Divorced - How do I arrange parenting time?

by Tom
(Alpena, MI)

I am a divorced Dad, living with a girlfriend. Presently I have 8 overnights a month but just took a job that requires long hauls - sometimes out 2- 3 weeks. This won't work with my long hauls and I do like the money. How do I arrange a parenting time schedule when I never know when I will be home? My ex will not allow my girlfriend to have my daughter when I am not there and says it is my parenting time - not the girlfriends. Any suggestions?

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Nov 09, 2008
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Unfortunatly she is right
by: Jennifer Schnittker

I dont mean to come across as judgmental, or "predetermining" your position. HOWEVER; your ex is right. You child does need consistency, especially at that young age. She needs you as well. However, what she does not need is in the middle of a tug of war.

Please understand (raising 4 of my own--and having a B.S.Psy-Bachelors in the Science of Psychology) People tend to forget that children are people too. They have feelings, emotions, and opinions that NO ONE wants to listen to.

I think going into this with the attitude "THIS IS WHAT I WANT" is a huge mistake.

I always tell people, step out side of your box, and look back in.

First and foremost--this is Your decision to leave for such a long period of time, and what you said "money" is an object. You must consider that with every action there is an equal and greater reaction. Your choice to leave for such extended period of time is going to cause issues.

If your ex is willing to work with you--then be grateful for that, and work with it. Stomping your feet, and throwing your weight around is going to get you little to nowhere. And may end up with your daughter hurt, and in the middle.

Nov 09, 2008
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i forgot
by: The crazy trucker

Oh,

What you daughter prefers to have happen I would think should have some weight on whether you attempt to get those other 2 nights.

If she does want to be there with you then I would try to get the other nights. (will you actually see her before school?)

If she doesn't want to be there during the week not seeing you till in the morning I don't know if i would try and go forward with the battle and she be unhappy.

But then I am not an expert on the part of forcing the child to do that above her wishes, Jennifer I would like to know what you think about that part
I think you are much more qualified.

and Hello and Thanks :-)

I am hitting the road, good day all!

Nov 09, 2008
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Very tuff
by: The Crazy Trucker

Hi Tom,

Hate you have do deal with that extra hurdle of schedule conflict. It is a tuff situation.

I agree with Jennifer man, about everything.

If it is at all possible, try to work things out with her mom first. (Even if you have to be nicer than she deserves, don't know what kind of person she is)

Whatever you guys history make sure she knows that both of yous guys focus should be on the best interest of your daughter.

This is not about who wins the battle between mom and dad. After that if you can't get things worked out favorably man, than you will have to decide if trucking otr is still something that you want to do.

Nov 09, 2008
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JUST THE BREAKS?
by: Tom

Jennifer,

Thanks for the comment. My ex is willing to work with me by switching weekends but not weekdays because of school. She said our daughter needs "consistency" - she is entering kindergarten. She is only willing to let me have her during the day if I am home because she wants her home for school the next day. I told her I would take her to court if she didn't give me the other two overnights during the week that I am entitled to. I feel if I roll in at 4:00 am then my daughter should be there at my house with my girlfriend waiting for me. I don't want to have to wait until later that day to see her. Any other suggestions or is this just the breaks because I am a trucker now?

Nov 09, 2008
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Part time parenting
by: Jennifer Schnittker

That is difficult. It is sad to hear that the ex has a problem with your girlfriend, although, being honest. Her having them for your "time off" does not replace you. Perhaps it is best that she does not.

I would suggest working directly with your ex. On your time home, see your kids. An absent parent is very difficult. Call your kids frequently. If you cannot see them. Make sure they know that you miss them, and just wanted to hear their voices.


If your ex is unwilling to work with you- then have the court order revised in order to fit your schedule.

How about parents? or family in the area? (outside of your girlfriend?) Parents or siblings may make a great alternative (yours) when you are not around.

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