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Topics - OneMan

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Father's Issues / Strange predicament
« on: Jul 01, 2012, 01:06:14 PM »
A family member has an out-of-wedlock child with his girlfriend who was recently divorced when they met but had no kids in her marriage. The child is a boy. I doubt the pregnancy was planned--they'd been together less than a year. They seemed to be good for each other but things have fallen apart. My cousin loves his child, but isn't too happy that the mother didn't want to stay together. It's not clear to me why. They are now split. He wanted to marry but she told him she didn't (I think her marriage was abusive). My cousin brought up marriage when she got pregnant and he says she just said "I'll think about it." In any case, a huge problem has developed between them about their son's last name. My cousin supports his son, raises him half the time, did diapers, doctors, everything. But apparently the gf quietly signed a birth certificate document for unwed mothers at birth where she assigned her last name to their son, rather than my cousin's name. But her last name is her married name, not her family-ofHACK name. The marriage lasted 2 or 3 years but she has kept the married name and wants to continue to keep it and told my cousin she probably would have kept it if they had married.

My cousin doesn't understand the point of their son having her ex-husband's last name and has talked to her about it quite a few times. I told him she sounds completely nuts. But apparently her attitude is it isn't her ex's name, it's HER name now and she doesn't want confusion when son starts school with having different last names. He says she hates it when he brings it up and tells him that he's "making way too much" of this and this is more about his wounded male pride than really caring about what's best for his child. The whole situation upsets my cousin a lot. Is this normal in these cases? It sounds wacky to me, especially for their son in the future. If it were the gf's family name, that would be great, but this seems weird. I figured someone here would know. He's a very stand up guy who doesn't want to have a big conflict but it seems to be heading in that direction. He thinks (and I agree) that his child should be raised with his family name and be linked to his family line, not her ex's line, even if it is her name now. The most recent development is she said she might compromise and go along with a hyphenated last name as long as her name comes second. Another idea she has is to make my cousin's last name their son's middle name and keep the last name as is. I think she's trying to keep him separated from son psychologically and that when the boy gets older and figures out what happened he will loathe her for what she did. But he just wants to avoid court. They have no court order. He told me he thought at the beginning that she would eventually understand this wasn't good for their son and change it herself. But as time goes by, I wonder. I told him to take this to court because I can tell it will continue to bother him.

Custody Issues / How long is too long?
« on: Sep 24, 2011, 12:51:09 AM »
Quick question--how long do custody/time-sharing agreements usually last? Is an agreement created when a child is 3 supposed to last until 18? Is there any commonsense rule of when to reopen and revise?

I'm wondering because my child is past 14 and the arrangement is the same. That isn't to say that little things along the way like switching weekends or changing vacations around doesn't go on. But basically it's the same time division of time.

This is not a question about money, just time.

A person could answer: "As long as it's working." But suppose the mom feels it isn't working. Suppose the mom says, "Okay, the kid's been spending more nights with you all these years so now it's time to change the balance or just make it even?" Do you say, "No, I disagree and anyway the legal document spells it out?" And then that's the end of it? And take me to court if you don't like it?

I've never quite gotten a fix on all this.

What do people do?

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