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Main Forums => Visitation Issues => Topic started by: miska78 on Aug 26, 2008, 01:29:53 PM

Title: New mom to this site
Post by: miska78 on Aug 26, 2008, 01:29:53 PM
Hi everyone, I am trying to set a visitation schedule with dad for 6 month old. What do you think is appropriate for 6 months considering:

1) Dad hasn't had overnights yet, and I feel like one overnight a week would be ok.

2) Dad has had 3 DUI arrests, and currently does not have a license so I have to do all driving for visits.

3) For at least for the next 4 months I know he isn't drinking because he gets 2 breathalyzer tests a day. He also has a history of marijuana use, and I have no idea whether he uses or not.

4) He wants as much visits as possible. So do I!

5) Dad works from 7 am until 7 pm Mon - Friday and also Saturday mornings. I work full time, but get off work at 5 pm.

It's been really frustrating to set a schedule. I have full custody, and so I do get to set a schedule. If he doesn't like it, we can either work together or he can take me to court. I would rather do it ourselves of course. My goals are to provide a solid schedule for our son so he knows what to expect, and feels secure, but I also need to make dad happy otherwise he will make my life hell.

He has seen my son about ever day since he was born 6 months ago. Either at my house or I will drop him off at his. I feel like it is really time to set a schedule because we argue a lot and that is not good for our son. Also, it is time for us to move on in our lives since we are not going to be a couple.

Thanks so much, sorry this is so long.

Title: New mom to this site
Post by: Davy on Aug 26, 2008, 02:46:48 PM

Ah !   From what you have posted I think you are a dear one and  should forget about setting a visitation schedule, stop arguing for God sake and get remarried.

Whatever !  Thanks for the many ways you support his sobriety.  You and your son may be at the heart of his complete recovery ... your son will no doubt be the benefactor in both the short and long run.

I think mommy and daddy can best make decisions ... kiss and make-up.. mommy and daddy work 100  plus hours a week and mommy's doing the transportation so distance would be a key factor in any schedule.  
An encouragement may be to find a place to worship together.

I really hope the best for ya'll...Your son is blessed.  Let us know !!

Title: RE: New mom to this site
Post by: miska78 on Aug 27, 2008, 06:20:09 AM
Ummm thanks for your reply but we were never married and have no desire to be married. That would not be in our son's best interest. I simply want to set a fair visitation schedule. He lives maybe 10 minutes away from me.
Title: The best thing for you IMO
Post by: Ref on Aug 27, 2008, 09:32:05 AM
Is to see what a standard visitation schedule is in your area. Go to the court house and ask if they have one or even do a google search for your area and visitation schedule.  This way you can be as objective as possible and not look like you are trying to pull anything over on him.

If they don't have something for a baby, keep in mind the standard anyway and modify it for your situtation. That way when the child is older you can still your the standard.

There are some good parenting plans on this site that could give you some good ideas that you can build in. Like I said before, try to keep it as close to what your county's standard as much as possible.

I prefer a detailed parenting plan. One with pick-up times and places, hours the phone will be availbale for calls between parents and children and who pays for transportation. My DH's ex was very hostile and the more that was spelled out the better.

I'm not sure what was going on with Davy. It was a little ummmm unusual of a reply. I do seem to agree with his view that you appear to be very caring and trying to to the best for your child.

Best wishes,
Title: RE: The best thing for you IMO
Post by: miska78 on Aug 27, 2008, 09:37:57 AM
Thanks so much for your response :) I really appreciate it. I have studied several parenting plans, including my states visitation guidelines, which are really a mess. They are all across the board, leaving many details to be worked out. This is the schedule I set, and he is upset about it and gives me a hard time about it daily. Alternating evenings each week - M, W, F one week and T, Th the next and a 6 hour weekend visit.

I really don't feel ready to let him go overnight yet. He does not sleep through the night and I'm still breastfeeding, although I started weaning. I will not/do not / can not pump by the way. (It is ridiculous to me that men expect women to pump - it is cruel and unusual in my opinion and as hard as I tried I never did get very much milk pumping.)

Title: What schedule does he want?
Post by: Ref on Aug 27, 2008, 09:59:28 AM
Just curious. Do you think he is really unhappy with the schedule you are proposing or just being difficult? If he is genuinely unhappy, I am sure you can get a compomise going. If he is just being difficult, things get a little stickier.

One of the things you might consider is seeing if he would go with you to a family mediator and get a third party's opinion. It will cost some money, but if you get this hammered out now, it could avoid having to go the legal route later.

Title: RE: The best thing for you IMO
Post by: Davy on Aug 27, 2008, 12:03:26 PM

It was EXCITING to see a female post that was actually attempting to collaborate with the other parent concerning the well-being of their child.

In the OP she was OK with one overnight a week, etc.

NOW, after getting input from other females, researching government parenting plans, etc she's running off at the mouth with male bashing remarks and looking for ways to disenfranchise daddy...creating turmoil and then thriving on the turmoil while using A CHILD as a power base.

There's nothing going on with Davy but there is something seriously wrong and sick with ya'll and the childs pays dearly for it.

Get over your dysfuntional mommy dearest selves.

Title: RE: What schedule does he want?
Post by: miska78 on Aug 27, 2008, 12:52:44 PM
I personally think he is being difficult, and the reason I believe that is because of his attitude when we talk or hash things out. He is very disrespectful and has no problem arguing in front of our son, which I will not tolerate. He accuses me daily of trying to keep our son from him, and that is clearly not true as he has honestly seen him every day since he was born, except for the last week and a half when I tried to get him to follow a schedule - so there was about 3 days when he didn't see him last week.

I have dealt with a lot of issues in the last month - safety issues like tobacco smoke in the home, I've done a lot of the transportation but the dad has also driven him illegally places and I've been powerless to stop it. (I would never call the cops on him, I'm trying to keep some goodwill) He has broken into my home and actually taken my son from me while breastfeeding. He has kicked things in my house and outside my house, thrown tantrums several times and called me really dirty names. He brought illegal drugs into my home. So, through it all I've been trying to deal with this and be as fair as I can be because I do believe he is a good dad despite all evidence pointing to the contrary! A lot of people think I'm letting him walk all over me. I'm conflicted to say the least!

He wants a schedule that splits the time 50% including overnights. I want the schedule we're currently on. Or that I'm trying to implement.

I think mediation is a good idea, but I'm not sure how that works in our state. I assume we both together hire a lawyer and meet with them?
Title: RE: What schedule does he want?
Post by: Ref on Aug 27, 2008, 01:55:28 PM
Don't be too concerned about some of the posters here. There are some here that like to "debate" a little too much.

You don't need to get a lawyer as a mediator, but many of them are lawyers. I think the poster Mixed Bag is a mediator - maybe she will chime in.

Just look in the yellowpages or search online for mediators and discuss the situation with them. They probaby would do a free consultation.

As far as what your child is exposed to, I think you are too gentle on your ex. Normally I error on the side of the Father's Rights, but in this case, it seems your child could be at risk of danger.

Do me a favor. If you think your child is still ok and you don't feel you need to intervene, keep very detailed records of what is going on. That way if BF does end-up doing things that you are uncomfortable with, you can show a history in court.  The records should include a notebook journal - document when he has driven with your child and things like that. You should have witnesses with you during pick-ups and drop-offs so that if that does happen you can have the witness sign the statement. Also try to keep everything as much as possible in writing and filed away.

Take care,
Title: Be careful.............
Post by: Kitty C. on Aug 27, 2008, 02:44:04 PM
I applaud you for being pro-active in keeping the father in his child's life, but some of the issues you've brought up have severe safety implications and CAN involve you as well.

Let me give you a hypothetical situation:  you transfer your son to him, and at some point he decides to go somewhere with the baby.  First of all, does he have an approved child safety seat in the vehicle and is it being used properly?  Now, you've also said you know he uses AND has brought drugs into your home.  Then he gets stopped by the cops and numerous things could happen.  One, they WILL cite him for no license and/or, depending on why he has no license, cite him for whatever probation he is violating that prompted the seizure of his license.  If he uses, and he has any previous drug charges, they may have probable cause to search his vehicle.  If they find anything, there's another charge.  If he doesn't have the child properly restrained, there's another charge.

Then they will come to you and ask you if you knew that any of this was going on (no license, drug use, improperly restrained child).  They most certainly will cite him for neglect or even child endangerment.  And if you say that you knew about these issues, they could cite you for neglect as well, because you KNEW but allowed him to take the child anyway.  It's also possible that the state could take your child into custody and put him in foster care while you and Dad go thru the criminal court system.

I'm not trying to freak you out, but I AM trying to open your eyes wide and make damn sure you protect that child.  You say you believe he's a good father, but if that were the case, he wouldn't be threatening the safety of his child like he is.  
Title: RE: What schedule does he want?
Post by: Davy on Aug 27, 2008, 03:10:31 PM

This is not a debate forum and each of my two posts were very much correct for the child's well being based on what had been posted. As a matter of fact, I applauded the mother.  Just so you know, I have a mother and a daughter that's also a mother and I'm not an SOB except with feminists.

Maybe I can get my grandson to respond to this post...he'll know exactly the advise to give because he was once that 6 mo old.

When I see a post citing "Fathers Rights" (FR) then I realize that person
person is inferring a sexist political statement..there's no such thing as
"Father Rights" so you don't gain a leg up like a flaming feminist making such a comment.  

Ref, please find out the truth about FR would likely be a valued member.  

About the OP, she and her child may be at risk.  I fear she thinks the feminist and the government will protect them !!!!!!!
Title: RE: Be careful.............
Post by: Davy on Aug 27, 2008, 03:28:47 PM

EXACTLY !!  and this poster could be trembling inside.
Title: Great point Kitty! - nm
Post by: Ref on Aug 27, 2008, 04:47:10 PM
Title: RE: Great point Kitty! - nm
Post by: miska78 on Aug 28, 2008, 07:31:25 AM
Thanks Ref and Kitty. Today I called Our Clerk of Courts and Judicial System office to try to find mediators (they are not much help but I am waiting for a call back)

I feel like I will start with mediation. At least then I can tell all this information to someone and they can help me process it and we can go from there. Mediation might not be the answer for us, we might have to use the courts because we are so at odds, and he won't even talk to me anymore. I think he's mad that I mean business this time!

I am documenting the best I can. In the past I just documented when something dramatic happened, but now I will try to do every day.

Title: Just a little FYI
Post by: Ref on Aug 28, 2008, 09:04:30 AM
DH's state is Florida. They actually require that the parents go to mediation prior to getting a court date. It may be the same in your state.

That may be a good reason to ask BF to go to mediation first, to avoid all the costs related to filing to begin with.

Title: RE: Be Careful ! Great point Kitty!
Post by: Davy on Aug 28, 2008, 11:53:45 AM

Please reread Kitty's advice especially the first and last paragraphs.

From what you have posted I think you are confused about mediation... it may take some time to get a mediation session and it appears you need more immediate attention with your concerns.

Consider laying out all the info. in counseling and seek advice if the mediation process is appropriate.
Title: RE: Great point Kitty! - nm
Post by: miska78 on Aug 28, 2008, 01:22:48 PM
Thanks again for your replies. I understand what Kitty is saying, and I'm dealing with things best I can - for example, I started doing all drop off and pick up and started taking his car seat with me so he won't have that in case he decided to drive. I really don't think he would drive with him not in his car seat. The drug I found, and the only drug I think he does is pot - which is not good but not the worst. He told me that he quit after I found it and that he wouldn't do it again, in his words, he is happy I found it because it gave him a wake up call. IMO those are the words of a chemically dependent man, and I don' t know whether to believe him or not.

My state is South Dakota. People around here haven't even heard of mediation. I found two mediators that are court approved in my town. I gave him a choice of the two of them but I haven't heard back. Mediation is not required.

So, do I tell our mediator everything I've told you here? The father would be soooo mad at me if I told about the pot, illegal driving etc. But, that is why I want to go... to lay it all out there so I'm not the one in charge anymore because its driving me crazy.

Also, one more thing I am conflicted on that might come up in mediation. The father has all winter off work. He expects to hang out with our son all day long. I don' t know if that is in our son's best interest, but don't feel comfortable openly saying that. In most visitation schedules, if the ncp doesn't work, can he tell me that he wants me to fire the daycare and he will watch him all day every day? What happens to the visitation schedule then?

Thanks again in advance for your time !!!!
Title: Best case scenario............
Post by: Kitty C. on Aug 28, 2008, 02:57:53 PM
If he's off all winter, AND he doesn't drive illegal or do drugs, why couldn't he have the baby during the day?  All things being equal, it would save you BOTH a LOT of money.  Daycare is expensive as it is.  Just don't ever consider the father as a babysitter, because that's not what he'd be doing..........that's parenting time.  Obviously he wants to be a part of his son's life and if he can act responsibly while the baby is with him, then I say go for it.  

Yes, it would change any schedule that you might have in place.  And if you go to court or even mediation, expect him to bring this up, so you should consider it now while you are in the planning stages.  But to ensure the child's safety, you should ask for certain things to be in place before this is allowed.  Like if he wants to take the baby anywhere, he has to show you proof of a valid license.  He should also be willing to do random drug testing, but be aware that that may be something you either will have to pay for yourself or share the cost with dad.  It's whatever you can negotiate.

Look at it this way:  if you two were happily married and he had the winter off, he would take care of the baby during that time instead of daycare anyway, right?  You two are now 'co-parenting', so any feelings, good, bad, or indifferent, that you might have towards each other is a moot point.  You put that aside and you deal with the child exclusively between you.

Besides, his irresponsibility regarding his license and drugs, I have to commend him for wanting to play such an active part in his child's life.  It appears he understands that this is a critical time in a child's life and he wants to be a part of that.  As for whether the child can tolerate it, if he can tolerate going to daycare every day, he can tolerate seeing his daddy every day.  IMO, there's no difference.  Infants are amazingly resilient and in many ways can adapt easier to change than toddlers and pre-schoolers.  So setting this up early in his life only ensures that during those times in his life, he will be able to withstand any change a whole lot easier than other children his age.

Bottom line, if the dad's irresponsibility issues are resolved, there's absolutely no reason why you can't have a 50/50 physical custody split.  Yes, it requires a lot more communication and cooperation between you and Dad, but if you two can do that, that may be one of the best gifts you could ever give your child.
Title: MIXED BAG need meditation help
Post by: Ref on Aug 28, 2008, 03:04:52 PM
This is where you have to trust or not that a third party will do what is in the best interest of your child and get past any irrational issues you and your ex probably have. (We all have them so don't take offense).

There is something called Right of First Refusal. This allows either parent the right to have dibs on caring for the child if the other parent will not or can not. It really is a very fair thing.

An issue you might have is the mommy feeling that you should be able to have more control. I am not saying you are a bad person. Most women feel that way, but it isn't good and it isn't fair. You have to get yourself in the mindset that if you think your ex is a good dad, that he should have just as much right to care for your child as you do. As a matter of fact, it doesn't matter if you think he is a good dad, he is the dad, but the case is stronger because you do think highly of him. It may take some work and some soul searching, but if you think about it, you want to follow the Golden Rule with your ex. What would you think would be fair if he had custody?

Have you thought of seeing a therapist? Maybe that will be a good way to discuss the issues with pot and illegal driving. Now, with the moolah you will be spending on the mediator, you may not want another professional to pay.....

I was thinking about the driving and the pot thing. Do you have proof? If not, it may become a he-said-she-said thing. It isn't court so you don't really need proof, but it would be better if you had some.

Think about whether or not you feel that your child is in danger by the illegal driving and pot.  If you think it isn't safe, then consider bringing it up. If you think he is not in danger (Like he is a safe driver and doesn't smoke while with your child) then consider saving that for another conversation.

I guess what I am trying to say is consider whether you think those things are relevant to his having more time with the baby.

BTW, you said he was a good father. Why do you think him taking care of the child instead of daycare not in the child's best interest?

Take care,
Title: RE: Great point Kitty! - nm
Post by: Davy on Aug 28, 2008, 04:58:02 PM

I realize you fully understand Kitty's advice and also that you're conflicted.  But you also want very much for everthing to be beautiful.

I SUSPECT you are conflicted because you truely want the best for your child and the overriding reason you are conflicted is because daddy is conflicted... Dad has had 3 DUI arrests, a history of marijuana use, coming into your home and snatching the baby while breast feeding, kicking around things inside and outside your home, arguing in front of the child, calling dirty names, he'll be really mad, works 60 plus hours a week and is off all winter, etc, etc,etc,

I think you know his work environment is PROBABLY an environment that is condusive to drug and alcohol use.  Sometimes dad is a great guy and father and at other times his behavior is completely irrational.

Of course it is all driving you friggin crazy.

Mediation, like any counseling, is only valuable if BOTH partys are open and honest about all the concerns.  I doubt seriously if daddy will do that because it could lead to any probation revocation or criminal charges .  You may be hesistant to fully reveal all your concerns because you fear repercussions.  

Daddy is clearly in need of serious behavior modication that goes beyond canceling his driving privileges or sitting in divorce mediation.

Of course he's going to deny doing marijuana (a beginner drug).  They all do.  The next time he's pissed it may not be alcohol, marijuana and you or your child could be in serious trouble.

Please lay out your info. with an advisor/counselor before MEDIATION and develop a plan or stragedy for YOU and you CHILD.  (it will probably be free ...)

I think you know this and just need confirming.

I have no idea what Ref is thinking !!

Best to you.

Title: RE: Great point Kitty! - nm
Post by: MixedBag on Aug 29, 2008, 07:10:39 AM
IMHO -- tell the mediator everything and be prepared to back it up as best as possible with documentation.

What gets said in mediation STAYS in mediation, period.

AND remember the mediator can't MAKE either side agree to anything, but a skilled mediator will know how to communicate with each side to get them to come to an agreement.
Title: RE: Great point Kitty! - nm
Post by: miska78 on Aug 29, 2008, 08:30:32 AM
You are exactly right about everything here. And how did you know that his work environment was conducive to drug and alcohol abuse?

When you say advisor/counselor what do you mean? My own lawyer besides the mediator? How would that help? Would that person talk to the mediator? Right now he has agreed to mediation, but in order to actually go to court he has to take me and I think he would prefer not to do that because he would be afraid of how it would turn out.

I did talk to a lawyer twice about my situation. She told me that since I have full custody, I can do whatever I want and in her opinion I shouldn't let the dad have him at all that according to her he should only have supervised visitation.

But that didn't work of course because it wasn't court ordered and he doesn't respect me. In my state, he has to take me to court to get visitation rights otherwise he doesn't have any innately.

I guess earlier in my posts when I referenced him as a good dad, I think that is because he contacts me every day to see my son. That's good, right? But it is not good for me or for moving on with my life, and I don' t know sometimes if he wants to see our son, or me, or get me upset. As Davy said, I am confused, I definitely want to do the right thing, and I want to trust that the dad will not put our son in danger, and be willing to listen to some guidelines I put in place - mainly about safety issues, nutrition and absolutely no second hand smoke.

Those would also be the reasons I wouldn't want him to watch him 8 -9 hours a day. I think he would get bored and start driving around with S. illegally to his friends house, who would smoke around him, probably cigarettes and pot and just aren't people I think my son should be around.

I realize that is my opinion, I realize I got myself into this with him, and I take responsibility for that but at the same time, I am going to do everything I can to keep my son safe and give him a chance at life that doesn't involve substance abuse etc.
Title: RE: Great point Kitty! - nm
Post by: miska78 on Aug 29, 2008, 08:52:06 AM
Thanks for your reply! I think I will tell the mediator everything and I'll bring my documentation along. I am hoping I can tell her this stuff in private. But I suppose that isn't fair?

The father makes me feel like I should just know he is a good father and that my concern about alcohol, drugs, second hand smoke is just me being ridiculous, and controlling, mean person.
Title: Good luck with everything
Post by: Ref on Aug 29, 2008, 09:23:03 AM
A good step in mediation is to offer to do everything you expect him to do. As an example, if you ask that he be drug tested randomly, offer to allow to be drug tested yourself. If you ask that he contact you if he is sleeping away from his home with your child, suggest that you will follow the same rules.

DH went through mediation with a very hostile ex and came out very successful because forcing yourself to explain yourself to a stranger makes it obvious if you are being a fool. She agreed to pretty might everything. DH made very reasonable requests and was calm and professional. BM was not.

That being said, she didn't follow through with what she promised and DH ended up in court after another couple of years.

Again, good luck

Title: RE: Great point Kitty! - nm
Post by: MixedBag on Aug 29, 2008, 10:16:21 AM
I shared all the details I knew with my second mediator during one of our private sessions.

Until right now, I don't think my EX had a clue (see he or Camilla reads, and prints stuff I write here).

During mediation training, we were told that NONE of it can be shared with the other side, but what it does do is help us formulate a plan to get the other side to listen once we know what's really going on.

BTW -- participated in mediation twice, both times, it failed.

EX#3 participated at the highest level in NV -- failed.

Neither one of our EXs could put our kids first and their right to have a relationship with their other parent (the NCP) second.  

That was the heart of the problem.....anyways, life moves on and has brought many surprises since then.

Title: Re: New mom to this site
Post by: BecauseIJustDid on Nov 20, 2008, 12:21:46 AM
Putting aside the fact that he has REALLY bad habits... I think you're a good parent for realizing there's more to kids than fighting over who gets to see them when. Good luck. Looks like you have a lot of great advice already.
Title: Re: New mom to this site
Post by: janM on Nov 20, 2008, 05:02:44 PM
You are replying to some older (3 months) posts. We're glad that you're "searching" if it helps your situation...but some posters don't return after a while.
Just so you know...