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Bullied into less child custody

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Paul84 posted 9/8/2020 16:41 PM

My STBXW says in my county , 60/40 custody is the default judgement , and the 60% goes to whom ever is the “primary caregiver “

I guess I would need to establish myself as primary caregiver , make notes of time cared for children etc .

She has a more flexible work schedule which could be bad news for me . As stated I would need to hire a caregiver for about 10 hours per week .

She will not accept a 50/50 arrangement and I was notified that 60-40 is in the divorce filing and anything less will be contested in court .

josiep posted 9/8/2020 17:57 PM

You really need to read about divorce laws and quit believing anything she tells you because she does not have your best interest at heart.

Secondly, what you want for the kids, the 7 days, is not necessarily what's best for them. I'm no expert but I've read that 7 days is too long for the very young ones to go without seeing each parent. So I would encourage you to consult with experts on that as well.

This is the most important thing you will ever do and to go forward without an attorney representing you and protecting your interests is not a wise move at all. Once you sign those papers, that's it.

The other thing I would like to ask is why aren't you requesting sole physical custody? Why are you settling for what she wants? And, IIRC, there are two aspects to the custody agreement - who the kids live with but also, who gets to make the decisions about their schooling and their medical things, etc.

As for the holidays, half days is fine but be sure it alternates with you getting the better half every other year. Of course, half days means neither of you ever get to take a trip over the holidays without the other one agreeing to it. I really wish you'd consult with an attorney. Or maybe two of them. Nothing could be more important.

ChamomileTea posted 9/8/2020 20:23 PM

My STBXW says in my county , 60/40 custody is the default judgement , and the 60% goes to whom ever is the “primary caregiver “

I suspect your STBX is trying to intimidate you. In a cursory look at FL custody law, I didn't see anything like that. The default in FL appears to be "shared parental responsibility". If the parents can't agree, then a judge will weigh in, but if you familiarize yourself with which factors judges consider, your chances are probably good.

blahblahblahe posted 9/8/2020 20:41 PM

A humorous attempt by your XW, unless you have something special in your history the default in Florida is 50/50 depending upon county 2-2-3 or a simple 50/50.

A decent attorney will run you about 5K retainer, depending on how foolish the X wants to be, about 10-20K total on each side. I doubt she wants to play that game if she already has a questionable credit score.

Sounds like she is trying to mitigate CS payments by shifting the time split. Laugh at her...


Lifeexploded posted 9/8/2020 21:03 PM

In addition to Halloween, ask for every other 4th of July if you enjoy celebrating it. We have standard and my ex gets the kids EVERY 4th of July. I'm really pissed at myself for not catching that.

EvenKeel posted 9/9/2020 07:44 AM

She also wants half-days on holidays which is unheard of instead of alternating holidays .
When my kiddos were younger, we did split the big holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) so we each got to see them.

I would caution this if there is ever a chance of either of you moving. It works fine if you are a few miles apart like we were. Kids did a noon dinner at one families, then the evening dinner/celebration with the others.

You already said she will not compromise at all - you are expected too. Therefore, I would write up the standard agreement (based on your state's guidelines) and present it to her. Tell her this is the state's standard and that is it.

If you do end up in court, this shows you offered a fair agreement.

Make sure you outline every little thing. Who is providing health coverage, extra curricular activites, car insurance (you will blink and they will be there), etc. My state pro-rates these based on each salary. IE like mine was 53%-47%, etc.

Paul84 posted 9/9/2020 11:44 AM

Thank you for the helpful comments . After her laughable attempt to manipulate me and even her own attorney into believing 60-40 was standard , she has backed down to 50/50. We can’t agree on a schedule , I want 7 days on-off, she wants 2-2-3. There are also other major factors like our home (which I want to keep if I can qualify to maintain stability for kids ), school decisions , health decisions , etc . Hopefully this can get worked out in mediation. I have decided to hire an attorney and have consultation on Monday , which is when she intends to file

prissy4lyfe posted 9/9/2020 16:58 PM

7 days is standard for school age children..you can push for that based on the age of your oldest. Plenty of research shows that the younger you implement schedules the eaiser it is for children to adapt. A Wednesday night dinner is fine. Pick up after school return by 8 pm.

Each custody plan has its draw backs:
7 days means a middle of week dinner which can be disruptive.. activities can be an issue if the other parent doesn't support. it gives each parent the opportunity to be involved as much as they want. Less transitions.

2-2-3- set days so activities can be negotiated. Can require much more communication due to transitions. Involvement in activities and school can give rise to more interactions/conflict.


You know your children. You know which schedule would be best for them. Fight for that. Good luck

ChamomileTea posted 9/9/2020 19:10 PM

You can also agree to a graduated schedule, say 2-2-3 the first year, 3-4-4-3 the next, then 2-5-5-2, then weekly thereafter. That gives time for really young children to grow into it. It's a rough few years in the beginning, but it's not necessarily an either/or up front. You can compromise a bit now and still end up with what you want later.

ALotofHistory posted 9/10/2020 13:28 PM

Absolutely do not agree to anything less than 50/50. In fact, if I were you, and I was when I was in your position, go for primary and more (like 60/40) based on her history and actions. Beg, borrow, plead or go into big debt but ABSOLUTELY hire a lawyer. And a good one that meets your liking, attitude and toughness.

I had even younger ones than you when I went through this in Cali. Frequent and continuous contact is the standard (prolly everywhere now) and I absolutely (if I could boss you, I would ...) agree and firmly recommend the 2-2-3....for several more years. Like until 3rd or 4th grade. The 7 day thing, at this age, is absolutely a bad idea. Terrible even.

Parallel parent as much as possible based on her behavior and personality. It will limit your exposure to stupid. Exchanges to be swift and efficient, no small talk or unloading or anything. Bye byes, hugs, backpacks/clothes bags etc, then be off. Comm thru text/email and only about significant things. Conversations about style are traps for venting and arguments. Avoid at all costs. You, too.

Now...I went for more than 50/50 and succeeded in Cali. I refused to allow my children to be exposed to the very expected stupidity and bad choices their mother would embark on. And after a semi-complicated 50/50....she tried to get more and took me back to court...and lost 10%. Then took me back again to try and reverse that...but lost another 10%. And it was because I kept meticulous records of things that happened to the detriment of the children. Fights in front of them (verbal and physical....(yes...both happened), swearing, parental alienation by bad mouthing other parent and their family (look up tactics and typical stuff. Plenty of info out there. And add a clause in any agreement that prohibits that in front of children. You, too), feeding habits, handling of medical issues, clothes/bathing, timeliness of exchanges and/or communication of important medical/dental/school/social activities, etc. Things shat show a lack of attention/stability to the children that could or does hurt them. It all matters and could/does add up.

Toughen up and do not negotiate with her.

Good luck to you.

Hawke posted 9/10/2020 15:47 PM

I had even younger ones than you when I went through this in Cali. Frequent and continuous contact is the standard (prolly everywhere now) and I absolutely (if I could boss you, I would ...) agree and firmly recommend the 2-2-3....for several more years. Like until 3rd or 4th grade. The 7 day thing, at this age, is absolutely a bad idea. Terrible even.

I disagree with the above. It's a balance between transitions and seeing the other parent and will vary depending on the children, the family life and the situation My kids were very young (4 and 1) when we separated. We did 3.5/3.5 for the first year or so, but it was really hard on my kids to switch homes so frequently - they slept poorly and were clingy on both ends for the first 24 hours. They did much better with 7/7. They both have autism, so that might be part of why they struggled more with the transitions, but even the teams of professional experts who worked with them ended up recommending that we switch to 7/7. We have always skyped with the other parent each evening to ensure that they have a chance to talk and once they learned to dial a phone, they can call the other parent anytime.

Paul84 posted 9/10/2020 18:18 PM

Some good advice here . I will ask my attorney if primary custody is obtainable . If it is , her mental health and stability will be front and center . But I’m thinking I’ll just go for 50/50 and wait for her next big disaster

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