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Divorce/Separation :
Teens and custody

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 Soconfusing (original poster member #61392) posted at 8:26 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

As a background, my ex and I separated in 2018 and he is supposed to have four nights per month of having the kids. He has been spotty at best for all these years at having them and even on the off days that he has them it’s rare that they all want to go.

My oldest son has recently gotten his drivers license and now suddenly he is asking the oldest over for two nights per week and keeps telling him he can come stay over whenever he wants. My son is totally into this. He has now started telling my second son (15) that he can also start staying extra days.

I’m furious.

On one hand I’m angry that after years of being a crappy parent he thinks that he can just start telling them to come over all the time. I know that "technically" they can pick since they are older but that just isn’t how we have ever done it and on the other hand I’m hurt that my kids would even be happy about this. Like I said, I have been there for them and poured into them and tried to be present and involved and it just hurts my feelings. I know that probably sounds selfish but sometimes I get blindsided by things that hurt.

I say that they can go because I feel stuck and feel like I can’t say no about them going over extra, but is that true? I’ve always heard that I need to tread carefully so as not to make them feel the stress and make them feel like they are stuck in the middle of an argument.

posts: 241   ·   registered: Nov. 12th, 2017
id 8734406
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robinbird12 ( new member #80235) posted at 9:17 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

I can understand where you are coming from. I feel similiarly about my ex- he completely ignored our kids as babies and now as toddlers/preschoolers he basically watches TV with them 2 hours a week. But once they are old enough to ski, go hunting with him, play golf with him- then he wants 80% custody!

Anyway- yes, please let them go. Please don't let it hurt your feelings, they are teenagers. Teenagers crave independence from their primary caregiver. It's biological. Their instinct is to leave the nest, just like every other animal. It's not personal against you at all. It just means they have a healthy attachment to you and feel confident about 'spreading their wings' so to say.

If you make them feel guilty or weird about this it will push them away and you will regret it. Don't say anything, be perfectly fine with it. Maybe think about how this is a positive and what you can do with your "nights off". Enjoy it!!

Betrayed Wife, 39

2 preschool age children

Year long affair, he left me for the OW in Feb 2022

*Divorcing ... in settlement hell*

posts: 48   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8734417
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 Soconfusing (original poster member #61392) posted at 10:03 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Robinbird12, thanks so much for the insight.

As far as "time off" I have two younger children as well and I think I overheard him yesterday asking the third oldest to start coming a second night per week as well. I think it is just a snowball situation and where does it end?

I mean if he starts two nights a week he will have doubled his custody time and I just have no say? Ugh.

posts: 241   ·   registered: Nov. 12th, 2017
id 8734422
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 Soconfusing (original poster member #61392) posted at 10:04 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Also, to add, he only goes through the kids about them going over or what nights or whatever because in his words "he shouldn’t have to go through me to get to his kids" so he effectively cuts me completely out of the scheduling.

posts: 241   ·   registered: Nov. 12th, 2017
id 8734426
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 10:20 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

There are apps he can use to schedule his time. You out the kids schedule on it so he has access.

He puts the nights he sees the kids.

Is it crappy he suddenly wants to be involved? Yes. He sounds lazy.

But who benefits? Your kids.

And if it’s good for your kids - then you will support it (within reason).

Do what you can to make it work. If possible. For the kids.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11864   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8734429
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 11:18 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

No extra days. He’s trying to get the kids more to cut back his child support, most likely, or claim 1 child on taxes.

No matter what he says, he does have to go thru you for visitation. It’s very disruptive and disrespectful to have people coming and going whenever. But, he isn’t going to listen to you. I would NOT talk to your xwh, I always emailed my atty and asked what to do. For sure sit down and write out the few times he got the kids over the last few years so that IF he tries to go to court, you can show how lame he is.

I think it ended up with me emailing my atty who emailed his atty and his atty called my xh and told him to stop creating drama and go by the D papers.

Fwiw my sons now 21&24 rarely go to their Dads, when at one time they were trying to go more. They got tired of the lying, fighting with OW, games,etc.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 11:30 PM, Monday, May 9th]

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5403   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8734435
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icytoes ( new member #79512) posted at 12:39 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Don't be afraid to enforce rules and boundaries for your teens and your ex. Setting clearly defined boundaries and rules for your teens is healthy and good parenting. They may complain at first but they will get used to the boundaries you set if you are consistent and reasonable.

I would stick with the custody agreement as much as possible. Beyond the four scheduled days per month, you could require your teens to complete a set list of chores and activities before they can run off to your ex's house. Keep the list the same so they know exactly what is required. Sending strength!

posts: 17   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2021
id 8734447
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 Soconfusing (original poster member #61392) posted at 7:48 PM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

I so appreciate all of your suggestions! I cannot type a full reply, but later on I will be.

Just needed to vent real quick because I found out today he’s trying to talk my son into moving in with him. I feel nauseous. How did I pick someone so terrible to be their Dad? And how do I possibly "co-parent" with someone who goes behind my back like that? It’s disgusting the manipulation that bad parents play on kids.

posts: 241   ·   registered: Nov. 12th, 2017
id 8734553
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 10:49 PM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Call your attorney. Immediately.

Your son is not able to make these decisions b/c custody has been established.

I think you need to have a talk with your son.

Your XH is creating drama here. Got what reason?

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11864   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8734589
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 10:54 PM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Call your atty now!!! You do not want your child to live with him and be further and continually manipulated by his Dad!!!!!! FTG.

I think kids NEED us to say no and secretly they want us to say no. Just no. Shut the whole idea down. It takes the pressure off your children to not hurt their Dads feelings.


No normal parent is going to skirt around the custodial parent and try to coerce the child to move in with them.

When I first jointed SI, several members had let their children move to the noncustodial parents home, and they regretted it. The kids were coerced by the other parent into believing horrible lies about the parent who was trying to be kind by letting their kids move in with the other parent.

So, my youngest wanted to live with his Dad and his Dad and OW were pushing hard for it. I told my son no, that the judge had determined it was best for him to be with me. I said he could live with his Dad when he graduated high school, but until then he was stuck with me. laugh I was shaking inside!!!! I knew he could go to his Dads. At some point I think I had to tell my son he needed to live with his Dad for a couple months nonstop b4 deciding it was better over there. A few months later they tried again & I told him I felt like they were using him bc OW had a son there who was bored. Sure enough, my kid thought his Dad and OW invited him to go to a water park/hotel for a long weekend. OW and xh left my 13 year old and her 11 year old at the hotel and water park alone while they went to some events. My kid saw the light. Sadly.

So, for now tell your son it’s not gonna happen, and it’s not alright for anyone to "lean" on him, not even a parent.

He’s gonna argue, but secretly he needs you to say no.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 3:36 AM, Wednesday, May 11th]

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5403   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8734591
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BetterTimesAhead ( member #70001) posted at 3:17 AM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

My son just turned 17 and we are in the middle of D. We are IHS. I was advised that I cannot stop him if he wants to live with his cheating, narc father. A trial would take more than a year and he would be 18 by then and it wouldn't matter anyway, not to mention the cost and putting my son through that. My son doesn't have final say but the court considers his wishes. His father sets basically no rules, let's him do what he wants, almost never tells him no - who do you think he'd want to live with? The more I try it seems the more I push him away. He needs a real parent and that has to be me so what I want basically doesn't matter.

It is a tough situation as yours is but I don't want to lose him forever. His father is most likely using some form of parental alienation but nothing I can do but love him and hope for the best even though my heart is breaking. STBXH is just hell bent on ruining my life for some reason.

Good luck figuring it out. It is so difficult to know what, overall, is best. See what your attorney says about it but if your teen is anything like mine if I try to make him fo anything, he wants to do the opposite.

Me: BS - 52Him: WH - 53DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PAFiled for D 9/2021***************
An apology without the action to back it up is just manipulation.

posts: 665   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8735796
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