visits, and the child is still very young, this might give you grounds to refuse the 5 weeks in summer. Or it might not.
post #82 of 305
Hi

I am late on this post but I wanted to offer 8 years of experience. What you want put in has a lot to do with your relationship, but you CAN NEVER ASSUME what will happen or not happen in the future. Ideally, you do not want a water tight agreement however, if it is not clearly spelled out it can be Hell too.

Always, always, be careful because how you start off is not where you will end. Most divorce's or paternity actions are modified 4 times. Many times they start out being agreeable to you having custody but later sue you for custody. And NO this does not only happen to less-than= ideal mamas.

Since you are having to come up with a written agreement you are wise to learn from others. These are my big ones:

No smoking in front of the children
No drinking or use of drugs before or during a visit
Child will not ride in car with driver who has been drinking/using drugs
Child will always wear seatbelt
Children under 3 no overnights
Visitation is gradual, step wise and according to the childs needs
Child be allowed to breastfeed until they choose to wean
Schooling is a big issue and courts look at it heavily. Mamas have lost custody over homeschooling or certain schools like Waldorf etc.
Ability to move within state or out of state. This is another big issue for custody being switched.
Having a minimum amount of time between visits, so he does not cluster too many "optional" days.
Start out real gradual on overnights and extended stays.
Life insurance with you as beneficiary
College fund
Money for any special needs, beyond the cs
Children to call at will but also kids not being forced to talk on the phone
If there is an accident, serious injury you will be called and allowed to come see your child even if it is still their time
Try to have yourself listed as making medical, educational decisions. This becomes a real power issue and manipulation.
Must give you itinerary if traveling with them out of state

For myself I do not make big issues over money even tho my son has special needs and I am not well off. But money is a hot button issue and having custody of my son is most important.

Best of luck
post #83 of 305
Ok, so for example, if I want the right of first refusal, and I discover after tge fact that he calls other people, are there consequences? Or are some of these things just words on paper that have no real bearing?
post #84 of 305
Unfortunately, I have recently learned that you can have A LOT of things written in but they become impossible to enforce without LOTS of money to pay attorney fees.
post #85 of 305
but even if you do have the money how is it enforced?
post #86 of 305
I would assume you would have to take him to court.
post #87 of 305
I have to say that the one thing that I put into my divorce settlement that I am thankful every day is that my ex has NO visitation. It is not that I dont want him to have it, but since he chose not to from the start, I know that he cant just show up and expect it when the mood suits him, and thats very important to us and his son's stability.
post #88 of 305
Does anyone know if you can do something about tardiness for visits? Like a consequence?
post #89 of 305
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post #90 of 305
You are smart to realize how much your life is controlled once under the courts. And it is best to be prepared b/c court can be ugly no matter how much you want it to be peaceful.

Most of all you want to get as many ducks in a row before he leaves, before the divorce. Find a way to show he supports homeschooling, like enrolling them in community h.s. classes and have his signature or some other means, ( I know of women who have lost custody on homeschooling alone). I personally think that working overnights will make your situation difficult if he decided to go for custody. Think hard about it.
relocation is another big issue, but be careful what you "talk" about but be strategic about getting any paperwork, income, in-kind income or proof of concering issues before the divorce. Everything you do after the divorce is veiwed with great suspicion and as the mother with more suspicion.

A lot of people will say go for as much support as possible but my position is this: money is a hot button issue. If he sends support voluntarily take it but going for other stuff often leads to hot issues and every fathers attorney who wants to fight over money will use custody as the big stick against you. Others may say, "you will need the support" and you do but lawyers cost a lot and many mothers end up with their lives flipped over b/c they just tried to get child support and ended up in a custody suit with many losing.(You can always hold onto child support issues for later if needed) However, if you want alimony you will have to deal with it at the divorce b/c they will not consider it later.
Be very careful and deliberate. I am sorry to sound so methodical but I learned from being the " peacekeeper" and the door mat.

Best of luck,

J
post #91 of 305
How in the world did you get NO visitation. Did he just not want it?
post #92 of 305
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post #93 of 305
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post #94 of 305


I hate this.

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post #95 of 305
are you legally entitled to go over with a locksmith and make copies of all the paperwork you need?
post #96 of 305
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post #97 of 305
This thread is very helpful and has brought up alot of thinsg I had yet to consider or did not even realize I had a right to fight for. Thank you sooo very much for all the input!
post #98 of 305
Quote:
Originally Posted by qsmama View Post
Schooling is a big issue and courts look at it heavily. Mamas have lost custody over homeschooling or certain schools like Waldorf etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by qsmama View Post
Most of all you want to get as many ducks in a row before he leaves, before the divorce. Find a way to show he supports homeschooling, like enrolling them in community h.s. classes and have his signature or some other means, ( I know of women who have lost custody on homeschooling alone).
I don't understand this - can you elaborate on what you mean? I am a home schooling mama. My children are 7.5, 4.5 & 19 months. Exdp & I were never married & he never objected to my choice to homeschool. Now that I've left him (he's bitter & wants us to get back together) he has suddenly decided that he wants the kids to go to public school - he even wants my 4.5 year old to go to pre school. We've never lived together, he's never been responsible for the children - except financially. The children & I have *always* lived at my parents' house.
He has been threatening me for over a year now with hiring a lawyer & filing for custody if I don't get back together with him.

Do you mean that if I go into court as a homeschooler that I risk losing custody of my children? That's insane. Of course I want to continue homeschooling, but not at the expense of losing my children.

He has said that if I get back together with him, he'd go to anger management & that we could go to counseling. If we go to counseling & it is documented that he is fine with homeschooling as long as we're together - do you think that could be used in court?

*ANY* help on this issue would be appreciated.
post #99 of 305
I could be wrong and I am NOT an attorney or legal expert of any kind. But I think if you had documented proof that he bought into the whole homeschooling thing, then if you went to court the judge would want to know why he changed his mind. If you were arguing that he was just being spiteful or something along those lines, it could help you out.

But I think it would probably be of limited utility otherwise... people regularly change their minds about things when it comes to the children and I don't think the court really bats an eye, because that just happens.

Anyone else have a real world experience they could share?
post #100 of 305
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
He has been threatening me for over a year now with hiring a lawyer & filing for custody if I don't get back together with him.
Do you have any of this in writing? Like in email?
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