Non Custodial moms by choice?

Umi - posted on 11/06/2013 ( 15 moms have responded )

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After trying to co-parent for quite sometime with less than desirable results I have found the best option may be for me to be a non custodial mom...less drama and lack of need to be involved with the child support system...if he has primary responsibility there is no need to resent me over that issue? what do u all think? any experience with this?

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Deb - posted on 05/11/2014

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I must've misread the original post...Oops! I thought she was thinking of choosing to be non-custodial parent instead of the 50/50 parent. Yes, co-parenting is a must if you want to have a RELATIONSHIP with your kids ongoing, but "custody" as in where they reside needn't be Mom?

I opted to be a 50/50 LEGAL parent (legal custody means he must consult me about all health and education related decisions, and I have equal say in those), but the part-time physical custodian IF I live more than an hour away, which is what I've chosen to do for financial reasons primarily, personal relationship reasons secondarily. My ex had more money to pay lawyers to drag me through court fighting over every little thing in the 50/50 physical custody situation--like how much child support to pay me, where I could live, how they would live, what school to go to (the one near the house we used to share that he was keeping, or a new one near wherever I could afford to live--i.e., not near there b/c he has way more money), who I could allow them to have as childcare, would we share childcare PERSONNEL, etc...He was in my face every damn day about everything, and costing me a fortune. That was my "drama." It hurt the kids, and created financial and emotional instability for us all. I chose to be the non-custodial parent rather than cave to his ludicrous demands for how 50/50 should function b/c I thought it was better for my kids to sleep in ONE bed all week while going to school, and to have uninterrupted time with me at holidays and summers. He refused to consider doing that himself (even though it would have made more sense as I was the 24/7 parent while he was a workaholic leaving them with nannies, and they are three GIRLS), so I sort of decided to lose the battle in hopes of someday winning the war (showing him how truly hard it is to do it all, and leaving it up to my girls to decide when they are 13 and have that right). I thought if they knew I sacrificed time with them, and having them with me more often for their peace of mind, and so they wouldn't have to move out of their house and school, or watch me struggle even harder, or bounce from place to place, they'd appreciate it more long-term than seeing me "fight" with their dad, allegedly "for them," but I realized it really would have been more for ME, to protect myself from accusations of being a "bad mom" for not having physical custody of my kids. He's not a bad parent, perhaps a bit controlling, but he loves and cares for them, and doesn't try to keep them from me. I talk to and see them on skype daily, and I visit once a month. I have them for over a month in the summer too, all to myself and it's GREAT. I do pay child support (even though I make very little and he makes six figures--he's a jerk to ME and though he doesn't "need" it, b/c he has a "right" to it he demanded it according to the state calculator, and I pay it. Leaves me very little for myself each month, and I can't afford healthcare, but my kids will figure this out someday too...I'm a firm believer that kids are smart and resilient and they know more than we think about what's really going on. I just chose this path b/c it gave them the best shot at stability, and seeing two happy, healthy parents fighting a whole lot less.

DoubleA - posted on 11/07/2013

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I just read your post to the other posters.. do what you want. if he is obviously giving you a hard time and causing drama in court.. Do you honestly think that he wont go and file for support against you in the court systems?? come on.. use your head! no he wont resent you.. why would he you gave him exactly what he wanted! he wanted you out of the picture :) just sign your rights off. then its no drama to you what so ever.. You will regret it tho! Your kids will also resent you. So say goodbye to them to. TRy explaining to them that it was just to much for you to handle and pay for.. they werent worth the fight. Also dont come on here asking for advice if you are not going to like what people tell you! you already had your mind made up!

DoubleA - posted on 11/07/2013

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first off.. i am sorry to hear that you want to walk away from your kids... its really a sad situation. I am in the middle of a disaster custody battle as I have been for two years. We have been to court 4 times in the past year alone. its very financially exhausting. Im a single mom of 2 kids and i have full custody of one kid and 50-50 of the other. so while trying to pay bills for our house, working and keeping on top of the kids.. financially its a big issue. But i think that you are making a mistake..so before you decide to do all that. check in your state for low income or lawyer assistance, look for lawyers that deal with issues of financial abuse.Because that is what he is doing. Look for a better lawyer. you can claim that he pays lawyer fees for taking you to court so much. If its the drama you are trying to get rid of.. that isnt going to stop if you give him that kind of custody.. he will just keep at you until you sign off your rights and say goodbye to your kids forever. The only person that is going to resent you, is your kids. There have been many times where i have been so frustrated mentally and financially that i have thought to give up. Thank god, that god, and my mom and aunt were in my corner pushing me forward. You will never be able to forgive yourself if you give up on your kids. You cant ever get time back, or reattach those bonds that you gave up.. go to a counselor and talk some of this stuff out.. Do you really want your kids to grow up and think that it is ok to bully people like this to get what they want? I deal with tons of step mom drama.. to the point where its ridiculous. But you need to get your head straight because these are your kids and you need to fight for them.. not give up.

Cecilia - posted on 11/07/2013

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You know, your right, your age does not actually matter. Once I thought about it I realized yes women of all ages choose they don't want to do it any more. Your childs age does matter though. If it's a 7 year old it has a much larger impact than it would on a 2 year old.

You might not like the fact that we don't fit what you are looking for. What you must realize is there are not many that fit that criteria.


" If this post does not apply to you, you have wasted your time and mine posting here" Well once again maybe you should look at your wording...(from the original post) "what do u all think?any experience with this?" So first you ask people's thoughts THEN ask if they have experience. I do have experience by the way, just on the other end of it. Evelyn, also has experience. If you wanted someone who does things just like you and for the same exact reason, you'll never get an answer.

The way your post reads is that you choose to legally hand your children over because it's easier on you. It's a matter of convenience. Since it does read that way, we responded to that. If that is not the case, maybe you should look at how you worded it.

You are looking for someone to come in here and tell you that you are right and that you are doing the right thing it seems. I'm sorry that we could not do that for you. If you were doing it because it was best for your child, I would be on your side. Nothing in your post has anything about the child and where they fit into this for you. For example someone who says "my child has medical expenses I am unable to keep up with, even with child support. If i give my child to the father he will get all the help he needs" Okay, great, do what's best for them. Your post is about you.

LalaBoom - posted on 11/22/2013

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I'm going to try and help... Sorry for the lenghty post....

Whether you want to be custodial mom or not, it's not a competition. He does not "win" and you do not "lose." Furthermore, you are not "walking away" if you choose to give up [primary/sole] custody, and your legitimacy as a parent does not decrease simply because you are non-custodial.

When it comes to parents, custody simply about control. Period.

I'm not sure what you mean by "less drama," but you can get that fixed through the courts if the other parent is hostile. You have several options before you make the decision:

1. You can employ the "paralell parenting" method and establish "split custody" through the courts. This allows you and your ex to parent and make ALL decisions regarding the child during your designated time with your child.

2. You can request a no-contact order to keep your ex away and communicate only in the event of emergencies, thus reducing unnecessary contact that may lead to more drama.

You say you want to give up custody because its "too much drama." I want you to amuse me and think of the following three things: One, what exactly do you mean "drama"? (i.e., does he call you 20x after a minor scratch irate and violent, or does he send you irate emails regarding non-sensicals). My point is, put the action into perspective. Two, what are YOU doing to contribute/perpetuate/avoid/diffuse the drama? (do you respond in hostility, do you take every question as an accusation, do you pick up every angry call from him, etc). Point is, find what is **it** a mediator is a good agent for these types of cases. Three, if your ex has primary/legal custody, can you be confident that your relationship with your child will not suffer and your ex will allow reasonable contact between you and child? This should be your biggest concern and the only deciding factor on whether you should/n't give up [primary/sole] custody rights.

As for child support, what do you mean "involved with the CS system"? I can't give you too much advice on that because I literally don't know what this is in reference to.

This is a really tough decision. I am stepmom and currently pregnant with my first. I have dealt with and continue to deal with drama from my husband's ex. So if your ex is anything like her, I suggest you not give up custody and think long and hard about this. I hope this helps! Keep your head up. Being a non-custodial parent does not take away the amount of love you have for your child. Whatever your reasons are, make sure that your relationship with your child is not controlled by the ex.

Cheers!

15 Comments

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Deb - posted on 05/11/2014

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This is me! Can't wait to read these answers. I made this choice, but second guess myself a lot...

Sarah - posted on 11/09/2013

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hey i respect you for saying its better this way instead of just hogging all his money in child support and torchuring the kids

DoubleA - posted on 11/07/2013

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you will have to pay child support. And by the sounds of things , if he is like mine.. he will take you to the cleaners for it.giving him full custody isnt a good idea. especially if you want to ever see the kids again. he wont inform you of anything.. school stuff, doctor stuff.. anything. he will push you right out of their lives..but then make you pay for everything they do.Dont think the drama will stop there. he will continue to harras you as the mother who gave up her kids because she couldnt handle them... dont do it!

Ev - posted on 11/07/2013

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I just got home and this is my first look at this since yesterday. Umi, I am sad to hear that you think I did post here with what I did to make myself look better or feel better or that it did something for me as a mother. So, just to clear the record here, I have been the non-custodial parent in a joint custody case. I made the choice to not fight for the kids based on their needs for first things first, for the fact that I could not keep on going to court and afford the cost when my ex had the resources at the time to continue and eventually get them with full custody. He and his lawyer posed the option of joint custody with terms and I agreed because it allowed my kids a peace of mind and stability. Those terms included the issue of child support and visitations. We were also encouraged to work out extra visitation or other means me having the kids more often. We also had to work together on decisions though he made a lot without my knowledge. It has been over 11 years now that this has gone on. Our oldest is gone on college and is living her own life. Our youngest is almost out of school and will be on his own in another year or so.

What I was trying to do and point out is that no matter who has the kids, there is still a lot of things to deal with because of the kids. You chose how that is done be it through an exchange or mediator or the grandparents or one to one. If there is already court orders in place for someone to have primary care and it changes to the other one, then child support switches to the parent giving up the primary care. It will go through the courts no matter what you think especially if it has already been in the court systems. That does not mean that it will go to the child support enforcement. The drama as I pointed out in my posting was based on what you want to deal with and what you do not want to deal with. I did say that you could just deal with it how you wish. And when you said something about if he had primary responibility of the kids there would be no need to resent you over the issue, the father of your kids won't resent you but the kids might. And some of these ladies have read my story on other posts so they do know what I am saying. I DO HAVE experience as a non-custodial parent. I did it for my kids

I also said I was sorry if the post sounded harsh but that is how it is. And that is how it happened to me. Its not a choice to be made lightly and its not easy to make a change like that in your life.

But please do not assume that I sit at my computer act like I am better or doing this to make me feel better. I have learned a lot in 11 years dealing with this. I could have gone through another person but why involve a few extra people in something that can be done by myself? I have walked these shoes for so long that it pains me to hear when another woman has to let her kids go with their dad because she had to make the choice for financial reasons, medical reasons, or other ones beyond her control at the moment of her life. Also please note that non-custodial mothers get a bad rap from a lot of different places because all you do hear about are the ones that have drug or alcohol addictions, mental disorders, committed crimes, or have other issues that caused them to loose their kids in the first place. So it is assumed when someone says that they are the non-custodial mom, they have done something awful. Its not easy to have to explain to others the reasons why you let the kids go to dad.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/07/2013

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Just so you understand, non custodial parents are still expected to co parent, and are also expected to pay support. The drama does not lessen, the "need to be involved in the child support systemt" does not lessen, nor does your responsibility to your child.

It simply means that you will not have your kid reside with you in your home, you will only have visitation.

You can do whatever you want as far as that goes, but don't assume that it absolves you of responsibility.

Oh, and just FYI, Evelyn was posting from "your shoes". You chose to take offense at her answer, but she's spot on, as far as being the non custodial parent.

So, if you really want to get out of the "drama", and the CS system, perhaps the recommendation would be to completely relinquish your rights. Then there's no drama, no expectations of co parenting, no support orders...

Jodi - posted on 11/07/2013

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And by the way, you can't flag a post just because you don't agree with it.

Jodi - posted on 11/07/2013

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LOL. Obviously you have made up your mind. However, Evelyn is right in that you don't get to step back from co-parenting. You still have to co-parent regardless of the visitation arrangements. Co-parenting involves you being there for them more than in person - involvement in schooling, decisions about medical needs, and so on. You can do this without contact any time, not just if you become non-custodial parent. However, I am not sure why you posted here if you clearly already think you are doing the right thing.

I'll be honest, when I read your very brief post (with very little information to go on), I, too, wondered if you were really thinking of the children, or whether you were just thinking of how it was all too hard. If you feel people have misinterpreted your situation, maybe you need to add a little more detail. Otherwise, you get what you get.

Umi - posted on 11/06/2013

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First and foremost, save the insults for someone who cares. My age has nothing to do with the question and if both of you came to such "staunch" conclusions over that short blurb your opinions are not valuable to me. This is a matter to ponder and discuss in a mature and open manner-not to use to make yourself feel better or make people see u as a martyr-no pat on the back here, we are all responsible for our own personal choices. If you have failed to protect your child by not including court orders about multiple partners or using a visitation center that only allows the actual parent to visit then you need to direct your sarcasm and anger at yourself. If you were concerned about your children's feelings and as passionate about them as you are about attacking strangers online...some of the issues you raised would be null and void. There are social policies and legislation to protect kids from instability and it is possible to co-parent through a program that prevents all personal contact so...as I said...less drama. Don't need any drama on here either.

second I made no mention of the "feelings" of the ex at all in relation to me being a full time parent. What century do u live in...men have been parenting successfully for years. Also I am not concerned about paying support the children deserve the same quality of life whether they live with me full time or not. Furthermore, child support enforcement is for parents who refuse to pay...there are parents such as myself who do not need the government to "make" me take care of my child, therefore involvement in this system because they kids are with their did is not automatic.

Third this is an online forum and going into great detail or explaining myself/justifying to complete strangers would be "young" and inappropriate. If this post does not apply to you, you have wasted your time and mine posting here. I asked for those with experience in this matter to offer some input...does not sound like either of you have that so....did your rant reassure about your mothering and help u in some way? I hope so because neither of your comments seem relevant or useful to me.

Cecilia - posted on 11/06/2013

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I do not mean to come off as mean but how old are you and how old is your child? It does sound like you might be on the young side and you want "your life" back. If that is the case, maybe it is best for you to give them to the father who wants to be a "parent."

I am honestly glad that my children's father was in your mind set. They did not fight me for the children. They let me have them, they went and lived their lives. In no way do I resent him for it, so on that point, you might be right. I do not resent them because although they got to go out and party, I got to be a mom. I got a wonderful family.

Ev - posted on 11/06/2013

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Please do not take this the wrong way, I am just a bit stunned to think that your statement in your post is a good enough reason to be the non-custodial parent.

You still have to co-parent the kids. Where do you get the idea that you do not do this no more? You still do co-parent those kids of yours. You still have them for visits, right? THen you still parent them. You still have to make sure they have food, clothing, and other basic needs. You have to supervise them while they are with you. And you need to communicate with dad on what is going on with them at his home just to keep up with them. Or do you not intend to do this?

Lack of drama? I do not see that in my case. My kids have had two step moms in their lives in the last 11 years. There is always drama. Unless you and dad and the step mom can come to some sort of terms to deal with things. If not, do not expect not to be part of the drama. You can chose not to participate and just deal with the important parts with the kids but you still will find drama.

Lack of need to be involved with child support system? If you are the non-custodial parent then you have to pay some support of some kind plus you are also responsible for half of medical, dental, and vision expenses where the kids are concerned. IF its because he messed around trying to get out of paying you child support, it won't stop at that...its your turn to pay it.

Resent you for making this choice? WHy are you worried about how he feels about this? Its your kids that you should be worried about being upset over your change of heart as to why you have changed up custody. A better reason for dad to have primary care of the kids is that of financial matters, medical condition, or it is beyond your control at the moment to have them and this is the best choice for the time being.

I have experience in this for 11 years. I did not choose to be the non-custodial parent because it was better for me. I had to chose this option because I did not have the money to keep fighting their dad in court, I could not place them in the middle of it all, and I did not feel it right to do that and wanted them to have some peace of mind and some stability. I cried my eyes out when I found out that I did not stand a chance in court financially to fight for them. It was not in me to just give up and let him have them. But I had no choice at the time. All I could do was to assure them that I loved them every time that I could, encourage them in their school work and other interests, be there for them as much as possible and to focus totally on them instead of worry over the next man in my life. For the first couple of years of this, I was lost because they had always been with me except for school or going to stay with grandparents or close relatives. I also felt that because I did this there would have been a big chance that he would turn them against me (Thank God he did not do that). I felt like my whole world have been ripped from me. It left a big gap in my soul. As for child support, we worked that out to the satisfaction of the judge and each other. As for visitation, we got the standard form for our state and have worked out situations because the changes were better for the kids (funerals of grandparents). We were both supposed to decide on things of major decisions for them together (drama due to step moms) though that did not always work out a lot of the time. As for the drama; where do I begin? THere was the first step mom who would not communicate with me if he could not as she did not try to get to know me to see for herself what kind of person I was. In the end, that marriage did not last long and ended in a bad divorce. The second step mom is still active in the family. She tried to tell us how to go about visitation, what decisions to make without me knowing, try to tell us how to do other things, and also tried to convince my daughter to home school and step mom would teach her (I did not allow it and its against the laws of my state), took advantage of my daughter's age and made my daughter take care of her kids when she should have done so, thinks my son is not such a good kid and blames most of his actions and behaviors on the form of Autism he has (which he is high functioning so you do not know he has this unless you get to know him) to explain the behavior away. So do not tell me the drama is less. As for resenting me for letting dad have them, I am sure they were upset with me for doing it but when they got to the point each of them could understand what had happened and why; we became closer than we were before.

My take on choosing to be a non-custodial parent is one that is made for the benefit of the children not because the co-parenting is not working or some other undesirable reason. It almost sounds like its what is more convenient for the parent.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I have gone through this for almost a dozen years and have seen a lot of what you say will be less to worry about be the most to worry about.

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