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50/50 on paper only

Started by ddonova, Jan 20, 2016, 06:10:32 PM

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My ex and I have been seperated for 6 months. He is just now moving out with his girlfriend and we are just starting the processing of filing. Because he has a legal plan through work (good for 20 hours) we agreed he would draw up the paperwork and I would take it to my legal aide place to get it looked over (neither of us have money for a lawyer or a mediator). At first we agreed about some things. As many of you can guess things change. From what I see so far I think he is pulling back from his fatherly duties (not that it was all that hot to begin with). He wants 50/50 on paper but he has said that he will likely only take them two maybe three nights a week (he use to say that not lately. We have four kids. I came across an email from him to a rental apt that says he will only have his kids every other weekend, that's 20% of the time. For a lot of reasons I don't see him taking the kids more than once a week on average. I have been keeping a log for months now and a journal. So, I know exactly how much time he spends with the kids. My problem is that I am nearly posisitve he is going to give me papers requesting 50/50 custody. (I also have a much more kid friendly schedule and he doesn't.) He has said he will take care of the financial piece and will put it in writing but, I am very, very hesitant to sign anything that doesn't reflect what is happening in real life. But, I know countering with 80% custody will set things off to get ugly fast (not that they are super awesome now). Anyway, thoughts?


What do you think his motive for wanting 50/50 on paper is?  For example, is it to avoid child support.....to feel better?  Is there a possibility to have it state joint legal with you as the primary custodian and father having liberal visitation?   

I know, more questions.  I am like you - I would want it to reflect reality, but I am not sure that would matter as long as you have primary custody and keep track of when he asserts his custody/visitation time. 


I think he wants it to say 50/50 for a couple of reasons, mainly he (I'm guessing) that he thinks he will be a horrible person, father if he gives away most of his time with his kids. But, he gf has a 15 year old daughter and our kids range in ages from 3 to 11. Life with her is and will be totally different and I don't see them doing more than twice a week tops, if that. Over xmas break he was gone nearly the entire second week and the one time he did see them he took them to the mall (oldest 9 and 11) for three hours and literally left them for an hour and a half and went to have a drink with his gf. So, I see them settling into a very different life. Plus, he works four 10 hour days and can't really see them M-Th (not that he really makes an effort to hang out with them after work anyway). So, if he did actually have 50/50 he would need way more child care than I would (I'm a teacher). Anyway, I see him fighting 50/50 but  he has told me point blank he won't sign away more. I have no problem giving him more than 20% (if I got 80) but, he is only seeing them that much now. (I do think he wants to save money too bc he has already complained that he would have to pay to much).


I'm thinking you can't force a parent to be a parent whether it's the mom pulling away or the dad.

I'm also thinking that you need to research how "TIME WITH THE CHILDREN" will affect Child Support in your state.  Find your state's on-line calculator and play with it .... put in some fake numbers and poke your way through.


If time is NOT a factor, then pick and choose your battles....at one point in his future he MAY revert to wanting and exercising 50/50....and right now....just not.   If you're basically OK with 50/50 then I'd let it slide. 

And yes, keep a journal in case something else comes up where you would no longer be ok with 50/50.


No way, but maybe he/you do not understand the 50/50. The courts will want LEGAL custody defined, so put in the papers the your both have 50/50 LEGAL custody (to pick schools, sign passports) then have the visitation defined on what days he will have kids. Kids need structure so have him give you the same days each week or every other weekend that he will have kids. I have seen some instances where the older kids went together and the younger kids went together on different days but usually all the kids would go to his house at same time. Overnights- all the kids need their own bed/pull out couch. You can also add a sentence that states, "father may have extra time with kids by giving mom 48 hours notice and if the kids are free, father will have parenting time"...something like that. Child support in my state for 4 kids would be 31% of his paycheck so is he trying to get out of that? Plus percentage of daycare, activities, educations, and medical copays and insurance premiums.

Were you ever married to ex? If not, you can go to family court and have this done for free in many states or a small filing fee. You can go fill out the paperwork yourself and represent yourself too if you feel comfortable, Look up your state child support and visitation guidelines.

Maybe send him a text/email:
I know you are writing up the paperwork for the kids and wanting to say I agree to 50/50 legal custody but would like the parenting time with you to be written down so the kids have a schedule and structure and know when they see you. Please let me know what days you can accommodate them and the times you were thinking. Also every other weekend is fine with me just define the days/times of exchanges. The child support and spitting other costs would also have to be addressed. Our state guidelines for 4 children is XX% plus a percentage of daycare, education, kids activities and medical out of pockets expenses. Please send me a rough draft of what you have so I can look it over.
Thank you.


It depends on your state.  In my state (NC) CS is determined by the income of both parents, time spent in each house, cost of daycare and insurance and number of kids. 

Saying 50/50 on paper while he's taking significantly less time would necessitate consistent, detailed and accurate recording on your part.  Should he get his panties in a wad one morning and decide to make life difficult for you, he could accuse you of withholding visitation and you would need to have historical proof that it was his choice and his pattern to do otherwise.
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