Thinking of leaving kids for a semester - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 06-02-2014, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thinking of leaving kids for a semester

Hello wise mamas,

I haven't posted here in a very long time. I filed for divorce several years ago, but I chickened out. I wasn't ready. Since then, I've completed most of the coursework for a master's degree and teaching credential.

I have only 20 weeks left (I was a part-time student). My next semester includes full time student teaching (M-Th). I am also working 20 hrs. a week as an online writing tutor. I volunteer doing tech stuff for my kids' school (online).

H and I are going to see the mediator this week to come up with a custody and support plan, etc. I plan on proposing joint 50/50 custody. Since the kids have been born, he has worked out of town, or late into the night EVERY SINGLE WEEK. I know he would want 50/50, though he is very used to not having to plan for anything concerning his kids. He's always done what he wants, when he wants.

I am going to be BOOKED up to my EYEBALLS starting in Sept. I will have very little time. I'm not even sure how I would be getting my kids to school every morning, since I need to get to MY classroom half an hour before their school starts.

I'm starting to think that I would like to complete my semester at my mom's house 6 hrs away. I could student teach at a school in her city, no problem. I could visit the kids on the weekends and help them with their homework via Skype every evening.

I know it isn't ideal, but I kinda want to let him figure it out for a change. I really need to focus on my self for just one semester.

Does this sound like a horrible idea? How would this affect CS? This is only a temporary arrangement.

Also, the other reason I want to do this is to get away from H. He will NOT leave this house unless I forcibly EVICT him with a court order (which I can't bring myself to do). I don't want to take my kids out of their home.

I just really need some space. I know I could rent a small apartment here and see my kids more frequently, but I know H would just dump more responsibilities on me to the point where I would still be subject to his passive aggressive sabotage of my efforts.

Thanks so much.
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#2 of 11 Old 06-02-2014, 02:54 PM
 
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I completely understand feeling the need to complete your schooling without the added burden of parenting and I SUPER understand wanting to make their father be responsible for his own children but I'm afraid that without a signed decree outlining child support and visitation, you're gonna shoot yourself in the foot.

Leaving your kids in his care full time will become status quo and very hard to undo should he choose to file for full custody. He could have you ordered to pay him child support and half of all childcare when you do finish and get a full-time job with your new degree. In the middle of a possible divorce situation, I would not feel legally safe leaving my kids.

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#3 of 11 Old 06-02-2014, 03:42 PM
 
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Two things that I would be worried about with this scenario are the fact that you and your DX need to figure out co-parenting with both of your working full time at some point. I'm also studying to be a teacher and know that the student teacher semester will be hard...but I also hear the first year(s) of teaching are hard. Perhaps it would be better to figure this tough stuff out with your X before you start your real job.

Also, the way things seem to work in my town is that the student teaching semester is where all the big networking stuff happens. I would worry that you are limiting yourself in hire-abilty if you student teach 6 hours away.

I can understand wanting to teach away from home and responsibilities though!

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#4 of 11 Old 06-02-2014, 05:33 PM
 
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Sorry, but there is no leave of absence from parenting. If you do this, your ex will make it look like you abandoned them and he will get full custody. Unless that is what you actually want...
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#5 of 11 Old 06-02-2014, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, but there is no leave of absence from parenting. If you do this, your ex will make it look like you abandoned them and he will get full custody. Unless that is what you actually want...
This is not true. I personally know a couple ex-spouses who have done similar things while one parent works or studies away from home. Actually, my husband has been doing this for 8 years... working out of town all week, coming home on weekends.

I think a lot of parents take "leaves of absence" as primary care givers from time to time. My concern is whether or not this would give him a case to sue for full custody, which is what many of you are suggesting would be the case.

The truth is, I have been the primary care giver for 8 years. I actually really need things to be closer to 50/50 now that I need to finish school. (it's not even the school, it's the work that makes it so hard). Plus, I really can't share space with him any more. I can't be around him at all right now, but he will not leave. He simply won't go.
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#6 of 11 Old 06-02-2014, 06:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoshamosha View Post

I think a lot of parents take "leaves of absence" as primary care givers from time to time. My concern is whether or not this would give him a case to sue for full custody, which is what many of you are suggesting would be the case.

.
I don't know any parents who take a "leaves of absence" for more than a couple of weeks.

If you are worrying about custody, this is not something I would do.
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#7 of 11 Old 06-02-2014, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, so this seems like a really bad idea.

Now, I just need to figure out the next year...

Summer is starting, which gives me lots of flexibility. I tried doing co-parenting exchanges last summer (so that H and I could be separate), but that didn't work very well. He will NOT leave the house nor will he leave me alone, and if I take the kids somewhere else, he protests that I am taking them from him.

I do not know what to do. I really don't want to keep the kids from him at all. This cockamamie idea of going away for a semester was a way to let him know that he CAN have the kids. Not forever... But I am, in no way, trying to keep them from their dad.

Ideally, we would be living in separate houses and each parenting the kids on a regular basis. I'm hoping the mediator will help us come to a good agreement. Or else I'm going to have to lawyer up.
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#8 of 11 Old 06-02-2014, 11:07 PM
 
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might be worth at least a consult with a lawyer. When dealing with a STBX who won't leave the home, your hands might be tied until the court orders him to leave or says it's ok for you to move out with the kids.

I get how much it sucks but hopefully you can get some resolution over the summer that will allow you to go into your last year with some parenting support.
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#9 of 11 Old 06-03-2014, 08:23 AM
 
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If you move you will be responsible for all transportation, a judge may not allow you to have a visitation agreement that requires the kids to travel for 12 hours every weekend, if you miss visits it will make it harder to regain more custody later, and it is probably going to be an uphill battle once you attempt to get more custody after graduating. I think it is fine for one parent to have primary custody and the other to be the weekend parent. If that is what you want I see no problem with it. If not I suggest looking for other options. Most teacher ed programs don't allow you to be employed during your student teaching year so I suggest moving forward with that mind.
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#10 of 11 Old 06-05-2014, 09:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
Sorry, but there is no leave of absence from parenting. If you do this, your ex will make it look like you abandoned them and he will get full custody. Unless that is what you actually want...
I agree, this is not true. Plenty of parents (yes, mothers) have jobs that require them to leave home for weeks, even months, at a time. I have a few aunts that need to travel to another country periodically throughout the year, and they don't take their school-age kids with them. Army parents often have to leave for many months. When I was 7, my mother was called into active duty and I was with my dad (my parents divorced when I was 2 or 3) for a year. When one parent, even the primary one (assuming there is one primary caregiver), temporarily has to leave for business/school/family reasons- it's almost always easier not to uproot the kids and to leave them at home with the other parent. This may not happen in every single family, but it is far from unheard of.

The biggest question here is how willing the OP's stbx is willing to work with her. What I listed above worked in no small part because my parents worked together. My dad had no desire to steal custody out from under my mom, and my mom even let my dad live in our house for the year to make the transition easier for me. My parents had been divorced for 4 years, though. Emotions are highest right after the divorce and your new co-parenting relationship has not yet formed. It would be a lot harder to do immediately after divorcing.

If you trust him implicitly, you could ask stbx to have the kids during the week for that semester- you could still help with homework (either in person or over skype) and see them on weekends- basically the same as what you're planning, but without you moving 6 hours away. But that is a BIG if.

You can find solutions that will work. You aren't hte first parent to have to start work before their kids start school, there are options. If it's really going to be easier for you to (and, again, you trust your stbx) have your ex have the kids during the week, though, you may be able to find a way to make it work. Are you working with a lawyer? You could see about getting this exception written into the custody agreement, and that once you finish the semester you'll return to 50/50.


Last edited by sillysapling; 06-05-2014 at 09:42 AM.
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#11 of 11 Old 06-07-2014, 10:01 AM
 
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I think the issue here is that they are deciding custody. If the OP voluntarily gives her ex the kids for the majority of the time, he will be set up very well to get primary custody since that has been the status quo. OP would have to fight an uphill battle to get them back even half the time if the dad decides to file for primary while or right after she is away.


OP, I hope you figure out a solution!

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