Question on visit with Dad


#1

It sounds as though your ex has the right motivation. Changing custody situation is not a bad thing, and any parent who wants to spend more time with their child should be encouraged, as long as it’s not specifically out of spite to hurt the other parent. I understand that it may be difficult to accept after this long, but it sounds to me as though your ex may be serious about this woman. If she has her son primarily with her the majority of the time then that is probably why he wants more time. Without knowing specifics, it may also be that after 4 years there have been changes that would make it easier for him to spend more time with your son. Have you talked it over with your son? (if he’s old enough)

Your ex has the right and ability to go for custody at any time as you do. I suggest that it may be easier on both of you and your son to compromise. Try to work out a joint custody arrangement with equal time. The arrangement you have now does not offer a lot of time even with you being flexible. That’s essentially only 6 overnights per month and that’s with him spending Friday & Sunday nights on his weekend. Try it for a few months and then if it works for your son, have the child support changed. You do not necessarily have to go to court over this and it would be cheaper to work it out between yourselves. The best scenario for a child is to have both parents as actively involved in their lives as possible and that can only happen if the parents are willing to work together.


#2

I agree with stepmother…we just went through all this and used to have what you call the “traditional set-up”, though I think it is pretty limited and leads to the Weekend Dad phenomenon, i.e. trying to cram too much into a short period of time.
Unfortunately they did not have a “good co-parenting” and despite attempts by my husband, could not reach any sort of compromise when we wanted more time.
After counseling and legal involvement, it is nice now to have joint custody and I have seem a dramatic improvement in my stepson’s behavior as well as the relationship between he and his father at a time in his life when he really needed more time with his dad. We are well aware that this situation could change as the child ages and wants to spend more time w/ friends or playing sports but we are very thankful to have the additional time with him now and he thanks God for it in his prayers every night that he is with us - which I am sure his mother doesn’t know.


#3

Thanks Mal, I appreciate all feedback. It is kind of sad that his mother doesn’t know what he prays about. too bad he couldn’t just be honest with her.

quote]Originally posted by mal
[br]I agree with stepmother…we just went through all this and used to have what you call the “traditional set-up”, though I think it is pretty limited and leads to the Weekend Dad phenomenon, i.e. trying to cram too much into a short period of time.
Unfortunately they did not have a “good co-parenting” and despite attempts by my husband, could not reach any sort of compromise when we wanted more time.
After counseling and legal involvement, it is nice now to have joint custody and I have seem a dramatic improvement in my stepson’s behavior as well as the relationship between he and his father at a time in his life when he really needed more time with his dad. We are well aware that this situation could change as the child ages and wants to spend more time w/ friends or playing sports but we are very thankful to have the additional time with him now and he thanks God for it in his prayers every night that he is with us - which I am sure his mother doesn’t know.
[/quote]


#4

he’s too young and only knew the every other weekend deal…I’m sure Mom made the idea of more time w/ dad a little overwhelming and reinforced this idea with him but the good news is that he adjusted quickly


#5

What about the part in my post that mentions the time being spent at Dad’s isn’t really with dad. It is mostly with the new girlfriends 10 year son running the neighborhood with no adult supervision. And not to mention sunday with girlfriend and her family at church while dad is at home. Is that o.k.? Seems like quality time I would like to spend with my son rather than my son being spent with girlfriend and not dad?? Would you be o.k with that?

quote:
[i]Originally posted by mal[/i] [br]he's too young and only knew the every other weekend deal....I'm sure Mom made the idea of more time w/ dad a little overwhelming and reinforced this idea with him but the good news is that he adjusted quickly

#6

That is a shame that his mom would do that to him. I would never do that to my son. She sounds unfair. As long as his dad is spending the quality time with him it should be fine, but if you are the one spending the quaility time with the child that isn’t really fair to the mother.

quote:
[i]Originally posted by mal[/i] [br]he's too young and only knew the every other weekend deal....I'm sure Mom made the idea of more time w/ dad a little overwhelming and reinforced this idea with him but the good news is that he adjusted quickly

#7

You cannot control your ex’s custody time or how he elects to spend it with his son - as he cannot dictate that for you. You would hope that he spends time with his son but realistically the reason he may want more time with his son is so that every moment is not quite so crucial because he is only a weekend dad, i.e. that your son can be away from him and play with others or attend church - why is that a bad thing? If the neighborhood is safe why can’t children play outside? I would hope that by 10 yrs old a child could be taught to stay within a certain distance of the home and wouldn’t need to be watched over every second by an adult. Having been through this I will tell you that the judge looks at the “best interest” for the child and NC favors joint custody in most cases. Your ex wants more time with his son - why wouldn’t you want to give that to him? You are comfortable with the status quo but it may be the right time for your child to spend more time with dad. No where in your e-mails have you said that your son doesn’t want this - just that you don’t want this. Be careful about making this type of decision for your son without considering the long term effects and if he should find out that you fought against him being able to have more time with his father.


#8

Something that hasn’t been mentioned is that at 10yo, a boy needs male guidance to learn to be a man. I may not agree with my ex’s life philosophy, but I raised my son to think for himself. He will take the best of me and his dad and mix it up into the man he will become. I have sole custody, with my son spending weekends at his father’s. During the school year we pretty much stick to the schedule. During the summers, with schedules more lax, itis up to my son what days he goes. My son is also 13, and has more control over his life now than he did at 10. He has a friend he only sees when he is at his dad’s because it isn’t realistic to travel 30 or so minutes one way to visit from our house during the school year. I can understand the loss you feel with your son away, but an agreement established for a 6 yo wouldn’t necessarily fit a 10 yo. You state that you and your ex had a “good co-parenting relationship”, good from who’s perspective? I would assume, that until the “new girlfriend” came into the picture, you made most of the decisions and you ex pretty much agreed to whatever you wanted. I am not saying this is a bad arraingment, but it can be a little one sided. One more thing… more time with his dad would prevent him from developing a jealousy with the other boy because he now has to “share” his dad with somebody else.
Legaly, you are able to fight the change, and you may “win”, but you need to think of it from your son’s best intrests. As a momma I will tell you the next three years are going to be the hardest… you son will close you out of his life, become contrary, and your little angel will not want to be seen with you in public. Luckily, for me, my son came out of this stage fairly quickly and is still “my little angel” only now he’s bigger than me and has a deeper voice. Whatever you decide, remember to talk to your son about what’s going on, he will find out eventually.


#9

I would echo would trobtina said. We didn’t start trying to get more custody until we saw that my step-son was desperate to spend more time w/ his dad this was about at age 7-8. Every weekend was full of “Can we_____” (bike ride, throw the football, go for a hike, play basketball - all the “guy” things")and he was practically attached to my husband 24-7. We also saw that living with his mother the majority of time he was modeling a lot of his behavior on her, i.e. more feminine traits, so we knew that he needed more time w/ Dad - it just took us about a year to get it with Mom fighting tooth and nail. Now w/ joint custody our time together is more relaxed and my step son has more balance in his behavior and is able to spend time with friends while at our home without feeling like he is missing out on time with his dad. Though his mother will never admit it, it is obvious to everyone that joint custody has benefited him (and us).


#10

Just wondering about the ‘feminie traits’ you mentioned. I’m a lil’ confused about that. What about children whose fathers die or never choose to be in their child’s life? And the mother has no choice… I don’t thin that is a legitamate statement.

quote:
[i]Originally posted by mal[/i] [br]I would echo would trobtina said. We didn't start trying to get more custody until we saw that my step-son was desperate to spend more time w/ his dad this was about at age 7-8. Every weekend was full of "Can we_____" (bike ride, throw the football, go for a hike, play basketball - all the "guy" things")and he was practically attached to my husband 24-7. We also saw that living with his mother the majority of time he was modeling a lot of his behavior on her, i.e. more feminine traits, so we knew that he needed more time w/ Dad - it just took us about a year to get it with Mom fighting tooth and nail. Now w/ joint custody our time together is more relaxed and my step son has more balance in his behavior and is able to spend time with friends while at our home without feeling like he is missing out on time with his dad. Though his mother will never admit it, it is obvious to everyone that joint custody has benefited him (and us).

#11

The “feminine traits” were because he was expressing himself based on how he saw his mother, grandmother, and sister acting. I don’t have any experience w/ kids whose father’s have died when they were young or dads who don’t want to be in their child’s lives perhaps those moms have to work to have male role models involved…
I’m only telling you what was going on in our situation, which was perfectly avoidable and fixable…he has a dad that wanted more time and wanted to play a bigger role in his life…
The bigger issue was that we could tell my stepson wanted to be around his dad and now he is!


#12

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.