Minor children--50/50 custody


#1

My ex insisted on split custody of our minor children. They spend a week with me, then a week with him. This is handled informally as we have no signed separation agreement and are going to court in a couple months.

The ex continues to make plans to be out of town during his week prior to asking me if it is OK for the kids to stay with me. I have asked him to speak to me prior to making plans in case I have plans of my own. He has said he would find ‘alternate adult supervision’ if this happens.

He also insists that me having extra time with the kids (my share of overnights is greater than 50%) doesn’t mean he should have to pay more in child support. I want all the time I can get with my kids, but do not like my ex’s thoughtless actions and think child support should be fair and not always in his favor.

Is finding ‘alternate adult supervision’ (probably his live-in girlfriend) acceptable?

Would I be better off to ask for more than 50/50 shared custody when we go to court?


#2

Since your “agreement” is informal, the Court has not made specific orders. You can ask for anything you like! If he has not been diligent in exercising his informal custodial rights, then you have a good chance of getting more than 50/50, but you have to prove that he really hasn’t been a 50/50 dad. Take the kids whenever you can! Chances are the Court is not going to get involved with alternative custodians. The Court doesn’t care unless the person named to take care of the kids is a detriment to their well being, but that rarely happens! If you want more custody and nothing has been officially decided, then by all means, you can try for more than 50/50. The Court is hesitant to upset the “status quo”.


#3

If your ex is not using his time to spend with the children, you should have that time. It seems to me that he is insisting on a 50/50 schedule to lessen his financial obligation, not to spend time with the children. As for the alternate supervision, that is not acceptable. It is one thing to have a babysitter here and there, and quite another to have someone else care for the children for entire blocks of custodial time.