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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 (51-55):
CampClan
by Bronze Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:23 AM

That's what I was trying to say- in the state of Ohio a father who was not married to the mother has no rights til he files for them. And unless mom files for custody then she can't stop dad from taking the child. So those to things don't make sense... how does he not have rights to take the child if he has filed for them but yet she (or others) can't stop dad since she doesn't have custody either.

I guess what ppl don't understand is that just because a mother gives birth to the child it doesn't mean she has custody of the child.

OP this is a link to a page for Ohio legal questions. IDK what state you are in but maybe you can Google something like this? http://www.cornwell-law.com/10/ohio-unmarried-and-never-married-parent-faqs/

Quoting erinsmom1964:

This happened to my hubby with his other children.  the mother packed up and left state while he was at work.  Now once you track them down( if you do) then there is something you can do about it but the local police, state police and even the Sheriffs dept said the same thing.  No custody agreement no crime


momof6nokc
by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Custody of children born out of wedlock is a state by state issue.

In my state any child born to an unmarried mother is automatically in the sole legal custody of the mother.  Dad must petition the courts to be recognized as the father and then must petition for custody/visitation. It is irrelevant whether dad is named on the birth certificate or if the child has dad's last name.  Dad and mom were never married?  Mom has automatic sole custody and dad would face a state kidnapping charge.  The charge would be federal if he crossed state lines.

So, OP, check the laws in your state.  Google should give you the information you need but, if not, any lawyer should be able to quickly answer that question for you.

I don't get the sense that you are concerned about kidnapping, but you should know who legally has custody of your girls, right?

Your idea to draft up something for the girl's dad is a great idea.  Once your drafted order is signed by the judge it becomes a binding legal document.

Good luck!!!

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

Tea4Tas
by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:23 AM

The first thing you do is give him the days you are not working to care for the kids.   If that is 2 days a week you can offer him every other Sat or Sunday. If you live close (and I would reccomend you try to do so) don't give him overnights. Pick the kids up at bedtime and bring them home until they wean.

Get child custody court ordered-include payment for a percentage of child care (giving him the incentive to watch  him while you are at work)

And if necessary pack food for the kids when they are at his house in his custody. With any luck he will move in with his Mom and she will help with the whole feeding and milk situation!


cb.5
by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 12:28 AM

 I'm really just curious as to what others think is a fair arrangement or what has worked for other families. I already filed paperwork,confirmed with my county and police about laws and have contact with a lawyer. I just wanted to know what others did since he at this moment is being confrontational.

No we were never married. In my state (colorado) we don't actually have sole or joint custody and the  residential and financial parental responsibilities are separated from the "decision making"responsibilities. I have what is considered Primary custody and sole decision making responsibility. What that means is that if he decided to take the girls without my consent it would be kidnapping but he does still have rights as their father to claim visitation/ joint custody i.e days/nights spent in his care. I also just want to say that if I thought the girls were in serious danger and that he was intentionally neglecting them I would not at all ever leave them alone with him. We don't see eye to eye but that does not make him a bad person....


Quoting CampClan:

That's what I was trying to say... if OP doesn't file for custody then the BD can come get the child. But like I said... it's weird because in the state of Ohio a father has no rights til he files for them but yet if he doesn't have a custody order he can still take the child.

Quoting CoeyG:


Quoting CampClan:

I just wanted to reply to this. I worked for the local children services in my town. I basically had to run legal docs to the courthouse to be filed. I spcifically asked about my ex fiancee's rights: we were never married, I left him before I had our son, neither of us has filed for custody or visitation rights, he is paying child support, there is a DNA test on file with the courts, my H at that time (we are now divorced) did NOT adopt my DS but we did do a legal change of name & had DS's last name changed to my married name. I was told that because there is nothing stating either of us have custody my ex fiancee could go to DS's school with the DNA test & say he was taking DS. Of course, since I had no info on dad listed with the school they would call me (& I would in turn call the police) but there would be nothing the school could do to stop him from leaving with DS.

I just wanted to let you know it IS possible for the other parent to leave with the child & there be nothing you could do because you had no proof you had custody. So, please look into this with your local courts & find out what it would take for you to make sure this would never happen to you & your girls.

****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!


I don't know what state you are in but most police will tell you that if there is no custody order their is nothing the can do about a parent removing a child from school at anytime.  He could walk in and take him from your home or from a relatives home if he chose and because he is the biological father and there is no order of custody, just a last name change the police will not do anything.  


momof6nokc
by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 7:51 AM

Well, what was fair for my ex and I was 50/50 custody.

We did a 4/3, 3/4 schedule for about 14 years and it worked great. 

Of course we got along very well and he lived within a few miles of me which made it all possible. 

Many times the court won't grant 50/50 unless the parents have already proven an ability to get along--courts aren't interested in seeing parents repeatedly in their courtroom, KWIM?

My DH had every other weekend with his child from Friday after school to Monday morning when he returned her to school. If school had a break/teacher conference, etc on Friday or Monday then he got her that entire time as well.  So if it was his weekend and SD had no school on Friday, then DH got her Thursday after school was out. I hope that makes sense.

He also got one overnight a week---he chose Thursday nights. So he got her Thursday when school was out and returned her to school on Friday. 

He got every other holiday, his birthday, Father's Day, 6 weeks in the summer.  Holiday visitation superceded weekend visitation so if it was Christmas but not his weekend he got her anyway.

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

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