My personal beliefs about 50/50


#1

What is best for the children? 50/50? 60/40? 70/30? I’ll tell you my opinion.

What is best for my children is for self-righteous judges, money-grubbing attorneys and corrupt politicians to STOP INTERFERING with my God-given right to the care, nurture and legal control of my children! It isn’t up to a JUDGE to decide how much time I should get to spend with my own child.

The US Constitution is the supreme law of the land (though few remember it). My right to liberty is paramount. The purpose of the Constitution is to LIMIT not GRANT power to the Federal Government. The 14th Ammendment states that no person shall be deprived of their liberties without due process. The US Supreme Court ruled in Troxel that the most basic liberty protected by the Constitution is the right of parents to provide care, control and companionship to their children. Furthermore, the Court ruled that neither state nor federal government can infringe on the rights of parents to these liberties UNLESS they are proven through due process to be unfit.

Do you understand what this means? It means that the government has NO BUSINESS stepping in and interfering with my time with my child UNLESS I am first found to be unfit by a court of law. Guess what! I have never done anything wrong… yet I, like so many other men in America, have been STRIPPED of my Constitutional right to time with my children arbitrarily by a family court judge who exercised “judicial discretion”. I was never accused of being an unfit parent, nor was I ever tried in court on any charges of being unfit. Yet, because I am a MALE, the court determined after my divorce that primary custody would be given to my children’s mother and I would only get to see my children 4 days a month.

I, like almost all other men, was secretly judged to be “unfit” to have custody of my children by a judge FOR NO REASON other than I was born with the wrong genitalia. It is tyranny in its blackest form!

When a complaint for custody goes before a judge there is, or SHOULD BE, a presumption of equal custody. The judge should NEVER award a 60/40, 70/30 or any other scenario UNLESS one or the other parent is found to be a danger to the children. 50/50 is the only Constitutional arrangement for a court to consider when both parents are fit and proper.

Is 50/50 best for the kids? That isn’t for you to decide. If so, then why don’t we just let judges step in and decide who should spend the most time with the kids WHILE the couple is married? Of course everyone would scoff at that. Why? Because we all know that it would be a gross intrusion for a judge to tell two good, married parents how much time each gets to spend with the kids. IT’S NONE OF THE COURT’S BUSINESS! Likewise, both parents retain the right to equal custody after divorce unless one of them is found, through due process, to be unfit.

All your speculating about whether 50/50 is best for the kids is irrelevant. What is best for the kids is that they have full access to BOTH parents. Almost all empirical studies confirm this. If the parents can’t get along, then that’s just the way it is. Obviously the kids were having to deal with this issue before the parents got divorced. That’s life. You do the best you can. Buy you DON’T make things better by letting the government step in and PUNISH one of the parents when he or she has done nothing wrong. It infringes upon the right of the innocent parent and is state-sponsored evil.


#2

Judges, courts nor government was even mentioned in my post. None of these were factors in mine nor my husband’s custody agreements, except when they were filed with the couts as part of a divorce decree. You state that YOUR right is paramount… sure, but as a parent you make concessions in order to provide for your kids… I have given MY SON, MY STEPSON, MY STEPDAUGHTER my right the right in the presuit of happiness. Sure, I could be selfish and make it all about me, but as a momma, I want my son to go on to bigger and better things than I have. I feel the same way for my husband’s kids (he is a man who does have primary custody of his kids) I play cabbie to carpool them to and from activities for all the kids. It would make me “happy” to spend money on trips to tropical islands or muscle cars, but as a parent I spend money on cheer costumes, guitars, and braces. While I never had braces as a child, and severely need them now, I put the kids first and when they’re done, maybe I’ll have a chance. In other words the kids are first. That is what my previous post emphasizes… the child’s needs. You say it isn’t for me to decide if 50/50 is best for kids, not the courts, then who? I am a momma, a step momma, a wife… I think I qualify to state my opinion. And it is just that… an opinion. I see the effect it has on the kids. The sadness in their voices when they have to turn down a invitation because they aren’t going to be home. Then there are family functions. Cookouts where friends and family get together, the kids miss out on running and playing with cousins, friends and getting doted on by grandma and grandpa. Thus creating a distance from them. The “shuttled” kids see that other kids in the family are closer to each other and feel left out. It is the kids who get the shortest end of the stick and have absoulutely no voice in the descion. In our case, the kids are getting old enough to make their feelings known, but are caught in the middle when it comes to asking for what they want. They feel that if they state their opinion that the effected parent won’t love them. Yeah… that is the situation the kids need to be in… the middle. We’ve had incidents where the other parent has come right out and asked the kids to lie… She was moving back to NC and didn’t want to change the visitation schedule. When this was brought to light, the child who told was inconsolable as to how her momma was going to be mad at her. This is unfair to a six year old girl. With one parent who makes the descions and enforces the rules while allowing the other to spend time (not necessarily overnights) with BOTH parents is more benificial… it gives the child STABILITY!!! That is what any child psychologist would say is important for any child from birth to even in college. I do not push my feeling about the other parent on my son nor my husband’s kids. I put my right to free spech aside in order to keep what stability they have secure. That is what a parent does.


#3

You wrote:

“… one parent who makes the descions and enforces the rules while allowing the other to spend time (not necessarily overnights) with BOTH parents is more benificial… it gives the child STABILITY!!!”

Ho! Ho! Ho! I love it! One parent makes all the decisions while ALLOWING the other parent to spend time with his own child??? Brilliant. Clearly THAT is what is best for children.

How about this… let’s all work to change the system so that from now on 80% of all divorces end with the FATHERS being granted full custody. Let’s put men in charge of making all the decisions and enforcing the rules and MAYBE let their ex-wives “spend some time” with their own children - but absolutely no more than 4 days per month. I mean, since that is exactly the way it works now, except in the mother’s favor, then why should any women have a problem “putting the children first” and switching roles with the men in America. Trust me, I’m all for women’s lib.

Yes, since you put it that way… I like the idea. Depriving America’s children the opportunity to enjoy the love, time and companionship of their mothers is EXACTLY how to fix the problem. It obviously doesn’t hurt the kids a bit to have their relationship with one parent decimated by a family court.

COME ON! You sound intelligent and concerned for the welfare of children. What are you doing on the wrong side of this issue? Children need and deserve BOTH parents.


#4

I’ll put in my 2 cents…
In my opinion 50/50 is actually the only scenario that is fair to the child. The child that is forced to choose or misses out spending time with one parent because the other parent feels they have more stability is the one that loses. Why should one child miss out on time with their father or mother because the parents no longer wish to be together.
I understand what trbotina means about hearing it in their voices or them actually voicing their displeasure about having to go to the other parent but it’s our job as parents/stepparents to make sure that they KNOW that their decision will not affect how we feel about them. I will not love my stepsons any less because they do not want to go to my father’s house for Sunday dinner and would rather go to a birthday party with their mother. If they are tired of being passed between parents then they should be able to say it. We should be able to give them a safe enough environment so that they know their opinions and their wants and needs matter and that though we can not change every sitaution, if there’s a real issue things can be worked out.
The thing is that if you don’t share custody 50/50 then one parent or the other will believe that they have more say and that what the child wants doesn’t matter.
The children are going to play you against each other regardless of what your situation is. That’s why 50/50 custody only works well with parents that can work together.

Aren’t there always conflicts in schedules. For instance, I missed Thanksgiving with my family in high school to be in parades…that had nothing to do with my stepmother. I’ve missed family functions with my stepmother due to confilcting scedules with my father’s family. That’s always how things are, even if there is no divorce…

The only thing that you can do as a divorced parent is provide a home for the child(ren) whether or not they ever use it. Make sure they know you are there for them, even if they hardly ever get to see you and make sure that when they are with you they recognize they are family and this is their home too.
If you were still with their mother or father, would you make allowances for the time they spend with the other parent. If you husband said he was taking the kids camping for the weekend, would you pitch a fit that you were planning to take them to the movies so they couldn’t go with him? If your wife came to you asking you to give her $50 because she bought the kids a couple pairs of shoes and needed “running” money, would you argue with her that she had no right to expect you to give her money for something she bought?? This is how 50/50 works, or should…


#5

I’ll also put my 2 cents in on this one. I think so much depends on the individual situation. We have an agreement w/ the ex that if there are special family functions (birthday parties, reunions, funerals etc) that we will work together, regardless of whose custody period it is, to make sure the child can attend.
We also live fairly close geographically, so if the child wants to attend an event or party closer to mom’s house we can work this out during our time.
If anything, I have seen my stepson enjoy the different opportunities he has at dad’s house vs mom’s house. It is obvious to us that he is excited to come over and looks forward to it, just as he enjoys time at mom’s house.
Of course he sometimes misses things because we have things planned, but that’s just normal.


#6

custodyresearcher, I have seen your posts and I sympatize with your situation. I am in no way saying that children should have one parent to the exclusion of the other. I think one parent should be “in charge” for lack of a better term. One to be held accountable for the intrests of the child. If that position is better filled by the daddy… I’m all for it! I have not even mentioned a word about getting the courts to decide anything. I am sorry you got a raw deal, but I am speacking on the effects 50/50 has on the child, not how is put into effect.

stepmother, We let the kids know that we will love them reguardless, but what if the other parent becomes weepy at the mere mention of an activity that does not involve that parent. The same parent that while married locked him/herself in the bedroom for hours at a time while a then 2&3 yo child(ren) cried at the door and no other adult was home. now, just over 5 years later these same children are scared to voice their opinion about anything. Just last night I asked the oldest (9yo boy) why he didn’t get a school menu (it is an ongoing responsibility thing with him). I asked in a regular tone, no anger even present, he all but shakes as he whispers that he forgot. While I do enforce rules, along with my husband, I have never had to be more than stern with him. I cannot expect him to stand up for himself and voice his opinion. What I do do is tell him to speak in a normal voice and reassure him that the world will not end if he forgot. It has been baby steps to get him so that he can see that being perfect is overrated. In 50/50 it’s become all about what the parents want, not about what the child wants. Granted in our case the children are way too shy to state what they want as far as events that conflict with the visitation schedule. Parent A wants this, parent B wants this… A.B.A.B.A.B.A.B When does the child get his voice heard without being put in the middle? And that is what we are striving to avoid… putting the child in the middle. In a perfect world, parents could work with each other to bring up healthy kids. In the real world you have one parent constantly questioning the choice of dentist, whether one of the children has an allergy to dairy when it had been proven by someone in the specific allgery field at a prestigous medical facility not to have said allergy. Then the child gets tho conflict from the parents parent A says drink your milk, parent B says NOOOO!!!. (this child is tiny for her age and needs the nourishment milk provides) Then parent B buys her good old fashion ice cream. The “mild rash” only comes from milk parent A says. Funny… the “milk rash” has turned out to be ringworm (about 3 episodes to date) from one of Parent B’s 6 cats and most recently from having dry skin (gotta love vasiline intensive care). These parents are not working together. They are working in parallel, each guiding the children’s lives only for their alloted time. The children end up confused and without roots. All the children (his 2 and my 1) have their own room (specifically built so no 1 child has a bigger room)their own toys and their own space, not only in our (and their) home, but in our hearts. We have them for the important stuff (school and such). We do not question what the other parent spends nor do we ask them to authorize what we spend. The only place where cost is an issue is medical/dental… inour eyes there is no option… if the other parent doesn’t agree we don’t argue, we ask that they pay… if they don’t… that shows alot about their character, but doesn’t effect if the child(ren) get what they need. We do what we need to do for the kids and to keep peace for them, but is it really fair to them to have to bounce back and forth?
mal, we have much the same agreement, but what about the spur of the moment things? When the kids are older, hopefully they will express their desires as my son does, when they were younger they really didn;t make plans without one of us co-ordinating them. They are at that weird age where they want to go and do, but are scared to vocalize it. I always try to encourage them to “say what they want” or “use their words” When it is obvious they do want something.

These kids have been bouncing around as far back as they can remember, they know no different. Does that make it easier, of course, but easier isn’t always better. All I can do is give them the strength and encourgement to speak up for themselves. To learn that nobody is perfect, and they aren’t expected to be either. We are also going to have to gear up for more drama… we are revisiting the child support the other parent pays. It is ironic… Parent A oushed the 50/50 on parent B because of the financial benifits to parent B.


#7

trbotina -
It would seem that 50/50 custody does not work for your situation since neither parent can agree on the big things and both believe that only they know what is best for the child.
My oldest stepson is also small for his age. He takes medication for ADD and anxiety, so he’s rarely hungry. His mother would not give him this medication on the weekends because she felt that he only needed this while at school…this stuff has known side effects of severe depression among other stuff if not taken routinely. We constantly stressed to him the importance of taking this medication every day, but we could do nothing while they were at her house…
Last year after he turned 12 his mother finally got on medication herself and has since realized the importance of this.
Now the only real issue we have while they are with their mother is that she works 3rd shift. She sleeps most of the day and is awake all night. My youngest stepson, who is obese, will get up in the middle of the night to eat and since his mother is awake, knows he’s doing this, and does not stop him, so he believes that she’s letting (allowing) him to do this.
The child is going to go to whichever parent he/she is closest to, and whichever one they feel more comfortable with. They have something important to talk about, they will do it with the parent that they believe will listen to them fairly without judgement, or sometimes the one that they consider to be more of a friend than a parent. This makes a difference when they get older. Since my husband’s ex has tried to be more of a friend than a parent, the boys do not listen to or respect her. She’s realizing now that this was a mistake but it is too late to change this now.

Normally, if there is something going on and it’s not our week to have the children with us, we don’t let them know. We usually try to make any big plans to include them or we don’t tell them. This may seem harsh but, unless you have the children 100% of the time, they are going to miss out on some things. This way we do not make them choose. Their mother did the opposite and was always planning stuff on our weekends. We eventually had to start telling her that they couldn’t go and she’s quit doing that.
They are getting old enough now to understand that life goes on whether they are with us or not. That’s been our biggest thing in the last year. Most children do not think past themselves. They do not see their parents or teachers as people…they are just mom, dad, Mr. or Mrs so and so…when they start to realize this thing become a little easier. When they realize that life does not just stop while they are away from that person…

I’m only saying that at any age, I would not have wanted to choose between my parents. One parent has to be willing to be “the bad guy” with the rules and punishments if the other is not. One parent has to be willing to be responsible for teaching the child(ren) to be responsible, well adjusted adults if the other is not. If one parent is failing to do what is necessary, the other has to pick up the slack. You may not ever need to tell the child(ren) this because as they get older they will see if for themselves.
I wish you the best of luck!


#8
quote:
[i]Originally posted by trbotina[/i] [br]I think one parent should be "in charge" for lack of a better term. I have not even mentioned a word about getting the courts to decide anything.

Trbotina,

The idea that one parent can be in charge during a 50/50 shared parenting situation makes no sense to me. Parents should work together to do what is best for their children. But, if they are unwilling to work together while sharing joint legal custody, then why would they work together when one parent has total legal control? If my ex is going to spite me and be difficult while sharing joint legal custody, then she certainly isn’t going to start obeying my parental decrees if I have “control”. She would be just as disagreeable and just as willing to defy my wishes when our child is spending time with her.

The only thing that DOES make sense to me is to respect the constitutional rights of BOTH parents. This means that both parents share control 50/50. For example, in an alternating week schedule, the parent that has the children has legal control. For those instances when the two parents have strong disagreements on a major issue like which school the child attends then parents can alternate full legal authority on an annual basis. If the parents disagree to the point that the child is experiencing abuse from the parental sparring, then the issue of legal control should be determined in court.

The point is, courts should recognize the inherent rights of both parents to the care, custody and control of their children. There should be a presumption of shared parenting rights in every respect. Family court judges have no right to step in and strip one parent of their constitutional authority unless that parent is brought in and found to be guilty of a crime that justifies the usurpation of his/her parenting rights. A court that has the authority to step in and dictate to two fit and proper divorced parents how to raise their children has the right to step in and dictate the same to two MARRIED parents.

The parents SHOULD ALWAYS think of the children’s needs first. But just because they don’t always agree on how to parent together, they shouldn’t be treated like criminals by a court and have their right to parent stripped from them. The best thing for children is for their parents to continue to have the ability to parent them as they see fit - - - without the interference of the US government.


#9

you seem stuck on the government/court interferences into custody. I have not once brought either into my OPINION. What I am questioning is the long term effects that being shuttled around has on the child. A child needs stability. Would you allow the child to attend a school where they change a classroom every other week. There are kids who live out of clothes baskets, where they put their stuff so they don’t forget something important. What if there is a 3 hour commute the child(ren) have to make twice a week? Then there is the whole non-supportave parent issue like in this senario: Parent B has custody and control during week 13. During that week, the child doesn’t turn in a report. Teachers call Parent B… Parent B does nothing to encourage the child to turn in the report, nor does he/she inform Parent A. When Parent A finds out about the failing grade, Parent A punishes child… no TV/Video games/playdates/etc… The punishment is to last more than that parent’s week… when Parent B has custody and control, he/she refuses to enforce punishment. This is an example of different priorities by different parents. This could also happen if the parents are married still. One parent not upholding a punishement. Yeah, this is how children should be taught. Another issue: Parent A swears up and down that Child has a dairy allergy that causes skin rashes. Child is small for his/her age and can use all the benifits that milk can provide. Parent B takes child to an allergest at a respected medical facility, has him/her tested… no allergy detected. Parnet A denies the results, tells child that he/she can’t drink milk. Child likes milk. Meanwhile there is a rash on child’s forehead. Parent A swears it is a milk allergy (Parent A works in a dermatologist office). Stepparent B recognizes rash as ringworm… tells paernt B, who tells Parent A, who has custody of child at that time. Parent A (remember is working in a dermatologist office) tries the remedy for ringworm, the rash inflamed, Parent A discontinues ringworm treatment, feeling vindicated that it is, in fact a milk allergy. Parnet A does not communicate that treatment has been stopped. Parent A takes child to school. School calls Parent B saying they cannot allow child to stay at the school without a doctor’s note. Parent B takes child to pediatrition, child had ringworm and it is normal for the rash to inflame with the first few applications of the treatment. To add insult to injury, the type ringworm is most commonly caused by cats… of which Parent A has 6. Parent A still tells child it is a milk allergy. So what do you do? Describe Parent A a liar to the child? No, that is badmouthing. Which parent is acccountable? Financially? Emotionally? Can you trust Parent A to use the appropriate medication? Or even pay to get the cats tested (as of 2 years later still hasn’t happened).
Granted communication is important in preventing these issues, but how many of us got a divorce that had communication issues in it? I don’t say the momma or the daddy should be the “automatic” choice, but there needs to be someone who has the final say. Ieally parents could agree on everything, there wouldn’t be any issues as far as what is best for the child. We do not live in a perfect world. Somebody has to step up and speak for the child who is too young to speak for him/herself.


#10

Yours sounds like the type of situation that should not be 50/50. A commute of longer than 30 minutes, are they going to the same school?..documentation of the rash being one thing while other parent treating it as something else…Is this reoccuring at the other parents?
EDIT:These are things that would look good in court. The issues that you’ve brought up are not due to the child being “shuffled” between parents…these are due to one of the parents not being responsible enough to think of the child first. They should make you take a test before allowing you to give birth to see if you are a fit person to raise a child…

Realistically though, a child old enough to be assigned a report at school, is old enough to know that the responsibility is his/hers. This is not the parents responsibility to make sure their school work gets done. Encouragement and help are great but you have been through school, you are done. School is that child’s job so to speak. If you don’t get your work done, you are punished even if the punishment is not enforced at the other parents home. Our situation is similar but we have changed this so that the punishment is for a certain number of days. If they are with us two days and then with their mother and the punishment is supposed to be a week, then they know that the punishment picks up where it left off.
In being realistic, going a couple of days a week or even a week, without drinking milk is not going to affect the weight or health of a child. You do not have to tell the child that the other parent is a lunatic (though sometimes it’s difficult not to do just that) but just remind the child if it comes up that they were tested and show them the results again. If the other parent flies off the handle because you have let the child drink milk…then let her fly. Give the child milk while they are with you, treat them for whatever ailments when they are with you. Try to keep them healthy and give them the support they need while they are with you. You can only control what goes on at your home and even then with that many children and people involved it’s difficult to do.
Keep in mind that though they may be a lousy parent, they are still a parent. Everything comes back around. Do what needs to be done and let things work themselves out, because they do.


#11

“you seem stuck on the government/court interferences into custody. I have not once brought either into my OPINION. What I am questioning is the long term effects that being shuttled around has on the child.”

I’ll address this issue last.

“A child needs stability. Would you allow the child to attend a school where they change a classroom every other week.”

No.

“There are kids who live out of clothes baskets, where they put their stuff so they don’t forget something important.”

Then their parents should buy them a dresser to put their clothes in.

“What if there is a 3 hour commute the child(ren) have to make twice a week?”

An even 50/50 time sharing agreement obviously doesn’t work when the parents live significant distances apart.

However, at the time of the parent’s separation they were obviously living together. One parent should not have been able to take the children 3 hours away from the other parent to begin with, unless the other parent granted permission. Not all parents want a 50/50 time sharing agreement, but that prerogative should never be undermined by the other parent.

“Then there is the whole non-supportave parent issue like in this senario: Parent B has custody and control during week 13. During that week, the child doesn’t turn in a report. Teachers call Parent B… Parent B does nothing to encourage the child to turn in the report, nor does he/she inform Parent A. When Parent A finds out about the failing grade, Parent A punishes child… no TV/Video games/playdates/etc… The punishment is to last more than that parent’s week… when Parent B has custody and control, he/she refuses to enforce punishment. This is an example of different priorities by different parents. This could also happen if the parents are married still. One parent not upholding a punishement.”

Giving full legal custody to one or the other parent would not fix the problems you are mentioning in this scenerio.

“Another issue: Parent A swears up and down that Child has a dairy allergy that causes skin rashes. Child is small for his/her age and can use all the benifits that milk can provide. Parent B takes child to an allergest at a respected medical facility, has him/her tested… no allergy detected. Parnet A denies the results, tells child that he/she can’t drink milk. Child likes milk. Meanwhile there is a rash on child’s forehead. Parent A swears it is a milk allergy (Parent A works in a dermatologist office). Stepparent B recognizes rash as ringworm… tells paernt B, who tells Parent A, who has custody of child at that time. Parent A (remember is working in a dermatologist office) tries the remedy for ringworm, the rash inflamed, Parent A discontinues ringworm treatment, feeling vindicated that it is, in fact a milk allergy. Parnet A does not communicate that treatment has been stopped. Parent A takes child to school. School calls Parent B saying they cannot allow child to stay at the school without a doctor’s note. Parent B takes child to pediatrition, child had ringworm and it is normal for the rash to inflame with the first few applications of the treatment. To add insult to injury, the type ringworm is most commonly caused by cats… of which Parent A has 6. Parent A still tells child it is a milk allergy. So what do you do? Describe Parent A a liar to the child? No, that is badmouthing. Which parent is acccountable? Financially? Emotionally? Can you trust Parent A to use the appropriate medication? Or even pay to get the cats tested (as of 2 years later still hasn’t happened).”

As I stated in my previous message, in such matters the final legal decision making authority for things like this should be shared between parents on an annual rotation. If one parent feels that the other parent is grossly negligent of their children’s health then there are legal recourses to address the issue. However, this issue would not be resolved by granting full legal or physical custody to one parent only.

“Somebody has to step up and speak for the child who is too young to speak for him/herself.”

Now I return to your original statement about you not saying anything about the court or government stepping in. I recognize that you have not brought up the issue of government or court interference into custody. You keep musing about what is best for children when their divorced parents can’t cooperate with one another. Your speculation leads you to the conclusion that when parent A doesn’t agree with the methods of parent B that there is an irreconcilable problem that can only be dealt with by “letting” one or the other parent make all the decisions.

Let me ask you… if parent A never agrees with parent B on parental issues, then how in the world is parent A going to agree to give up his/her decision making rights to parent B? The answer is: parent A WILL NOT voluntarily give up his/her decision making authority to the other parent. When you say that “somebody has to step up and speak for the child” what you are really saying is that some JUDGE needs to step in and decide between two fit parents who wins and who loses - between who gets to remain in their child’s life and who gets cast aside without due process… all because some parents can’t get along. I reject that solution, as it is unconstitutional and inflicts permanent emotional damage on the child.


#12

Okay so we litigate every little thing… every parent goes broke, the courts are have a backlog a mile long. Yeah… THAT is a better alternative. The child will ALWAYS come out ahead there.

Keds who “pack” clothesbaskets to go back and forth… you misunderstand… I think they have a dresser at the other house, but to move all their things that they “can’t” live without for a week (thig gets worse with teenage years) they have to pack it up and move it out every week. Not just clothes, books, grooming items, laptops, toys, cd’s games, lol, even guitars.

And with your every other year plan, the child can have a big ole ringworm patch on her forhead… she size of mini pancake (finally her hair stared to grow back) every other year. That is an alternative.

The commute was the choice of one of the parents when that parent remarried. The children have moved about 30 miles away from the them family home when the other parent remarried. They attend a great school system, one they do not have to worry about reassignemt every year. The 3hour commute was initiated after the 30 mile move. Where the children reside with one parent, go to school (about 3 miles away) have their extracurricular activities (about 5 miles) and go to church (about 2 miles). Parent A, who moved out of state wanted Parent B to pay for a hotel on nights that were Parent A’s so that Parent A could get them to school. Parent A even suggested taking the kids “camping” on nights before school. Needles to say this was NOT an option b/c other than the obvoius reasons of stability, Parent A suggested a campground in our capitol (nowhere near that parent’s new home not the children’s school, which is in Orange County) that is known for sexual activity… (known by numerous police raids).

Giving legal custody to one parent: Allows the child to be punished consistantly for falure to do an assignment. You’re on restriction… you go nowhere except school.

Custody, I understand you got a raw deal, and 50/50 might be your best option, but I want to point out it is not always the best option for everyone else. I have no anger toward my ex, I feel strangely apethetic. I do not hate him. I do not do the petty things that some women AND men do to spite each other. I do have full legal and physical custody. I have full discresion as to visitation. This was agreed to in the divorce. Where I see the problem is with my husband’s kids… shuttling back and forth, nomads with no roots. Parent A bouncing around form state to state, Children making the trek to and from the VA house, the Cary condo (both for parent A) and home in Orange County. Bounce bounce bounce… sometimes when they are away from us they do not know where they are going to lay their head that night.

Stepmother, thank you for regognizing that while 50/50 work for many it doesn’t work for everybody. you state the issues have little to do with the shuffe, but if there weren’t the constant moveing, wouldn’t that make these type situation less likely to happen? Just a note… the assignment… a science report in 2nd grade. I have read your posts, I value your input on many subjects. And in an ideal world there would be a test to test for parental lunacy. lol… I like that one.


#13

Custody… I am responding here b/c I am not going to hijack Hawkman’s post.

I do not “control” my ex’s life at all. I honeslty couldn’t care less about what he does or doesn’t do. My only reason for acknoledging him is our son. He actually chooses not to participate in any extracurricular activites. As far as our son coming home as he does, when he isn’t required to shower, eat regularly (my son spoke of an incident (his evening meal) where they went to bojangles and couldn’t get chicken b/c they were closing for the night and it was too late to cook some) Our son becomes lazy because he has no restirction nor responsibility at his father’s. He sleeps on the floor in the living room so he can watch TV all night. (He had a bedroom which has now become a storage room). I allow our son to make choices in his life. While he does have guidelines, he is even in control of his bedtime… (as long as he is up and out of bed by 7:00 he can pretty much go to sleep whever he wants, but has to be in bed at 9:30, granted if he’s up wayyyyy late I will say something to him) He choses his classes, he chooses his clothes, he chooses his friends, he chooses what he does in his free time. As indepentant and responsible as our son is, he is still a child and needs to be told to take a shower (especially in an environment that doesn’t encourage clenliness) and have food provided for him. He has automoy, sometimes I have to remember he is a kid, even with the little bit of moustache he has. He has respect for his teachers, peers and those littler than him. I am very proud of him. Yes he can be rude at times (cutting people off when they’re talking, mostly) While annoying as it is, if that is the worse I get from a teenaged boy I’m estatic, but that doesn’t mean I tolerate it. As far as dropping “crumbs” for my ex, he doesn’t want the responsiblity part of being a parent. If I left it up to my ex my son would miss school to go skiing, wear the same clothes for days straight and play video games til the wee hours of the AM. I am not lumping all “other” parents in this category, but acknoledge that it does, in fact happen.


#14

“Okay so we litigate every little thing… every parent goes broke, the courts are have a backlog a mile long.”

Parents that go to court for every little thing are selfish dipsticks. I loathe the family court system because of the way it sets parents up to fight and bicker, to the detriment of their children. I have not advocated that disagreeable parents litigate everything. I have advocated getting the courts out of parent’s lives and letting them raise their children in their own homes as they each see fit.

“Keds who “pack” clothesbaskets to go back and forth… you misunderstand… I think they have a dresser at the other house, but to move all their things that they “can’t” live without for a week (thig gets worse with teenage years) they have to pack it up and move it out every week. Not just clothes, books, grooming items, laptops, toys, cd’s games, lol, even guitars.”

Neither this issue, nor any like it, are sufficient cause to justify stripping one parent of his/her God-given, Constitutionally-protected right to the care, control and companionship of his/her child. I have a Nintendo Wii at my house. My children love it. But it is an item that remains at dad’s house, like it or not. Likewise, my ex-wife has items at her home that stay there. When it is time to exchange the children they can bring one bag of “stuff” each. They have clothes, toys, games and other items at each house. It’s really not a big deal.

“And with your every other year plan, the child can have a big ole ringworm patch on her forhead… she size of mini pancake”

With my every other year plan you won’t be able to foment discord with your ex because you won’t have legal control to tell him what to do. That is the point of joint legal custody. If you think that it’s no big deal for one parent to try to raise the children without having any legal say in matters of child rearing, I recommend that you forfeit your parenting rights for a year. In that year I expect you to obey every last dictum of your ex-husband without question or complaint. At the end of the year if you still think that full legal custody is fair, then you may have the order filed in court so that your ex may retain full legal control and you may remain his loyal subject. It doesn’t seem so fair when you put yourself in the other parent’s shoes, does it?

Again, if your ex is conducting himself in a way that is a serious detriment to the health of your child, then sue him in court or report him to Child Protective Services.

“The commute was the choice of one of the parents when that parent remarried.”

Exactly. One parent should not be able to deny their child the right to the companionship of the other parent as long as that parent is fit and proper. If the other parent consents to the relocation, then no big deal. That’s just life. If there are clear and compelling reasons for the relocation and the other parent objects, then the matter can be taken up by a judge. But the principle remains valid: no parent should be deprived against his/her will of the right to the care, control and companionship of his/her child.

“The children have moved about 30 miles away from the them family home when the other parent remarried. They attend a great school system, one they do not have to worry about reassignemt every year. The 3hour commute was initiated after the 30 mile move. Where the children reside with one parent, go to school (about 3 miles away) have their extracurricular activities (about 5 miles) and go to church (about 2 miles). Parent A, who moved out of state wanted Parent B to pay for a hotel on nights that were Parent A’s so that Parent A could get them to school. Parent A even suggested taking the kids “camping” on nights before school. Needles to say this was NOT an option b/c other than the obvoius reasons of stability, Parent A suggested a campground in our capitol (nowhere near that parent’s new home not the children’s school, which is in Orange County) that is known for sexual activity… (known by numerous police raids).”

It seems to me that Parents A & B just like to spite each other, nitpick and fight over stupid things. It is sad that neither parent in the scenario you present seems to have the maturity to set aside differences for the emotional welfare and stability of the children.

“Giving legal custody to one parent: Allows the child to be punished consistantly for falure to do an assignment. You’re on estriction… you go nowhere except school.”

You are terribly mistaken if you think that having sole legal custody means that you get to dictate to your ex whether he can take his children out while they are in his care. You don’t have that power. He has the right to do whatever he wants with your children, including establishing his own house rules and consequences - when they are in his care. Your legal status doesn’t make a lick of difference in what he does in his own home, at least not with regard to these simple, day-to-day issues.

Full legal custody is related to matters such as the children’s school of choice and major health care decisions. But you do not get to tell your ex that he has to impose your preferred punishments in his home or that he isn’t allowed to give his child a glass of milk.

“Custody, I understand you got a raw deal, and 50/50 might be your best option, but I want to point out it is not always the best option for everyone else.”

I appreciate your empathy, but I still disagree with your interpretation of 50/50 custody. It isn’t a matter of whether or not it is the “best” option. My point is that it is the ONLY option. Naturally, if the parents do not live close to each other then 50/50 time sharing isn’t possible. Nor is it appropriate if one parent is judged, through due process in a court of law, to be unfit. Also, if a parent chooses to give up 50/50 time sharing because of conflicting work schedules (or any other reason) then so be it. But the only constitutionally-sound way of handling this issue is to begin with a presumption of equal rights between parents.

“I have no anger toward my ex, I feel strangely apethetic. I do not hate him. I do not do the petty things that some women AND men do to spite each other. I do have full legal and physical custody. I have full discresion as to visitation. This was agreed to in the divorce.”

If your ex consented to you having full custody then so be it. However, most men “agree” to full custody because they know that they don’t have a snowball’s chance of getting anything better from today’s gender-biased court system. I’m glad that you do not do petty things to spite your ex.

“Where I see the problem is with my husband’s kids… shuttling back and forth, nomads with no roots. Parent A bouncing around form state to state, Children making the trek to and from the VA house, the Cary condo (both for parent A) and home in Orange County. Bounce bounce bounce… sometimes when they are away from us they do not know where they are going to lay their head that night.”

Children bounce, bounce, bounce all the time, all throughout America and the rest of the world. It’s not that big of a deal. However, if in the process of “bouncing” they are systematically denied access to their other parent then I agree that such a situation is detrimental because it deprives them of their right to the companionship of both their parents.


#15

“Custody… I am responding here b/c I am not going to hijack Hawkman’s post.”

Good… I was hoping that I could keep needling you enough in this thread to put us over the 20 replies mark anyway!

“As far as our son coming home as he does, when he isn’t required to shower, eat regularly (my son spoke of an incident (his evening meal) where they went to bojangles and couldn’t get chicken b/c they were closing for the night and it was too late to cook some) Our son becomes lazy because he has no restirction nor responsibility at his father’s. He sleeps on the floor in the living room so he can watch TV all night. (He had a bedroom which has now become a storage room).”

I empathize with your ex on this one because I can relate to his situation. When your parenting rights are all but eliminated and your time with your children is reduced to a pittance of what it once was, then you become confused as to how to spend your time with your child. Custodial moms have the privilege of being active in the day to day activities of their children. They get to help with homework, put the kids to bed, take part in all the wonderful nuances of daily life. Non custodial dads are reduced to having to CRAM like heck while they have their children for their little visits. They are turned into “Disneyland Dads” (much to the disdain of their ex-wives). I would give anything to trade positions with my ex wife. I want to wake my kids up in the morning and pester them to get ready for school on time. I want to be there for them when they come home with complaints or concerns and need to talk. I want to be the one that gets yelled at by a teenage daughter for being too strict or old-fashioned. But, as it is, my role is to try to squeeze as much fun and joy out of life with my kids as I can in only 4 days a month. Some things like daily showers, meals served on a set schedule, and other niceties are sometimes overlooked in the pursuit of extra story time or time at the park.

Rather than despise your ex for not being perfect during his 2 days of visitation with the kids, try understanding what a nightmare it may be for him having been separated from his kids. Let him bring the kids back without having done everything perfect. Don’t quiz the children about what happened at Bojangles or why dad isn’t making them shower frequently enough. Just love them and do the best you can. They need their dad as much as they need you, even if you don’t like that idea. Children need love, nurture and TIME from both parents to develop healthy self-esteems and grow into productive adults.

“I allow our son to make choices in his life…”

I’m sure you are a kind and caring mother that only wants to do what is best for your children.


#16

I think I’m beginning to see the confusion here. trbotina is expressing her views on 50/50 custody in a situation that 50/50 custody does not work in. Her husband shares custody with his ex and it would seem there are issues with how each of them view the other’s parenting skills.
I don’t believe that the situations you described would be less likely to happen with either parent having primary custody. If they have a lousy mother, they have a lousy mother and no matter how little time they spend there…she will still be a lousy mother. If she’s doing this out of spite towards her ex, your husband, then she’s an unhappy, bitter woman and the more you make your house a home for the children the sooner they will see that they prefer your home and family life. Children do grow up.

She is also referring to her own situation where she has primary legal and physical custody of her son with her ex. A teenage boy who only visits his father on the weekend.
If I did not tell my stepsons to brush thier teeth and comb their hair, they would not do it. They have gotten into a routine at our home of shower and bedtime during the week and at least no staying up all night on Friday and Saturday, because they will not get to sleep all day Saturday or Sunday…the weekend is a time that we relax the rules a little…meals are more elaborate and there’s more time to “snack”, they have to shower sometime, but if they haven’t done anything, we’ll let it slide until the morning.
It sounds as though your ex is doing whatever he can…
You said your son used to have a room…he’s a teenager and that is not his home. Your ex does not seem to want to do much to create a home for his son that is only there on weekends. Whatever his reasons are, that’s his loss. As a teenager, he’s going to begin more and more to have “other” stuff to do, especially on the weekends. Your ex does not have a say on any days except the weekends when his son is with him. At this point I would say that’s only because your son still allows it. That will change the older he gets.

I’d say that your husband needs to consider going back to court for the children and you will need all the luck you can get. His ex doesn’t sound like she’s willing to work with you to create an easier life for the children. It does not mean that she shouldn’t have access to see them or be with them, but 50/50 custody will ONLY work when the parents are willing to work together. And I wish that all parents would realize this…


#17

custody, I first want to repsond to the “God given right to parent a child” Ha Ha Ha Ha… Just because someone can produce a child, it doesn’t ensure that they are productive to being a parent. My ex did not perform the duties described while we were married. He left all things to do with our son to me. I do not begrudge my ex for the time our son spends with his father. The whole Disneyland Dad syndrome is his father’s choice. Not once has my ex shown interest in our son’s extra-curricular school activities. While we were married, my son was in the school science fair… I was the PTA person in charge. Which meant I had to be there earlier than the kids. My ex was to bring our son later. He griped and complained so much about having to bring him, our son just said he’d go with me. This was 2nd grade. I am sorry your situation isn’t ideal for you, but 50/50 is not ideal for the educational/emotional/intellectual development of our son. Sure, things are more lax on the weekends than during the week. That is only fair, for children as well as adults. The fact is, my ex does not want the responsibility of his child,neither financial nor emotional, but he wants devotion from him. This is one of the reasons why we are no longer married, because he approaches all relationships this way. I know that most fathers are not like that. My current husband is all about his kids… not just the fun stuff, but giving them stability and sturcture. He does the school plays as well as doctor appointments. He’s not perfect by any means, but nobody is. Besides perfection is boring and stagnate.

Stepmother, I honestly don’t think she is spiteful, I think she sees the kids as second to herself. She has shown favoritisim for one child over the other. It is going to sound as if I am bashing her, but while I wouldn’t socialize with her if the children were not involved, I don’t dislike her, I don’t really respect the choices she has made as a mother, but those were her choices, not mine. One of the children has VERY MILD mental/emotional develpoment issues. She has been described by others (not me nor my husband and NEVER infront of the kids) as feeling that that child is “broken”. Guess which child she didn’t want when she was trying to split the kids. It is sad. I am sure she loves the kids, she just doesn’t put their needs in front of hers. My husband doesn’t want to begin the drama with a change in custody. The kids are not struggling and the stress of the tension would not outweigh the benifit to them at this point. We have recognized the early signs of ringworm so we can treat early. We provide them with stability and security while they are with us… we have no control over her actions. She has gotten better in some areas. Her moving back to NC, even if it is part time, has allowed the oldest to participate in an extra-curricular activity. We are trying to teach them the strength to stand up on their own. If/when they are ready to make a change, they will let us know. Little signs that they are building independence are developing daily. Maybe with their strengethened independance, they will thrive no matter their environment.

I didn’t mean to make such a contriversial post. I acknowledge that there are extreemes on all parts of the custody rainbow. Each arraingement has people that thrive and get left out. A child deserves to have the love and support of all people in his/her life. Momma, Daddy. Step momma, Step daddy, Grandma, grandpa, Uncles, Aunts, Teachers, Cousins, the neighbors, friends of parents, each other, etc etc. When someone in the child’s life cannot give the child a positive home life or self worth, that person should not have an equal say in the rearing of that child. While there are kids who can go back and forth with little effect on their lives, there are many who act out, shut down, or bounce between the two. I knew there were others who do not feel as I do, and that is their choice. I used this forum to vent my current frustration. I know that when I was a child, my daddy chose not have much to do with me nor my brother. While some may see this as to why I feel as I do, it is quite the opposite, this is why I bite my tounge when my son comes home stinky and hungry. While my ex has troubles with responsibility, he is my son’s father and my son has a right to know him. I have the responsibility to provide security and stability to our son. To keep that balance for our son, 50/50 is not a viable option for us. The only problem my ex has with our situation is that “I am ruining his life” because he is supposed to pay child support. My husband’s situation isn’t as clear cut. It is more of a neglectful situation, but not neglectful enough to describe a physical danger to the children. It is more emotional. Which as everyone knows is not against the law and hard to prove. In this case we love them, build them up, and give them structure. Time will tell… in both situations.


#18

I love the statement…would you let your child go to a school where they changed classrooms every other week. Oh my gosh, parents would have a hissy if the children changed teachers, classrooms, etc, but to put a child through 1 week here 1 week there, 3days here,3 days there…put yourself in the childs shoes. Really do it. How would you like to live like that. I don’t know of too many people that can take that kind of instabity. I think 20 years from now, when we have adult children of divorce all messed up, no stability, no sense of self, they are going to say "gee maybe we should keep children in one primary home. Seems it has messed up these people. It’s like a big stupid experiment to see how bad we can mess up our kids. Let’s just SEE if it hurts them…who cares…experiment. If people cared about their kids, they would want stability, not fight fight fight. Maybe its the adults that should trade homes and not the kids. That way they at least have a HOME and not a couple of stupid houses to go to. Kid yourselves people that it doesn’t harm children. Logic says so. You should know by now the laws aren’t too logical in many ways. Afterall, it is legal to tape a conversation without both parties knowledge. Need I say more???


#19

“Need I say more???”

No. You’ve said enough to express your opinion that children should not be with both parents following a divorce. Naturally, I hope that you will be the first to volunteer to recuse yourself from your children’s lives and show us how this brilliant plan works.

Write back 3 years from now and let us know how your life is and your children’s lives are with you not in it. Make sure and detail what they did to compensate for the loss of their relationship with you and what healthy attitudes about themselves they developed as a result of your disappearance from their lives. Let us know about your own emotional and mental health after 3 years of being deleted from your children’s lives.

With over 80% of all child custody cases resulting in custody to the mother, I can see why YOU have the opinions you do about what’s “good” for the children. Sure - the mother-takes-all system is great! … well, not so great for kids and their dads, but GREAT for moms who aren’t mature enough to engage in a co-parenting relationship with their ex-spouses.

Imagine a world with children growing up without the companionship of their own mothers. Imagine the kind of screwed up society we would have within a single generation of kids being raised without an substantive contact or involvement with their moms. Yes, let’s implement your idea. For the next generation, let’s work to ensure that children are given soley to their fathers and strip all of their mothers away from them… and then see how well your system works.

Hey, all you moms out there who enjoy sole custody of your kids… do any of you want to step up and volunteer to give full legal and physical custody of your kids over to your ex husbands and agree to gracefully bow out of their lives? Who will be first? Clearly what is best for them is the “stability” of having little to no access to you for the rest of their childhoods. You aren’t needed. They have fathers who can care for them. What could they possibly need YOU moms in their lives for?

Now take my insensitive prattle and toss it aside. Here is what I REALLY think… [:)]

  1. The best thing for kids is for parents to invest more effort into forgiving each other and working to resolve differences so that divorce isn’t necessary in the first place. Our system of no-fault divorce is a plague and is contributing to the devolvement of society.

  2. Both parents are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. The US Supreme Court in Troxel stated that one of the most fundamental liberty interests protected by the Constitution is the right to the care, control and companionship of their children. When parents divorce, one parent doesn’t miraculously lose his/her God-given (inalienable) right to the care, control and companionship of his/her children. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Based on natural and constitutional rights, both parents should be presumed equal under the law with equal station and control in their children’s lives. A rebuttable presumption of joint custody should be the standard custody law.

  3. Under the rebuttable presumption of equality in parenting, both parents should carry the responsiblity to craft, without government intrusion, a suitable and mutually acceptable parenting plan. Whatever schedule or time sharing balance the couple agrees upon, with consideration of the children’s needs, is acceptable. They are the parents and know what their children need far better than some aloof court. Some fathers are not able to do a 50/50 time split because of work schedules. Maybe some don’t feel competent to have so much responsibility in their children’s lives. The same goes for moms.

  4. If parents cannot agree on a suitable custody arrangement and every effort has been made out of court to resolve the differences of opinion, then litigation may be necessary. Hopefully the family court will mandate mediation. If the matter is still unresolved after mediation then the parties may take the case before a judge. THE TENDER YEARS/PRO-MOTHER BIAS is antiquated and detrimental to children and their fathers. These attitudes should be eliminated. Knowing that both parents have equal rights under the law, should both parents want to be involved in their children’s lives then the judge should follow the presumption of equal custody and pass a judgment that respects the rights of both parents.

Shared parenting statistics collected by the US government PROVE that when fathers are granted a fair time sharing order they are fare more likely to pay child support consistently and in full. Statistics also prove beyond any doubt that the full involvement of fathers in their children’s lives reduces the risk of childhood emotional trauma, teenage drinking, drug use, sexual promiscuity and pregnancy, suicide and depression and crime. It is a statistically verifiable fact that shared parenting orders REDUCE friction between combative divorcees. Both Presidents GW Bush and Bill Clinton are on record stating that the greatest threat facing our society today is the disappearance of fathers from the lives of their children. And the truth is, most fathers aren’t disappearing by choice. They are being FORCED out of the lives of their children by a system of family law that perpetuates insanity and promotes the interests of a single demographic: mothers.

I believe that motherhood is sacred and absolutely crucial to the development of children. I do not denigrate mothers, but rather hold them in the highest esteem. I feel the same toward fathers. Children need both parents.

In cases where one parent is abusive, the clear answer is to grant full custody to the other parent. I believe that moms or dads that make it a practice of alienating their children from the other parent are engaging in a horrid form of child abuse and may not be fit to retain custody of their children.


#20

I think children are amazingly adaptable, particularly if they become used to a situation at an early age. It is adults who are unwilling to change or often seek to manipulate situations in an attempt to control access to a child or children to punish the other parent or to make sure they get the maximum amount of child support.
We have had joint custody of my stepson for the past year and the changes have been so positive and amazing that they were worth every penny. He has lost weight, gotten a better attitude, doesn’t talk back to his teachers or other adults, is more athletic, misses less time from school… When asked to write his address he will list both mom and dad’s. It still makes me sick and angry to think about how my husband had to fight so hard for this additional time…months of legal fees, counseling, hundreds of e-mails… and the ex resisting every step of the way. The positive changes in her son have to be obvious to her as well, but I’m not holding my breath about getting a “thank you”.
The other day I was talking to a mom who was seeing attitude issues in her 10 yr old son. She and her ex discussed it and decided for the time being that it would be best for the boy to spend more time w/ dad. This was obviously a hard decision for her and meant that she may have to get a 2nd job because she gave up her child support. But as she said, “I knew it was the right thing to do and I had to think of my son first.” …They have already noticed a difference in this little boy. WOW! I couldn’t help compare that to our situation…