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**NEED advice** on whats "fair" custody and visitation

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 I have 16 month old twin daughters. Their father and I are splitting apart. I want to be civil, I have no idea what to do or where to go with this.........

I am  not worried about being a single mom per say as he does very very little other then split the rent with me and watches the girls ( for "free") on his days off so I don't have to pay the babysitter( which I pay 100% otherwise plus 100% groceries, he pays the utilities) He is a horrible partner and is making me miserable. He is not a "bad" dad. He plays with them. Reads to them et cetra but god help 'em if they need a actual meal or a regularly scheduled nap.

I do believe fathers and daughters have rights to each other and I want to do nothing to damage their father/daughter relationship.

I expect him to pay some child support as he makes about 2,000 more then I do every month. I want to try and come to an agreement before I go to finalize with a lawyer.

Any advice on what is "fair"? Two days one night a week in his care? (Nights may be an issuegoing crazy as my daughters are not yet weaned from the breast and nurse in the wee hours) Every other weekend? I have no idea...what a mess....

PS: PLEASE no hate mail. I do not need to hear about  marriage ( I am thanking every GOD possible that I refused marriage!!!!) or any other hateful, not helpful nonsense. REAL ADVISE ONLY THANK YOU!


Thank you so much to everyone who posted. I do appreciate the majority of you! Im trying to remember and respond to everything I read no offense if I miss something!

First off to the lady who posted about the father can take them out of state without my consent and all that nonsense...well I don't know where you live but that is actually called parental kidnapping is is very much against the law. Maybe your trying to be an alarmist or maybe you don't know what you are talking about I don't know either way you are very misinformed.

Breastfeeding and weaning people! Oh my goodness!!! What a debate! I was not trying to say that he should not have them because they still nurse just stating a fact of the matter. Related point: I do express breast milk when I go to work. On the days he is home with them sometimes all the bottles will be gone( and scattered about the house) other days the bottles have not been touched at all which means they went 9 hours without milk...WHY might you ask? Because he felt they ate enough already or because he forgot or because they didn't seem to need it....well they ALWAYS need it anytime anyone else watched them regardless of the amount they ate that day tell me about that huh? Anyhow my daughters LOVE to nurse and I have no intention of weaning them before they are ready and I don't care what any one thinks about that.

To the lady who asked why I don't just go to a lawyer and figure it all then....because that way will cost way more money.

To the lady who asked why go to a lawyer at all because I am well aware that verbal agreements do not stand ground. What ever agreement is reached will be a legal verifiable document.

A few people posted about child support. I am not saying I am going to ask him nice to give me a check every month. I am saying I expect child support and am therefore going through my county to secure that.

A lot of you said " well just talk it over with him"....Well I have tried that/am trying that. His response " well you're going to make sure you get what you want anyway" and he storms off. Not at all a lets be grown ups and figure out this giant fuckin mess we're all in kinda thing at all. So I am going to draft an offer of agreement, take it to a lawyer and go from there. That is why I ask what might be fair. Dude is a immature dickwad but he is also the father of my beautiful precious amazing daughters. If they decide they want nothing to do with each other when they are older that is their choice to make. I will not take that choice from any of them.

That is all I an wrap my brin around at the moment I hope that answerd all the questions....

Thanks again! Most of you are awesome!

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 1:47 AM
1 mom liked this

No one said "necessary."    It's a matter of normal.    There are health benefits to continuing on as nature/God designed, as well.   We (general public) know that ped's are generally poorly trained about BFing.     If a child & mother team choose to stop then that is the Right time to stop...   ;-)

Quoting caro100:

I understand what you are saying, but I did breastfeed both my boys and I disagree with you that breast feeding or nursing after they are eating table food is still necessary for the child, my pediatrician's opinion.  My boys were starting to use sippy cups, so I felt it was time to do the weaning thing.  By the way I wish I had had a douhlah instead of hubs, so useless.   I had a friend that breast fed hers until they were about 4, I'm sorry, I really thought that was overkill.

Quoting doulala:
by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 2:08 AM
Have you talked to ex dh how much time he is requesting with dds?
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by AnnaLisa on Dec. 3, 2012 at 3:20 AM

 when my daughters dad was involved he had her 3 weekends out of it went:  dad, dad, mom, dad,, dad, mom, dad, mom....then he just decided he was done...the 3 weekends out of 5 was court ordered..if it was up the judge it would have been 5 days with me, 5 days with dad, 5 days with me 5 days with dad over and over and over for the rest of her life...sooooo not gonna happen! LOL  however, we havent seen or heard from him in 3yrs..

i would just do what works for you guys.

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 7:12 AM

First thing you need to do is file for custody before he does!

As far as visitation, ask him how much time he'd like. He may not want any over nights right now, just maybe a day or two a week, for a certain, pre-set number of hours. What ever you decide write it down. When you go to court or even to the lawyer, it'll already be decided, and will hopefully cost you less.

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 7:56 AM

Why don't you and he sit down and discuss this together and see what each other wants in terms of custody/visitation?  Then you just submit this to your attorney and the attorney gets it before a judge to be signed.

Ex and I did that.  We simply worked out a custody plan that was right for our family, we submitted to my attorney who gave us a few bits of advice about things we had not considered, the she made our requested changes and submitted it to the judge who signed off and it was done.  This was cheaper and easier than fighting it out with two attorneys and ex and I got exactly what worked for our family.

"May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it." ~ Irish Toast

by Terri on Dec. 3, 2012 at 8:18 AM

 Google(or ask your attaorney) your state's parental visitation guidlines and go from there.  Your attorney can help you figure out what will be best.

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Ummm....just ask him? You have to handle this as any negotiation. Ask him what he'd like, tell him what you'd like, then meet in the middle. If that doesn't work, you can take it to court. You'll both save tons of time, money, and stress if you work it out together. The standard division used to be dad has every other weekend and Wednesdays for a few hours. Now, lots of courts are insisting on weekday overnights, too. However, your man might be totally uninterested in this much time together, which is why you need to ask him. The breastfeeding thing is irrelevant at this point. They are 16mo old....

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:40 AM

If they aren't weaned, I would wait on the nights or try to get them to take some pumped milk. If he doesn't feed them regularly though... I'm not sure I would want him to take them for extended periods of time. You know him better than all of us though. If you think he will take good care of them when they are with him, and he is living close, maybe give him 3 days a week with them or so. 

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Regarding child support, every state is different, and they all use a formula which can be found online.  Generally most states require the noncustodial parent to pay about 25% of his income for one child and about 30% for two or more.  Some states calculate how much time each parent has with the children, others do not.  Google the name of your state plus "child support calculator" and you can find a calculator that will do the formula for you.

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:44 AM
1 mom liked this

Both of my children just stopped wanting to breastfeed at 15 months and weaned themselves.  At that time, they had both started eating more and using a sippie cup, so breastfeeding just stopped.  It was a nonevent with both of them, and I'm glad I didn't force them before they were ready.

Quoting missamanda86:

From my experience, its harder on the child if you try to wean them before they are ready. And its not at all about gratitude. My oldest breastfed for 15 months because that was her comfort tool, and I would have gone longer if she had wanted to...

Quoting caro100:

The girls are over a year old, but most kids are eating table food by then.  Sorry, but breast feeding in my opinion is just gratuitous after a year old.  In other words, it mostly for Mom instead of children, unless of course you are in a third world country.

Quoting doulala:

Quoting caro100:

Basically, if you're still breast feeding it's not realistic for the girls to be spending nights awy from you.  When you wean them, which you should be fairly soon, you can decide what works for you all.  Any way,he may start out keeping them overnight, but if its too much trouble, he will more than likely start to make excuses why he can't keep them overnight.  Just saying.   I would let him take the kids by himself for a daytrip then check how things go afterwards.  Good Luck.

 "Should" wean fairly soon?   Who knows...   It may be years away from weaning yet.

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