Need advise desperately on visitation. Help??

Shanna - posted on 05/04/2012 ( 13 moms have responded )

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So my ex and I have been separated for a year. For most of that year, he has got our son every week on his two days off. He has mentioned before, and seems to be pushing more so lately, having our son a week at a time. This HORRIFIES me! Not only for the selfish reasons (No way do I want him away from me for a whole week), but that just in no way seems to be a stable set up for my son. He is turning 3 in June, working on being potty trained... He needs a routine and stability and consistent discipline... being gone every week is bad enough with that. :( I really don't want to take time away from my son with his dad, and I don't want to push his dad's interest away from him... but it just feels ALL wrong!

Any advise????

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Threenorns - posted on 05/05/2012

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you're not going to like my answer: he's not "your" son - whether or not you like it, he's his father's son, too, and he has a right to a relationship with his father. his relationship with his father is also, really and honestly, none of your business unless you suspect he's being abused and then what are you doing leaving your son with him in the first place.

there is no problem with your son spending a week with his dad at a time - kids are marvelously adaptable. i know a girl who has been alternating two weeks on/two weeks off with her divorced parents since birth. she's 9yrs old, top of her class, and is completely well-adjusted (not to mention fluently bilingual french/english, since her father's family is francophone while her mother is english).

potty training is a non-issue. it's really not something you can mess up unless you're trying too hard. i'm lazy - i never potty-trained my kids at all, figuring that was one thing they could manage by themselves and they all managed it quite nicely, with a bit of extra mop time being my sole contribution.

"routine", "stability", "consistent discipline" - he'll get that at your house and he will have his routine and so on at his dad's house. he'll figure out very quickly which goes where - at mom's, he's to be in bed no nonsense at 'such' time, at dad's he knows he can weasel out an extra slice of pizza and a cartoon first and that's FINE.

be thankful you have a father who works so hard to maintain a relationship with his son - trying to balk that will only backfire on you.

Nicole - posted on 05/04/2012

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I advise to talk to him about the stability thing with having him a whole week. I agree that is a long time for a two or three or any child to be away from there mother. He still needs to be involved in being in his sons life but just not for a week. But you definitely need to get a lawyer to fight a custody battle even if it's split parenting if you don't agree with the father.

13 Comments

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Kristi - posted on 01/14/2013

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I actually talked to a child life specialist who works at the local university and he said not to let my 2 1/2 year old go for more then 2 nights in a row. He also said shorter visits if child not adjusting. In my case it is baby daddys mother that wants more visitation.

Amanda - posted on 05/08/2012

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Im in your situation as well at the moment and didnt know what to do. Yes the kids are both mine and their fathers, but I agree that I dont want to go an entire week w/o seeing my kids. From asking friends and family what their solutions have been to the custody problem, they split the week. I dont think its fair for either parent to have the child or children for an entire week at one time. Finding and agreeing on a way to split the week between you two will probably work best.

Michelle - posted on 05/08/2012

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Custody and visitation is hard for parents. It is hard to seperate what is in the best interest of the child. It is not uncommon for children to spend one week at a time with a parent. It is healthy to share a blance between each home. I know it's hard when your child is not with you but it is eqally hard on a father as well. It has been documented that the role of a father is just as important as a mother's. It also shows that children who don't have a close relationship with their father are more likely to end up in trouble as they get older.
It is possible to potty train a child when the child is in a different setting. It is important that everyone is on the same page though.

Sit down and talk to him about your concerns and try to put your feelings aside. It is hard on children when their parents don't life together anymore. I know I was one.

Threenorns - posted on 05/08/2012

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Cari Martin: actually, i have been in exactly this situation and more than once. that's how i know it works out very nicely as long as all parties concerned (oldest daughter/her grandmother in the first case, youngest daughter/her father in the second) keep in mind that the goal is to provide what is best for the child and do not stoop to using the child as a pawn, as reward, or as punishment.

Ashley - posted on 05/08/2012

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from reading both of your post it almost sounds like it might be his parents that want more time with their grandson, If I were you I would try contacting them directly and see if you cant maby set up days with the grandparents. (that is of course if thats the case and you feel comfortable leaving your son in there care) They just may not be sure how to approch you. Your post's make it sound, to me like they are the ones caring for him when dad has him any way.

Angelina - posted on 05/06/2012

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Depending on your ex he will either understand your concerns or be selfish and want to take him anyway. If he understands, make a deal that after he is potty trained( inconsistency could cause regression) that you will try his idea for a month but be sure to sit down and make a parenting plan together. A parenting plan is basicly a list of "NO-NOs" and what the repercussion is, bed time routine, and good behavior rewards. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS!!! Once you 2 make your parenting plan, you BOTH need to stick to exactly what you put down on paper! Any inconsistency at either household will confuse him and allow him to think that one of you is the good guy and the other the bad guy. Tho you 2 are separated you both need to be a united front. If he doesnt agree with your concerns you need to have a set legal agreement made up for custody and visitation by a lawyer. And no mater what he has to stick to it or he can pay for the lawyer to petition to have it changed. Your son needs his dad as long as he is a good influence and your ex wants your son around.

Cari - posted on 05/06/2012

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While I sadly agree with Threenorns opinion on your son being his fathers son also that is where my agreement stops. Because they obviously have never had this problem. A 3yr old cannot adjust very well when they are already set on a routine, you have to SLOWLY adjust the child to a new arrangement. Also a 3yr old adjusting to a new routine is completely different then a 9yr old whos had the same routine all her life with split parents. But if your ex has 2 days off a week why is he wanting him 7days, and yes it is your business because as a mother myself I get paranoid when my husband takes any of our children when he leaves to go anywhere, and yes I do trust my husband but I did not give birth to my husband I gave birth to our children. I commend your ex for wanting extra time but why not ask if he could take your son for an afternoon if hes not working if he really wants to spend extra time with him and try to get him used to the idea of being with his dad for more then 2 days a week.

Hope - posted on 05/06/2012

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It feels wrong for a reason - dont ignore that. I would STRONGLY ADVISE that you sort out legally your custodial arrangements, be in good communication and on the same wave length first.

Jacqueline - posted on 05/05/2012

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My 2 year old is very reliant on mommy. I would guess that your little one is the same. Stability is very important for children at all ages. You may however try adding a day here and there and visit with your son periodically just to check on him when he is with dad. I would not jump from a weekend to a whole week though. It may cause your son to act out to see if mommy still cares. The best thing to do is talk with daddy and let him know what your true feelings on this are. A weekend to a week is a big jump and could scare your child. You know your child best. Do what you think is best.
Also, as a side note you should get custody established no matter what. It is something that can be changed but is extremely important for the stability of the child.

Nicole - posted on 05/04/2012

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If you think his dad isn't gonna help him with everything like potty training then yes i would fight it. He doesn't need to have him a week especially if you think he's not the one watching him and his parents are watching your son. If that's the case then he should be home with you.

But it is your fight. You be confident with whatever you choose to do, because you're doing it to help your son no matter what the outcome brings. Hopefully it's what is truly good for your son. Custody battles are no fun! Just make sure to tell him you and his dad love him either way. He has a right to be in both of your lives :)

Shanna - posted on 05/04/2012

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I guess what I am really getting at, is that really going to be as wrong for my son as I am thinking it is... I mean, when we were together, I got ZERO help from his dad.. and even though he has our son every week, they stay at his parents, and he does not communicate with me about discipline and what have you, or anything really...

I guess I just want to be confident I am doing the right thing if and when I go the fighting it route...

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