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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!



****Update/response****

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 so.....you 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 (21-30):
mommybug77
by Bronze Member on Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:45 AM
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.


I weaned my one dd at 39 months. Our 21 month old just nursed herself to sleep now. I am into self weaning. I weaned my older one b/c we were getting ready to TTC.
1lv2stks3nlz4ev
by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:48 AM

 because you are still nursing I wouldn't suggest over night visits until they wean, but at the same time allowing them routine time with Daddy is important. A couple evenings a week? Or maybe he could be there to tuck them in at night? Do what works best for your family and your schedule.

mamakin616
by Member on Dec. 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

If you refused marriage ...what are you going to the lawyer for..just the custody issue and visitation itself???I would try to stick to weekends overnight ,that way you do't need to change again when the kids start school, and try to share the Holidays as fairly as possible,you know like Christmas eve with mom Christmas Day with Dad .or the other way,it gets very hard on kids when they are made to go without seeing one parent on Christmas, and if you guys are civil that makes them even happier.My neice gets upset becaue she has to go with her mom for  Christmas ,and doesn't get to see dad or other family until the day after,that 's hard on kids.Good luck to you and I hope everything works out for the best.

CoeyG
by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 11:31 AM

You need a court order of visitation as well as child support.  The court will determine what is "fair" Without a court order he doesn't have to pay for anything and he can see the kids whenever he chooses, if he chooses and he can keep them for as long as he wants and take them anywhere, including out of state.  Verbal "agreements" do not hold up in court. 

CoeyG
by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 11:32 AM


Quoting mamakin616:

If you refused marriage ...what are you going to the lawyer for..just the custody issue and visitation itself???I would try to stick to weekends overnight ,that way you do't need to change again when the kids start school, and try to share the Holidays as fairly as possible,you know like Christmas eve with mom Christmas Day with Dad .or the other way,it gets very hard on kids when they are made to go without seeing one parent on Christmas, and if you guys are civil that makes them even happier.My neice gets upset becaue she has to go with her mom for  Christmas ,and doesn't get to see dad or other family until the day after,that 's hard on kids.Good luck to you and I hope everything works out for the best.

A court order of visitation and support is needed because without he doesn't have to pay her anything.  Verbal agreements don't hold up in court and if he wants he can take the kids and tak off without her knowing where they are.  Police won't help if there is no court order.  

Mommy2justone
by Mommy2justtwo on Dec. 3, 2012 at 11:42 AM

If they are still nursing, I would not send them overnight. Maybe let him take the girls during the day a few days a week, or when you are working. 

STVUstudent
by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 11:50 AM

No bashing.  You say he is not good at providing real meals and structure.  Do you really want them to spend nights and weekends with him?  At least until he matures a little, you may want to think this through.

Money- figure out a reasonable figure for their support... clothes, food, a percentage of the rent and utilities, a percentage of your transportation expenses, keeping in mind that as they get older, their clothes and food expenses will rise dramatically.  daycare/babysitter expenses.  Once you get a good solid figure, he should pay at least half- more if he can afford it, since he is making so much more than you.  If they need special things, he should help pay for that as well.  When the seasons shift, he should expect to kick in extra for the next season's clothes.   That should be his share. 

If he cannot share custody, and it really sounds like he can't from how you describe him, I would offer to allow him to see them as often as he wants, to include all day on his days off so you can work and not have a babysitter.  If he wants to try to keep them overnight, let him...

la_bella_vita
by Gold Member on Dec. 3, 2012 at 12:41 PM

 I've never been in this position but I think it depends on what kind of father he is and what kind of time he is asking for. good luck!

missamanda86
by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Thats how it was with my daughter! My 3 year old only bf'd for 3 months and then couldnt due to his allergies and heath issues, so it wasnt a big deal when he weaned. My LO is 7 months now and I was taking some pain killers so I wouldnt nurse when I was on them and OMG he had a fit! So I just stopped the hydro and took motrin so he would calm down

Quoting Refurbished:

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

soulofsunmama
by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 1:05 PM
1 mom liked this
I'm sorry, but you are SERIOUSLY ignorant about breastfeeding, please please for the love of health, children, and what's best for them, educate yourself.

I have no idea op, hope the very best for you, but please don't force wean them *because* of this!


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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