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Started by Nico123, Dec 31, 2012, 02:35:40 AM

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I have been separated for 6 months, and have two children 10 and 8.   I get the 'standard' wednesday night sleep over and every other weekend Friday through to Monday.  I aslo get one phone call in my non child weekend over the 5 day period I do not see the children.

I have always hoped that with more goodwill from the mother this would improve.  Its not the case and as a hands on father would like who was activiy involved throughout, I would like to improve things.   Not nescessarily with an additional sleep over, but with simple pick up or drop offs at school or time with me after school in the early evening.  This has been denied and together with the very limited phone access, i am struggling to how is is in any way fair.

Would I get this improved if I went to court?



If she is working during those hours, you may be able to get "First right of refusal" which means that when either of you need a babysitter , the other parent would get the first opportunity to watch children. Get it very clear that other parent gets first call before other family members including step parents.

Another option is be involved in all activities, in school and outside of school. You are allowed at practices, games, dance class. Stay on other side and just be there for your children, wave goodbye. Call school, be involved with teachers and see what you can volunteer for. Maybe offer to pay and bring children to an activity each week.

If she works, then can request the time after school until she gets home and add in more phone call times. If she is not working then you prob would not get more time. The Fri -Mon is better than most get (not that is fair). Then is it worth going back just for the phone calls. Probably not, just make the most of the time you have with them.

Kitty C.

Your order is fairly new.  Right of first refusal is a long shot, IMO.  I mean, since your order is so recent, it's possible the judge would say you had plenty of opportunity to review the order before you signed it.  Even if your order states that any additional parenting time will be mutually agreed upon, if the BM doesn't agree to it, you're stuck.  Ocean offers some good suggestions regarding school participation that can certainly help, too.

Technically, the only way to modify an existing CO is to prove that the current order is 'detrimental to the child', not because one parent wants more time.  And since we're talking less than a year since the order was written, you may have to give the BM more time to settle in to the current schedule.  You could offer to take the child if she is having scheduling issues that would require the child to be with a babysitter...throw it out there and tell her you're trying to work together to make the situation better for the kids.  If you do ever get the kids outside of the current time allowed by the CO, document it.  If it happens often enough, you could possibly go to the court and ask that the changes be made permanent.

But a lot of this only you can answer.  How contentious was the court proceedings and how much animosity do you think your ex has against you?  That will tell you how much she will be willing to work with you.  DH's ex has only given up most of her animosity just within the past year, since SS turned 18, but for the prior 16 years she ONLY allowed the minimal parenting time that the court would allow.  We only lived 2 blocks away from SS in a very rural town (pop. 2500) and only saw him 4 days a month. 
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


Popular in the area where I live is: The noncustodial parent picks the child up from school, does hw with the child, plays at the park, etc. and has dinner. The child is then returned to the custodial parent. These visits last anywhere from 3-5 hours. They are so common in our area that many dads try to get them on the same night (the way that most dads have a Wednesday overnight) so that they can do things like cook together with another dad-child pair or play basketball. 
I know that many of the custodial moms in our area also like this because it gives them one evening a week to do something for themselves (extra-long work out, take an online class, hair appointment, etc.).