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#1 MomfromMN

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:24 AM

We are moving ahead with the divorce. Stbx is cooperating about separating things and money. We are having a hard time figuring out how to divide up time with the girls. He suggested that we take turns taking the girls each week but I'm a stay at home mom and not seeing the girls for a week at a time is not good for me or the girls. Are there other examples that anyone can share? The lawyer said that since I'm the primary care taker I should have more time with the girls.

The realtor is coming on Friday to anaylize the house so I need to get the house decluttered and ready to be put on the market. This is scary and I'm worried how the girls will take the news. We plan on telling them on Friday after school. Any thoughts or words of wisdom would be great. I slept for maybe 4 hours last night. Ugh!

#2 oneness

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:06 AM

I am so happy for you! I know this time will be rough, but you and your children will be so much better off without the abuse in your lives!

I know that some here can advise you on how to split up the time with your girls. My exh and I have a schedule that works for us that we developed around our work schedules. But we get along well, so it is flexible. Look into a 50/50 where you have them 3 days, him 4, then you switch. I hope some others here who are doing this can help you. I know there was a thread here about that not too long ago.

Use your time away from your kids to do things for yourself. Get a part time job or volunteer. Or just get out and meet with friends or just pursue some personal interests or hobbies. We all need time for ourselves, even when we have children.

Sending you strength and love to get through this!
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#3 Kokoca

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:47 PM

MomfromMN,

I'm glad for you that things are moving along and it seems with some level of good cooperation. I hope it keeps going that way and that you can work the custody arrangement out.

How old are your girls and how involved has your ex been in parenting?

I hear what you are saying about not being able to see the kids for a week at a time not being good for them or you. It can feel like a long haul, especially if they are younger.

As Oneness suggested, look at a 4/3 scenario or even MT, WThF, SS, MT, WThF, SS schedule. That's a lot of movement but for younger kids it can work quite well and everybody gets alternating weekends. As kids get older they will want to be able to settle in one place for longer times and I've heard of people going bi-weekly or even monthly.

For your own peace of mind, it would be a good idea to work on whatever assumptions you are making about "it wouldn't be good for me or the girls". Why not? What harm is there? What could you do with your free time? Would the girls adapt and maybe learn some independence? I think these are really good questions to ask. Some day your children will grow up and will go weeks without seeing you. Maybe that is a hard concept to embrace right now but ultimately, they are their own people and they probably will be more okay than you think they will be.

All of that is conditional on whether they'll be safe emotionally and physically with their father.

If you fear they won't be maybe you shouldn't be even talking about shared custody. I'd be careful about what the lawyer says in this case too. What you are entitled to legally and what is good and right for your children may be two different things. If they have a good relationship with their dad, it may be very appropriate for them to see him regularly. Yes, I'm biased because I'm a dad but I also have a little red flag going because that sounds like your lawyer could be willing to put the kids into the middle of an ugly legal battle over what really is a legal point, not an emotional or child-well-being point.


About talking to the kids. I don't think I've ever had to do anything so hard as this. Make sure there is time to spend with them afterward so that both of you get some time to cuddle with them or talk or cry independent of the other. The worst thing that could happen is if one parent all of a sudden disappears before you can even reassure them that they aren't losing one of you.

The most important thing that keeds need at this time is security. They need to know how much their world is going to change and, more importantly, they need to know how much it isn't going to change. For the most part, they aren't going to really be worried about what happened between you so leave any blame or finger pointing out. They're going to want to know about them.

They're going to have lots of questions:Will they still go to the same school? Will they still see their friends? Will they still have their favourite toys and stuffies and still do their favourite activities? Will they still see their grandparents? What will happen to their room, their house, etc.

Be honest about things that are going to change but try to focus on what won't change. They're going to have some fear and are going to need to be reassured about their place in the world and their place in your lives.

Also, be crystal clear that a) it is not their fault and b ) they can't fix it. This is not because they didn't finish their homework or didn't keep their room clean. it isn't because they weren't good enough. It is because mom & dad aren't getting along and have decided to not live together.


I hope that helps. Know that this will be one of the most difficult moments. You will get through it and you and your kids will survive and thrive.


Hugs

K
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#4 posso

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:12 PM

A common visitation schedule is the primary custody parent, usually the mother, has the kids except for every other weekend and a dinner or overnight at midweek of the week the dad doesn't have them for the weekend. Vacation time of two weeks with their dad, holidays alternating every year. This stuff should be worked out, agreed upon and should be a written part of a divorce settlement. This is a potential area of disputes and abusiveness, so future changes other than occasional and reasonable variances to the agreement generally should be written and done through the court.

There are obviously various factors that contribute to the best solution for everyone's benefit. The childrens' ages. How far apart you live, what you plan to do about church, whether you feel safe with exchanges at home or if you prefer a public place for pickup and dropoff, etc. Too frequent exchanges aren't generally imposed on children, especially younger ones.
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#5 MomfromMN

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:58 AM

Thank you for all your support and suggestions on the custody schedule. Right now D11 is home sick with me today. I want to write more but will do so later. Last night I slept a lot better-like a log, thank you Lord! Of course I'm having issues with guilt, self doubt, negative self talk, etc. My stomach is in knots and I still don't know if my therapist is right for me. Gotta go.

#6 almadecasa

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:59 AM

If you fear they won't be maybe you shouldn't be even talking about shared custody. I'd be careful about what the lawyer says in this case too. What you are entitled to legally and what is good and right for your children may be two different things. If they have a good relationship with their dad, it may be very appropriate for them to see him regularly. Yes, I'm biased because I'm a dad but I also have a little red flag going because that sounds like your lawyer could be willing to put the kids into the middle of an ugly legal battle over what really is a legal point, not an emotional or child-well-being point.


My kids have a good relationship with their dad. I know that in my heart of hearts that it is the right decision to share parenting time 50:50 as long as possible-- it still brings me pain. I'm sorting that out for me. Stay on the high road as difficult as it might be.

I'll also offer that we (I) invited a third party to be part of our conversation in telling the kids-- I didn't trust him to be appropriate or get a dig in toward me. That helped.

Blessings to you!
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#7 MomfromMN

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:05 AM

MomfromMN,

I'm glad for you that things are moving along and it seems with some level of good cooperation. I hope it keeps going that way and that you can work the custody arrangement out.

How old are your girls and how involved has your ex been in parenting? They are 11 & 8. He wasn't that involved with them when they were younger but he is more so now.

I hear what you are saying about not being able to see the kids for a week at a time not being good for them or you. It can feel like a long haul, especially if they are younger.

As Oneness suggested, look at a 4/3 scenario or even MT, WThF, SS, MT, WThF, SS schedule. That's a lot of movement but for younger kids it can work quite well and everybody gets alternating weekends. As kids get older they will want to be able to settle in one place for longer times and I've heard of people going bi-weekly or even monthly.

For your own peace of mind, it would be a good idea to work on whatever assumptions you are making about "it wouldn't be good for me or the girls". Why not? What harm is there? What could you do with your free time? Would the girls adapt and maybe learn some independence? I think these are really good questions to ask. Some day your children will grow up and will go weeks without seeing you. Maybe that is a hard concept to embrace right now but ultimately, they are their own people and they probably will be more okay than you think they will be. This sounds ideal when we get things going. I do have to let go at some point don't I.

All of that is conditional on whether they'll be safe emotionally and physically with their father.

If you fear they won't be maybe you shouldn't be even talking about shared custody. I'd be careful about what the lawyer says in this case too. What you are entitled to legally and what is good and right for your children may be two different things. If they have a good relationship with their dad, it may be very appropriate for them to see him regularly. Yes, I'm biased because I'm a dad but I also have a little red flag going because that sounds like your lawyer could be willing to put the kids into the middle of an ugly legal battle over what really is a legal point, not an emotional or child-well-being point. They have a pretty good relationship with stbx when he's behaving. His tantrums and yelling are not happening as often as they were but he can still blow up at any given time.


About talking to the kids. I don't think I've ever had to do anything so hard as this. Make sure there is time to spend with them afterward so that both of you get some time to cuddle with them or talk or cry independent of the other. The worst thing that could happen is if one parent all of a sudden disappears before you can even reassure them that they aren't losing one of you.

The most important thing that keeds need at this time is security. They need to know how much their world is going to change and, more importantly, they need to know how much it isn't going to change. For the most part, they aren't going to really be worried about what happened between you so leave any blame or finger pointing out. They're going to want to know about them.

They're going to have lots of questions:Will they still go to the same school? Will they still see their friends? Will they still have their favourite toys and stuffies and still do their favourite activities? Will they still see their grandparents? What will happen to their room, their house, etc. It went better than I thought it would. D11 cried but stbx also got each of them an ipod touch so we gave these to them so we could keep in touch when we are away from them. It delayed the emotions and wasn't the best way to go even though it softened the initial blow.

Be honest about things that are going to change but try to focus on what won't change. They're going to have some fear and are going to need to be reassured about their place in the world and their place in your lives.

Also, be crystal clear that a) it is not their fault and b ) they can't fix it. This is not because they didn't finish their homework or didn't keep their room clean. it isn't because they weren't good enough. It is because mom & dad aren't getting along and have decided to not live together. very good suggestion and we worded it this way too. I told the girls we will always love you and keep you safe.


I hope that helps. Know that this will be one of the most difficult moments. You will get through it and you and your kids will survive and thrive. Thank you!!!


Hugs

K






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