Woke up this morning with a knot spinning in my gut. It’s the anxiety that comes from analyzing to death conversations with Will. It comes from thinking and loving, wanting to “fix” and regret.
Last Wednesday, Will and I went to custody mediation. This mediation is a free service provided to divorcing parents; the mediator is not connected to the court proceedings and the goal is to come up with a parenting agreement without attorney or court involvement.
I agreed to him keeping the title of “primary” parent. He agreed to me seeing the boys Thursday nights and every weekend.
I wasn’t happy due to the “primary” parent label and having to check with him for any extra overnights, and he wasn’t happy because without the weekends he could not take the boys camping or four-wheeling or, in reality, have much time with them at all. On his days off, the boys would be with me.
Because neither of us were pleased with the terms of the agreement, we reached a truce and promised to return to mediation in May before our court appearance. At the last second, his attorney advised him not to sign the agreement, and he didn’t. Actually, I was glad.
When he first told excitedly told me that his attorney advised him not to sign, I was scared and crushed. Having three overnights a week was “guaranteed” in the agreement. It set precedence for future visitation should the judge eventually be forced to decide. But the agreement also set the precedence of me agreeing to his primary parent status. But Will was excited for good reasons.
- His attorney told him that the judge had set only the MINIMUM visitation. He could “allow” me to see the boys Thursday night or any night I requested if he wanted. And he planned to allow the boys three nights with me per week despite what the judge ordered previously. He said that if I didn’t believe him, then I could consider the fact that he wouldn’t lie to his boys. He’d already told them his plan, and he wouldn’t go back on it for their sakes.
- But if he signed the agreement and I decided to NOT return to mediation, then changing this parenting agreement required a TRIAL, not a court appearance. He was adamant about seeing the boys on the weekends; he didn’t want to be the weekday parent.
I considered his point of view. I told him that I know he believes I “crawfished” on him initially, and although I didn’t agree with his assessment I was willing to understand his fear and willing to trust that he wouldn’t crawfish on a promise to his boys.
We left without signing a thing, but still he allowed the boys to stay overnight with me Wednesday through Saturday last week.
I allowed him time out at our house to tend to the lawn and work with the boys on Saturday. Will also fixed and repaired a hole in my car’s tire. He spent a lot of time at the house on Saturday, and nothing ugly between us happened at all.