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Author Topic: Reasonable Visitation  (Read 3923 times)

sillystring

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Reasonable Visitation
« on: Oct 13, 2009, 12:36:08 PM »
My husband currently has a week on, week off, joint custody schedule.  The mother lives 5 1/2 hours away so they meet halfway once a week.  Neither parent is designated as primary in the CO, but my husband does pay a small amount of CS to make up for the difference in incomes.
 
Due to the mother repeatedly violating the CO, neglecting to include my husband in medical decisions, and filing false child abuse allegations against him on two separate occasions, my husband has filed for full custody.  Each abuse allegation was made after my husband filed for contempt against her (both contempts were resolved through mediation so she wasn't actually charged) and she is now being investigated by the state for making false allegations (both were sexual in nature and the second allegation was actually against my two year old daughter, not my husband).
 
The CO is through our county in GA since this is where they lived when they were together.  We were hoping that the mom would move back before sd started preschool next year so we could continue 50/50, but with everything that has happened the past 2 years, we no longer feel like that is the best option for sd.  It has been really hard making this decision but the mom sees sd as a pawn to use against my husband and only looks out for HER interests rather than my sd's interests.  We believe that the mom may have BPD and that there may be some PAS going on as well due to some of my sd's actions (she's 3).  SD is currently in play therapy because of it (which we had to get court-ordered since the mom wouldn't agree to it even though she's the one trying to say that sd is getting abused).
 
My question is, what kind of visitation schedule should we ask for while going for full custody?  We want sd to have as much contact with the mom as possible but we're not sure what is standard when the ncp lives 5 1/2 hours away.  Would we just offer 3 day weekends, alternate breaks, and time at Christmas and in the summer?  Or offer an EOWE availability if the mom spends it in our city (she has an uncle here she can stay with - we just don't think it's good for sd to have to be in the car for 11 hours EOWE)?  We're just torn because only seeing the mom twice a year doesn't sound like enough, but EOWE in the car seems like too much. 


gemini3

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Re: Reasonable Visitation
« Reply #1 on: Oct 13, 2009, 12:58:44 PM »
In my opinion, I would not address this issue unless you are asked about it.  It's a Catch-22 question.  If you're asked by a GAL, counselor, or judge you might want to put the question back on them by saying something like "You know, that's something we've been thinking about a lot.  I want SD to have as much time as possible with her mom, but I am concerned about the false allegations, etc - and the traveling time.  What would you recommend based on what you've seen work for others in this situation?"
 
Also - if you think that the mother has some sort of personality disorder, ask for psych assessments as part of the custody hearing.  The false allegations support this request.  Make sure that it is done by a clinical psychologist because they are the only ones who have been trained in the diagnosis of personality disorders.  You may ask your attorney to have a list of 3-5 in the area that you have pre-screened, so he can suggest them to the judge.

MixedBag

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Re: Reasonable Visitation
« Reply #2 on: Oct 13, 2009, 01:24:30 PM »
If Mom and Dad met half way EOW -- that would surely help.
 
I would mean leaving friday -- say around 5 pm, and the child would get to the other parent's home late, but they'd probably fall asleep in the car anyways.
 
Let me put it another way.....I drove 12 hours, and picked up my son at 5-5:15 pm, drove another 5 hours to get to my brother's home.  Got there late, but he and my son's counsins always looked forward to our weekends with them.  Then on Sunday, we left around 2 pm, and drove back to get back on time by 7 pm.
 
How bad was it?
 
We had dedicated time together in the car for 10 hours -- now -- how many of you parents take THAT much time out and dedicate it to your kids at one time?  You/I/Mom/Dad -- can make the best of it or always look at the negative side.  The choice is yours.  Obviously, I chose to make the best of it and to try to turn it into something positive.  One time, I put on a book on tape from Danielle Steele -- who would have thought that my SON would love listening to the book during our drive.  I mean, Danielle Steele!  But he was thankful as the book ended as we were exiting the interstate and completing the drive.
 
 

MixedBag

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Re: Reasonable Visitation
« Reply #3 on: Oct 13, 2009, 04:10:10 PM »
chances are there is "no standard" for when the parents live further apart.
 
Heck, during the second round with a mediator I asked her -- do you have or have you ever dealt with other families where the mom and dad lived further away from each other?  And her answer was NOPE.  Hmmmm....
 
When the parents live farther apart -- many times it's what you make of it.
 
WHO lives in the original jurisdiction for the divorce?
 
Personally, I think if you/dad wants to be the primary residential parent -- then he needs to be the one who shows uber-cooperation in keeping the mom in the child's life.  That's gonna be key.

sillystring

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Re: Reasonable Visitation
« Reply #4 on: Oct 16, 2009, 11:11:09 AM »
We are in the original jurisdiction. 
 
What if we offered EOWE but requested that one of those weekends be spent in our city and the other one she could take the child back to her place?  That way the child would only have to travel once a month rather than twice.  BM has a free place to stay so it's not like she would have to pay for a hotel or anything.
 
We're just concerned about the future - we don't want sd to miss out on things (extracurriculars, etc.) because she has to travel every other weekend.  Plus we feel BM should be involved in her activities, etc. that go on here.  I'm not saying that ec's are more important than time with mom (or dad) because they're not, but I also don't want sd to resent mom in the future because she can't participate in certain sports, etc. due to the distance.  I just know that I was involved in a sport in high school that had stuff every weekend and I would have been pissed if I had to miss even one game. 
 
 
 
 
 
 


MomofTwo

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Re: Reasonable Visitation
« Reply #5 on: Oct 16, 2009, 01:36:47 PM »
One of the things a court will look at it a custody determination if the parent requesting custody is willing to foster the relationship of the other parent with the child.  You have to show why this change is in the child's best interest...so you are requesting going from a 50/50 to EOW AND one of those weekends you don't want that to be at Mom's home.   There will be alot of varying opinions on this, but I think you are walking a very fine line.  You are trying to reduce Mom's time significantly and then on top of it, you are trying to control what time she will have.    A way to help you win is by ensuring Mom does not lose any time with the children.... typical long distance type of parenting plan - entire summer, every spring break, and alternating Christmas and Thanksgiving.  If Mom has about 182 days a year and you want to cut her to 52, and then limit where she can take the child and the capacity in which she can spend the time, it looks like you are intentionally trying to cut Mom out.
 
 

snowrose

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Re: Reasonable Visitation
« Reply #6 on: Oct 16, 2009, 03:16:23 PM »

We're just concerned about the future - we don't want sd to miss out on things (extracurriculars, etc.) because she has to travel every other weekend.  Plus we feel BM should be involved in her activities, etc. that go on here.  I'm not saying that ec's are more important than time with mom (or dad) because they're not, but I also don't want sd to resent mom in the future because she can't participate in certain sports, etc. due to the distance.  I just know that I was involved in a sport in high school that had stuff every weekend and I would have been pissed if I had to miss even one game. 

 
If SD isn't even in school yet, you're reaching way ahead when it comes to planning.  Maybe you should just start to consider how to handle primary school, first.  There are likely to be a lot of changes in where both of you live before SD goes to high school.

Davy

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Re: Reasonable Visitation
« Reply #7 on: Oct 16, 2009, 05:29:23 PM »
Yep ... my youngest would have been pissed if he had to miss a game when he was 3.  His mother was the coach. 
 
My two older kids started activities much later in life when they were 4 and 5 and they also would have been pisssed.

MrCustodyCoach

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Re: Reasonable Visitation
« Reply #8 on: Oct 20, 2009, 01:01:07 PM »
Given your distance, and I've been there, I would suggest you go with every-other-weekend during the school year (meeting half-way at a public exchange point with plenty of witnesses).

During the summer and during extra opportunities surround her custodial weekends during the school year, mom would get extra time, and of course this would be predicated upon the escalating behaviors going away.

During the summers, you could do 50/50 with exchange days on Sunday evenings or something else that is appropriate if things can be made to settle down, which isn't likely with a dramatic custody change.
Mr. Custody Coach - Win Child Custody "Better Prepared, Better Outcome"

*The opinions in this post are solely my own and do not represent the only way to address any particular issue.

 

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