SurvivingInfidelity.com Forums
Divorce/Separation
User Topic: Help with parenting plan!
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 8:44 AM, October 19th (Saturday)

Hi, Everyone,

I am posting outside my endless thread for maximum exposure and responses ;-)

I am still rather paralyzed on writing up my parenting plan, which is due in a few days.

Devistatedmom, your input was very helpful.

This is what my attorney got me started on. (Very rough.)

Please offer further suggestions. Thank you so much, as this is so very important.

"See my proposed parenting plan. This proposed parenting plan is in the children's best interest because I have always been the children's primary caretaker. I believe that timesharing would be best that has my Wife have timesharing 30% of overnights. My Wife has always worked 50-60 hours per week and/or traveled for work. Her current employment includes weekend work hours and extensive travel. My Wife frequently asks for me to help her with our children (or pick up one or both of them), both now and over the course of our marriage living together, as she has a lot of difficulty and frustration with the children. My Wife has been on psychotropic meds for longer than I have known her. She has gotten therapy for her condition only sporadically throughout our marriage. See the Motion for Temporary Relief filed in this case for additional facts."


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
devistatedmom
Member
Member # 24961
Default  Posted: 8:55 AM, October 19th (Saturday)

Glad other things I said helped dad.

I'm not going to comment on everything in your paragraph, as others here are much better at making things sound legal. One line though, the one saying she asks for help? No. You say she frequently is not able to meet her parenting time and the kids needs. Not she needs help. She is not able to.

We all need help once in a while. She is not able to do it.


BS(me) 46, Two wonderful teens.
He is no longer my best friend. Repeat until it sticks.

WH says marriage is over: May 15, 2009.
EA#2 July 20, 2009. Legally sep: Aug 16, 2009. DIVORCED!!!! Signed Nov 23, final Dec 24, 2010, adultery listed.


Posts: 5525 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: Canada
LadyQ
Member
Member # 32847
Default  Posted: 10:05 AM, October 19th (Saturday)

I would take out the "always" and replace them with something else. Typically, maybe? "Due to X's work schedule of 50-60 hour work weeks..." Always sounds to me like a small child saying, "but she ALWAYS gets to sit in the front seat!". Know what I mean?


Tune out the noise of what others tell you about who you are and work it out for yourself...

Posts: 1650 | Registered: Jul 2011
Dreamboat
Member
Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 10:27 AM, October 19th (Saturday)

In addition to what you stated I think you should layout the plan in as much detail as you can. That will save your L work and thus save you money.

So what are you thinking in terms of visitation for stbx? A plan that I have seen often implemented is every other weekend plus Thursday every week. So on her weekend, she would basically get Thur-Sunday afternoon (or monday drop off at school, whichever you think is best). Is that what you are thinking? If so then specify that. If you are thinking of a different plan, then specify the details of that.

Also think about holidays. Is there a holiday that is particularly special to you or to your stbx? Or is there a tradition with one or the other of your families that you would like to keep for the kids? If so then specify that as well, with the understanding that the parent benefiting from special treatment on one holiday will have to give a little on another holiday.

Remember, you are kinda in the drivers seat here. If you present a plan that works for the kids and is also fair then your stbx is more likely to accept it. But go in with the knowledge that you may have to negotiate something different so know what is more important to you and what you will not compromise on versus what you are willing to compromise.

Good Luck!

[This message edited by Dreamboat at 10:28 AM, October 19th (Saturday)]


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17687 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
osxgirl
Member
Member # 8795
Default  Posted: 10:31 AM, October 19th (Saturday)

Bouncing off what LadyQ said, maybe try, "My wife has regularly worked between 50 and 60 hours per week throughout our marriage. In addition, she performed extensive work-related travel during this time, which has resulted in her being away from the family approximately X% of each month/year. Because of this, I feel it would be in the children's best interest if I have primary custody..." Fill in the X% and use month or year as appropriate there.


Courts only care about basic facts. The more precise you can be, the better. Vague statements are easier to dispute.

ETA: I have no kids, so didn't have to go through this. The wording above is just a starting point - others here and your lawyer will be able to tweak it according to what will play best with the court.

[This message edited by osxgirl at 10:34 AM, October 19th (Saturday)]


Posts: 2405 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: Maryland
standingonmarble
Member
Member # 31217
Default  Posted: 11:40 AM, October 19th (Saturday)

Eliminate the word feel or think, stick to believe.

Refer to as plaintiff or defendant, what ever is applicable to her.

What actions over the years prove that you the primary caregiver? Do you have proof of that? Mention relationships with teachers and doctors.

Is timesharing a FL word? We use parenting time up here.

Are her meds stronger than your meds?

Maybe focus on actual time slots than percentages. EOW and specific times during the week. Be specific with times for p/u and drop offs.

Not sure that attacking her lack of parenting skills is the way to go over promoting your skill at it.

That's what I get from this. It will come in time.

[This message edited by standingonmarble at 11:41 AM, October 19th (Saturday)]


At one time he was a man standing on marbles. Now I am a woman standing on marble.....

We are done fighting with each other and decide to fight FOR each other.


Posts: 738 | Registered: Feb 2011
monarchwings
Member
Member # 39891
Default  Posted: 11:44 AM, October 19th (Saturday)

ABB- write an outline for an essay.
Intro
1. Primary care taker in marriage due to W's Work schedule.
A. Her work schedule
B. Your eork schedule.
C. Who takes kids to Dr's appts

2. Did not break marriage and move out
3. More emotionally stable parent.
Conclusion.

You got this. Step out of the moment, take a deep breath and teach your self the analytical skills you teach and expect from your students. Writing is a process that takes more than one day. START with the outline.It will come.


Posts: 108 | Registered: Jul 2013
monarchwings
Member
Member # 39891
Default  Posted: 11:44 AM, October 19th (Saturday)

ABB- write an outline for an essay.
Intro
1. Primary care taker in marriage due to W's Work schedule.
A. Her work schedule
B. Your eork schedule.
C. Who takes kids to Dr's appts

2. Did not break marriage and move out
3. More emotionally stable parent.
Conclusion.

You got this. Step out of the moment, take a deep breath, and teach your self the analytical skills you teach and expect from your students. Writing is a process that takes more than one day. START with the outline. It will come.


Posts: 108 | Registered: Jul 2013
Chrysalis123
Member
Member # 27148
Default  Posted: 1:16 PM, October 19th (Saturday)

Also think about all holidays and birthdays, mother and Father's Day etc. And how will extended school vacations be handled...how much notice needs to be given, as well as how to handle a conflict.

In my case Thanksgiving, christmas, Labor Day, Easter alternate with me getting even years. The kids go to the parent on that parent's bday and to that parent on Mother's Day or Father's Day. Kid's birthdays alternate from year to year.

We have a clause about 1 month notice for extended vacation (like going on a 2 week trip) and a time period established for the length. Out of state or out of country has to be agreed upon by the other party.

We also have a clause indicating that as the kids age the plan may be altered, by whom and how.

With a spouse as manipulative as yours, you want to have all your bases covered so after the Divorce you can say, "I am following the decree" and feel good about it.


Don’t get to the end of your life and find that you lived only the length of it; live the width of it as well. 

Posts: 2708 | Registered: Jan 2010
Chrysalis123
Member
Member # 27148
Default  Posted: 1:18 PM, October 19th (Saturday)

PS...stick to the facts and take all emotion out of your document.


Don’t get to the end of your life and find that you lived only the length of it; live the width of it as well. 

Posts: 2708 | Registered: Jan 2010
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 6:22 PM, October 19th (Saturday)

Ok, friends, here is my (rough) draft. Thank you SO much for taking time to read it and offer suggestions/criticism.

I. Introduction

My proposed parenting plan is in the best interest of DS, nine, and DD, six. According to my plan, I would have the children 70% of overnights and WW the remaining 30%. I base this on a number of factors, all beneficial to our children.

This arrangement is nothing new, but merely maintains the status quo—the situation that our children are used to for all their lives. I firmly believe that any change to their lifestyle in the wake of their mother’s adultery, departure from our marital home, and subsequent current divorce proceedings, would affect adversely their emotional well-being. It is crucial that the life they have always known—a life spent most of their time cared for by their Dad—continue as uninterrupted as possible

II. During much of the course of our marriage—and certainly since the children were born—I have been the primary caretaker. WW has typically worked between 50-60 hours per week, particularly in the past three years. During these years, she has travelled out-of-town on numerous occasions and continues to do so with her current job. I typically care for the children Monday through Friday, tending to their needs, working on homework, driving them to appointments and play dates. WW typically arrives Thursday evenings at 7:00 or Friday at 7:00 and has the children until Sunday, Monday, or occasionally Tuesday. Thus she enjoys (some of) the weekend with them, depriving me of “down-time” with my children. I very much want to have one weekend a month with them.

But even this “unofficial schedule” has proven unpredictable, as occasionally at my wife’s request I have had to pick them up Saturday morning or Sunday morning. I typically agree, as it is my pleasure to have them and spend as much time with them as possible whenever possible.
For all of the children’s lives—indeed for the past twenty years—I have been employed in the same position for the same employer and my schedule has remained unwavering and consistent: I teach Monday through Thursday, from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM. I do not teach on Fridays.

As a result, the children have spent the vast majority of their lives with me, at home. My schedule and indeed my job—will not change in the future, as I am a tenured professor and have incomparable job security. My schedule is determined months in advance and has never once changed, nor is it expected to ever change.
Thus throughout DS and DD's lives, I have been their primary caregiver:

Prior to public school, it was I who nearly always took them to daycare in the morning and picked them up from daycare at the end of the day. During the times when they had a half-day, or when the school was closed, or when they were ill, it was I who picked them up and took them home or to their pediatrician if necessary.

This occurred, again, the vast majority of the time, as my wife was working.
Since they’ve moved on to public school, the situation did not change due to my dependable schedule: I remained their primary caregiver, taking them to the bus stop or to school, and picking them up at 2:00. If they were ill, I picked them up and either took them home or to their pediatrician’s for treatment. Thus the majority of pediatrician visits were my responsibility, as either WW was working or simply declined, requesting I bring them to the pediatrician, expressing that she “could not take it.” The same dynamic occurred at home when we were living together: when one or both were ill, it was I who administered medication at my wife’s adamant request and it was I who often nursed them through the night, lying awake with them feverish.

Again, it was my “pleasure” and responsibility to do so as their dad, and made many a midnight run to the drugstore and on a few occasions to the local hospital and emergency-care office.

My consistent care at home described above was done with WW's enthusiastic and grateful consent and request, as she stated, “You take them…you give them the medicine…I can’t deal with it.” Many times I was able to take days off of work to tend to the children’s needs, as I have accrued hundreds of hours of sick leave. The only time I took an extended leave was under the FMLA act (from January 2013-May 2013). This was to be with the children as much as possible after WW admitted her adultery and left the marital home of her own free will and desire. She left the home when our children were ages eight and six. My FMLA leave, again, was to be with my children, who were distraught, and to cope personally with the destruction wrought by her decisions so I would continue to be a strong father for our children. I sought treatment for coping with this stress and am on very low doses of medication. WW is on and typically has been on heavy dosages of Zoloft, Buspar, and Klonopin—often ingesting five to six milligrams of Klonopin over the course of the day—much to my chagrin and concern--likely contributing to her frequent taking to her bed while I tended to the children and compromising her ability to care for them fully. Through this all, I have been an emotionally stable and rational presence in DS and DS's lives. Their contentment and happiness with me in their childhood home for the majority of the time is a testament to this.

III. My wife’s present employment demands she work long hours, involving nearly weekly travel out-of town. She sometimes takes the children on Thursday evenings, sometimes Saturday mornings. Numerous times WW has unilaterally changed child-exchange times, often at the last minute, leaving our children confused, wondering when they would be with their mom. On several occasions she has failed to inform me (or informed me after an unreasonable amount of time had elapsed after my request for a definite child-exchange time) of the time she would take the children—despite my repeated inquiries. Instead she has informed our son of the time, and I had to find out from him.

This inconsistent, erratic “schedule” determined seemingly at my wife’s whim or at best, her employer, results in great confusion for our children, for they often do not know when their mom will have them—nor when they would return to me: Numerous times my wife has abruptly changed the time the children would return to me at the behest of her employer (I assume), which again requires her to leave town abruptly at their request. This of course results in further confusion and anxiety for our children.

Every time this has occurred I have cooperated and have been happy to take the children back to our home. My wife has also on numerous occasions demonstrated difficulty in transporting our children to their bus stop on time. Again, my schedule never varies—and will never—so DS and DD always know when I will be home, that they will get to school on time, and that I am a stable Dad. WW herself always used to call me “the rock of the family.” I will always be that rock, and the children spending the majority of time-sharing with me will ensure I will continue to be that rock upon which they have always depended.

IV. Many times since WW chose to leave our marital home, DS has called me from WW's apartment extremely distressed and crying, expressing a desire that I should take him home. I have, numerous times since she left our home, and WW actively expressed that I should retrieve him. Thus she has demonstrated she has great difficulty in being with our children for extended periods of time. For at least the past three months (to say nothing of most of their lives), my wife has demonstrated that she is able to spend only approximately 30% if the time with them: much of the time she “has” the children, she is not actually with them, instead going to work, arranging long play dates, or employing babysitters for extended periods of time. I on the other hand, am truly “with them.”
It is therefore best for the children that they be with me the majority of the time.

V. DS and DD, despite the traumatic upheaval resulting from their mother’s leaving the home, have been happiest in their childhood home with me. It is in their home with me that they find emotional stability, security and predictability. In great part this is due to my stable demeanor and rituals. Our routine is firm and fixed; each child retires happily to his and her bed and sleeps through the night, and wake up enthusiastic to attend school. Rarely, if ever to my recollection, have they missed their bus or arrived late to school. I make sure they are “up and out.” When they depart from the bus, I am there. If one is ill, I take off work to be with them (I have many sick days which carry over) and if necessary take them promptly to their pediatrician. I always inform my wife (and always will) of any health concerns. This stability and security have been and will continue to be crucial in their adjustment during this difficult time in their young lives. It is my strong conviction that this not change, as it would be detrimental to them during a very delicate, difficult period.

For the past several months, I have been agreeing that she have time every weekend in order for her to maximize her involvement, but for the long run, I do want some weekends with the kids myself. As I am with them usually Monday through Thursday or Friday, I spend approximately 75-85 hours with them—much of it dedicated to schoolwork and daily caretaking.

Please note that never will I—nor have I ever—prevent our children from being with their mom, whom they love and need in their lives. If she is in town and can see the children, she will have time with her children.
The most beneficial way this will occur is if I have primary—again, as it always has been, unofficially, in their lives.
For details, please refer to my Parenting Plan.

[This message edited by Abbondad at 2:41 PM, October 21st (Monday)]


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
Dreamboat
Member
Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 6:58 PM, October 19th (Saturday)

AD, While I think that your essay is very heartfelt and probably a cathartic essay for you, it is much too wordy even for your own L.

Use this as your first draft. Sleep on it. And then tomorrow your need to go thru it and trim it down a lot. Take out all emotion. Stick to facts that you can prove, and instead of enumerating the facts simply refer to another document where you have recorded the time your stbx has spent with the kids, assuming you have such a document. If you do not then simply state that your stbx has not been reliable.

On another note, I think you specified that currently your stbx has every weekend with the kids. You need to request every other weekend with the kids, not just 1 weekend a month. If she is too busy to see them during the week then that is her problem, not yours. You deserve 50/50 percent of the kids "down" time which includes weekends and holidays. Don't settle for less.

If you want help trimming down your letter then feel free to PM me tomorrow. I know this is hard and filled with emotion. I know you want to explain your reasoning to a third party. Sometimes it helps have someone who is not invested int he outcome to help take the emotion out of the written word.

And one final thing that is missing here is a simple chart or table showing what you propose as the visitation schedule. Because ultimately that is what the judge will be looking for (and I know this letter is going to your L first). They will start to read the first paragraph, then say "blah blah blah" and want to skip to the chase. Unless your case goes to trial, then the judge really does not care about the infidelity or really any details. They will want to see "The mother works long hours and often has business trips. The father has been primary care taker for the majority of the kids life. After separation, the mother has spent approximately 30 % of time with the kids, as documented in the attachment. The father asks that this arrangement continues after the D with a visitation schedule as follows: ..."


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17687 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
woundedwidow
Member
Member # 36869
Default  Posted: 7:07 PM, October 19th (Saturday)

AD, you still need to remove your emotions re: the editorializing such as the quotes around words or phrases, phraseology like "seemingly determined at my wife's whim", and other overly descriptive and emotional terms. ASlso, you want to remove your wife's actual name from the wording. It reminds me of the investigation case reports I used to prepare as the IG - needing to be strictly factual/to the point. There is still way too much extraneous verbiage that seems important to you, but really addresses emotions rather than actual facts.


Be careful what you wish for the most - you may get it.

Posts: 396 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: VA
Chrysalis123
Member
Member # 27148
Default  Posted: 7:48 PM, October 19th (Saturday)

Here is a stab at editing, so you can see what I meant by keeping to the facts.

My proposed parenting plan is 70% of overnights with me, and WW the remaining 30%.

Our current arrangement maintains the status quo since the children’s birth. I have been the primary caretaker. I care for the children Monday through Friday, with WW arriving back from her travels for her job at either 7PM Thursday or Friday. She has the children from either Thursday or Friday through the weekend.

This current arrangement is not in the children’s best interest as they need a more consistent schedule as well as need equal weekend time with both parents.


Due to WW's unpredictable work schedule, she has frequently requested that I retrieve the children from her parenting time. My schedule, as a tenured professor, has been consistent for the past 20 years. I teach Monday through Thursday, from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM. I am available for the children’s needs, and have reliably retrieved them when requested by WW.
Please see attached documentation to verify caretaking responsibilities for the last 3 months.

WW erratic schedule causes confusion, anxiety and stress for the children. The children respond best to a predictable schedule without abrupt changes from either parent. DS has especially expressed anxiety with the changes in the family structure. Crying episodes followed by requests to be taken back to my home by him and WW have become more frequent. His best interest will be served by a consistent schedule with reliable time with his mother (30%).


It is in the best interest for the children to have access to both parents. My reliable and unchanging schedule provides the security the children need. I request the children see their mother every other weekend and every Thursday night, when she is in town. I propose that additional time with WW, may also be requested as long as these requests follow the parameters of the parenting agreement.

The court wants only the facts, the rest is for your therapist.


Don’t get to the end of your life and find that you lived only the length of it; live the width of it as well. 

Posts: 2708 | Registered: Jan 2010
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 8:01 PM, October 19th (Saturday)

Thanks so much. I see your points and will revise and condense accordingly. I felt myself at a certain point getting carried away as my emotions reared their heads.

Just the facts. Got it.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
Gemini71
Member
Member # 40115
Default  Posted: 8:14 PM, October 19th (Saturday)

Abbondad,

Chrysalis' edited version is fantastic.

When I came up with our parenting plan, I relied heavily on "Building a Parenting Agreement That Works: Child Custody Agreements Step By Step" by Mimi Lyster. I got it on Amazon.com and read it in the 'cloud reader' since I don't have a Kindle. In the back they have a very extensive 'sample agreement' with many options regarding living arrangements, visitation, holidays, child transfers, dispute resolution, etc. I found it very helpful in outlining the details. Maybe there's an equivalent book for British law.

The Agreement itself does not deal with any 'whys', only with the 'how and whats' of custody arrangements. It does have some supporting worksheets that deal with the 'whys'.

This is the time to ask for the moon. Ask for full custody, ask for supervised visitation, ask that POS not be allowed around children during visitation. Give yourself some wiggle room to 'negotiate' with STBXWW.

Good luck. Prayers and positive thoughts sent your way.


Edited to correct stupid typos.

Two steps forward and one step backwards, is still progress.


Posts: 1861 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Illinois, USA
rainagain
Member
Member # 14917
Default  Posted: 9:04 PM, October 19th (Saturday)

Will you add right of first refusal? Or not...?

Think about holidays, switch the holiday every other year or split time on the holiday?

Birthdays....time to be spent with both parents?

School vacations treated the same as regular weeks or will you switch?

Vacation time in summer that may be extended longer than regular visitation? How and when would this be decided?

It's important to get these details down in the best way possible. Hopefully in the future you 'll be able to arrive at a point that you both will be flexible about it.

This is hard and you're making a good start with the good advice given above. Stay positive.


Now, faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you cannot see. Heb 11:1
I done been through the pain and the sorrow the struggle is nothing but love. Maino
Me: Divorced BS 49
DS22, DD19, DS17

Posts: 1298 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Massachusetts
Grace and Flowers
Member
Member # 34431
Default  Posted: 12:06 AM, October 20th (Sunday)

Waaaaaay to much emotion.

The plan should be facts. Has your lawyer not given you an outline of a parenting plan?

This is a great essay, but I don't see actual proposed times/dates for custody.


I'm Happy, not Sad!

Posts: 1175 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: US
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 3:52 AM, October 20th (Sunday)

Chrysalis' edited version is fantastic.

I agree. Thank you so much, Chrysalis, for taking time to trim the emotion and "bloat" out of it. I think I understand now.

Also, to clarify: There is a separate form I need to fill out that is the true "Parenting Plan." This enumerates all the details like holidays, pick-up/drop-off times and locations, all those aspects to which some of you were referring.

What I wrote is an overview.

Thanks again! I'll work on a second draft (likely based largely on Chrysalis' ;-) and repost.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 5:35 AM, October 20th (Sunday)

Ok, how about this tightened, revised version:

My proposed parenting plan is 70% of overnights with me, and the respondent the remaining 30%.

Our current arrangement maintains the status quo since the children’s birth. I have been the primary caregiver, as the respondent's various jobs over the course of the children's lives demanded she work excessively long hours, usually into the evening.

I have consistently cared for the children Monday through Friday, with the respondent in the last three months arriving back from her travels for her job at either 7:00 PM Thursday or Friday. She has the children from either Thursday or Friday through the weekend and sometimes into Monday morning.

This current arrangement is not in the children’s best interest as they need a more consistent, secured schedule as well as equal weekend time with both parents.

Due to the respondent’s unpredictable work schedule, she has frequently changed co-parenting times.

My schedule, as a tenured professor, has been consistent for the past 20 years. I teach Monday through Thursday, from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM. I do not work on Fridays. Thus I am consistently available for the children’s needs. I am always available Monday through Friday before and after school. This will not change.

Due to my unwavering schedule I have, for the overwhelming majority of their lives, taken them to and from daycare when they were younger, and now to and from public school. For the majority of their lives up to and including the present, I have dropped them off at school, and picked them up, and spend the rest of the day and evening with them, usually Monday through Friday.

When they are ill or if the school is closed, I have consistently and reliably been the one who has retrieved them and if necessary taken them alone for medical appointments, or stayed home with them.

Please see attached documentation to verify caretaking responsibilities for the last 3 months.

The respondent’s erratic schedule causes confusion, anxiety and stress for the children. In the past three months the respondent not been able to predict with certainty beyond one, or at the most, two weeks her upcoming work schedule and thus her time with the children.

Our children respond best to a predictable schedule without abrupt changes from either parent. Our son has especially expressed anxiety resulting from the changes in the family structure. Crying episodes on the phone when in the respondent’s care, followed by requests to be taken back to my home by him and by the respondent have been frequent in the past year since the respondent’s departure from our marital home, and have only increased in the past three months.

Our children's best interest will be served by a consistent schedule with reliable time with my (70%) and their mother (30%).

It is in the best interest for the children to have access to both parents. My reliable and unchanging schedule provide the security and consistency the children need.

I request the children see their mother every other weekend and every Thursday night, when she is in town. I propose that additional time with the respondent may also be requested as long as these requests follow the parameters of the parenting agreement.

[This message edited by Abbondad at 5:43 AM, October 20th (Sunday)]


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
Gemini71
Member
Member # 40115
Default  Posted: 9:31 AM, October 20th (Sunday)

Well done. Let's hope the courts see the logic of your arguments.


Edited to correct stupid typos.

Two steps forward and one step backwards, is still progress.


Posts: 1861 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Illinois, USA
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 1:22 PM, October 20th (Sunday)

Thank you, Gemini! Does anyone else have suggestions on what to add? Note I am being as diplomatic and reasonable as I can, given her allegations in her response. But my reasoning is this: I don't want to show all my cards at this point. Let her come at me with the "mental disorder" BS, and I will produce documentation and defend vigorously, as well as go on the offense. (Of course I will confer with my attorney first.)


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
Dreamboat
Member
Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 3:49 PM, October 20th (Sunday)

Your revised letter is great -- little emotion, overview of the facts with a few details, but not so many details that the main theme gets lost.

The only line I am on the fence about (i.e, whether you should keep it for take it out) is the follwoing:

Crying episodes on the phone when in the respondent’s care, followed by requests to be taken back to my home by him and by the respondent have been frequent in the past year since the respondent’s departure from our marital home, and have only increased in the past three months.

You may consider taking it out because it is likely to invoke a very emotional response from stbx. If you can avoid provoking her then I think the whole process with go more smoothly. SO perhaps this is a detail that you should hold back until it is needed at a later date. Instead perhaps simply say that the past 3 months have been especially difficult for DS and he in particular seems to have a difficult time adjusting. I think that would deliver the message without your stbx interpreting what you wrote as "his mother often makes him cry". You can hold that for later when (somehow I don't think "if" is an option) she starts to fight and get nasty. Then you can pull it out and say "His mother made his cry on x, y, and z dates."

HTH!


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17687 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 4:01 PM, October 20th (Sunday)

I see what you mean, Dreamboat. It is sure to evoke an emotionally violent reaction. But I do want to include it--in your more diplomatic, deliberately vague way. Then when (not if) the time comes I can bring it out--with documentation.

BTW, I have several phone meltdowns by DS on my VAR. Is recording a minor son admissible? Does anyone know? (I'm in Florida)

Thank you!!!


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
Chrysalis123
Member
Member # 27148
Default  Posted: 7:08 PM, October 20th (Sunday)

Much improved AD!!!!!!!

In my state they do not care what the opposing party was doing regarding adultery. As long as they are not mutilating children nothing an be done.


Don’t get to the end of your life and find that you lived only the length of it; live the width of it as well. 

Posts: 2708 | Registered: Jan 2010
angerisme
Member
Member # 37672
Default  Posted: 8:07 PM, October 20th (Sunday)

I would not mention psychotropic medications UNLESS there is a physician with medical charts to support your claims. MANY competent, loving parents are on "psychotropic" meds making them MORE stable than normal. Your child care plan should be 100% about taking care of the kids as a business arrangement and NOTHING about who did what wrong and which one is a more immoral, awful person. If your children will benefit from a relationship with their mother then do not say hurtful things about it. It WILL come back to hurt your kids instead. From this point on you are in a business relationship with your exwife. Treat her with a bored, distancing that you would a middle aged secretary. Do your job perfectly, be polite, then call someone in your "personal" life. Your exwife is NOTHING TO YOU ANY LONGER EXCEPT HELPING YOU RAISE YOUR HEALTHY CHILDREN.

Posts: 174 | Registered: Dec 2012
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 6:45 AM, October 21st (Monday)

Thank you!

This will likely be my final draft (of course run by my attorney first):

"My proposed time-sharing plan is 70% of overnights with me, and the respondent 30% of overnights.

Our current arrangement maintains the status quo since the children’s birth. I have been the primary caregiver, as most of the respondent's many jobs over the course of the children's lives required she work excessively long hours, usually into the evening.

I have consistently cared for the children Monday through Friday, with the respondent in the last three months usually arriving from out-of-town work-related travel at either 7:00 PM Thursday or Friday 7:00 PM. She then has had the children from either Thursday or Friday evening through the weekend and sometimes into Monday morning or occasionally Tuesday morning.

In addition, possibly due to the respondent’s unpredictable work schedule, she has frequently changed co-parenting times, often at the last-minute, leaving the children confused and agitated, as it disrupts their schedules and expectations.

This current arrangement is not in the children’s best interest as they need a more consistent, secured schedule as well as weekend “down” time with both parents, not just with the respondent.

My schedule, as a tenured professor, has been consistent for the past 20 years. I teach Monday through Thursday, from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM. I do not work on Fridays, nor have I worked summers so I could devote time to our children and care for our home and my family. Thus I am and always have been consistently available for the children’s needs. I am always available Monday through Friday before and after school. This will not change. The only occasion in which my schedule differed was from January 2013-May 2013, when I was granted FMLA leave in order to cope with my and the children’s anxiety and distress resulting from the respondent’s leaving the marital home. During this time my devotion to my children has never wavered. I am now back at work full-time and our children are accustomed to being with me the majority of the time in their childhood home.

Due to my unwavering schedule I have, for the overwhelming majority of their lives, taken them to and from daycare when they were younger, and now to and from public school. For the majority of their lives up to and including the present, I have dropped them off at school, and picked them up, and I spend the rest of the day and evening with them, usually Monday through Thursday or Friday.

When they have taken ill, I have consistently and reliably been the one who has stayed home with them, or if ill at school, retrieved them and, if necessary, taken them for the majority of medical appointments.

Again, the respondent’s erratic, changing schedule causes confusion, anxiety and stress for the children. In the past three months the respondent not been able to predict with certainty beyond one, or at the most, two weeks her upcoming work schedule and thus her time devoted to the children. And even then, the respondent has altered child-exchange times, which is not in the best interest of our young children who require a reasonable degree of predictability during such a life-changing event.

Our children respond best to a predictable schedule with the majority of their time home with me, without abrupt changes from either parent. Our DS has especially expressed anxiety resulting from the changes in the family structure and situation. The past three months have been particularly distressful for him and he is certainly experiencing difficulty in adjusting.

It has been clear over the past year—indeed, over their lives—that DS and DD's sense of security and emotional wellbeing is and will be maintained by a consistent schedule living with me in their primary residence for 70% of the time and with their mother in her residence 30% of the time. My reliable and unchanging schedule provide the security and consistency the children need.

I request the children reside with their mother three weekends per month beginning Thursday evening through Monday morning, when she tends to be back in town and available for the children. I additionally propose that additional time with the respondent may also be requested and accommodated as long as these requests follow the parameters of the parenting agreement.

For more specific details, see my proposed Parenting Plan."

[This message edited by Abbondad at 12:04 PM, October 21st (Monday)]


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
homewrecked2011
Member
Member # 34678
Default  Posted: 7:14 AM, October 21st (Monday)

If you are going to request the holidays that you want, be sure to include Halloween,either as a shared activity or switch off if you all trick or treat. This year it will be her night, and then for the next 3 years it might be her weekend.


me BS 52
him - 46
married 15 years DIVORCED 10 31 12
children - ds15 ds12
d-day 12-19-11
I gave a 24hour ultimatum then went to attorney next day
Divorce filed

Posts: 2215 | Registered: Jan 2012
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 7:31 AM, October 21st (Monday)

Thanks, Homewrecked. I will keep this in mind. To be honest, holidays mean very little to me (especially now that I have no family) except as they relate to the kids.

Speaking of Halloween, WW declared her intention of trick-or-treating in our neighborhood with our kids--and then leaving them with me for the night. I am wrestling: do I stay home at all? The kids will be running in and out of the house all evening and will want me to come trick-or-treating.

I certainly don't want to walk around with her and the kids trick-or-treating like a happy family (confusing for the kids, misery for me).

And she will no doubt be attending the neighbors' annual party, as we always did. I will not be there for sure.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
Gemini71
Member
Member # 40115
Default  Posted: 9:37 AM, October 21st (Monday)

Someone has to stay home and hand out candy!
Let STBXW walk around with them while you man the fort for the kids.


Edited to correct stupid typos.

Two steps forward and one step backwards, is still progress.


Posts: 1861 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Illinois, USA
chikastuff
Member
Member # 35288
Default  Posted: 9:50 AM, October 21st (Monday)

This is a business document and should be based on facts not speculations. So for example:

"In addition, possibly due to the respondent’s unpredictable work schedule, she has frequently changed co-parenting times, often at the last-minute, leaving the children confused and agitated, as it disrupts their schedules and expectations. "

Just say:
In the past year there have been frequent and unexplained requests to adjust the children's schedule. This disruption results in confusion and agitation on the part of our children.


Me- 32
Happily engaged and moving on

Posts: 382 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: New England
chikastuff
Member
Member # 35288
Default  Posted: 9:50 AM, October 21st (Monday)

Also, try for bullet points vs paragraphs of text.


Me- 32
Happily engaged and moving on

Posts: 382 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: New England
gonnabe2016
Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 10:07 AM, October 21st (Monday)

*****might wanna remove the names from your post....*****


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 8085 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 12:10 PM, October 21st (Monday)

*****might wanna remove the names from your post....*****

Thank you. It was a mistake. I must have missed those....


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 12:24 PM, October 21st (Monday)

And she will no doubt be attending the neighbors' annual party, as we always did. I will not be there for sure.

Maybe rethink this. Though in light of recent events, you may be right.

My thought is that they are your neighbors, not hers. She moved. Isn't it possible that they will be called on to testify? Like I said, just mull this one over. It's probably not worth it, but consider the possible ramifications.


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 20(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 2992 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, October 21st (Monday)

Oh vey. I submitted my latest Parenting Plan (posted here) to my attorney and she came back with:

"You're being way too nice and not detailed enough. Include reference to her heavy medication use and psychiatric hospital stay. I also want to enclose your calendar log. We want to overwhelm her."

Back to the drawing board.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 1:44 PM, October 21st (Monday)

. Isn't it possible that they will be called on to testify?

Indeed. In attendance will be all three neighbors who have offered their depositions to me numerous times. They are in law enforcement, have known our children all their lives, and have witnessed firsthand my exceptional parenting abilities, my wife's lack thereof, her frequent absence from our children's daily lives, as well as odd behavior on several occasions.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
Chrysalis123
Member
Member # 27148
Default  Posted: 2:27 PM, October 21st (Monday)

You can still present the medication as facts without the emotional overlay.

Remember, you want to look professional, non-vindictive, and sane.


Don’t get to the end of your life and find that you lived only the length of it; live the width of it as well. 

Posts: 2708 | Registered: Jan 2010
Dreamboat
Member
Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 5:43 PM, October 21st (Monday)

"You're being way too nice and not detailed enough. Include reference to her heavy medication use and psychiatric hospital stay. I also want to enclose your calendar log. We want to overwhelm her."

Back to the drawing board.

That just makes me like your L

OK, don't scrap what you have, just add what you need and reference the calendar and attach it. Have you talked with your L about strategy of holding back details and trying to play nice at first to see where it goes? Always follow the advice of your L, but I think it is a conversation you need to have to see where the L is coming from.


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17687 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 6:28 AM, October 22nd (Tuesday)

Thanks, Dreamboat.

My lawyer's reasoning is that my WW has already indicated she is not going to play nice, as evidenced in an email to me, filled with blatant lies and vitriol, as well as in her official responsive pleading, in which she states that I "suffer from a disorder" that compromises my ability to make rational decisions on behalf of the children.

Thus she believes we must go on the offensive and hit hard. And it is I who have proof; as far as I know, no proof exists to support her lies.

Have you talked with your L about strategy of holding back details and trying to play nice at first to see where it goes?


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
KickedintheGut
Member
Member # 30086
Default  Posted: 9:41 AM, October 22nd (Tuesday)

Maybe I missed it, but why are you offering her 3 weekends a month. Equal weekend time is fair and just.

You are already shouldering the heavy load of the parenting, you should be able to have equal "fun" time. Your kids need to be able to see that you have down time or it can set them up to assume that the inequality of having one parent be the "stable solid parent" and one parent be the "fun parent" is a normal thing. I know you enjoy any and all time you have with your kidlets, however that time is filled with obligations and homework and weekday responsibilities. It is unfair to you and them that you don't get half of their "off" time. I get that her schedule gives her a reason to not be active during the week with them (and a lot of times I think that's part of the lure of the jobs WS's take - just be home when there aren't as many tough jobs), but that shouldn't preclude you from having some down time with them.


Me - BW (38) Him (calcitro) - SAWH (38)
2 Kids Working on R
DDay#1 - 11/9/10 - 2 year EA/PA
DDay #2 - 12/9/10
Disclosure - 4/8/11
Timeline - 5/9/11

Posts: 492 | Registered: Nov 2010
LearningToRun
Member
Member # 31353
Default  Posted: 12:33 PM, October 22nd (Tuesday)

I want to agree. I took on too much time during the divorce, and as my life changed and my social life developed i now really wish i hadn't. :)


Posts: 274 | Registered: Feb 2011
Topic Posts: 42