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Custody- parenting schedules

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Klove posted 3/23/2014 08:40 AM

So in meeting with L she asked me to start thinking about what I felt was in the best interest of the boys for custody. While I completely agree to joint legal- the physical is harder.
My stbxwh travels for work. Some months he was gone 2/30 days some months 18/30 days.
I am a teacher and have been able to pick boys up everyday at a reasonable time. I can often get them home between 4-430 giving them a good hour to chill/homework before dinner and any night activities. This is really important to me.
I have been able to stay with them every snow day, every sick day. When stbxwh had to leave at 6 am to drive somewhere (at least once a week) I can always get them to school.
My point is- I have been there constant. They have never been without me except for occasional weekend trips with stbxwh (2-3 times a year).
They are used to him being gone several times a week, sometimes for a whole week.
He says he is going to put all of his travel in 1 week and be home 1 week to do week on/week off custody. He has NEVER been able to do this in 7 years before. Most of these 4 weeks we've been S- he has been gone 50% of each week...
He also talks about quitting and staying around. I find that very hard to believe because he loves his job and would have a hard time finding 130,000 yr job, company car and gas card, etc locally.
Anyway- I *think* I might go for alt weekends, one overnight visit per week, 1/2 holidays and 4 weeks summer.
Have any of you achieved this? Does it work well? Thoughts on this with regard to my situation?
He says he is going to fight tooth and nail for 50%, but I feel like this is financially motivated and I don't feel like that would be in the kid's best interests at all.
Any advice?

I live in Canada.

tesla posted 3/23/2014 09:11 AM

Are there not default guidelines that you can work from as a starting point?

My L told me that me getting full physical custody would be a no brainer because I was the constant and ex-shat was working 80 hours/week.

We then agreed to make up our own visitation schedule between the two of us. But if one of us disagreed we would default to the parenting time guidelines. Honestly, making up the schedule between us turned out to be more of a burden on me because I was accommodating his working schedule and he seldom accommodated me. So within a year of D we had defaulted to the parenting time guidelines (EOW, four hr midweek visit, holiday schedule). He does not exercise his midweek visits.

So, if there is a default schedule, use that and make him prove that he will exercise his time.

If there is not a default schedule, then make an 80-20 in your favor (based on the fact that you are the consistent parent and his travel schedule currently prevents consistency) and make him show that he is going to change his schedule.

gonnabe2016 posted 3/23/2014 09:48 AM

Based on what you've written, there is no way that a 50/50 placement schedule is in the best interests of your kids. If you agree to it, then I see a lot of instances popping up where you are going to have to *cover* for him.

Tell him no. Figure out what you believe will work best -- standard EOW, one weekday dinner/overnight sounds the most do-able in your situation. When you are talking to him about it, just say "no, that won't work" or "I'll take that into consideration" or whatnot.

Don't tell him this, but the part that's going to trip him up is all of this stuff that he's saying about what he's *gonna* do in order to make 50/50 work. If any of his little ideas are workable for him, then why hasn't he implemented them before now?

Stick to your guns on this one and let your L handle it.

Gemini71 posted 3/23/2014 10:11 AM

Sounds like whatever you end up with, you'll want Right of First Refusal.

Document his schedule during S. Make him show he can switch his travel time first, before conceding anything to him. He will either get his shit together and step up to the plate as a parent, or as you suspect, the reality of parenting will be too much for him.

Good luck to you.

GreatRoleModel posted 3/23/2014 10:42 AM

We have joint legal but I am the primary custodial parent. I was in the same boat as you as far as his work/travel schedule and it is one thing he knew he couldn't lie about. He tried the same line that he can manage his travel and have complete control over his schedule and of course that did not happen. We have EOW and no overnights during the week and he can do up to two dinners during the week but that usually does not happen and rarely if once at all because they are teens and their schedules are crazy between school, sports and social. Also for their EOW he has them to Monday morning but honestly that has not gone well for them and they have tried for over a year to get him to let them come home on Sunday night and he has refused which unfortunately has led to my 16yo refusing all visitation. Summer I have 6 weeks and he has 5 weeks but that has only worked because my older one drives as he works and is not really around for the kids. They end up at my house during the day during week. We alternate the holidays and spring break. Make sure you have first right of refusal too.

I will also add as far as overnight visitors to the house while the kids are there I had a great suggestion from the mediator. Until the kids are 18 he cannot have overnight guests (women he is dating) and then they can only sleep over if engaged and in separate bedrooms and only when he is married can they share a bedroom. This has been a huge relief for the kids and the same rule applies to me as well (not a problem for me as I have self control).

Good luck!

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