Family Law (Divorce, Family Relations)/50/50 Shared Custody

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Hi my name is Johnny,

I am 29 and married with a 6 yr old son and a 4 yr old daughter. I have been separated for 8 months. We went to counseling last month, but too many arguments in between derailed the 6 month commitment that we gave the counselor.

My wife created a schedule for our kids when she broke up the family back then. In other words, she left the home. I stayed with the house and she is renting a family condo. Anyway, I am supposed to have the kids every other weekend and one day out of the week, but her unpredictable behaviors interrupts the schedule pattern. She always seems to have things to do and reaches out to me for help when she needs the kids watched.

I no longer want to be a contributor to a lack of stability and structure for the kids. My wish nowadays is to move forward with a 50/50 joint-custody arrangement. I am reaching out to you for some perspective and ideas that can help me present my stance to my kidís mother. I do have a lawyer/mediator on standby that is going to help me and ultimately help us (she and I) draft an agreement for long-term.

If this helps - she has been seeing someone from her work. She also gets involved with her colleges outside of work for PR events (happy hours and such). Aside from that, she hangs out with her younger sister often and attends big parts in the city (raves). I am no longer bothered by those realities. However, I do not want her to fight me with my wish to father my kids 50% of the time. I wasnít the one who walked out and broke up the family. I wasnít the one who became infatuated by someone from work, and abruptly walked out of the marriage. Having 50/50 shared custody will allow her the opportunity to do as she wishes without having to constantly find a kid-sitter at any given moment, or constantly reach out to me out of the blue.

How do I go about creating this schedule?  How do I go about presenting my case to her without surprising her with a letter from the courts/lawyer?

Thank you in

Answer
Johnny:
DISCLAIMER:  I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY: I am someone with experience with Family law matters, and can give some directions of what I would do but these are my opinions: I strongly recommend that you get an ATTORNEY who specializes in family law in your immediate county/country.

I would agree you need to stabilize your kids schedule so here is what I recommend: Seek out the Mediator/Lawyer to have a conference and propose a 50/50 joint custody/visitation schedule: NOW there is something that you need to know; You need to live close together or have an agreed to meeting place close: You will need to be close to kids school and Mom.

A 50/50 schedule is very difficult to keep, however, possible: Another alternative would be to mediate and have enforcement of your current schedule ensuring that YOU are the number one and only choice when kids need a babysitter.

Have your Attorney send out the mediation letter on official letter head, ok.

Hope this helps
Jeff

Family Law (Divorce, Family Relations)

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Jeff Laatsch

Expertise

WA Law with respect to family court issues: order to show cause/notice of motions, establishing or modification of an order, custody, visitation, child support, parenting schedules, mediation, preparations and filings of all documents: International relocation experience: Create a win/win/win situation between Mom-Children-Dad...

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Self taught and experience with working with various Court Clerks.

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Masters Degree

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