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  • Nov 26, 2006, 02:52 PM
    visitation with father
    I live in North Texas. My ex and I went to mediation this fall he thought that I was in contempt of court and thought I would go to jail. The mediator is a former Texas judge and told him that I would not go to jail and that I was not in contempt. Then we worked out other details but basically everything stayed the same with standard visitation and all.

    He then asked the mediator how could he win the kids when they get older and she basically told him how to be a dad and go to every visitation he is entitled to and to call more often and go to their sports activities (which he has not done prior to mediation). He only signed the mediation document because he did not want me to sue for him to start paying for health insurance (he is court ordered to ) and to pay what he is supposed to pay in child support . He is self employed.

    My question is this- lately (after mediation) he is "doing" what he is supposed to. He went from minimal visitation to now asking for the kids even when it is not his time (my weekends/holidays). For example this thanksgiving (my thanksgiving) he took them for 5 days. School gets out from Friday to the next Monday and it is my holiday this year. He called and asked and I thought that it would be nice or fair or whatever you call it for him to see them since I was not going out of town anyway. So he returned them Wed. night and I had thanksgiving day with them and my family. Now today- Friday he called and said he would like them for the weekend if possible. I told him that I have plans for the weekend.

    My question is this- before mediation I let him visit the kids even on my weekends when ever he would ask. (He would ask about one weekend of mine about once every month and a half or so. (I have even given him my christmas last year because of a special trip he planned with them) But now that I know his intent of suing me for custody within the next two years- should I still let him see them when he asks? Or does this make me look bad and him look good that he is seeing them more and I am giving them to him more? Is this something good for his "case" in the future? Or should I just stick with regular visitation and not let him have them on my weekends when his special events come up on my weekends? Before it did not bother me, but now it does because I worry about losing the kids. Now he is being perfect and I am more concerned about me losing the kids when they turn 12.

    Also, I have never called and asked him to take the kids for me for any reason. I have never asked him to switch "weekends" for anything I have ever planned/needed.

    Am I being paranoid or does this really matter when facing a judge later- telling her I let him have them because he requested and I thought it was being friendly to let him see them more.
  • Nov 26, 2006, 03:35 PM
    The mediator was telling your ex to be a good father. Take the same advice and be a good mother. Its going to be very hard for him to gain custody unless he can prove the kids would be better off with him. The only way to do that would be to prove abuse or neglect.

    I think by being fair and flexible about allowing visitation over and above the settlement, you improve your chances of retaining custody. If you are being fair, it takes away from his need.
  • Dec 2, 2006, 09:35 AM
    Just to be on the safe side, I'd make him stick to seeing them when he's scheduled to. If he wants more time then let him be the one to go back to court and petition. The judge won't take kindly to him tying up the docket trying to modify an existing order without compelling cause.

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