When I split from my ex wife, it was a nightmare. Being the one making the decision to leave and my ex wife not working at the time, the emotions and guilt around responsibility were incredible.
The loss of walking away from my family, the guilt from leaving my marriage were all mixed with the feelings of doing the right thing, building a life that I wanted and of course giving a fair chance for my ex to move on with her life, with someone that hopefully could give her more than where I was at.
My kids were very young at the time, my son just about to reach his second birthday and my daughter only six years old. In a way that was a good thing. My son seems to have no idea of what happened and no effects from the separation, however my daughter went through a lot at the time, which I wish she had never had to experience – we were very close. ( and thankfully still are ).
My ex was very shocked at the time, and didn’t react well at all. She went off the rails… ringing up members of my family and saying stuff to my daughter… very difficult times. I guess I can understand that it wouldn’t have been easy. It would have been preferable if she could have showed some restraint especially when it came to my six year old daughter.
I moved into my parents for a couple of weeks, then luckily for me house sat for friends while they were on holiday before moving into pretty much the cheapest short term apartment I could find.
The stress from trying to pay all the bills from my previous household, as well as support myself in my new lodgings were extreme. Eventually however she went on the benefit, we seperated our accounts and I entered the new world of paying child support as a non custodial parent.
My ex was very bitter and nasty towards me, and seemed to have in her mind that I- had left the whole family, although that wasn’t the case at all. I love my kids very much and wanted to spend as much time with them as I could. She made that very difficult for me especially at the beginning – not allowing them to stay with me for the night, casting doubt over the living conditions of my new apartment and so on.
Eventually we managed to arrange some kind of agreement and now I have them every second weekend, one night per week for couple of hours, and every other Saturday morning. School holidays are always a time for more negotiations however I normally get them for a good part of a week or so.
Things have changed for me however, I have a new partner, things have settled down a lot in my life and I am now ready to have them for a decent part of the time. I am looking at different options for getting more custody of my kids and can see its not going to be easy, but luckily the law itself treats a father just importantly as a mother.
In the perfect world I would like my kids at least half the time, I can drop and pick them up from school a couple of days a week, I work for an understanding employer and can also take care of them for a decent part of the school holidays.
There are two roads that separated people can go when it comes to sorting out child custody, if both are willing to work towards a mutually agreeable solution you can do it through the family courts for free and sort it out. If however communication and bitterness are involved then you are probably going to need a lawyer and it can cost a lot of money.
For me I don’t know which way its going to go yet, I am still trying to find the right way to broach the subject as 2010 begins to draw to an end, my one year old is soon to become a five year old and its time for my ex to put her bitterness behind her, and try to see what is best for our young children.
As I work through the process I will write more about it, so stay posted or subscribe to our feed. If you have your own child custody story to share please do so via the comment form on our site.