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I feel guilty about how often I have the kids. I mean - I am a very involved father and have been, I could have EASILY got 50/50 (Or some form of it). I live 5 miles from the NJ. But she doesn't work, stays at home for now. I give her enough child support and Alimony where she really doesn't need to work for at least 3 years (It's been 1 so far), although she just started working about 25 hours a week, that matches their school schedule.
I do work, and it seemed silly of me to fight for 50/50 when that would mean putting them in child care after school (S9 / D6). So I agreed to 1 overnight a week (from 5:30pm to school next day) plus every other weekend in summer (Friday 5:30 to Sunday at 8pm) and during the school year have them one night every weekend (as opposed to EOW).
In addition - I coach my sons football team during football season (2 nights a week, NOT on the night I usually have them) and coach my daughters T-ball team.
So in truth - I see them between 3 and 5 nights a week....Yet...I still feel like somehow I did them wrong by not fighting to have them spend half their nights with me.
I do have it where < parenting time > is automaticly reviewed in 2 years - at which time I figure the NJ will have a full time job. Just venting I guess....
It's natural to look back and wonder at one's decisions. But remember that an "after action report" evaluation is a positive thing while a "dwelling" type thing is negative to you personally.
I know at different times I had my own moments of figuring out how I wanted my life to go, and the decision of how involved to be as a father was one of them. Of course, each of us will have different answers, so your answer will be yours.
In any case, we are where we are. Evaluate where you are, where you want to be, and plan the steps to get there. If your current situation is not inline with what you're wanting, then work to maximize what you have with notes, phone calls, messages, and maybe have a lunch at school with them at times or whatever it is.
On the legal side, states vary. Whether you plan for the 2 year auto-review, or you work within your state's "change of circumstances" rules to file a motion at a time of your choosing.
wcd9973 wrote:I do have it where parenting time is automaticly reviewed in 2 years - at which time I figure the NJ will have a full time job. Just venting I guess....
There, I fixed that for 'ya. < parenting time > is not a word thats well received here, sounds too much like seeing a prisoner in jail.
My concern here would be the precedent that your setting. Having a 2 year review seems like a good idea but what is going to be the reason for change in 2 years? I would have looked at getting alot closer to 50/50 to start as I think your going to be in trouble if your NJ decides she wants to go strictly by the decree.
I would document all the extra time you have now in the hopes that during the review period you can make a change to get closer to the 50/50 mark. Keeping the status quo being the main point.
Remember how you used to see your kids every single day and now you don't and more importantly, can't due to a court order? Remember how she caused that to happen. -TeflonDad
Hindsight is always 20/20. All you can do now is try and get as much time with them as you can and be involved as much as you can. Stay involved in everything you can and document all the extra time you have and build your case for that 2 year mark. You know, just keep being a great dad.
Men who fear becoming fathers dont understand that fathering is not something perfect men do but something that perfects the man. Its like an aged man reclining under the shadow of an oak he planted.
Yea - the change is school is where it gets looked at again. Son changes school in 2 years, and thats how it's written. Not to meantion that she should be working by then. Which would also be a change. Documenting the extra time is a good point. We have a ROFR, which is used and I have enforced (after a short, to the point letter that pointed out to her that even though her mom lives with her, I have ROFR over her mom on anything more then 2 hours).
Also - I do think Im good in that even if the NJ sticks to the decree word for word, I think we are good. I read a lot of posts when it was being written so I had lots of language added (For instance, the fact that I coach my sons football team and practices are scheduled on her days is fine and she could not object to him playing football for that reason). It does state we have joint legal custody as well and that neither one of us can move more then 30 miles from the martial house (Unless we wavie our custody schedule). I don't know - Guess I'm just ranting. Part of me feels like it was the best for the kids. I still see them like I said 2 to 6 nights on any given week (Ussally 3-4), and staying with their mom in a house is better then after school care. But at time I feel like I should have fought for 50/50 as the base.
wcd9973 wrote:I still see them like I said 2 to 6 nights on any given week (Ussally 3-4), and staying with their mom in a house is better then after school care.
You need to stop thinking this way. There's no reason you can't have 50/50, let her pickup the kids from school and spend some time in the afternoon with them at her house until you pick them up after work and have them the entire evening and night. This works great in my case minus the extra daily contact and minor drama involved.
I have almost exactly the same arrangement with my two boys (age 4 and 7). I was the primary care giver and trained to work with children. I also could have had 50/50 but as difficult as it is to be without them, I know this schedule is the best for them right now. Still, even knowing that, I have wished many times in the last 2 years that I fought for more time in the beginning.
To me, the bigger issue is that because our divorce is not amicable and the ex has the children so much more than me, when it comes to having input in my children's lives, I feel like a listener calling into a radio talk show. The host of the show can hang up at any time and always gets the last word.
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