What is your visitation agreement?

[deleted account] ( 22 moms have responded )

Hi Moms,

I'm in the middle of a divorce, and as expected, we are stuck on figuring out a visitation schedule for our 2 year old son.

The father and I are on speaking terms and amicable, and we live within a half hour of each other. I am getting physical custody, and we are including a visitation schedule to be in effect until he turns 5 and starts kindergarten. At the moment, our schedule changes from week to week based on his father's work schedule (he's a part-time musician, mainly involving gigs at night).

I am offering him 2 days per week, on Sunday and Monday. He is pushing for a third day, in the middle of the week, probably Thursdays. I do not think this would be good for our son, for several reasons.

1/ Our son is obviously very confused and has been acting out (biting, tantrums) because there's no regular routine.

2/ This scenario would only allow me to have him two days in a row, twice a week, which I don't feel is enough to establish routines and enforce house rules.

I was hoping to get some feedback from other moms who have been through this. What is your visitation schedule, and is it working for you?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
-Christine.

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Angela - posted on 06/16/2009

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I finalized my divorce last September when my son was 5 months old. I feel so sorry for your situation. It's misserable fighting for your child. A child that is at least 2 years is best visiting the other parent for longer periods (1-2 days/wk) but less frequency. They have developed a decent memory and security with the father so I think three days/wk is excessive. Also, if he can increase his time that much then he will be able to fight for a change in child support at that time based on the amount of time/overnights he is getting so I wouldn't cave to his requests. Plus, children need consistency and that means the same home, same bed, same rules, as much as possible. Who wants to sleep in a strange bed more than they have too. I must say though, I try to let my ex have extra time not named in our divorce decree once in a while. That way their is no question that he knows I support his relationship with our son and he feel open enough to talk to me. Their is no way to avoid the fighting when you're in mediation or court but time does heal. We probably argued regularly the first 6 months after the divorce was finalized so hang in their. I understand the sleepless nights, fear, and anger. My son has adapted well and with persistence yours will too.

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Gabriella - posted on 12/23/2013

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Hi I'm trying to figure out how to fight for my son visitations to where I supervise , how does that work when my son is only 5months ? His farther never was there and he has another female I think is pregnant and helps and supports her but never tried to see his son or help out with him. I was handed down things for my son an bought things for him not him or his family I need help when I go to court for childsupport

[deleted account]

Hi Lindsey
How old is your child? I have a little boy who turns two late august. The father and I split when Arki was 2-3 months old. Ever since it has been a rollercoaster, till this day he makes no secret he hates me, ( there was no cheating, it just was a volatile relationship, and we were together only a year when I fell pregnant) But he will be good for 8 weeks and then he'll have two weeks of being absoloutely horrible. And the visitation is never enough, we went through mediation and I felt I got steam rolled by him and the mediator, into giving 3 days per week. But after all that he got a new job and the plan made lasted one visit ! Now he sees him for one day on the weekend and pops in after work on a Wednesday. But he only last week was threatening me with joint custody, which makes me feel sick. His living arrangements aren't flash either, he rents a room with a young 25 guy who flies in , flies out on the mines. So its not really his house, there is nothing of his around and rude objects all over the house. At the moment im picking myself up again after a week of insults and agro texts from him. I feel upset because I have always had an open door policy for him to visit our son, but that sometimes doesn't work because he is so moody. We live about a half hour apart, with his plan to actually live further away (hes bought a block a further 45 mins away) we have mediation again after Arki turns two. Do you have any tips of what visit times would be good? Im thinking no overnight till hes three, Id love any feed back so I can stay strong at this next mediation :-)

Lindsey - posted on 06/04/2012

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I am fighting this battle right now. My ex keeps threatening to take me to court again every time he gets upset. He won't be happy with anything short of getting remarried. Which won't happen. I'm fighting a losing battle.

[deleted account]

Would the 3 days be a prob with dad's music career? He should agree to be home and available all 3 days if you go for that route. My ex and I started T/TH evenings and every other weekend, but after 9/11 tragedy, he decided he wanted more. I was crushed, but now we do alternate weeks 50/50. Child care payments should be based on both your salaries as well as percentage of time, so that shouldn't be an issue. As far as the acting out - that will subside with time.

Dominique - posted on 06/27/2009

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I have two very young kids and do not live far from the father. Since the kids are young, here's our arrangement:
All week long with me
Wednesday: He picks them up at the day care, takes them for dinner and brings them back at 7:30
Every other weekend: he takes them from friday 4:30 until sunday 7:00
Sunday on the weekend they are with me: He takes them from 10:30 to 3:30.

This arrangement gives them the chance to see their father often for short periods and gives me a break every week. It is great for all of us. Being alone with them is sometimes very tireing and the break is welcomed.

Melody - posted on 06/16/2009

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I understand what your going through. My son was 9 when my ex - husband and I divorced, we also were on talking terms. I have primary custody, we live 30 mins apart. Our agreement is suppose to have him Tuesday and Wednesday after school and then every other weekend but in the 4 years we have been divorced, he has never had him during the week. For several reasons, my son is involved in school activities and plus he has homework, dinner and bed at a decent hour. He does take him every other weekend and then he takes him when there is no school, and for a month during the summer. It is a big transition for all involved. You and the father need to be on the same page when it comes to a routine, the same bedtime schedule and discpline. I know it is hard but you do want to give each parent a fair time with the child. This is especially true if both parents are great parents just not great spouses. It will be easier on your son if the schedule does not change too much, that is where the confusion comes into play and then there is going to be more acting out.



Good luck with everything

Joni - posted on 06/16/2009

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I have a 7 and 9 year old who has been going back and forth since my youngest stop breast feeding. My kids go to their dad's every Friday and stays the night. They also stay on every other Saturday night. But the father and I have talked it out and that being he lives so close to me he can come and pick them up and spend time with them during the week as long as he has them home at a respectable hour. I wouldn't let him take him and keep him over night during the week, right now he needs to get use to the idea that mommy and daddy isn't together any longer and that he will only see daddy when daddy wants to see him or he gets to stay with daddy. I would suggest for the daddy to come and pick him up and do something with your son on Thursday and bring him back in time for a bath and bedtime. That way hopefully he well see that you are taking in consideration his desire to see and have his son but you are not letting him decide everything. I hope this helped you out some and I wish you the best of luck.

Justine - posted on 06/15/2009

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Well I have a 4 1/2 month old son and we were not together when I had him, so we had to figure out a visitation schedule for a newborn and while I'm breastfeeding. It's not going to be easy no matter what, but you are right in saying that he needs a routine. Right now Ayden's father comes to my house every Monday and spends a few hours with him and then goes back home (he lives an hour and a half away), but eventually, when I am finished breastfeeding (around 2) he will start out getting him one night a weekend , probably until he is in school, and then every other weekend for two nights. If you have joint custody you could each have him for a week, every other week, or if you have custody and he just has visitation, which I think is what you are saying, you could try this way, but more commonly he would take him every other weekend and then one afternoon (not overnight) during the week, usually Wednesdays. It really comes down to what works for you and for your son.

Bonnie - posted on 06/15/2009

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My daughter will be 3 in October and we just went to court a few weeks ago. His doing not mine because I did not want him bring my daughter to the girlfriends house who he was seeing before he left. I thought she needed time to adjust to him leaving before throwing her into another strange situation and he didn't agree so took me to court. He is fighting for overnights but as of now I won't agree to them she has never been away from me at night before and I feel that she is too young right now. He would have gotten her 2 hours once a week and 6 hours on Sunday but I felt bad and gave him an extra day during the week 2 hours and 2 extra hours on Sunday. He is already not happy with the arrangement that the court gave and blaming me for it. I told him to work it out between us first but he refused and now he sees her less than he did before. I told him that if he forced it into the courts and made me dish out money for a lawyer that I couldn't afford that whatever the court gave him I would not give him a minute more and he did it anyways so now he's mad at me and trys to bully me into giving him what he wants but I'm standing by what the court said for now. We still have a lot of anger between us especially me and I know it has to get better for my daughter's sake but luckily she's still young enough that she doesn't really get it.

Jayme - posted on 06/05/2009

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At the age your son is...2 days with his dad is quite enough. If you go thru a court he would prob get less seeing that the child is only 2.

Lisa - posted on 06/05/2009

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Hi Christine, I have 8 out of 14 days with joint physical and legal custody. this is all so hard and i feel like I gave up so much. We went to mediation and i was trying to do what was best for my girls, ages 3-1/2 and 6-1/2, and keep it out of court. I was so stressed up until the last day when we finalized it on May 1 and now we are legally divorced with our mediation agreement merged into the divorce decree. I live in MD and this state really pushes you toward a "collaborative divorce" I am sure it will get better but right now it is so hard while they are so young. Also he is now saying he can't pay anymore child support and has already filed a motion to modify what we finalized on May 1. My only point is be careful and don't get steamrolled into anything you don't feel comfortable with- your mother's instincts are so important and you know that you won't deny them access to their father. i agree wtih Diane - just work it out between you outside the agreement. hope that helps. stay strong.

[deleted account]

Hi Diane, We are in NY and going through a mediator... I totally agree with what you're saying.... I was wondering if mom having 4 days and dad having 3 is too close to a 50/50 split and would give him grounds to contest child support. I don't object to him seeing our son, but I think it's best to limit the amount of days on paper. At this point, I am thinking to have it 2 days definite, and one day "optional" -- which the mediator said we could do. That way we both kind of get what we want. Thanks so much for your response and bringing up this important point!

Diane - posted on 06/04/2009

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Be careful-do not know what state you live in, but his attorney could be pushing the third day, because you will receive less child support. Better to put in writing less parenting time, and then, if the father wants to see his children more, so be it, and work it out between you outside the agreement.

[deleted account]

When we went through our divorce my daughter wasn't even 2 yet. She is now 12 and seems to still enjoy going to her dads. We have the every other weekend from 6pm on Friday to 6 pm on Sunday. and switch holidays. Then for summer (June, July, and August) she was going the first 14 days of each of those months. As she has gotten older and getting involved in more things the amount of time she spends with her dad is less and less, but this has been worked out each time between us. Just make sure that you and your ex provide plenty of time with your son and make sure he knows that it is not his fault and that both of you love him very much. It also helps that you and your ex are getting along.

[deleted account]

Thanks! I'm mapping this out, and here's where I'm at...

Mon = Dad
Tues = Mom
Weds = Mom
Thurs = Mom
Fri = Mom?
Sat = Optional day to alternate between Mom & Dad
Sun = Dad

So he would have Sunday and Monday with Saturday as an optional day depending on our schedules. I'm also thinking of Friday as a good day to give up if needed, because I would only see my boy for 2 hours anyway, and it would be a good night for making grown up plans.

My only fear is giving up too much time, because my (soon-to-be) ex-husband's living environment is not great. He's in a studio apt with his girlfriend, and his situation in general is not very stable. It's not horrible, but just not the greatest. So I'd rather keep the visitation limited on paper, and allow more if he gets his act together a bit more.

Well, that's where I'm at. I'm sure I'll obsess over this a lot more before we finalize things!

Thanks again for listening.

Sherrie - posted on 06/03/2009

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ur welcome need anythink just ask's. im always free and need new friends get bored being a single mum.

Sherrie - posted on 06/03/2009

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thats ok. everyweek is good. its just my ex works durin the week and wants 1 weekend to him self and 1 with him son. its works for us.

[deleted account]

Hi Sherrie, Thanks for your reply! That's really interesting. So every other weekend then? See I was going to do every week, which I think is very generous. Thanks.

Sherrie - posted on 06/03/2009

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um ok im a single mum and i have a 3 yr old son. his dad lives an hr away from us. and we made it every 2nd weekend he goes to his house from friday aftnoon till sunday after noon works for us. just try and work things out that work for both of u. and plus i think its more wat suits u cos u have them all the time. well thats wat i think.

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