Hi. Devil's advocate here.
I am a BH, and I work hard but from 5 minutes from home (and worked from home for the last 4 years and was constantly available for kid dropoffs, events, etc). WW was a SAHM. Try to parse his ability and willingness to work with the kids from the waywardness - give him a chance. I know it's hard. I'm having enough trouble parsing the same with STBXWW as it is, and she's a SAHM (when she's not going off and sleeping with OM).
Reason being, think of my case. She cheated, while I took care of the kids because I worked from home. Yet she is alleging the exact same thing you are (he worked too hard, never helped with the kids). Judge must have heard that a million times. So you want to give the judge something different. Some data he can sink his teeth into.
So what you want to do is to be the reasonable parent - give him a chance, and have proof of his ability or lack thereof. If things don't work out, you need to have been shown that you did everything possible on your end to do this. If they worked out, your kids have two involved parents. So either way it's a win for you and your kids.
So for this to be given a chance to succeed, it's all about a) tracking, b) communicating, and c) making everything "big and visible". You both have to:
- Make sure you track any time the kids are under your care, by the hour (so dropoffs/pickups late count to change support percentage).
- Record kid related expenses, who made them, etc.
It's not just spending time with them, it's taking them to the appointments (doctor, dentist, etc), showing up at their activities, etc. So communicate:
- Share contact info for all the kids doctors, teachers, etc.
- Use email. It won't typically end up in a fight and you can recall it, forward it to L, etc.
- Let him do his own organization on his end however he wants it, and organize yourself with this same information (you probably already do) in the best way you can - if it can be all on your phone at all times, the better.. I started by sharing a Google Calendar with STBXWW. It's going very well.
Big and Visible:
I bought a dry-erase adjustable calendar (called "Ezdate" from "The Board Dudes" and put it on my living room. I color the upper corner and the lower corner (AM/PM) with the color of whoever has the kids (Mom/Dad). That way it's clear for everyone (family, babysitters, therapists, and the kids) who has the kids when. STBXWW heard about it from DD8 and has done the same (and incidentally started talking about "balancing" since she noticed I have the kids more than she does).
And slight plug, but I started using a web application called 2houses.com to facilitate the coparenting. It lets you keep the medical insurance, kid-related contacts, information and parental schedule. It's great because you can do it without talking to your spouse. :-) It has an iOS companion app (mostly read only), and an android app coming late March I hear.
The reason for keeping it in a web app is that you can give extra "non-family logins" to your facilitators, grandparents, sitters, lawyers, etc. Just knowing you're being observed will keep everybody honest. The kids can also log in directly and have a kid view of their schedule.
After you set the initial schedule, "changes" are a request/response, and they get recorded. So you can see who has been the "reasonable party" versus who has been the one taking and taking.
It doesn't matter if we BS's say bad things about our narcissistic spouses. We need to prove it.
My WW so far has only looked at it. I told her to dig in and start adding stuff if she wanted, that we should be trying it and testing it out, even if we agreed that it wouldn't be "official record" until X date (maybe after our initial agreement or something), but she only logged in and looked around - hasn't really touched it. She's afraid of being held accountable.
I also just bought a book, "Mom's house, Dad's house", which I just started but they say it's a good resource to co-parent and understand the issues from both sides.
[This message edited by GotPlayed at 11:17 PM, February 23rd, 2014 (Sunday)]