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Klove posted 4/21/2014 07:17 AM

God this is a sticky situation.

So stbx is still living at my xbil and xsil's house.

When I spoke to my lawyer about everything- she said establishing ROFR would be very important. My stbx thinks he can "do" 50/50 custody. He travels extensively for work, but insists he can "arrange his schedule." I find this hard to believe because even when we were together, if I ever needed him to pick up kids (rarely ever happened) he would often pass the deed off to his mother.

Anyway- he contacted me today and asked if the kids could be at our house on Thursday night even though it was supposed to be his night. He said he had to work out of town on Friday and was going to drive there overnight. Since we are just at the stage of initial dealing with lawyers, he asks me "are you going to hold this against me?"

Well- the answer in my head is YES! You are saying you want 50/50 custody of those kids and can change your work schedule to accommodate this-something you have NEVER been able to do in the past...and then you start switching time because of WORK? For the record- this is only the first month (april) that we have had a parenting schedule and he already has to change it for work. I may sound like I'm overreacting here-but I can imagine this happening each month...and this is not even one of his busy months for work!

Anyway- what comes out of my mouth is "you said you would be able to reschedule work to parent the kids."

He immediately gets pissy and says he will "make other arrangements". To which I immediately say "no- we are adhering to ROFR which states if you can't look after the kids for any reason during your parenting time, you have to ask me."

He then texts me 1/2 hour later and says "I can do that day now- don't worry about it."

Here is my fear. Since he lives with xbil and xsil, I am worried he will leave the boys with those two overnight on Thursday. He'll pass it off as time spent with family. xbil and xsil have no kids of their own and really haven't had to be responsible for my kids overnight ever. It's not like when stbxh and I lived together that they ever looked after the boys for an hour let alone overnight.

Advice? Am I making too big a deal out of this?
Right now in interim we are doing 50/50, but I have asked my lawyer to negotiate EOW and one overnight per week. 4 weeks in the summer. This is because I feel this is in the best interests of the boys and because I do not think he will ACTUALLY be able to do 50/50. I think he is asking for it primarily for financial CS reasons.

[This message edited by Klove at 7:21 AM, April 21st (Monday)]

justinpaintoday posted 4/21/2014 07:34 AM

My thoughts:

1) Tell him that if he is not going to be physically present then you will eep the boys.

2) I think he wants 50/50 for financial resons. He doesn't want to pay more child support to you so he is saying that he can re arrange his world. Not sure best way to combat this. I would work with your lawyer

Take2 posted 4/21/2014 07:44 AM

Next time he asks you say "sure" and document.

If you can think of a way to document this time (if they are in fact left with XIL's: bed time phone by...) - document his noncompliance with rofr. But keep your mouth shut!

Don't challenge him about any time he gives away. Take it and document it: Email or text, and keep a journal. Make it easy for him to show you and the court what his version of 50/50 truly is/will be.

Klove posted 4/21/2014 08:06 AM

Ugh- I was just speaking to my Mom and she basically yelled at me for saying "you said you would be able to reschedule work to parent the kids." She said you should have just said "sure" and document document document. FACE PALM! She is right, of course. This is why I shouldn't speak to the man.

Before this convo about Thursday night, he had called me asking why I seemed so "bitchy" this morning at drop off. I ignored it.

Anyway, I just l/m on his phone saying "I'm sorry if I seemed short this morning. If I'm being honest, I was a bit angry about your mean texts you sent on Sat. night...Anyway, I promised that I would help out any way I can when you have to travel and I shouldn't have said anything about you needing to leave Thursday night. I'm happy to help if you need me."

Hopefully he takes me up on it.
I need to get better at this game...

SBB posted 4/21/2014 08:50 AM

Klove, please stop putting this stuff in writing. You saying you can be as flexible as he needs may bite you in the arse when he asks for an ever changing schedule to accommodate his work commitments.

It is hard to get into this divorce mode. War doesn't come naturally to most of us. As the saying goes: "Calm seas never made a skilled sailor."

Be gentle with yourself. Post drafts here before sending anything to him. I honed my own NC skills based on many "how would you respond" threads on here.

You'll have an SI PhD in no time. It's the change in mode that has you off kilter.

Give him enough rope. Repeat over and over again. Give him enough rope.

Klove posted 4/21/2014 09:03 AM

My plan when I say "I'll help you out" is to then document that I had to help him out...
:( I suck at this

one2ndchance posted 4/21/2014 13:29 PM

Don't be too hard on yourself. Infidelity and divorce are like walking through a minefield when you're sobbing and upset. It's hard to focus on getting through it without stepping on the wrong thing.

When children are involved, emotions run high. Nerves are frayed and exposed.

Instead of looking at long term custody agreement and strategizing how you can "win" (for better lack of a word, since no one really wins), perhaps you can focus on just spending as much time as you can with your sons, enjoying them and making them feel that no matter what happens, they are loved by both parents.

I know how hard this is because my stbxwh wasn't the greatest dad, but he loves our daughter the best he can and in the only way he knows how.

Take2 posted 4/21/2014 17:13 PM

Your mom is smart Great minds and all...

Your goal is to be mono-syllabic.

Can you take the kids on.... blah blah blah...?


I'll drop them at....


You mad?


If your belief is that he can not take the kids half time due to work/travel and is only pushing to get out of CS then all you need is enough time for the pattern to be revealed.

Don't offer to take them, let him ask, don't criticize or comment just take them, if in doubt ask Mom.

PurpleRose posted 4/21/2014 18:19 PM

My plan when I say "I'll help you out" is to then document that I had to help him out...

No no no. He will end up using that against you. Stop trying to "nice" your way through this. I know it's hard and probably goes against your nature, but it must be done.

Do not offer. Do not negotiate. Do not complain. When he asks, you say sure. Just sure. Or No Problem.

Don't tell him your intentions to be available whenever he needs you to be. Don't tell him you are sorry. Just answer his request as simply as possible.

You'll catch in quick. :) don't worry!

caregiver9000 posted 4/21/2014 18:29 PM

Your goal is to be mono-syllabic.

YES! Everything in one syllable or less. Think of yourself as the dollar tree version of texting. NO more mall of America options.

And as much as it feels like a game? It really isn't. Don't try to "trick" him into letting you help him out so you can document. Just do what you have always done. Likely he will play out the rope himself. And if not? Then he has stepped up to be the 50/50 parent he claims he can be? That is a win for the kids, right?

You have time. Ask around. I had time for Stretch to go through several parenting incarnations before we had a parenting plan.

You have lost control of so much and the urge to control this piece of it is overwhelming. But. YOU. CAN'T. You can't control him, or what he will do or who he will ask or tell. You can't enforce even the most perfect custody agreement if he is a complete ass about it.

Take a deep breath. Step back and settle in for the long haul. This is not a sprint.

(((hugs))) You are on the way to the SI PhD.

cmego posted 4/21/2014 18:58 PM

Just a precaution, I had the previous 3 years of my ex's travel schedule, just in case he went for 50/50. Needless to say, he didn't request 50/50…but I had those calendars handy to show there was no way he could handle 50% custody. He can barely handle 10%.

Every single time he screwed up I just documented it. I kept every email, I had everything in writing.

Klove posted 4/21/2014 21:46 PM

I have his last 2 yrs of calendars filed with my lawyer. I'm really angry at myself for not saying "sure".

My L contacted me to set up a meeting this week. I had sent her a bunch of documents and told her I had decided to negotiate EOW mid week overnight. When she contacted me tonight I told her I had an appt with a divorce financial analyst on Wed. night. L said "when you speak with analyst assume stbxwh will get less than 40% custody for your financial projections."

I assume she wouldn't say that if she didn't feel confident we could get it?

I'm scared...

Kajem posted 4/21/2014 22:10 PM

Deep breaths...... Think marathon training. This is a workout for the training.

It takes practice letting out the rope so they can hang themselves. Just keep being there for your kids, especially when he can't.

For what it's worth, my XH would have pulled the same crap.

Hugs, you'll do better next time.


caregiver9000 posted 4/21/2014 22:20 PM

Don't be angry at yourself. That is wasted energy. File it away. Do better next time. Remember, it is but one moment in the "marathon."

Seriously, there is so much anger associated with the infidelity and the betrayal. It is too easy to turn that inward, and so not productive.

(((hugs))) You got this.

SBB posted 4/21/2014 23:03 PM

Don't be angry at yourself - this is the very first part of the marathon. You haven't done any damage - it is a one off. I just don't want you to continue on this path.

Monosyllabic is a good rule of thumb. I always reread whatever I plan to send to the sad clown and edit out as many words as I can before sending.

No-one here is expert at this stuff - it's not like we learned it at school (we probably should).

I thought I had NC down pat for a year before I actually did. I'm now a black belt but even I fall off the wagon sometimes.

Dust yourself off and focus on the future. You KNOW he can't do 50/50. I know it is scary but don't be driven by fear - you have fact on your side. Don't borrow trouble.

homewrecked2011 posted 4/22/2014 22:46 PM

Remember,, you CAN subpoena his travel records from work.

If you can afford a PI, they will go by and take pix of your bil house late at night when x is supposed to be there, or his car at the airport!!! You could call around different PI's. The one I know I could just pay her $500.00 like a retainer. When I needed her to run over and snap a few pix, she could do it. Any pictures would work, but PLEASE do not run yourself crazy like I did trying to get pix of OW and my XWH.

My atty told me just to document everything, and it helped at court. X wanted week off- week on -and it wasn't given to him because my atty had me being "sneaky" about writing down how often WS did NOT get the kids nor attend their functions before the final hearing.

And for the record : first right of refusal has been a God send for me!!!1) OW can't keep the kids during the summer on days when I'm off work -- I had to call my atty to call his atty to enforce it,,, and 2) I work 1-9 on Mondays, so the kids go to his house for dinner, then come home.

Also, in SC, there are no overnights with girlfriends in the standard divorce, so I love that,too.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 10:50 PM, April 22nd (Tuesday)]

nekorb posted 4/22/2014 22:57 PM


I was just thinking to myself that you were angry at yourself for sending him a sentence instead of "sure", so you proceeded to send him a paragraph. It made me giggle. I am attempting to break similar habits!

I think we forget we aren't communicating with the same person we knew before.

Chalk it up to lesson learned. I like the mono-syllabic answers advice.

Caretaker1 posted 4/23/2014 01:36 AM

why would you assume he doesn't want to pay child support? Why do you want child support? Was he a hands on Dad before this? The reality of EOW and one day is a tough pill to swallow. Would you want that if roles reversed?

My ex has her parents always filling in. Should I be pushing for me having the right to take them? I tried, but she like your Stbx is able to work it out. In addition, are there not tines you need to rely on your Mom or someone else to care for kids?

I also know other people who hire babysitters and nannies. They still got 50/50.

More experienced on this please help me understand.

7yrsflushed posted 4/23/2014 10:36 AM

why would you assume he doesn't want to pay child support?
Because the reality is many parents, men and women, don't pay child support or try to manipulate things to pay as little as possible. You don't know a person is a deadbeat parent until they become a deadbeat parent. You assume the worst and hope for the best.

Why do you want child support?
Because the child support is for the kids. The state formulas are pretty straight forward. If one parent makes more than the other parent makes then the parent with the larger salary contributes more to the monetary welfare of the child. SAHM and SAHD's did contribute to the household even if it wasn't with money. So now because of D the children should be destitute while SAHM or SAHD reenter the work force?

Was he a hands on Dad before this?
This is irrelevant. He or she could have been hands on before and all of a sudden become an asshole. Nothing is stopping them from continuing to be hands on after the D but if the state forumla says he/she has to pay then he/she has to pay. I was and am a hands on Dad and I have 50/50 custody. We do week at a time. I made 3 to 4 times more that my stbxww and the formula has me paying her CS. I am okay with that because it's for my children. The money isn't for her it's for the kids. What she chooses to do with it is up to my stbxww.

The reality of EOW and one day is a tough pill to swallow. Would you want that if roles reversed?
Well maybe he should have thought about that before he decided to cheat. The roles are reversed IRL and on this very board all the time. I see my kids 2 out of 4 weeks every month. I want them the entire month but that won't happen so I deal with it. No one said life was fair. Each parent has the chance to spend 100% of the time with their children. If one decided to do something that leads to divorce then unfortunately the custody of the children become a part of the negotiation that is Divorce.

My issue with parents that want 50/50 but leave the kids with others if what happens if the grandparents/friends die or are no longer available? Now that 50/50 starts shifting and yes I would be pissed if I found that my stbxww was routinely leaving my kids with her relatives during her week when I am more than willing and able to keep them. I would track this behavior and take her ass right back to court to change the %, not because of the money but because I would love to have my kids more than 50% of the time. If she can't change her schedule or life to make them a priority then I will.

It sucks ass being a BS that pays child support to a WS that cheated. Adding insult to injury, I only see my kids 50% of the time but no one said life was fair. The CS money isn't for my stbxww though it's for the kids. You work within the system and laws that we have and hope that while you WS failed miserably at being a spouse maybe they can be a decent coparent. Until they prove so you assume the worst and try to get the best deal you can upfront.

[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 10:41 AM, April 23rd (Wednesday)]

nekorb posted 4/23/2014 10:42 AM

Wow. What 7yearsflushed said.

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