Custody Question


#1

I posted on the “Parenting Forum” on this one…but my suggestion is to attempt a joint custody arrangement with equal time.
You said that you have a good co-parenting relationship up until now…why would the ex wanting to spend more time with his son change your co-parenting relationship?
Yes, I believe that it is fair for him to ask you to change the agreement and request more time with his son. Why would you think it is unfair?


#2

Of course you would think it is fair…look at your UserName. Why is it that all females that come into a relationship with a man that has children always want him to gain more visitation? The dad was fine with the arrangement…but it seems (and I’ve been in this situation too) that the new female always sees it as a slap and that her new man needs to have his children more. If he wanted them more often - he would have already done this! Why can’t you leave things alone? The majority of issues come up with the stepmom and new girlfriend getting involved where they don’t belong! I hope one day that your husband is in the same boat and that his new lady friend makes him seek more visitation. It’s a female against female thing. The new woman wants to take the kids away from the existing female. Make your own life…don’t mess with the children in this picture!


#3

You sound very bitter and threatened. I do hope that if one day down the road, when you find someone who wants to marry you again, that they do not already have children from a previous relationship.

This was not a direct attack on you and I do not appreciate being attacked directly either. You don’t know me. You don’t know my life or what I have been through. You don’t know why I believe that it is a good thing for ANY parent to want to spend more time with thier child. Mother or father. My stepson’s have a mother and I have never nor would I ever want to try to replace her.

There are a lot of stepparents on this forum “justlooking” and you are slapping a lot of faces when you state things like, “The majority of issues come up with the stepmom and new girlfriend getting involved where they don’t belong!” If you want to have a negative approach to your life, my friend, you will continue to be as miserable as you are right now. But that does not give you reason to subject everyone else to your negativity. It does NO ONE ANY good to be closed minded, especially your children. This is NOT a female against female thing unless women like you make it one. Save your money on the lawyers and the stress on your children and realize that though your ex may be with someone else, you may be with someone else but that does NOT change the fact that you are that child/children’s parents.
Legally, either parent can take the other to court to modify custody at any time for any reason. If they have the money, they can do it. Just because an arrangement has worked for years even, does not mean that it will always work. Things change. Deal with it.
Why should one parent get to watch the child grow up while the other sits on the sidelines? Especially if that parent WANTS to be involved. If your ex’s new girlfriend or wife encourages your ex to spend more time with the children then the children are the one that benefit. If you don’t care about how this affects your children then I guess it doesn’t matter if you look at it as a competition between you and her…I do wish you the best in your life and I will keep you in my thoughts.


#4

You made a good point about if the parent has the ‘money’ they can take the other to court. Well he has the money and I don’t. I wonder if that means he would automatically ‘win’ more custody. I never wanted my ex to sit on the sidelines, at the same time due to the circumstances of the actual ‘visitations’ with dad, my son is actually spending the majority of the time with girlfriend and girlfriends son and not dad. Dad is conintuously leaving, working or allowing girlfriend to take my son sometimes for the whole day while he does football?? I don’t feel this is just, fair or ‘quality’ time. If Dad was actually spending the time with our son then I would have a different tune. Very complicated and because now they are living together and his life is more settled NOW he wants him more… He chose to leave our family, life and marriage and now I have to pay the price somehow… Well, stepmother I always appreciate your responses, even if I dont’ agree… your views are welcome and alot of the times you make alot of sense and have helped me see things in a different light. Take care.

quote:
[i]Originally posted by stepmother[/i] [br]You sound very bitter and threatened. I do hope that if one day down the road, when you find someone who wants to marry you again, that they do not already have children from a previous relationship.

This was not a direct attack on you and I do not appreciate being attacked directly either. You don’t know me. You don’t know my life or what I have been through. You don’t know why I believe that it is a good thing for ANY parent to want to spend more time with thier child. Mother or father. My stepson’s have a mother and I have never nor would I ever want to try to replace her.

There are a lot of stepparents on this forum “justlooking” and you are slapping a lot of faces when you state things like, “The majority of issues come up with the stepmom and new girlfriend getting involved where they don’t belong!” If you want to have a negative approach to your life, my friend, you will continue to be as miserable as you are right now. But that does not give you reason to subject everyone else to your negativity. It does NO ONE ANY good to be closed minded, especially your children. This is NOT a female against female thing unless women like you make it one. Save your money on the lawyers and the stress on your children and realize that though your ex may be with someone else, you may be with someone else but that does NOT change the fact that you are that child/children’s parents.
Legally, either parent can take the other to court to modify custody at any time for any reason. If they have the money, they can do it. Just because an arrangement has worked for years even, does not mean that it will always work. Things change. Deal with it.
Why should one parent get to watch the child grow up while the other sits on the sidelines? Especially if that parent WANTS to be involved. If your ex’s new girlfriend or wife encourages your ex to spend more time with the children then the children are the one that benefit. If you don’t care about how this affects your children then I guess it doesn’t matter if you look at it as a competition between you and her…I do wish you the best in your life and I will keep you in my thoughts.



#5

Thank you justlooking… it is nice to have someone actually agree with me on at least 1 topic once in a while.

quote:
[i]Originally posted by justlooking[/i] [br]Of course you would think it is fair...look at your UserName. Why is it that all females that come into a relationship with a man that has children always want him to gain more visitation? The dad was fine with the arrangement...but it seems (and I've been in this situation too) that the new female always sees it as a slap and that her new man needs to have his children more. If he wanted them more often - he would have already done this! Why can't you leave things alone? The majority of issues come up with the stepmom and new girlfriend getting involved where they don't belong! I hope one day that your husband is in the same boat and that his new lady friend makes him seek more visitation. It's a female against female thing. The new woman wants to take the kids away from the existing female. Make your own life...don't mess with the children in this picture!

#6

[quote]Originally posted by JustUs
[br]You made a good point about if the parent has the ‘money’ they can take the other to court. Well he has the money and I don’t. I wonder if that means he would automatically ‘win’ more custody. I never wanted my ex to sit on the sidelines, at the same time due to the circumstances of the actual ‘visitations’ with dad, my son is actually spending the majority of the time with girlfriend and girlfriends son and not dad. Dad is conintuously leaving, working or allowing girlfriend to take my son sometimes for the whole day while he does football?? I don’t feel this is just, fair or ‘quality’ time. If Dad was actually spending the time with our son then I would have a different tune. Very complicated and because now they are living together and his life is more settled NOW he wants him more… He chose to leave our family, life and marriage and now I have to pay the price somehow… Well, stepmother I always appreciate your responses, even if I dont’ agree… your views are welcome and alot of the times you make alot of sense and have helped me see things in a different light. Take care.

Justus, I was directing the majority of that last post to the previous poster who wanted to make this about me. It’s not about me and I did not appreciate being attacked for being a stepparent or a 2nd wife.
Just because your ex has money does not necessarily mean that he will get more custody, but in NC more and more courts are swaying towards joint custody. As I said, joint custody is more fair for both parents and the child(ren).
Maybe your ex is doing this to punish you. Maybe he’s doing this to get back at you. Maybe he’s letting his new girlfriend run his relationship with his son and he’s rubbing your nose in the fact that after 4 years, you are still alone. Maybe he simply wants more time so that he doesn’t have to cram all his quality time into 6 days a month. I don’t know his reasonings behind why he wants more custody. I believe that ANY parent who wants to spend more time with their child(ren) whether that is the mother or the father should have that right.
You mentioned quality time…does every minute of every day that you spend with your son count as “quality” time?
My stepsons have two families that love them and care for them. Their mother’s live in boyfriend does more with them than she does but I see that as her loss. There is nothing legally that can be done to change that because that is her time with the boys. If she chooses to spend it away from the children then that is her choice and I know that it will be sad when they are grown and this realization hits her. My husband has always been an active father and the primary caregiver and though he would have won primary custody due to a lot of things at the time of their divorce, that would not have been fair to the children or their mother. Just because she left him for another man and he lost his wife, did not mean that the children had to lose their mother. Their mother has made it almost impossible for me to have any type of relationship with them because she feels the way that you do. That I’m trying to replace her. I didn’t marry my husband because he had children. In fact, I didn’t know the children when I first met him. I married him because I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him. The children were a bonus and something added to my life that I didn’t expect or even realize was missing. This is my own experience and I understand that every situation is different. But I do hope that if you get remarried, your new husband will be able to be close to your son. I hope that he will understand that your son has room in his life for more that ONE person.

My suggestion to you is this…find a way to let go of what happened. Work out an arrangement that benefits your son regardless of what the benefits are to his father or his “new family”. Spend any extra time that your son is at his father’s doing something YOU want to do and finding out what you want out of this life. I know that your child is the most important thing to you. You plan everything around him and his schedule. When you shop, it’s with him in mind, whether that’s grocery or clothes. That’s how I am with my stepson’s. That’s the way it should be…but what will happen when he is grown and gone? You need to take care of yourself too. You need to be happy and you deserve to be but you also need to believe it. Your ex left you and your marriage, his loss! He screwed up. But there’s no going back and changing it now. So why are you still punishing yourself for this?
I sincerely wish you the best in this situation and hope that you will keep us posted.


#7

Child custody is always based on the best interests of the child. If you have a prior court order the court will only change the custody schedule if there is a substantial change in circumstances, if there is no prior court order and the two of you end up in court, the court will make a custody schedule based on the best interests of the minor children.

However, there is no reason you have to go to court. If you and your ex have always had a good co-parenting relationship there is no reason the two of you could not try to work this out through mediation. I would suggest the two of you try to sit down and talk and come up with a schedule that works for both of you.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#8

I wanted to respond. I am all for joint custody…it is what I have with my ex. However I have ‘primary custody’–meaning the children mainly live with me. I have always encouraged extra visits and time for the ex, however, actually spending 50/50 time in the house is problematic for many reasons. One week here, one week there is very disruptive for schedules. Unless you live next door to your ex, it is hard to do this especially if there isn’t a place set up for your children at the ex’s house. In my case, my ex is remarried. He lives in his wife’s house. That said, there is nothing of my ex’s there nor of my kids. They stay in the ‘guest bedrooms’. They have no identity in her house. Rules are very different to. They don’t have their friends over and are not allowed to use the computer or play their instruments. So in this case, my kids don’t WANT to stay there eventhough they like spending extra time with their Dad.

When a child is young, moving back and forth CAN and DOES disrupt their schedule. If you have a child that needs structure, it’s hard to do that with the one week on/ one week off scenario.

So I understand both sides. You want your children to maintain that relationship, but you want them to also have that stability of not always living out of a suitcase…being shuffled back and forth. I’m sure my case is a bit unique, but I see both sides. I’ve also seen sides where the Dad only wants more time so he doesn’t have to pay as much child support. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s a money thing. It works both ways I’m sure.


#9

I just read this and it really makes a lot of sense?

quote:
[i]Originally posted by needinganswers[/i] [br]I wanted to respond. I am all for joint custody...it is what I have with my ex. However I have 'primary custody'--meaning the children mainly live with me. I have always encouraged extra visits and time for the ex, however, actually spending 50/50 time in the house is problematic for many reasons. One week here, one week there is very disruptive for schedules. Unless you live next door to your ex, it is hard to do this especially if there isn't a place set up for your children at the ex's house. In my case, my ex is remarried. He lives in his wife's house. That said, there is nothing of my ex's there nor of my kids. They stay in the 'guest bedrooms'. They have no identity in her house. Rules are very different to. They don't have their friends over and are not allowed to use the computer or play their instruments. So in this case, my kids don't WANT to stay there eventhough they like spending extra time with their Dad.

When a child is young, moving back and forth CAN and DOES disrupt their schedule. If you have a child that needs structure, it’s hard to do that with the one week on/ one week off scenario.

So I understand both sides. You want your children to maintain that relationship, but you want them to also have that stability of not always living out of a suitcase…being shuffled back and forth. I’m sure my case is a bit unique, but I see both sides. I’ve also seen sides where the Dad only wants more time so he doesn’t have to pay as much child support. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s a money thing. It works both ways I’m sure.



#10

There is no court order but there is a separation agreement where it states our current custody arrangement, does that count in court?

quote:
[i]Originally posted by Helena Nevicosi[/i] [br]Child custody is always based on the best interests of the child. If you have a prior court order the court will only change the custody schedule if there is a substantial change in circumstances, if there is no prior court order and the two of you end up in court, the court will make a custody schedule based on the best interests of the minor children.

However, there is no reason you have to go to court. If you and your ex have always had a good co-parenting relationship there is no reason the two of you could not try to work this out through mediation. I would suggest the two of you try to sit down and talk and come up with a schedule that works for both of you.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.



#11

My understanding is, if it is signed and notorized by both parties, yes. Your ex can file to have the custody modified, but until then this is the legal document on your case until there is a modification filed either through a court order or another notorized agreement between the two of you.


#12

A contract will be upheld by the court, however, if the court believes your contract is not in the best interests of your child they are free to modify custody at any time they wish prior to the time the children reach the age of 18. In any event the court will use the contract as evidence of your previous custodial arrangement and what you thought was in the best interests of the children.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#13

My ex just moved in with his new girlfriend and her 10 year old son. She has primary custody of her son, and is pushing pretty heavily to get my ex to change our visitation agreement so that he has our son more often. Currently it is the traditional set-up, 10 days in the summer, every other week-end, every Wed. for a few hours, every other holiday. My ex and I have always had a good co-parenting relationship until now. He is now threatening to take me to court to petition our separation agreement that we have had established for 4 years to get more custody. Where do I stand, what should I do, is this fair? I feel that he already has resonable, fair and liberal visititation, not to mention I have always been flexiable.