Later i at bed time i said "but i didnt kiss daddy". She said to call him and kiss the phone. I did. It worked well. I never felt deprived of him.
Later in life, after i had grown up, mu dad told me of the fear he had at the time. He said he was worried my mother would keep us from him. The first time they discussed an arrangement for custody my mother said to him " heres the deal. I get the kids all the time. Their will be no set weekends for you. I want them here. You can have them whenever you want for as long as you want." He tested it too. He came late in the evening. Early in the morning. Middle of the day. Often with little to no notice. Mom just said. "Guess what? Daddys here".
Sometimes he just stopped by to say hi and give us hugs and kisses. I think that those were the times mom said that we already had plans. He would graciously accept that. He sometimes would just take us to the park, other times for the whole weekend.
Im sure mom would have liked some notice. She would have liked him to have had at least a tooth brush for us. She just packed a backpack. She never complained to him or me if he returned us dirty from playing hard. She never complained when child support was late. He was self employed and was not responsible enough to get it turned in on time. He never complained when she asked for money. She would just say, "I was going to get school supplies next week. You have any cash" i remember clearly him saying" how much do you want "and pulling out his wallet. If he didnt have enough on him he would say " run and get daddys checkbook from the truck" i remember this all clearly.
Im sure he would have.liked her to show receipts. Or give him a heads up on when new clothes were needed. He would have liked her to drive one way which she never did.
He would have liked it if she were faithful when they were together. She would have liked it if he didnt drink so much and spent more time with her. But.it was blissfully hidden from us kids.
When i was old enough to ride the bus and be somewhat self sufficient after school, i could pick which bus i rode where. Sometimes i went to mom and sometimes dads. I just had to call the other when i got there. Sometimes i spent a lot more time with mom. Dad stopped by then after a week or two and would just be there to hug and kiss me and ask if i wanted to come grocery shopping or to the park. Sometimes i didnt. Sometimes i did. No guilt. Sometimes i needed daddy more for a while. Mom would call and jsut talk cuz she wanted to hear my voice.
Dad would come over unannounced or by request to talk about us kids. Usually early in the morning. Im sure mom did not appreciate the time of day. She never bitched. He never whined.
As teenagers we were much more expensive kids. Mom never increased child support. Dad would hand over cash upon request. Mom did dads taxes sometimes. Dad would fix stuff for her at times.
I am 27 and mom just told me that their was a shitton of anger there. She forced herself to let it go when they split. He was pissed that she cheated. He also let it go.
I was always alloed to go to dads when only his gf was there. Mom never said anything. I was always allowed to stay with just moms bf. They each had seperate families. I was secure in both. I had step parents who treated me like their own. They disciplined me. Yelled at me. Hugged me. My sm was kind to my mom and my sd was kind to my dad. My dad took my half brother and us to the carnival, together so he wouldnt feel left out. He sometimes hunts on my dads land as well even now that he is grown. My step sis from my dads side came to moms when dad and sm were out of town. These situations were rare but my parents had each others backs in a pinch.
The point of this is it can freaking work!!!!! No courts needed. Just real live grown ups. Be willing to give give give and you will receive. No need to be petty.