You are here

Negotiating with BM

stepkate's picture

Mr. Kate called me after court today and said that he has a big decision to make. His lawyer suggested that he hire a second lawyer (at least, I think this is a lawyer) who will come to a decision about custody, settling this whole case.

This person is free to investigate BM and Mr. Kate-speak with the respective SOs, figures from the respective school districts (BM just moved 2 hours away), drug test whoever they like, etc. This person would cost Mr. Kate about $1,000, which I know he doesn't have, but its a decent shot that a) BM or her BF will get busted by a drug test or b) This person will see that Mr. Kate's living situation is a lot better than BM's. Neither BM nor her BF have a full-time job (he may be unemployable due to a felony) so I can only imagine the conditions they're living in.

When BM heard about this possibility, she started to play nice and offer to settle by coming to an agreement with Mr. Kate. I told Mr. Kate that he's a bad negotiator, especially when it comes to his daughter. He ran some terms by me that already sound weak:
1. He would get his daughter every weekend and every Wednesday
Problem: BM lives 2 hours away, so what about Wednesdays when school starts?
2. BM would meet him halfway for dropoffs/pickups
Problem: Mr. Kate is pretty sure he can get his license back, but he doesn't have it yet.
3. Child support would not change
Problem: um, duh.

FYI, I moved out a few weeks ago, and Mr. Kate and I are 'on a break', whatever that is, due to trust issues. I held back most of what I wanted to say, because I don't feel I have any say if I'm not committed to staying with him. He calls me and I listen. I am, however, hearing things that are pushing me farther away from him, but I don't want to confuse him with extra emotions involving me when he's already so precarious emotionally with his daughter's situation.

He said things like "I want her every weekend and every time I take vacation," which made me want to ask when we would ever have alone time together. Things like "Then I can take her out to do fun things on Wednesdays if I get her" sound like the beginnings of the Disney Dad syndrome I've read about on here. There was also a lot of "and I can pay for that (sports, health insurance, etc.)" which make me wonder about what financial state he was willing to leave us in.

But I don't say any of that to him. I'm just waiting...for what, I don't know.


stepkate's picture

They weren't married (thank goodness) this is a child custody case. Mr. Kate can either take his chances with this second lawyer making the decision, or he can take BM's offer to 'settle' with her.

LizzieA's picture

Despite you taking a step back, it wouldn't hurt to speak common sense to him and make suggestions that will be to his benefit (and yours if you stay with him). Why watch as he gets screwed?

stepkate's picture

Mr. Kate lost his for a DUI as well. I was chauffeur in our relationship, but I will not take part in custody exchanges unless there is an emergency. This issue is moot if Mr. Kate gets his license back (privileges) so I guess that is one of the situations in which I'm waiting for the chips to fall before I pick my battles.

Rags's picture

It sounds to that your DH has BM by the short and curlies and does not have to negotiate.

If I was him I would just go for the kill shot and dictate exactly what BM will do and when she will do it.

$1000.00 is cheap to have BM and her BF busted and documented as being unable to parent to an acceptable level.

I would take her ass to the proverbial cleaners if it was me.

best regards.

stepkate's picture

Yeah, I have been hanging out a lot with friends lately, and they're about half and half on what i should do. Half say to just drop him, and the other half basically say to let the dust settle on the custody case before I make any moves. None of these friends, however, have ever dated a man with kids, and none of them have kids themselves, so I take their advice with a grain of salt.