50/50 shared parenting plan..not going well...help?

Darcie - posted on 10/23/2013 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My ex & I have a 50/50 shared custody plan...I did not want this, he had a lawyer, I did not... He won...This shared plan has been ordered now for almost 3 years...It's been horrible. I miss them greatly, and feel completely disconnected. The problem is he is extremely narcissistic and never communicates with me anything that has to do with the kids. They never call when they are with him & say he doesn't want them calling on his time. He has a total of 6 kids (3 w/ me, 3 with 2 other women) plus he has a grandchild too who is older than his youngest..He doesn't pay his court ordered 1/2 of his medical bills...the youngest doesn't & hasn't lived with him for a year...She has only visited a few times during the year...The older they get the harder it is becoming...Please help...I feel like I am crashing & burning...

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Leela - posted on 10/24/2013

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Hi again. You sound so frustrated. Trust me I can relate that. I miss my child terribly when he is not with me. My ex left when I was pregnant then had the gall to say I didnt want him around. Sigh. I dont think you are being selfish. Just in a very tough situation. Have you checked if their are free legal aid opions you can use? Additionally, you need to focus on creating great memories with your kids so that when they arent with you, you all have something to remember. At some point your kids will say enough to their dad. in the meantime focus on you and what you can change.

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Neo - posted on 10/05/2014

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Jodi writes:
Jodi . - posted 18 minutes ago
In other words, Neo thinks all women should have these agreements before they have sex *eye roll*.

And I can't see where anyone called this mother bitter.
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Neo says:

Jodi, you said it yourself!!! lol
Here's your post with the word bitter in it...
....you guys must be tired, I know...
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Jodi . - posted on 10/23/2013
Have you considered counselling for yourself? 18 years is a long time, and this is your life until all of your children are 18, so I can see why you need some coping strategies. I can see that you are bitter that you have to live with a 50/50 custody plan, but let's be honest, they are his children too, and he has a right to 50%, and the children have a right to an equal relationship with both of you. You need to find ways of accepting with it and coping without your children for those periods of time. Counselling may help you find some coping strategies so you don't feel so disconnected and can find ways to make this work for you.

Neo - posted on 10/05/2014

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No, all people, not just women. I think having a written agreement at the time of deciding to have a baby, has the potential to help a lot more than not. it only makes sense, when you have an agreement, get it in writing, no matter what. Any agreement should be in writing, especially the initial agreement to have a child, what could be a more important agreement? just because you don't agree, doesn't mean a lot of people don't agree with me. Many people do agree that it's a good idea. Who know's maybe it'll take off and I'll be famous for it someday.

A lot if people have never heard of "best interest of the child" until they've already had the baby. If people are really so concerned about the best interest of the child, then that should start before the child's conception even, in a legally binding pre-conception agreement.

From what Shawn Lively wrote in the other thread, sounds like her not wanting to spoil the mood by talking about an agreement and getting it in writing, what things would look like should a conception happen, comes before the best interest of the child-to-be.

Jodi - posted on 10/05/2014

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In other words, Neo thinks all women should have these agreements before they have sex *eye roll*.

And I can't see where anyone called this mother bitter.

Neo - posted on 10/05/2014

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One thing you can do is make sure your children know to have pre-conceive documented legal agreements before they have kids. (Maybe then you'll have at least a better chance a getting to be the grandmother of your dreams.) Too late for us (especially since your ex convinced you to get a hysterectomy while he was getting other women pregnant) that was very very low. This is the kind of man I've been talking about. I don't know why some of the the women who seem to be running this site can't be more supportive other than saying you need help get counseling. (which is good advice for somone who may not already know that, but...) (and calling you bitter, it doesnt help, you don't sound bitter to me, and sounds like you've been coping with a very tumultuous situation tremendously commendably and remarkably well and maturely) Except it is also always a possibility that maybe there could be some creeper guys on this site or even who set up this site posing as women. Who really knows? ...stranger things have happened. I would think women that are listening to so many horror stories on this site daily would have a little bit more to offer women like yourself than some of what I have read here, but maybe they are just tired of having to respond to every post themselves. Anyway I totally relate to the pain torment you are experiencing. It is not fair. You sound like a great Mother and I hope you have a miracle in your life that will bring your life long dreams of being a mother, and what you always dreamt that would be like, a lot closer to a reality than is the situation you have mentioned. I don't think you should have to learn to live with it, I think you should be able to do more about it, and that women and men should start giving out the real helpful advice. It's like everyone's to scared to do that. And I do know (many reasons) why.

Jodi - posted on 10/24/2013

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Darcie, I wasn't actually referring to counselling for all of you, but counselling just for YOU to develop some coping strategies. You are clearly frustrated and clearly struggling with the living situation. This is not going to change in the near future, and it sounds like your children are teens (?), so you need to just learn to live with it, pretty much. A counsellor can help you find a way to do that.

Darcie - posted on 10/24/2013

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We all have been in counseling for about 1 1/2 years...I understand I can't change the way he is parenting (or lack of!)...it's just very frustrating when he is suppose to be cooperating & communicating but he doesn't...He lies to the judge & says we have a great relationship! Ha! My husband & I did buy them a cell phone, and the kids tell me that dad doesn't let them use it. They say he says to them, "why do you want to call your mom?" Do you really need to?" This is what the kids say...I can't afford to take him back to court :( I don't have family that can help out either...And we did try mediation! After paying for 5 sessions, he still is acting like this. I know he is their father...but being a parent isn't about "overnights" to reduce child support. He doesn't get them to their Sunday school (he doesn't believe in religion), our oldest would like to get a job, but he won't take her unless it's dish washing at the bar down the road from him...The kids are afraid to stand up to him, but they love him and do not want to rock the boat. It is just hard to go one week w/o any communication & trying to be happy doing the things I love to do, and then the next week all 3 are here and it takes 2-3 days for the fighting & anger to stop and catch up on whats going on in school...and before you know it they are gone again. I feel like a ping pong ball...It is a routine that feels unhealthy for myself. I'm not trying to be selfish. When I was married to their father, I had struggled getting pregnant, a couple surgeries and it worked. All I ever wanted was to be a mom. I have been with that blessed 3 times :) He then refused to get "fixed" but wanted me to get a hysterectomy because he didn't want anymore kids (at that point we found out he had another child with another woman)...I have the surgery and ended up with complications because of it. Then as soon as we get divorced, he gets a girlfriend pregnant, marries her, and is having another one :/ He can't afford the ones he has with me...and his oldest (16) had a baby too...I do believe that there are many dad's out there that deserve to be with their kids 50/50...But some don't...And the GAL and court systems do not care about the best interest of the kids.

Leela - posted on 10/23/2013

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Hi Darcie, I agree with Jodi about counseling for yourself. It will help. I also have a shared custody agreement and I try to use that time for my friends, hobbies, pampering etc. Keeping busy helps. Consider buying the kids a cheap cell phone so you can keep in contact. Suggest you consider going back to court if he isn't living up to his end of the agreement. Or consider mediation which can really help.

Jodi - posted on 10/23/2013

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Have you considered counselling for yourself? 18 years is a long time, and this is your life until all of your children are 18, so I can see why you need some coping strategies. I can see that you are bitter that you have to live with a 50/50 custody plan, but let's be honest, they are his children too, and he has a right to 50%, and the children have a right to an equal relationship with both of you. You need to find ways of accepting with it and coping without your children for those periods of time. Counselling may help you find some coping strategies so you don't feel so disconnected and can find ways to make this work for you.

Darcie - posted on 10/23/2013

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I can't afford to take him back...He had it written into the court order that I cannot contact them until after 7:30 pm, other than what the kids say, I cannot prove he won't answer the phone when I call. It is very difficult to go 1 whole week w/o hearing their voices or asking them how they are doing? He does not call here when they are here, not even to call his youngest & ask how she is doing...I'm glad you are able to handle it & enjoy it...I do not...I was hoping for some advice on how to cope with this :(

Michelle - posted on 10/23/2013

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If he isn't abiding by the court orders then take him back for contempt.
Shared care can work very well. I have been doing it for 8 years! It does only work when both parties are able to talk to each other and you are both in agreement. You need to have in writing the contact arrangements so he can't deny the contact.
I do also believe that when my children are with their Father, that his time. I don't ring them when they are with him unless it's important. I also ask their Father respects the same when I have them.

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