Does it get easier?

My husband and I have been separated for over a year, we have two daughters that we argue about all the time. We are in the mediation phase, apparently if we can come to an agreement here we don't have to go through a nasty custody hearing.
He would always say he didn't want the kids, and would try to get out of the house the minute I got home from work. He didn't do anything but yell at the girls. Now he wants shared custody, and for them to live with him two weeks out of the month. Why all of the sudden does he want them???? He gets them every other weekend and unless his parents help, he is calling me to pick them up early. And the last three weekends he has called saying he had plans or was busy and didn't know if he would be able to see them. Then at the last minute he would call and say he was coming to get them. He has not helped out financially since we separated, yet thinks he is entitled to everything.
What do I do? I am tired of his games. In our first mediation session he said he didn't want a set child support amount, he wanted to pay what HE thought was affordable. He agrees that I should make all of the major decisions though. I told him that we needed a set amount and he doesn't want the time he had with them so I don't understand why he wants more visitation. His response "they are my kids too and I love them." THEN SHOW IT!!!

He might be trying to punish you w/useing custody rights as a means, its ashame to have that happening & very confusing for all surrounding this situation. The children sometimes will feel like they are in a tug of war, am sure your doing your best to not let happen & then sometimes children feel like they dont have a home due to the back & forth. Am not sure what types of people cant decide what is BEST for the children & have their best interests at heart. I'm so sorry for the exhausting battle your enduring, please keep sharing w/us if & when you feel like it. Wish I had something up my sleeve for you to utilize....I'll think on it & am sure others may offer advice.

Take care of you.

April

Thank you for your support. I just hate that my kids are going through this. My youngest keeps asking if we can get back together because it gives her a headache going back and forth,she is only four.
Today we go to court ordered parenting classes, it is suppose to teach us how to communicate better. I hope something helps him look at what is best for our kids.

Yes kids will want/wish that their parents reunite, that will be ongoing for a while pain stakingly so. Parenting classes will be helpful even if the soon to be ex doesnt get anything out of it, just focus on you regardless of what hes doing or not, sometimes one cant really see whats best cause their caught in such a vindictive/revengeful mind set hopefully thats not your ex's case as you walk through this. Am sure your emotionally exhausted & I'm sorry.

All my strengths.

April

Thank you for your support.

had a friend go thru this with her ex - dragged it out to punishe her. Fought everything at every turn. My advice is dont take any BS and make sure your lawyer wont either (you can have a lawyer at mediation too). Dont back down not even once. Ask for more than you want and ask for everything that they want. If you back down they will walk all over you and they will enjoy it. Its not nice, but some people dont play nice.

Doesn't sound like your spouse is playing parent, sounds more like he's playing chess. I'd fight him on the custody, since it sounds like he doesn't even parent when he does have them. Also sounds like his social schedule is more important than his kids.

he may feel a connection betwen time spent and money paid, some do. Get a child support amount agreed upon and for 25.00 a yr in most states , you can have it payroll deducted. If you dont you may have to chase for everything-very stressful!
If you can get documents online from the court, you can follow the expectations of the system while you agree. If you dont pay an attorney, after you reach an agreement, pay a lawyer to look at your documents. Worth every penny in a few issues. You dont know what you dont know. Dont be bullied, he may be used to working your dynamics a certain way. Keep away from kids- my 2 teens have given me interesting feedback. My ex and I both agreed we got some good tips in parenting class. Insightful to a kids perspective while mom and dad going round after round. It is interesting when the court starts to make some of the rules how angry people get....Do something that brings you joy every day! You deserve it!

Record absolutely every phone conversation you have with him and with your childrenson. Keep a very detailed journal of every single interaction. Only right the facts and write with the knowledge that you will be using this to save him from hurting your kids. Its cheap to do with a spiral bound notebook. The fact that over time a different pen might be used and your handwriting will be different from time to time makes this VERY GOOD evidence in court. Your children deserve to have a relationship with their father but only when that relationship is healthy. I would suggest you do not let your kids know that you are recording things. If you call him and let the phone ring 7 times and get no answer, write it down. If he misses the pick up time by 3 minutes, write it down. Record your kids when they tell you about their time with their Dad. If you are willing, you should be able to make time to create the most mind boggling case ever. Make sure absolutely EVERY single thing and choice you make is in your kids best interest. Take notes at dr appts. Put them in the book. Your book will be a better defense than any lawyer. Try to get your kids into counseling for the emotional damage they are likely experiencing from his lack of stability adnd reliability. Put it in the book. Devote every moment you can to creating the evidence that shows who really is the better parent. I think you have to turn your frustration into motivation. Your children deserve emotional health and stability. some of that will come in the way of finances being ok. Keep track of every cent you spend on them. keep reciepts and all of the details. Fighting for your childrens rights is hard work but worth every single second of the effort. Good Luck!!!

I am sorry.. I am in the same boat.. but we are 3 years into it. I have 100% of the children. but he doesn't want to pay for them that is why he wants them. but He doesn't spend anytime with them. and while in his care my daughter who was 4 years old was sexually assaulted but she was the one who told me. And he thinks I am making it up. The state of Utah isn’t doing anything about it!! He is a **** and sleeps the whole time the children are over there. My 6 year old is playing games (play station) that are not appropriate for him.
But you need to fight for your children don’t let him get them if you can help it. Because it sounds like he just doesn’t want to pay for them. If he is yelling at them all the time.
I really wonder how many fathers would be in the children lives if they didn’t pay child support. But you and I know that we need child support to make sure the children have what they need.

and yes write everything down and record the phone calls and if you can record, the others. I hide mine in my Bra because He can't see it and you get a good recording.. LOL but get a calendar and keep track of every call and times he pickes them up. everything!

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