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Bullied into less child custody

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Paul84 posted 9/7/2020 18:57 PM

Met my STBXW 6 years ago , we had one baby , got married and had another kid. she used my credit and money to get into our current house in a nice neighborhood 4 hrs ago , which I was informed 2 weeks ago was not going to be enough , that we needed to move into a nicer area , have another baby etc . I told her I wouldnít be selling our home and I didnít think another baby was best for us right now . She said if you donít sell our home , Iím divorcing you . So she did . I guess my job isnít good enough , home isnít good enough , school zone isnít good enough etc . She also said our relationship Isnít what she wants , yet Iím always willing to work on it , schedule dates , free time etc .

So we are trying to agree on a custody schedule and itís not going well . She wants our 5 and 3 year old 60% of the time . She has several reasons , that young kids canít be away from mom too long , her work schedule is more flexible for school pick up , etc . My work is 9-530 firm.

I want to fight for 50-50 because I love my kids more than anything . But she is trying to convince Me This is in their best interest . I donít want a contested divorce , my savings account is nearly depleted , and I donít want it to get nasty in court . Her grandfather is paying her attorney fees

Today we talked about 70%-30% custody Arrangement where Iíll have my kids every other weekend , a week or two during the summer , and shared holidays . I will pay half their daycare cost and $400 a month in child support .

Iím Close to agreeing to this plan bc I just Feel incredibly disappointed, betrayed etc . I donít have money to fight it and want to give up please help

[This message edited by Paul84 at 7:05 PM, September 7th (Monday)]

Slanted posted 9/7/2020 19:46 PM

Not sure where you are, but in a lot of places, the default a judge will start with is 50/50. This is your kids we're talking about -- even if you have to represent yourself, do it. Don't surrender before you've fought the battle. She sounds like a good bluffer who doesn't realize she doesn't have a good hand.

You're not offering a lot of detail, which I can understand, but if she's really divorcing you because she wants another kid and a bigger house, well, that hardly seems like enough reason to upend your life and demand that you not see your kids on equal time and equal footing. Can't imagine any judge is going to think about custody the way she's thinking.

Is there more to her decision than those factors?

Paul84 posted 9/7/2020 21:26 PM

Yes , she was unfaithful to me , met up with her ex last year and found out they had been talking off and on for years . She says it wasnít physical but I just laughed .

prissy4lyfe posted 9/7/2020 21:33 PM

What state are you in?

Slanted posted 9/7/2020 22:49 PM

I see. Sorry to hear it, too. This stuff is no fun at all. Sounds like a lot depends on the divorce law where you are. But regardless, it sounds like you shouldn't give up if you want to split custody. She's not got a lot of leverage at all.

OwningItNow posted 9/7/2020 22:53 PM

This makes me sad. Please don't agree to less custody than you want. Just say No. I'm so very sorry. This is not right.

Ripped62 posted 9/8/2020 04:18 AM

I do not know the legal aspects of the state or jurisdiction you are in. Please consult legal council familiar with laws applicable to you.

1. Stop the bullying. The demands or changes regarding the divorce may not stop until you say no. Do not agree to anything outside of jurisdictional norms.

2. She likely is wanting money for child support. Do not allow her to change from 50/50 regarding custody. You will spend much more in child support than the significantly smaller savings in legal costs. You will want to see your children as much as possible and make choices about how your money is spent for their care.

3. Request mediation on items you and her cannot agree on to save legal costs.

4. Be a wonderful father.

I know you are tired and wish the divorce was over. However, allowing fear and haste to guide you likely will result in settlement terms you will regret for much of your life and cost you dearly.

[This message edited by Ripped62 at 4:23 AM, September 8th (Tuesday)]

Paul84 posted 9/8/2020 07:09 AM

Thank you for the responses . I am in FL . She actually has a new job and is now making $12,000 more than me per year including her bonus . So it will be her paying me child support. I am going to see it someone in my city from legal aid will take the case for free . Otherwise I can try to represent myself and get 50.50. She has a DUI and a history of mental health issues and is borderline alcoholic so I have that in my back pocket if needed

Tigersrule77 posted 9/8/2020 07:42 AM

I'm not familiar with FL laws, but most states assume 50-50 custody unless there is a damn good reason to change that, i.e. one parent is dangerous or unreliable. I don't think you fit that bill.

Definitely don't back down. Your WW seems to be very selfish and may be the type to try to alienate you from your kids. You see this when one parent tries to keep kids away from the other parent, when there is no reason (i.e. abuse, etc.) I say this only from the stories I read her and in my life, i've done no studies on it.

The point is, you are right to fight for your kids.

EvenKeel posted 9/8/2020 08:25 AM

Please pay for an attorney consult. I understand you are low on funds but this will be worth what you could possible lose in the long run by agreeing to more than you should!

Look at your stbxw MO - nothing is good enough. If you do not nip this by lawyering up; you will be subjected to constant additional requests from her.

Have you done the online state recommended CS?

She has several reasons , that young kids canít be away from mom too long , her work schedule is more flexible for school pick up , etc .
This is all BS reasonings.

Today we talked about 70%-30% custody Arrangement where Iíll have my kids every other weekend , a week or two during the summer , and shared holidays . I will pay half their daycare cost and $400 a month in child support .
What in the world? She wants you to take less custody and pay more? You see what she is doing here, right? Proposing a win-win for HER?
Iím Close to agreeing to this plan bc I just Feel incredibly disappointed, betrayed etc . I donít have money to fight it and want to give up please help
Don't do it. She is counting on this. Lawyer up my friend!

[This message edited by EvenKeel at 8:26 AM, September 8th (Tuesday)]

ChamomileTea posted 9/8/2020 09:16 AM

The best 50/50 schedule for little kids, according to many experts, is 2-2-3. That allows for weekends to switch so that each parent has weekend parenting time.

I think your best bet is to resolve your scheduling difficulties in order to prove in court that you can accommodate that schedule. Line up care providers with great references and set this money aside in your budget. Remember, they have to provide a reason to find fault with your parenting, so that's on them. If your STBX is making significantly more than you and the schedule is 50/50, it's going to be her paying a modest amount in child support. If you can't afford an attorney, maybe you can afford a meeting with a financial planner to get you started budgeting your child care costs.

Paul84 posted 9/8/2020 09:31 AM

Thank you , I just want 50/50 custody but I have to say I donít like the 2-2-3 schedule for the kids , I think itís too much transition for them and too many custody exchanges amid a high conflict divorce . I would Prefer a 7 day schedule but Iím open to negotiating but she is not

Paul84 posted 9/8/2020 09:37 AM

I have a consultation scheduled with a lawyer but Iím not spending $1 on achieving 50:50 custody which is my legal right determined by the court . I would be in even further debt later if I spend thousands on a lawyer Iíd rather save for my kids college . I filled out the application for free legal aid I might make too much salary for them we will see

Bigger posted 9/8/2020 09:51 AM


Start thinking of a reasonable, believable and enforceable schedule that can prove to a judge that you can handle having the kids for a whole week.
Who will be minding them from 8:30 to 6 when you are at work? Who will be the emergency contact if daycare is closed or you need to go get the kids and so on?
Maybe a sitter, maybe your mom or dad or another relative that is willing to sign that every other week they will pick up the kids and be with them until you come home.
Maybe a letter from your employer confirming you can work 8-6 every other week and from 9-4 the other week.

When you enter court with your legally allowed 50/50 then have answers to your WW demands for why she is better capable of having them 70/30.

The judge might start with 50/50, but he ends with the better offer. If you simply tell him that you are alone and donít have any backupÖ

Paul84 posted 9/8/2020 10:01 AM

Thank you , my mother has said she can pick up the kids at 2:30pm twice a week. I would likely need to hire a tutor/sitter for the other 3 days, 2:30pm to 6:30pm

Paul84 posted 9/8/2020 10:15 AM

She also wants half-days on holidays which is unheard of instead of alternating holidays . Sheís such a mean bully

Bigger posted 9/8/2020 11:10 AM

So prepare a schedule.
Outline how your mom has agreed and is committed to picking up the kids on Mondays and Fridays, bring them home, wipe their noses and give them her famous gro-qwik meatloaf and how you have budgeted to have a caregiver pick up the kids, do some housework and the laundry and make sure the kids are fine.
Show how you plan to create the environment where they are safe and taken care of where you have time to go grocery-shopping, tend to your work, do chores at home yet still manage to make certain the kids are getting the attention they need.

Your wife isn't a bully. Allow her to make her demands. The worse the better. It's hard to make stupid and outrageous unfounded demands and then try to convince a judge you are the better option. Stand firm but sane and you will prevail.

homewrecked2011 posted 9/8/2020 11:14 AM

What happened to me was I put the $1200 retainer on a credit card. As soon as my atty emailed his atty and said we wanted standard visitation for this state, his atty and xh backed way down. Even if you spend 5,000 on an atty it might save you 5,000 a year for 18 years. Plus, I got a part time job to quickly pay off my cc when the kids were with their Dad.

And donít talk to her- negotiating with an illogical person never works. Let the atty handle it.

Be sure to tell your atty that You want to claim 1 child on taxes each year. Also be sure to ask for every other Halloween. Do not get boxed into paying for college. Just keep putting $$ away for it so you can help them out on your terms.

I must say I totally enjoyed seeing my xh smacked down by his own atty & the judge, bc he was asking for ridiculous stuff. laugh:

ChamomileTea posted 9/8/2020 12:06 PM

I just want 50/50 custody but I have to say I donít like the 2-2-3 schedule for the kids

The 2-2-3 is popular because it negates your STBX's argument that weekly schedules are too long for very young children to be away from their mother. Your next best bet is the 3-4-4-3, but any longer and you'll probably need to introduce a midweek dinner meeting or overnight. I think your STBX will have a good chance at arguing against weekly exchanges based on the very young ages of the children unless you build in a visitation.

Paul84 posted 9/8/2020 12:14 PM

I will merely petition the court for 50/50 and have the judge set the schedule , I donít like 2-2-3 but itís fine with me as long as I get the kids half the time

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