custody issues - seems so unfair - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 04-22-2010, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a 28 month old and 4 month old. Dh has been going through some tough times and through it all has decided that he doesn't have feelings for me and wants to separate. I am consulting with an attorney who forwarded me recommended guidelines for custody for such young kids. They pretty much recommend a 50/50 split. I really want what is best for the kids, but I did not ask for this divorce. I want to stay and support DH and try to work things out (despite him being a complete jerk lately), but because he decides that he wants out (after I just had his baby, nonetheless), I have to lose having my babies around half the time, too? He is a good father to them, but I am so completely sad that I will not be able to be around my kids all the time now. He is also planning to hire an au pair, so probably half the time they are with him he won't even be the one paying attention to them. How is this fair?!?
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#2 of 13 Old 04-22-2010, 08:34 PM
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its totally not fair imo.

mama to one '07 and one '09
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#3 of 13 Old 04-22-2010, 09:22 PM
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It's not. I'm sorry. don't forget losing homes, belongings, savings, loss of security if you were a SAHM. Divorce is intense and life changing. I hope at some point you can find peace with it. I'm still working on that part and it's been nearly four years for me.
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#4 of 13 Old 04-22-2010, 09:37 PM
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You may not be to this point yet in your separation/divorce proceedings, but could you include "right of first refusal" language in your agreement? Here is some fairly thorough information about when that would be reasonable and appropriate.

Hugs to you, mama. I know how painful it is to think about being separated from your babies. For what it's worth, most of the recommendations I have seen for children under 3 tend less toward 50/50 time and more toward a "primary" residence with the majority caregiver (usually the mother) and short visits with the other parent, but not overnights until they are a bit older.
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#5 of 13 Old 04-22-2010, 09:44 PM
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That's not in line with the custody recommendations I've seen, at least not for the newborn. Are you breastfeeding? The way I've seen it, courts don't even start overnights until the baby is two years old.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#6 of 13 Old 04-22-2010, 09:56 PM
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I think that is a norm in TX. Here in CA overnights would start early on regardless of nursing. But not 50/50 at such a young age. But frequent contact is enforced for such young ones for bonding purposes. Would your husband even want 50/50 of such a young babe
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#7 of 13 Old 04-22-2010, 10:01 PM
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Are you in the states?

Are you nursing your baby(ies)? THAT will make a huge difference!

Is there ANY possibility that you two can hold off on the divorce, seek 6 months of counseling "together" first. Not go through the horrific details of a divorce for a few months? Perhaps by that time he will have had time to 'work through' his issues and you can help him.

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#8 of 13 Old 04-22-2010, 10:03 PM
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First off, I'm so sorry you're going through this. Divorce is devastating for the whole family no matter who's decision it is. 50/50 seems insane to me and I would have to figure out some way to fight it if it were me. We do the pretty standard custody for NC which is every other weekend and every Wednesday night. We split winter break in half, rotate spring break, and he gets them up to 2 weeks in the summer. We have legal joint custody but I'm really the primary parent. I personally don't believe it's in the best interest of my kids to be with their dad 50/50 but every family needs to do what works for them. Good luck with everything.

homebirth.jpgMama to 4 girls and forever missing Bright 6/12/10. Married to my best friend and dreaming of the day we leave the city for chicken3.gif
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#9 of 13 Old 04-22-2010, 10:04 PM
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Oh I'm sorry divorce isn't fun. But custody is about what's best for your children, not about what's best for you. He's a good father and they need him just as much as they need you.

That said if a 50/50 is what is decided, I would talk to him about ditching the nanny and letting you do the childcare for him while he's working. It's cheaper, you both know they are getting great care and you'd be getting more time with them which is what you want.

Good luck!

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#10 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 08:56 AM
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I would fight the 50/50. The kids are simply too young, especially the baby. But don't fight it in a way that would lead the courts to think that you would never agree to it. Come up with a plan that involves him seeing the kids frequently. Such as he comes over every other day for a couple of hours. He takes the older one overnight one week-end night and has quite a bit of the week-end day with the baby (a different day would work if he works week-ends). And gradually include more overnights as the kids get older. This way the courts will see that you are respecting him as a parent while taking the kids into consideration.

If you don't have a choice in the matter, get a very firm Right of First Refusal into any parenting plan and try to arrange your work schedule so that you can have them most of the day over the sitter.
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#11 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 12:14 PM
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I would fight the 50/50, as well. You have been the children's primary caregiver (I'm assuming), so it's often in the children's best interests to continue on that way. Does your ex even want that? Tell your lawyer that you prefer to customize your child custody arrangement, thank you very much, and not just go along with current state recommendations. If the lawyer can't think outside the box and at least try for you, then get a new lawyer. If worse comes to worse and ex gets 50/50, you can draw up a plan that eases them gradually into it, instead of all at once. I also was going to recommend the "first right of refusal" clause, that if your ex needs childcare, you have first dibs on the children.

It IS insane that these guys can just up and decide to ditch the family scene - and are promptly rewarded for it. A "good father" doesn't ditch the mom.
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#12 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 12:45 PM
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What state are you in? If you're in a state where 50-50 is the default you're going to spend a LOT of money fighting for custody and you more than likely won't get it.

Believe me I know how much this sucks. But it is one of a long list of things that are unfair about divorce and seem particularly unfair if you are the person that didn't want the divorce.
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#13 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 01:34 PM
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I'm really sorry you have to deal with this mess! You have every right to feel the way you are feeling. Your husband has the right to what he needs to though, so try to remember that.

And, I think its completely reasonable to ask to be the one to care for your children during the times they would be with a nanny during your husband's visitation. I don't think a court would think that was awful either. AND, big bonus if your husband is willing to work that out with you. If he's going to hire an au pair (sp?) and admits that to a judge, you would have an easier time getting more than 50% time (mama is better than a nanny or au pair any day of the week!! Even in the courts mind)

I agree with trying to ease the babies into the custody arrangement if its possible.

You'll get through this!!
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