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Messages - OneMan

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Custody Issues / Re: High Conflict Ex
« on: May 18, 2012, 11:51:59 PM »
Simplydad gave a VERY good response, since it is apparent he's been there, done that.  If I could add only one thing, it would be this:  when you look at the entire situation from the standpoint of perspective, consider this....when he LOVES his child more than he HATES you, things will get a whole lot better.  But that is only for him to decide.....
BT, DT, too.....

I agree. This is excellent advice.

But something caught my eye about your story--the time arrangement. I've been doing the 50/50, back-and-forth since my child was even younger. To me, a week away from either parent at that age seems very long. My arrangement at that age was that our child should never be apart from either parent longer than two days and a half days. Let me add that my ex takes High Conflict to an entirely new level. She turns even the most minor disagreement into emotional and psychological terrorism of unbelievable proportions. Avoidance of her really is the best way of handling it unless I want my entire day completely ruined.

Still, even with all of that destructive and sick behavior, I feel that the child's well-being is paramount, and at that age it meant as much regular time with each parent as possible. It goes without saying that the ex did not agree with me and felt that the less time with the father, the better. But she was and is just an extreme version of the classic high conflict ex. (With our child, she exhibits much, much less of this as far as I know, though I worry for the kid.)

A week on, week off would have been much easier for me, but not for the kid. For one thing, I would have seen much less of her. I don't know all the details of your situation, but it's worth thinking about.

Custody Issues / Re: How long is too long?
« on: Feb 02, 2012, 01:36:58 AM »
Well, you are supposed to follow the court order but either of you can ask for a modification at any time for any reason.
Can you change it all together and agree? Like one week you, one week her? or 4/3 then 3/4. If she asks for mediation or court, she will be able to and she has a fairly good case since she had child all these years. You both probably will walk out of their with a little on your side and spend money so see if you can do it yourselves. Maybe get a counselor to help you both, cheaper...then put it in writing and have the courts sign off on it.


But I'm not sure why I need to see a counselor for what is rightfully mine and clearly written.

Now she's saying that if she's losing the 8 afternoons a month she had with child, and I won't agree to the two nights a month she wants to make up for it, then she doesn't need to go 50/50 with expenses anymore either. We have nothing in writing about money at all. It's always been fifty/fifty. She says she's never questioned the 50/50 because the time always balanced out. So now she's saying that if I insist on being a hard a-- about the 60/40 time arrangment and sticking to the letter of the agreement, then she will scale back to a 60/40 money arrangment (primarily for school) because that's fair. I don't know where she expects me to come up with that kind of money. It would be very tight for me. Plus, I thought people weren't supposed to use money to get what they want. (Who's being the hard a--?) She says she's not doing it to get what she wants. She says she is going to need that money to go to either a mediator or to a lawyer because I won't budge from my position. A friend said to me: "What do you expect from her?" He wasn't at all surprised. I guess I expect her to stick to the agreement and be glad for the all the extra time she had all these years which wasn't even in the time agreement to start with.


Yes, shared custody is disruptive and complicated, in the best of circumstances (dont get me started) but kids should know ther parents.

If you feel that shared custody is disruptive, that's fine, but please don't state this as a matter of fact. There's certainly nothing in the nature of shared custody that makes it complicated. People definitely make it complicated, but people makes so many things complicated.

I wouldn't want anybody who considering shared custody thinking out of the box that it's bad by nature. My opinion is that it is the ideal.

Custody Issues / Re: How long is too long?
« on: Dec 19, 2011, 12:20:28 AM »

"What does the court order say now about visitation plan? Are you following that or made changes? Not liking that she is threatening money..is that in the court order now 50/50?"
Sorry it took so many months to get back. I have been thinking about all the responses. In the meantime I thought she would stop bugging me. But she hasn't.

Okay, background-- the court didn't order the arrangement. It was mediated by lawyers. But it is fully legal and can be enforced.

There is no written financial agreement. Just time. The time is 4 nights with Dad and 3 nights with Mom per week. Sun-Weds night at Dad's. Thurs, Fri, Saturday at Mom's. But Mom wasn't working. So all the afternoons and evenings were with Mom too since being a baby. That wasn't written. The time just defaulted to her. Now I don't have to work so late, so child can be with me during those hours.

"Up to you, do you think she would bring it to court if you denied this extra time? Is it worth the 2 nights a month?  You could send her an email that you are willing do to extra nights every so often but want to stick to the court order (if that is in there now) and that child support/activities are already court ordered as a split 50/50. "

The child's still with her all day during most of the summer. It isn't like I'm ripping our child away. I'm just getting back the time I didn't have. And I'm holding on to the nights that are in the arrangement which are my nights and always have been. And now I have to give up two more nights a month? She's had all those days. And winter break too. But she says that with this sudden change, she feels a big difference. She says her taking two more nights makes it 50/50 which she insists is basically the way it has been (but not written that way). But I pointed out to her that I'm finally getting all those days I missed out on. And now I have to give up two nights? Then I'm just back to square one. It makes no sense.

Child support is no issue. We each pay our part.

I don't think she can bring it to court because the way the agreement is written requires the party who wants a change to go to arbitration or mediation first. But she's said that she'll go to someone soon if we can't  agree. And mediation is not free! I also think she'll start putting out less money to correspond to the night schedule, whatever the percentage is.

"How about you mediate with a middle ground of: you get a few longer days per month and she gets the overnight. You have after-school until dinner and child goes to her house for dinner and overnight.
Can you give us a sample of your monthly or weekly plan with who is getting what and we can help split it up?"

She said that I can have more overnights during school breaks when child's with her during the day. She did offer that. But that gets unpredictable.

To me it's simple. We have an agreement where it's all spelled out. If she was able to manage all that free time for all those years and they could be together, that's great. Gravy. But that time she took wasn't spelled out in the schedule. She just grabbed it when I was working. But it doesn't change what is written. Isn't that how it's done?

Custody Issues / Re: How long is too long?
« on: Sep 25, 2011, 10:28:14 PM »
They last until child is 18 or you go back to court and get a new court order. It is hard to change the original order but given child's age now, some courts take into consider the child's wishes. Is child doing well in school on ex's time, homework, grades, attendance? She would need a reason to change the court order and not just I want child more.

You can either:

Negotiate a new order taking in some input from child. Ask ex to send you a proposal and see what changes she is even thinking at this point. If child is doing well with the back and forth, maybe just do one week on, one week off? add holidays, school vacations, and summers for next 4 years. Then if you agree, get it notarized and just do it. If you think you need to, ask the courts to make it a court order. You can do that yourself and it is free or small filing fee depending on state.


Tell her you want to stick to the court order but will be happy to change for special occasions or an extra day/night here and there if child gets to school on-time. Then it will be up to her to take you back to court and file modification of visitation plan and ask for changes. She may promise the world to child to say they want to live with her full-time. It can get very ugly. You can represent yourself or get a lawyer who will cost thousands to fight this. Many ex's think the magic number is 14 for kids to say they do not want to come anymore or change the schedule. This is the age they start to have friends, activities, late sports, and not be with either parent really. This is a tough age anyway without a divorce. Try to be flexible and keep track how often you are changing days or adding days but allowing a few extra days a month may keep everyone happy.

Thanks for your response. (Not sure how the quoting function works on this page.) I frankly never foresaw that a custody agreement for a three year old would apply to a 10 or 14 year old. The system seems to think so, though. I have always assumed that this would come up for review. And now it has.

I would not ask our child to decide because it's unfair to ask the child to choose.

I don't feel that motivated to negotiate because mom always had the child more. Since birth she's had the kid with her until I got off work at seven or eight every single day. So she had 4 fewer nights per month. But there were far more awake hours with child.  But now that I get home from work earlier she feels like she's losing all this afternoon time and so she thinks the way to alleviate the imbalance is to have an equal number of night per month. I can sort of see her point but for more than ten years the child has been with her every single week day. Why should I give up nights?

There has never been a problem with back and forth so she is right that a couple of days change a month wouldn't really affect things that much.

She doesn't want the child full time with her, she just wants the nights to be divided 50-50 per month. That would be two night more per month with her. I don't say the child doesn't need mom, but again, she's had years of long afternoons as well as weekend where I had to work. I finally get some free afternoons and she's making a huge stink about getting things back on an equal time basis.

There's also the small problem of money. Not by order but just that money for school, camp, music lessons, trips, child care, etc. has always been split 50-50. Now she's saying that if we can't have equal nights, she'll have a hard time coming up with equal money. I take that as a threat. Also, she says if I make her go to court over this, that's money she's not going to have to contribute to the "general fund." It's a totally more more more attitude. And if this become a court issue, it's like you said-->ugly, expensive, harmful to the child. But she might just avoid court and stiff me with the funds. And there's also the possibility that the judge would rule in her favor. Underneath, I think she feels stiffed because of all the time and effort and money she puts in to then have me come back and reclaim my time according to our original arrangement although I have tried to explain all the time I've given up all these years.

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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