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Messages - Kimberly9

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Custody Issues / RE: 50-50 for a 1 yr & 3 yr old...
« on: Nov 10, 2006, 11:16:43 AM »
A better 50/50 schedule for small children

Every Monday and Tuesday with mom
Every Wednesday and Thursday with Dad
Alternate Friday, Saturday and Sunday

This give kids 2 days with Mom, 2 days with Dad, 5 days with Mom, 2 days with Dad.


It is still 50/50 and the child has relationship with both parents
It allows for consistency.  Everyone knows the schedule.
Nobody has to go more than 5 days without contact.

Custody Issues / I am very sorry for your loss.
« on: Jun 02, 2005, 10:58:20 PM »
Your strength amazes me.  Positive thoughts and prayers are headed your way.

Custody Issues / The reasons seem to be enough to me
« on: May 31, 2005, 06:59:13 AM »
I don't know how the process works in your state.  I would suggest getting some free consultations with different attorneys and ask them how to proceed.

In the mean time. . .can you volunteer to take the kids more.  It sounds like bm could definitely use a break.  The more time they are with you the better.  It might be easier getting an order for increased parenting time and enforcing the medical insurance than it would be to get a complete change of custody.

Stay focused on the kids and you will be fine.  You are headed in the right direction . . . the kids need you and the stress will be worth it.

Custody Issues / I would follow your husband's lead
« on: May 29, 2005, 06:42:56 AM »
don't initiate anything yourself, but support him in whatever he decideds.  It will be very tough!  You and dh need to be on the same side no matter what.

So if what you have described makes him so angry that he files the motions without any pressing from you, tell him that you agree and that you will be there to help him through it.  But if instead, he just vents to you and never actually does anything about it -- just be there to listen and help in anyway you can.

Good luck.  Take care of you and your babies!

Custody Issues / JMHO
« on: Mar 03, 2005, 06:35:05 PM »
I wouldn't risk stirring the pot and bringing the kids back into her life.  It could get very messy and expensive.  You sound like things are stable now.  I don't know if you woudl be gaining that much.

Custody Issues / Just whatever you do. . .
« on: Feb 24, 2005, 05:38:02 PM »
don't set the exchange up for a place she can shop at.  LOL  Our bm sometimes shows up early and then it takes us a 1/2 hour wondering around the store trying to find her!  LOL  She didn't want to meet at McDonald's because, "there is nothing to do there" and "I have to go to Target anyway".   Interestingly though, we always end up going through the drive thru of McD's on the way out of town because my ss will have not have eaten supper -- even if we exchange at 8 PM.

I have to ask. . . is your ss "inspected" and "de-germed" upon return at the end of an exchange?  I remember when ss was ripped from our arms and she was armed with wipe-ies and started giving him a sponge bath in the parking lot.  Or the time she arrived and pushed dh out of the way because he was "changing the diaper wrong."

I am glad we are passed that.

I have tried to avoid answering the phone because it makes my heart race; I get so nervous.  She has pulled some major crap in the past and I just can't get past those memories.  It always hits out of the blue.  So, if at all possible I make dh deal with everything.  (Although sometimes I admit that curiosity gets the best of me.)

The more I hear your story the more I think you need to ask for at least 1 week a month.  I don't know your work situation and if you have daycare available etc. , but just 14 weekends a year is crap.  Especially when she is doing nothing else to facillitate a relationship with Dad from her end.

It isn't cruel.  Your ss has two homes and kids adapt.   The next 3 years until he is in school is invaluable time for you and your family to lay a foundation for a relationship to take you through the school years.  

Relationships get better with a well written court document that everyone can fall back on that has everything spelled out.  The other thing that helps is years of constant routine of taking the parenting time.  She knows we aren't going away, and at this point my ss would never let us.  That is what has saved us.

Custody Issues / I am sorry. That is all very sad.
« on: Feb 24, 2005, 02:03:34 PM »
My ideas worked because our bm truly loves her son and wants what is best for him.  Our battles have been over time -- we all want him with us as much as possible.  So we clash over that, but never over what is best for him.

Your bm has problems and sounds very angry.  If she truly loved her son she would help in making his life good, even if it meant forstering a relationship with his father.

You can't legislate some of this stuff.  When the child is so small -- 19 months -- you need a cooperative parent on the other end.  The courts can't make her behave nicely.  Maybe counseling would help, but I am not sure.  I am very sorry.

On the six year old and 19 month old sharing a room -- I know I don't have to tell you this, but she is a loon.  Many kids share rooms and are not abused.  My 2 1/2 year old shares a room with my 9 y.o. ss.  They get along just fine.  My 2 1/2 year old adores his big sister (6) and they play together very well -- most of the time.  Sure he can be a pest, but she is very caring and looks out for him.  Sibling relationships should be fostered and not discouraged.

Just keep fighting for time with your ss.  Take the high road at all times and stay focused on what is best for him.  You will be fine.  You can have a long distance relationship and it will get better as he gets older.

Custody Issues / We are nervous too. . ..
« on: Feb 23, 2005, 06:15:55 PM »
because at some point it does become harder, when he is in activities etc.

We talk every once in a while about needing to move closer.  There was an opportunity to a couple of years ago, but we were afraid that it would make the tension worse.  We need the support of our families here when our children are young and I didn't want to move to bm's home turf and be completely isolated to get eow and one night a week.  But probably when he is in middle school / high school we might be moving.

We decided long ago to make sure that the distance wasn't a deterrent.  We drive like crazy and we have never cancelled an opportunity for my ss to come (except when my grandma died) even when the transportation was a hardship on us and we should have.  We didn't let road conditions, illness or bm's whim cancel our time without fighting for make-up time.  Our families have thought we were nuts at times, but it is what was necessary in our mind to have a relationship.

I posted on the visitation board ideas to a custodial step mom who has a kindergartner who does long distance travel.  During the school year there are regular school breaks built into the school calendar.  A lot of them aren't tied to emotional holidays but rather to "President's Day" and in-services.  You could probably see him once a month for a long weekend if bm would give those times up.

Other things that you could do to make the distance easier on a toddler (but  they require help from bm.)

1.  Call regularly.  It seems pointless at 19 months but hearing Dad's voice on the phone helps.  Plus, you want to establish the habit of regular phone visits.  Plus, you might find out important info from bm about sleep habits, favorite games, potty training success etc.  in casual conversation.
2.  Send packages, cards, letters.  I get really goofy in the collection of stuff we used to send.   I would eat kid's meals so we would have the little toys.  I would find cheap books and magazines at garage sales and book sales.  We would color him pictures!  I have a drawer of cards, stickers and fun stuff just so ss can get some mail from us.  Usually the postage costs more than the contents.  (By the way, I do all the work, but dh gets all the credit -- he writes the cards and signs all of our names.)
3.  When ss was so small we asked bm about his routines and favorite games and tried to replicate some of that at our house so that he was comfortable.  We even bought the same Pooh comforter he had at her house.
4.  Include in the packages (if bm will work with you) little photo books of pictures.  Take pictures on your time with ss that tell a story and send them.   "Daddy and Billy feeding the ducks"  "I sure had fun swinging in the park with you" etc.
5.   Finally, (and this one requires a lot of help from bm)  purchase a kid friendly tape player and then send audio "letters".  You can read books over the tape player, say I love you, play music and talk about things in your home. etc.  You can mail the books along with the tape so that he can follow along -- or just ask bm to play it at bedtime etc.  

Part of the reason we have such a good relationship is we have built so many connections and family traditions and they are centered around the time that ss is here.  Sometimes I feel like we are "Disney" parents but it is really just trying to cram all the family stuff into the time ss is here.  

Custody Issues / RE: Need some serious help here
« on: Feb 19, 2005, 06:45:57 PM »
I have read your situation and I am very sorry.  I don't understand how mom's think it is right to keep children away from their father's.

In my opinion, you have bent over backwards.  You have made offers that they have agreed to but never signed.  And still. . .she is denying time and causing scenes.  You and the child don't need this aggravation.  You need things spelled out in writing so that there is never a question.  A well written court agreement is the backbone of normal relations with the ex -- everyone can refer to it to see what they are suppose to do.

I live 4 1/2 hours from my stepson.  His mom moved him away when he was about 1.  So, I've done long-distance with a toddler.  My ss is now 10.  So, he has grown up with it.  He has a good relationship with all 4 of his parents, but it  took us getting over these humps.  She claimed separtation anxiety once and said he couldn't come at all without her.  Then when we were getting over that, she claimed that we were pulling him from activities and friend's birthday parties there.  So, I know your pain.

It sounds like your lawyer is on his way out.  You can do it pro se.  Just take it one step at a time and document, document, document.  I think you have enough to file for a significant change of circomstances and request more time.  What you have outlined is not enough for a real relationship with dad.

One other thing that we did until my stepson was in school was that we always had him for a minimum of 3 days.  It didn't make sense to only have two days with him and have him on the road back to back.  

I would question your exchange time on Christmas Day.  It seems with an 8 hour drive that he doesn't get to have Christmas anywhere.  You will notice that ours is set up not to exchange on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  We did that to avoid travel conflicts.  We were orginally rotating Christmas and rotating Thanksgiving, but she insisted on having him every Christmas so we have him every Christmas.

Here are parts of our parenting plan -- some of it could be adapted to work for you:

A.   xxx shall spend every other weekend while school is in session with his Father from the day school is out at 7 PM until the day before school resumes at 4 PM.  Unless it is mutually agreed upon in writing by both parties by August 1st, xxx’s weekends with his Father will begin two weeks before Labor Day weekend.  

B.   xxxx shall spend 7 weeks of the summer with his Father.  

Unless it is mutually agreed upon in writing by both parties by May 10th

a)   xxx will spend one week with his Father beginning the Friday following Memorial Day.

b)   xxx will spend two weeks with his Father beginning the Friday before Father’s Day.

c)   xxx will spend two weeks with his Father beginning the 2nd Friday in July.

d)   xxx will spend two weeks with his Father beginning the 5th Friday in July (or the 1st Friday in August if there is no 5th Friday in July).

C.   Unless otherwise agreed, the Parents will meet at the xxxxx Wal-Mart to begin and end parenting time.

D.   It is understood the times each Parent shall be with xxx can be modified by mutual agreement of the Parents. Such modifications are to be made in writing.     It is understood that partial or reduced parenting time is more beneficial to xxx than no parenting time. Should valid reason occur, such that one Parent is not able to exercise his/her entire parenting/vacation time or custodial period with xxx, make up time shall be allowed and agreed upon in writing.  Both parents shall cooperate in supplying xxx with the full advantage of time with the other Parent.  At no time, will parenting time be arranged in such a way that xxx spends more than 2 weekends in a row with either parent.

E.   The parents agree to the following Holiday and Vacation schedule.  Holidays, vacations, and special days will have priority over the regular schedule.    

a)   All school holidays that fall on Friday or Monday, not otherwise specified will be spent with the Parent having xxxx on that weekend.

b)   xxxx will spend each Labor Day weekend with his Father beginning on the last day of school and continuing until the evening before school resumes at 4 PM.

c)   xxxx will spend each Fall Break weekend with his Mother beginning on the last day of school and continuing until the evening before school resumes at 4 PM.

d)   xxxx will spend each Thanksgiving Break with his Father beginning on the last day of school and continuing until the evening before school resumes at 4 PM.

e)   xxxx will spend the Christmas period from December 23 at 4 PM to December 30 at 4 PM with his Mother.

f)   xxxx will spend the non-holiday time of his Christmas break with his Father beginning on the last day of school and continuing until December 23 and beginning on December 30 and continuing until the evening before school resumes at 4 PM.

g)   Spring Break vacation:  xxxx will spend 7 days of his Spring Break vacation with his Father.

h)   Easter vacation: xxx will alternate Easter weekend between the parents beginning on the last day of school and continuing until the evening before school resumes at 4 PM.  His Father will have xxxx during the even numbered years.  His Mother will have xxxx during the odd numbered years.

i)   xxx will spend each Mother's Day weekend with his Mother.

j)   xxx will spend each Father's Day weekend with his Father.

k)   xxx will spend each Memorial Day weekend with his Mother.

l)   xxx will spend each 4th of July weekend with his Mother.

It sounds like the grandparents turned in the materials -- not the school.  And it is the court system, prosecuters and the police are the ones taking it out of context not the schools.

If the schools failed the child in anyway, it was when they failed to teach him proper grammer.  The double negatives in his quote are ridiculous!

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