Custody/BM Advice

(I won’t tolerate any hateful, snide, rude comments and will block anyone doing so; so before you waste your time writing something rude, just don’t) ❤️ I really don’t understand anymore and need to vent. If anyone has gone through a similar experience, and ended up getting more custody at mediation or court, and you have any advice on how to deal with BM please let us know as we are at a loss anymorere lol . . . . . . My fiancé wants 50/50 with his daughter. BM has refused, originally stating she wanted to wait until daughter was 3 in December 2024 before even talking about it or adding any overnight stays, as well as continuously stating that she thinks dad simply “isn’t ready” (she’s provided almost zero context on what this means). In the past she’s made a few comments on things we need to do to make her (mom) more comfortable (baby proofing, etc), and everytime we would complete something she would move the goal post and we would be back at square one. Mediation is finally happening tomorrow and as a last ditch effort, had her lawyer send my fiancé’s lawyer an incredibly insulting “updated” schedule. Our current schedule is that we only get to see her Tuesdays and Thursdays 6pm-8pm, and every other Saturday and Sunday from 10am-8pm on those days. Her “updated” schedule she split up into “phases”. Phase 1 is keeping the schedule the same until June. Phase 2 is losing our Thursday weekday night in exchange for getting SD2 overnight from Saturday at 10am - Sunday at 6pm. Phase 3 is the same as phase 2 but we would get her from Friday at 6pm - Sunday at 6pm starting on her third birthday on December 7th, 2024. We are so exhausted. All we want is 50/50. He’s ALWAYS been there for his daughter, he’s always expressed his desire for more time, and she’ll always make it sound like she wants to work with him to get him there but at the last minute always serves him some BS like this. We’re obviously going to keep fighting for 50/50 and he plans on telling the mediator tomorrow that he is rejecting the proposal but we’re just so tired. He’s never been abusive towards his daughter (in fact he coddles her), so we know that couldn’t be a reason why she’s acting like this. Idk if this helps anyone but they had a rough relationship towards the end, where she coerced him into an open relationship by basically threatening they would have to break up if he didn’t want to. Then she ended up breaking up with him anyways, he missed seeing his daughter for a couple weeks (that’s the only time he’s not seen her) and she moved back in with her parents 45 minutes away. During those two weeks, we met and I spent the night with him one of those weekends from Friday to Monday at which point I was going to meet him on his lunch break then go home. Well, she decided to show up and sit outside the apartment in her car, without previously letting him know she would be over and instead called him once she was there that she was sitting outside (knowing I was still there, and knowing he was at work) about to go in to pack some stuff up. Fiancé has to then leave work abruptly and come home at which point she tells him she wants to “check her stuff to make sure she didn’t steal anything”. Her being me. Tried several times to storm past him to harass me while I was having a panic attack in the bedroom (because I had heard her slamming things around and arguing with him when she first came in). In order to protect me, he managed to distract her by redirecting her towards the bathroom to pack some things up there where he then closed the door so I could get out. Well because of that she got a protective order against him and then dropped it a month later. One of the addresses she put that she frequented was his apartment, which we would have understood if ahe was going to use that time to move the rest of her stuff out but she didn’t come back at all; forcing my fiance to have to temporarily live at his mothers house that whole month the order was in place for no reason. When she decided to drop it, he didn’t hear anything from BM about it and he hadn’t spoke to her at all outside of exchange time with his daughter at which point the conversation was solely about their daughter, with a few witnesses at exhange every time. She (according to what his lawyer had heard from her lawyer) decided to drop it herself without giving his lawyer any other info. Since then things have been rocky. We will go through phases with her where things between us all will be civil, and then something will happen to set her off; granted he has owned up to a couple times he was out of line in how he was speaking and owned up to those/apologized as well as changing his behavior to be better. Her most recent set off was when we had her for a bunch of extra time for four days surrounding Christmas (we didn’t have her overnight at all those days), and the following ON weekend for us, she requested that we pick her up two hours late Saturday, and an hour late Sunday. At the time she refused to tell us why so my fiancé respectfully and politely declined, and she went off on him in their (court appointed) communication app, telling him that she didn’t have to give him any extra time for Christmas and that if he doesn’t agree to this that he’ll never get any extra time with his daughter at all, ever again. He obviously agreed out of fear of her and she immediately the next day apologized for everything and said the late pick up times were because her fiance’s grandparents wanted to see SD2 as they had been away for Christmas and had just gotten home that Friday night. Similar events like that have happened in the past where she throwas a tantrum, says a bunch of stuff, then apologizes the next day and takes it all back. So far we’ve only had one night that we had her overnight. We were to have baby gates up at the top and bottom of our stairs and upon arrival of BM and SD2, only one was installed at the top. Understandably (since we agreed to have both up) BM was upset but let us have her overnight that night anyways as we were in the middle of installing the second one anyways. We got the second one up, and the night went on. SD2 resumed her night time routine and the only trouble we ran into was her not wanting to go to bed because she kept wanting to play with dad. When we finally got her to bed around 10/11 she only woke up once that night for an hour at about midnight but went back down after that. We let her sleep in the next morning since she went to bed an hour late, and woke up for an hour that night, and since it was a weekend and we were all exhausted anyways. But in the morning, BM showed up at 10am banging on our door because she tried to call and text my fiancé but he didn’t respond because everyone in the house was asleep. At that time she came in to make sure SD was okay (at that time we were getting her up and about to have breakfast) and we resumed our Sunday plans with SD as planned. Afterwards BM said that she thought it went well but later double backed during an argument with my fiance and said she felt it went badly and accused my fiancé of not being able to wake up at 6am to get SD up for the day (even though he wakes up at that time to get to work by 8 every week day) as the only clear reason she thinks he’s ‘not ready’. She’s unpredictable and my fiancé doesn’t feel it’s good for his daughter to constantly have extra time/overnight time with dad constantly dangled in our faces and then ripped away at the last second. He’s not giving up ever, but in the meantime we feel hopeless. I always tried to hope that she would put her differences with my fiancé aside for the sake of their daughter (who absolutely ADORES her dad and always begs to go home with him when we visit at BMs house) but it seems she’s stuck in her own head about everything. He took care of her for the first 10 months of her life before they split so he knows how to care for her. So why is she doing all this?? 😞
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What state are you in?

bm is jealous and envious like unfortunately most are.... if she has no concrete proof on why he should have 50/50 I don't see the rejecting it....

She doesn’t want to lose over nights because it could affect some child support

I have been through a very similar situation. It sucks but don't give up. Keep fighting. It will be worth it for your daughter to know that you never stopped fighting for her when she is older

I've also been in a very similar situation, I think it is sadly very common. Have also had experience with her crying wolf and getting protective orders and going back n forth on decisions constantly. I'm confused though as to why he has never had overnights. Were they previously married? Do they have joint custody or does she have some custody? I'm in CT and they definitely lean towards the mother as much as possible. My bf had always had 50/50 custody since they got divorced but we just gave SD Friday night to Sunday night. But that is a great improvement from where it got to.

I would talk to your lawyer and find out what he sees happen with custody when the judge decides. Don’t accept anything less than what a judge would give you.

@Alyssa they were engaged previously and they lived together as a family for the first ten months of the child’s life. She has majority custody and he just has visitation. Part of me wonders if she cried wolf like that so she had a reason to obtain majority custody because she knew she wouldn’t have a leg to stand on without it

@Mari Indiana!

@Cherese that’s what I’m saying! Plus her and her fiancé work in customer service/hospitality (fiancé is a chef and she works at a video game store) so their schedules are already non consistent so if the child is being dumped onto her parents/his parents when they’re working then what’s the fucking harm in just giving her to dad like the child deserves!

I know in my state there's a law or something that states if child isn't with parent the other parent has the first right to get child..... just keep fighting w a s husband was in the same position and got 50/50 and when we got together I helped him go back to court and got him taken off of child support... keep fighting until someone will listen

I dont know how the laws are in Indiana , im in Florida and its a 50/50 state. Go to mediation dont give up 50/50 if they dont agree the judge will decide , just document everything, ONLY communicate through the App , show that you have a consistent schedule, that you are flexible and willing to coparent , it’s always in the best interest on the child and your SS needs his dad .

My husband got 50/50 in mediation. It all depends how much she wants to pay in lawyer fees. Depending on what your state your in parents will get 50/50 in court unless either parent has criminal records. My husbands BM wanted 80/20 and first thing the mediator told her was that would never fly in court so be reasonable or he was calling it and we’d go to court because he wasn’t there to waste anyone’s money.

@Collette I’m hoping she realizes this isn’t worth it and won’t exactly go her way if we end up going to court; I can’t imagine any reasonable judge would take “I just don’t think he’s ready” as an excuse for denying more time. I wish she would stop this madness and stop depriving her daughter of such valuable time with her dad. We saw my fiancés dad and one of his sisters tonight and his sister thinks he might have a case for alienation because when she needs their daughter to be looked after (and it’s not on a day he’s scheduled to see her), she doesn’t even bother contacting him. She’s also thrown a few tantrums over the app they have to use so I can only imagine (and hope) that she’ll fold in mediation tomorrow with the realization that all of that would be revealed to a judge. She even had the audacity once to tell my fiancé that her new man (a prior co worker that she had only been with for 9 months, was already engaged to & pregnant with) that their daughter was (1/2)

@Collette “more comfortable” with her new man vs her dad. Which is shocking considering she sees how wildly excited my step daughter gets when she gets to see dad. She gets so excited that when we visit her for a little bit at moms house, that she will sometimes cry because she wants to go home with him so bad. Like how absolutely heartless do you have to be to say something like that, knowing your daughter adores her dad??? It’s fucked up :( (2/2)

BM has said the same thing to my bf as well. I swear, I think these HCBM get together and come up with these crazy ideas together lol. I will say, please try to prepare yourself for this drama to continue forever, or at least until his daughter is old enough to have a cellphone and drive. I kept thinking things would calm down after judges were involved and decisions were made and that is definitely not the case, nor is it the case with many other HCBMs I see people vent about. Sometimes I wonder if I would have stayed if I understood that this drama would last forever. Now we have a baby boy together so I try to endure it but some days it is just so hard.

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@Alyssa exactly. What makes me feel better now that my SD is 9 and she is able to see all the bs, she says her mom is mean and crazy but still we cant do anything .

@Mari my SD at 5 is already starting to see it when she is real bad and asking why mommy is doing whatever crazy thing she is doing. One time it was my bfs day to pick her up from daycare and she was mad so she went to go pick her up before he could get there and bless my SDs heart, she freaked out at her and was like NO mom, I'm not going with you I'm going with DADDY!! Luckily that made her feel like the POS she was being and she just left lol

@Alyssa wow!! Been there too! im glad your SD was able to say that, my SD is terrified of her mom.

@Mari ugghh I'm so sorry, that is so sad and I really feel for these kids. I don't know how these HCBM could do this to their kids and still be able to look at themselves in the mirror

@Alyssa exactly they are hurting their own kid 💔💔💔

Well she’s kinda right if there’s no custody agreement or order and tech weren’t married when she got pregnant and had the baby she doesn’t have to let him have her overnight etc. No hate or anything just speaking from personal experience

@Christina that’s not true.

@Courtney it is true. overnights do affect child support. In Ohio for example there is a 10% reduction in child support if the person paying child support as the child for 73 nights a year. Different states have different rules.

@Christina not in Tx

Apparently, Indiana Code says that mother has sole custody of the child until a court orders otherwise, which I think is ridiculous.

Also, I guess Indiana child support laws changed as of 1/1/24. In 2023, there was only one line for overnights in the calculation but now the calculation will let you add overnights for each child if they spend a different number of overnights at the other parent's house. Confusing though lol

@Courtney OP isn’t in Texas. She is in Indiana and they do use overnights in the calculation of child support. I said different states have different rules on child support.

How did mediation go?

@Mari mediation went well! They’ve been on better terms lately and although he wants 50/50, they ended up agreeing on a new schedule that’s a bit more realistic than going straight into 50/50, but is also what he had suggested to her in the past for MONTHS. Basically on our on weekends we’ll have her Saturday 10am - Sunday 6pm. Then I starting in November (once both her and I have had our babies, and have had a chance to settle into our new routines with them a bit) we’ll have SD2 from Friday 6pm - Sunday 6pm. We’ll continue that until December where for what would be her Christmas break if she were school aged, we’ll have her the entire second week of Xmas break including the overnights (the week of Christmas), and then the beginning of January they’ll be revisiting mediation to discuss 50/50. It was nice bc she finally discussed what has been making her feel she doesn’t think he’s ready yet, & he was totally agreeable and on board with helping to relieve those worries (1/2)

@Mari So this current schedule is so he has enough to time to reassure her, so SD has plenty time to get used to the idea of the new schedule, and (since we’re both pregnant and my fiancé and I are getting married in the summer and November) so no one is stressing since a lot is happening between her baby being born in May and our second wedding in November. Second wedding is just our huge reception with all family/friends since we wanted to be married in the summer before baby arrived so we all had the same last name lol

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Im glad you were able to work it out!! No need for drama

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