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#31 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 09:08 AM
 
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I really feel that all of us (as parents) sometimes forget that divorce (or breaking apart after having a child) sucks for all involved. Nothing is going to be fair but you have to do what you have to do to maintain your priorities and connections. My priorities are my kids. Period. I would do what I had to do to make their lives easier and to keep my heart from breaking over the inherent unfairness.
The interesting thing is, that fathers are the one stuck with the unfair end of the stick. DP lived 10 minutes from the house that his ex got to keep along with the child, and judge gave him credit cards accumulated durirng the marriage and a nice CS to pay every month.
He never even argued the money, he was advised to give up the house by his lawyer and to concentrate on visitation rights (every other weekend is in the interest of the child who adores her dad? PUH-lease....).
When you say you would do what you have to to keep the kids lives easier - that means allowing your kid to come over her dad's when she wants to, and to come over her mom's when she wants to. It's parents COMPROMISING, not giving ultimatums, it's judge realizing, that *GASP* fathers LOVE their children just as much as mothers do, and that to a kid the best situation of all is to have some sort of 50/50 arrangement, and that should be a default not just on paper, but in every court.

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#32 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 03:10 PM
 
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OP, we are going through the same thing right now. DH is just about to get home from Iraq and wants more time with his son. He has for a while but had to put off asking because he got deployed.

BM will hear nothing of it. She doesn't even want to give DH two consecutive weeks in the summer. She won't even compromise, we want 3 weekends outta the month. DH has drill the first weekend. If they want to do something special we can make arrangements to compromise. Nope, now she isn't even letting me call and talk to DSS because its somehow all my fault.

DH didn't fight for more time when they origninally divorced because she did all the paper work and would have DSS there when they discussed things. He didn't want to cause anymore fights.

Its just ridiculous how uncompromising they are but we are supposed to bend over backwards for them. Its really heartbreaking.

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#33 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 08:25 PM
 
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OP, we are going through the same thing right now. DH is just about to get home from Iraq and wants more time with his son. He has for a while but had to put off asking because he got deployed.

BM will hear nothing of it. She doesn't even want to give DH two consecutive weeks in the summer. She won't even compromise, we want 3 weekends outta the month. DH has drill the first weekend. If they want to do something special we can make arrangements to compromise. Nope, now she isn't even letting me call and talk to DSS because its somehow all my fault.

DH didn't fight for more time when they origninally divorced because she did all the paper work and would have DSS there when they discussed things. He didn't want to cause anymore fights.

Its just ridiculous how uncompromising they are but we are supposed to bend over backwards for them. Its really heartbreaking.
I'm offended by this generalization. Its really quite shocking.

I'm one of "them" except I don't deal with visitation issues because ex is one of "them"; you know the typical fathers who fall off the face of the earth and don't bother to pay cs either. See how that sounds?

Until you are dealing with a child that you gave birth to in this type of situation, you have no idea what its like.

To the OP - taking your dsd for three weekends giving her mother only one weekend a month is unreasonable. If your dh wants more time with his dd he should somehow arrange to see her during the week nights. When she gets older she can decide how much more time she wants to spend with her father.
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#34 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 08:43 PM
 
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I'm offended by this generalization. Its really quite shocking.

I'm one of "them" except I don't deal with visitation issues because ex is one of "them"; you know the typical fathers who fall off the face of the earth and don't bother to pay cs either. See how that sounds?

Until you are dealing with a child that you gave birth to in this type of situation, you have no idea what its like.
When I was referring to "them" I was talking about the other household and how uncompromising they are. I am sorry you read more into my statement than was meant. It was not ment to be a generalization.

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#35 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really shocked by the amount of people who have replied in favor of the four day a month arrangement. Are you not aware that loving, devoted fathers exist? How does it seem unreasonable to ask for 6 days as opposed to 4 days per month while mom gets the other 24? I'm shocked that it seems okay to people that BM took DSD away from us just because she could. DSD lived with us for 11 months seeing her mom only when it was convenient for her. Then she just decides to change the situation and that's okay because she is her mother? Are you saying that somehow a father really does have less rights to his child than the child's mother? As a mother I can say that I expect equality. My husband is just as much a part of our children's lives as I am. I would NEVER take that away from him. We chose to have children together. If for some awful reason we divorced OUR children wouldn't suddenly become MINE. They are still ours. Our children have a right to see their father as much as they see me. I think that the law fails to take into account the child's rights. Somehow, when parents divorce, the child's relationship to her father diminishes? This is just not true and I've seen this situation too many times. It's very sad. There will be a day, though, (I truly hope) where equality is established between divorced parents. I will fight for the cause.

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#36 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 09:16 PM
 
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I'm really shocked by the amount of people who have replied in favor of the four day a month arrangement. Are you not aware that loving, devoted fathers exist? How does it seem unreasonable to ask for 6 days as opposed to 4 days per month while mom gets the other 24? I'm shocked that it seems okay to people that BM took DSD away from us just because she could. DSD lived with us for 11 months seeing her mom only when it was convenient for her. Then she just decides to change the situation and that's okay because she is her mother? Are you saying that somehow a father really does have less rights to his child than the child's mother? As a mother I can say that I expect equality. My husband is just as much a part of our children's lives as I am. I would NEVER take that away from him. We chose to have children together. If for some awful reason we divorced OUR children wouldn't suddenly become MINE. They are still ours. Our children have a right to see their father as much as they see me. I think that the law fails to take into account the child's rights. Somehow, when parents divorce, the child's relationship to her father diminishes? This is just not true and I've seen this situation too many times. It's very sad. There will be a day, though, (I truly hope) where equality is established between divorced parents. I will fight for the cause.

Laura

This is how I feel exactly. You said what I have been thinking for awhile. The weekends are the ONLY time we get to spend with DSS. We can't take hiim for a weeknight even though we live an hour away because BM thinks it interferes with school. She won't let us have him spring break or during the summer and we may be will be allowed to have him wed-sun during Winter break. How is that fair?

Its heartbreaking to have my DSS beg to come stay the weekend with us, to come be with us and he can't because its not in the parenting plan.

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#37 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 09:27 PM
 
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I don't get it. Women want equality in the paycheck, equal treatment at work, but to fight for the rights of a loving father is too much equality, I guess.

How about every poster who feels that OP needs to just "deal with it" is all of a sudden:

1. allowed to see their own kid only four days a month?
2. must ask permission to see their own child even for that little time that they get?
3. are told that's it's in the best interest of their child not to see their mother for more than 4 days a month?

I guarantee you, every mother here would be up in arms with such arrangement. Now if you think that dads don't bleed and don't feel, and don't cry - you are most convinietly mistaken.

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#38 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 10:53 PM
 
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I didn't say or imply that 4 days a month was enough for a child to see their father if the father is loving and involved as the OP's DH is. But taking away the free time that the bm has with her child isn't best for the child either. The best case in situations where both parents are involved is to live close by so that you can see dsd during the week and you can attend school functions, special events etc. In the OP's case I think that the BM putting the child in daycare instead of their care is WRONG and not in the best interest of the child. I think it is worth going to court over and I would if I were in your shoes. Having the First Right of Refusal would help you in this situation.

I have known a lot of people from divorced parents and I do not agree with the child having two residences until they are old enough (teens usually) to say thats what they want. It is VERY unsettling for a child to not have one secure consistent place to call home. Everyone is concerned with whats best for the child, splitting them in two is not. Meaning situations where its one week with mom one week with dad is not good for the stability of a child but it is happening more and more because it is whats best for the parent. There are studies that I have read (I need to find them now) that someone did on children who are now adults who were in a joint physical custody situation and how difficult it was for them growing up because they never felt like they had a home.

So, yes I think that loving, involved mothers and fathers should have relationships with their children, but that they are going to have to make sacrifices for the children. Having a child stay the night at the non-custodial home on a school night is just not good stability IMO. As I said, the ideal situation is where the parents live close to each other and can be involved with the children's day to day life while still allowing them to have a consistent place to call home.
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#39 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 10:54 PM
 
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I don't get it. Women want equality in the paycheck, equal treatment at work, but to fight for the rights of a loving father is too much equality, I guess.

How about every poster who feels that OP needs to just "deal with it" is all of a sudden:

1. allowed to see their own kid only four days a month?
2. must ask permission to see their own child even for that little time that they get?
3. are told that's it's in the best interest of their child not to see their mother for more than 4 days a month?

I guarantee you, every mother here would be up in arms with such arrangement. Now if you think that dads don't bleed and don't feel, and don't cry - you are most convinietly mistaken.
Maybe you haven't been involved with a custody battle...fathers have plenty of rights in many courts, in fact its about the father's rights not whats best for the child. Making up for past mistakes I guess.
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#40 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 11:01 PM
 
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This is how I feel exactly. You said what I have been thinking for awhile. The weekends are the ONLY time we get to spend with DSS. We can't take hiim for a weeknight even though we live an hour away because BM thinks it interferes with school. She won't let us have him spring break or during the summer and we may be will be allowed to have him wed-sun during Winter break. How is that fair?

Its heartbreaking to have my DSS beg to come stay the weekend with us, to come be with us and he can't because its not in the parenting plan.
It would interfere with school to have a child stay somewhere other than home during a school night. Why couldn't your dh go have dinner with dsc or take them to the library to help with homework. This is time, maybe not all the YOU want but it is what is best for the child.

This is what my brother does, he has two children and is divorced, he feels that they need to sleep at home during the week when they are in school. So he goes and has dinner with them, helps with their homework, etc. FTR, he and ex-sil have a horrible relationship but he pursued this in court because she was doing the same thing, not allowing anything outside of the parenting plan, even though it was not black & white. So now he lives about a mile from them, goes to all their school functions, parent conferences, special events, etc. Would he like to have them staying with him 50% of the tme, of course, but he knows that right now they need the security of one home. (they are 6 & 7). When they get older and want to be with him more then that will be ok because he is in the same school district, he planned it that way.
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#41 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 11:13 PM
 
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It would interfere with school to have a child stay somewhere other than home during a school night. Why couldn't your dh go have dinner with dsc or take them to the library to help with homework. This is time, maybe not all the YOU want but it is what is best for the child.

This is what my brother does, he has two children and is divorced, he feels that they need to sleep at home during the week when they are in school. So he goes and has dinner with them, helps with their homework, etc. FTR, he and ex-sil have a horrible relationship but he pursued this in court because she was doing the same thing, not allowing anything outside of the parenting plan, even though it was no black & white. So now he lives about a mile from them, goes to all their school functions, parent conferences, special events, etc. Would he like to have them staying with him 50% of the ime, of course, but he knows that right now they need the security of one home. (they are 6 & 7). When they get older and want to be with him more then that will be ok because he is in the same school district, he planned it that way.
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#42 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 11:41 PM
 
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It would interfere with school to have a child stay somewhere other than home during a school night. Why couldn't your dh go have dinner with dsc or take them to the library to help with homework. This is time, maybe not all the YOU want but it is what is best for the child.

This is what my brother does, he has two children and is divorced, he feels that they need to sleep at home during the week when they are in school. So he goes and has dinner with them, helps with their homework, etc. FTR, he and ex-sil have a horrible relationship but he pursued this in court because she was doing the same thing, not allowing anything outside of the parenting plan, even though it was no black & white. So now he lives about a mile from them, goes to all their school functions, parent conferences, special events, etc. Would he like to have them staying with him 50% of the ime, of course, but he knows that right now they need the security of one home. (they are 6 & 7). When they get older and want to be with him more then that will be ok because he is in the same school district, he planned it that way.
BM won't let DH do that because it interferes with the "schedule" she has DSS on. This is just regarding one DSS, his other two live outta state. We have asked for any extra time, we have been trying to come up with some sort of compromise. We offered to move to the same town as them, she threw a fit and started screaming at me. DH wants to be involved with the school, she changed schools. DH is planning on calling the school but she screams at us about it. We have tried to come up with something that will work for everyone involved. It doesn't work if nobody the other party isn't willing to compromise or suggest anything other than what is already going on. BM won't even talk to DH anymore, over the phone or through e-mail. So you tell me, what is my husband supposed to do?

We would rather avoid court because it is not in DSS' best interests to have his family fighting. He loves us all equally but it looks like we are at least going to try mediation first.


Just because you get divorced doesn't mean you stop being a parent. Just like you being divorced doesn't stop you from your financial obligation to your children.

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#43 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 11:47 PM
 
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BM won't let DH do that because it interferes with the "schedule" she has DSS on. This is just regarding one DSS, his other two live outta state. We have asked for any extra time, we have been trying to come up with some sort of compromise. We offered to move to the same town as them, she threw a fit and started screaming at me. DH wants to be involved with the school, she changed schools. DH is planning on calling the school but she screams at us about it. We have tried to come up with something that will work for everyone involved. It doesn't work if nobody the other party isn't willing to compromise or suggest anything other than what is already going on. BM won't even talk to DH anymore, over the phone or through e-mail. So you tell me, what is my husband supposed to do?

We would rather avoid court because it is not in DSS' best interests to have his family fighting. He loves us all equally but it looks like we are at least going to try mediation first.


Just because you get divorced doesn't mean you stop being a parent. Just like you being divorced doesn't stop you from your financial obligation to your children.
I am sorry, your situation is really bad, your dh has to do something about it. My ex-sil is REALLY awful and was taking a lot out on the kids but my brother felt like that in the short-term was better than long-term limited involvement. In your situation I really think you guys have a basis for getting more time with the kids. Unfortunately you may have to file something in court. My brother did this a lot, and my ex-sil always ended up compromising to avoid going to court because she knew she would "lose".

Good luck whatever direction you decide.
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#44 of 51 Old 09-02-2007, 08:28 AM
 
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Maybe you haven't been involved with a custody battle...fathers have plenty of rights in many courts, in fact its about the father's rights not whats best for the child. Making up for past mistakes I guess.
I"m not understanding what past mistakes are you talking about? And once again, I don't know the courts in your area, but out of three divorced fathers I closely interract with, and one that I live with, didn't get to have their kids to live with them, and NOT because they didn't want it.

Statement that "fathers have plenty rights in many courts" sounds silly when you are living with a man who changes dipers, and feeds the toddler, does the dishes, and is there for every parent-teacher conference even when mom isn't. He asked for full custory but didn't get it. He loves his daughter, and he had to battle the courts that you said "give fathers plenty of rights", for two years to extend visitations to at least one extra weekend and to allow phone calls with his own kid.

Once again, when you see your child only four days a month, you will understand whether or not it is "best for your child". As far as things being unsettled - I can understand that it might be true for some kids, but here si a point about the bigger topic for this thread...

How about bm having to come up with visitation schedule for herself then? How about DAD stays at home, and takes care of a kid, and bm works three jobs to pay "fair amount" of CS?.. How about she figures out how to have a dinner in the middle of the week with her kid, come pick up her child, and drop them off by "this" o'clock.

When you try to imagine yourself in this situation - your heart will break, and you will never be the same.

The point I am trying to make is I don't believe that there are THAT many better mothers than fathers out there. Yet I know of no one who lives with their dad. We accept the fact that father must work and pay CS, and mother can raise the child. What's wrong with it being the other way around? We all know families where dad has more patience and is great with kids, so why not give him custody once in a while? And provide kids with a stable home in DAD's home. Trust me, he will feed his daughter and will go to her chorus recitals, and will bring her to all her doctor's appointments.

Bottom line - courts are biased.

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#45 of 51 Old 09-02-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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I have been thinking about this thread a lot in the past day, and I think that I have changed my mind. It's not realistic that the father would only get two weekends out of a month after having his daughter live with him for eleven months. Even if she hadn't lived with him it shouldn't matter.

The fact that the mother won't bend on this is clearly showing that she considers her own needs as more important than what her child needs. The kid lives with her, and I understand that morning and after-school time isn't exactly quality time, but it's certainly a lot more than the father gets.

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#46 of 51 Old 09-02-2007, 11:49 AM
 
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I"m not understanding what past mistakes are you talking about? And once again, I don't know the courts in your area, but out of three divorced fathers I closely interract with, and one that I live with, didn't get to have their kids to live with them, and NOT because they didn't want it.

Statement that "fathers have plenty rights in many courts" sounds silly when you are living with a man who changes dipers, and feeds the toddler, does the dishes, and is there for every parent-teacher conference even when mom isn't. He asked for full custory but didn't get it. He loves his daughter, and he had to battle the courts that you said "give fathers plenty of rights", for two years to extend visitations to at least one extra weekend and to allow phone calls with his own kid.

Once again, when you see your child only four days a month, you will understand whether or not it is "best for your child". As far as things being unsettled - I can understand that it might be true for some kids, but here si a point about the bigger topic for this thread...

How about bm having to come up with visitation schedule for herself then? How about DAD stays at home, and takes care of a kid, and bm works three jobs to pay "fair amount" of CS?.. How about she figures out how to have a dinner in the middle of the week with her kid, come pick up her child, and drop them off by "this" o'clock.

When you try to imagine yourself in this situation - your heart will break, and you will never be the same.

The point I am trying to make is I don't believe that there are THAT many better mothers than fathers out there. Yet I know of no one who lives with their dad. We accept the fact that father must work and pay CS, and mother can raise the child. What's wrong with it being the other way around? We all know families where dad has more patience and is great with kids, so why not give him custody once in a while? And provide kids with a stable home in DAD's home. Trust me, he will feed his daughter and will go to her chorus recitals, and will bring her to all her doctor's appointments.

Bottom line - courts are biased.
I'm talking about past mistakes that the courts made by always giving the mother custody by default, even if she was not the primary caregiver. There are counties in this country that are VERY pro-father, I dealt with one. Myds ex (we were not married) took me to court when ds was less than a year old. He didn't want ds, he wanted us to get back together. He held it over my head for months before filing....I even at one point got back together with him, very briefly, to try to avoid the court battle.

This is a father who NEVER took care of his child, I was the sole caregiver. He was not living in the house with us but had open access to see ds but never did, unless I was involved. I finally had all of the blackmail I could take...he had me served on my birthday (on purpose). When we went to court it had been months since he laid eyes on ds, ds didn't know him at all. I had letters from ds's Dr. stating I was the primary caregiver along with a concrete case that ex had never once taken care of ds.

Guess what? The judge ordered us to go to mediation but gave a temporary order of OEW from Friday - Sunday night, and all day on Wednesdays. He refused to order cs. This was a still breastfeeding baby who had only ever been cared for by me, whose father didn't own a car seat, had no idea what ds ate, what comforted him....nothing. Of course because this was just retaliation against me he never followed-up (I wouldn't have ever let him take my baby anyway). I suggested much more time during court, allowing for transition time but no overnights. The judge could have cared less what I had to say. Ex dropped off the face of the earth after this, because he really only wanted to try to hurt me and get me to get back together. Point is, although it was totally obvious this was what was going on, the court didn't care. I know a lot of similar situations.

I now have sole legal and physical custody, ex hasn't seen ds for over 1.5 years and has no plans to. He even wanted to give up his parental rights and I had the papers drawn up but then he found out I could still "come after him" for cs, so he retracted. He doesn't pay cs and has threated that if I file for cs he will try for joint custody, and we now live on opposite coasts. I can't afford a legal battle and I don't trust the court, so I won't file for cs - even though I could really use the money. If a mother behaved this way she would most likely never be able to see her children unsupervised again, if even at all. But I know many situations where fathers have dropped off the face of the earth for years, and waltz back in and are able to get immediate visitation with their children.

I think we are coming at this from such very different places that we will never agree, and thats ok. I really have empathy for your dh's situation, he should have more time with his children, no doubt.
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#47 of 51 Old 09-02-2007, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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cycle- I appreciate that we do, indeed, come at this from entirely different angles. I guess ideally the approach I want to see taken with custody arrangements would begin with equality. However, that includes responsibilities not just rights. If either party, mom or dad, can't uphold their end of the responsibilities than the arrangement should me modified accordingly. When I talk about equality, though,I am by no means saying that mother and father should be a part of the child regardless of inability to do so. Also, I think that age and whether or not a child is breastfeeding should be a HUGE factor. No judge should have given your ex your baby for any length of time while he was still breastfeeding. That is something a father cannot do, obviously. I'm sad for you and your baby that this happened.

On the other hand, I think that pining away for your father/mother as a result of not seeing them as much as you ask to is way harder on a child then maintaining two residences. Not divorcing in the first place is obviously the most ideal situation for a child. However, if divorce is inevitable then I just can't see how diminishing your relationship with either parent is healthy. Given our particular circumstance I can't understand how some of you moms can say that we are being unrealistic. Our child was taken from us for no reason. We were the ones to console her when she got a boo-boo, to read her bedtime stories, tuck her in to bed at night and to explain why Mommy isn't coming after all for 11 months. Her mom was not interested. Then, though, just because BM is her mother a judge can decide to take all of that away. Is that healthy? DSD was daddy's little girl and now she hardly ever sees her daddy. I just don't see the right in this scenario. Now, though, we are still fighting for her and we just have no recourse. Moving closer, yes. But this takes time. We're trying but in the meantime we have to just live without seeing her? It just doesn't make sense.

Laura
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#48 of 51 Old 09-03-2007, 01:08 AM
 
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at least on the surface, 50-50 split of weekends seems fair.
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#49 of 51 Old 09-04-2007, 12:50 AM
 
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Okay so i know this is more driving and not more time but I wonder if doing a weekend schedule that goes.

Weekend One
friday night mom
Saturday night Dad

Weekend two
friday night dat
saturday night mom

weekend three
dad

weekend four mom.

would work and make it seem like you get to see child more often.

Baby Mama, Law Student, Milk Maker:
Mom-type to DSS 10/12/03, Mom to DS 10/05/06 and DD 11/03/08.
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#50 of 51 Old 09-04-2007, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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myra_mcgray- I like this idea. It's one that I have not considered. I like it because we still get to stay more regularly connected with DSD. Thanks!
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#51 of 51 Old 09-13-2007, 02:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myra_mcgray View Post
Okay so i know this is more driving and not more time but I wonder if doing a weekend schedule that goes.

Weekend One
friday night mom
Saturday night Dad

Weekend two
friday night dat
saturday night mom

weekend three
dad

weekend four mom.

would work and make it seem like you get to see child more often.
This seems like a great idea - I hope you can get BM to agree to it. I also think you need to push the afterschool evenings during the week. My brother has dinner, helps with homework, etc. a couple of days a week with his girls and gets them home before bedtime. This time has been crucial to he and the girls staying connected between the EOWs.
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