I know custody is joint in the absence of an agreement, but how does this work from a visitation standpoint? We’ve been doing an every-other-weekend schedule since April. Can my stbx just come and get them whenever he wants and I have to give them to him? What about if he demands that I watch them when it’s not my “usual” weekend per the schedule we’ve been keeping. And how do I file for child support if there is no defined number of days in an agreement?
This is why you have an agreement drawn up. If you’re not on good terms and can’t work out a reasonable schedule, then you need something concrete. Right now it’s equal time/equal right. If he’s only doing the every other weekend, then you would use Schedule A for support.
It sounds like they stay primarily with you and he gets every other weekend?
That would be perceived as joint custody with you having primary custodianship. In that case, if he doesn’t show up for ‘his weekend’, then they’re yours. But that doesn’t prevent him from coming on ‘your weekend’ to get them. The custody agreement places some regularity in place for the kids and you…if he misses a weekend, then he can’t just come get them without your say-so.
I’ve been trying for 7 months to get this done.
You can file for child support at any time, regardless of whether there is a set agreement on custody. The court will award temporary support based on the current custodial circumstances.
As for custody, you both have equal rights to the children at any time. Your ex’s behavior is exactly why folks file for custody and have temporary hearings, in order to have a clear set schedule, and avoid inconsistencies (and arguments) for the children’s sake.