Establishing Child Custody Order

I understand your concerns, but do you think it’s fair and reasonable for the children to only have contact with their own Father for a weekend, a week out of the year, and holidays?

[i]Originally posted by hawkman[/i] [br]I understand your concerns, but do you think it's fair and reasonable for the children to only have contact with their own Father for a weekend, a week out of the year, and holidays?

No. I don’t. If things had worked out the way I wanted, they would be with us both everyday. And would have been for the last few years. They barely know him, and I hate that. I grew up without a father and mother and I would never want the girls to feel anything remotely similar.

But, we live an hour and a half apart, I don’t have a car and he doesn’t have a license so we’d both depend on our families for pick up/drop offs. And I’ve been looking online for age appropriate visitation guidelines, and that seems to be the norm in ‘minimum requirements’.

His daughter from a previous relationship was bi-weekly and when she started school the order changed so that she could see her mother one weekend per month, holidays on odd years and most of summer vacation. Now that he has lost custody of the child, the order turned around and he’s the one that only gets to see her one weekend per month, holidays, etc. They live 4 hours apart.

Mind you, the only reason she was able to begin school with him was he kept the child the weekend he was supposed to return her and served the mother with papers Monday morning and by the time to court date came, the child was settled in school. Not to mention that the child was living with his parents and he saw her about as much as her mother. He just wouldn’t surrender custody for spite.

I would agree to almost every weekend, every holiday of every year, the day before their birthdays every year and his birthday, his vacation days from work, etc. I don’t want to limit the time they see him drastically. I just want to be the primary custodian and for them to live with me . They’ve been my life for their entire lives. And he’s been content seeing them 3 or 4 times a month.

I wish this wasn’t happening. I remember him telling me during my first pregnancy that he never wanted to go through a custody fight again, he was too old to be raising babies, blah blah blah. But now that his pockets have come into play, I think that has changed.

I swear: every time I type, it ends up being way too long!

Oh! And in the original post, @ the end when I put ‘one weekend a year’, I meant ‘one weekend a month’.


My X and I have been married for 3 1/2 years. The last two of those we have lived separately [he with his parents & brother, me with my grandparents]. Counting the previous separation, we have lived together a total of 1 year. But, we’ve considered ourselves ‘married and trying to work things out’. We have 2 children, a 3 year old and a 1 year old that have lived with me FULL TIME. Since the 3 year old’s birth, she has lived with both of us about 7 months total and the other 2 1/2 years with me. My X has taken her about 3 or 4 weekends to his home. The 1 year old has spent one day without me when I was in the hospital. He has always visited about 1x per week.

In August, I began to prepare for the end of our part time relationship: filing with child support enforcement to get support for them. He knew, and said nothing. But in the past he had told me that he would sue for custody before paying child support or he would terminate his parental rights. 2 weeks ago when I ended it completely and told him I wanted nothing to do with him. But, he was free to call and talk to the oldest and if he wanted to see them, that was fine: just send an email or leave a message saying when or where and I’d get back to him.

Since then, he went to court contested the child support amount and got the case continued until January. He has given me no money. Starting Thanksgiving he began to call over and over, but I won’t talk to him, in order to avoid a fight. He sent an email saying he wanted to see them and I replied that he could tell me when and where in the next email. He refused, and is determined to force me to talk to him to arrange it. He also said something about ‘wanting to pick them up’.

Because there is no formal order, I’m afraid he’ll try to keep them if I let him take them anywhere so I want to be able to be there when he visits, @ the park or something. I’m also afraid that he will sue for primary custody of them before the next child support hearing.

I believe the only things he could try to use against me are the fact that I don’t work [haven’t since we began dating except for the beginning of 2 year separation for 5 months: currently looking], and a suicide attempt when the 1 year old was 10 days old. They decided that was due to postpartum depression. And it seems that it wouldn’t hold much weight in court being that it was over a year ago and they’re healthy and happy girls.

I have 3 real questions:

  1. Should I try to file for custody to establish an order, or wait to see if he does?
  2. What are the chances of him gaining primary custody since they have always lived with me?
  3. If he was to pick them up for a visit right now and refuse to give them back, would that be legal? Am I already considered the primary custodian since they’ve been with me?

I want them to spend time with him, visit him and all that. They need him. I have no problem with them going with him once a week, one weekend a year, all holidays and all that: I just want to keep the full time with me.