Author Topic: my children would like to live with me more. Is that possible?  (Read 7843 times)


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I will try to keep this short and I appreciate your time!

I have been divorced since Feb 1st, 2013. So close to 17 months.
For the past year my 2 children have been asking me to ask their mom if they can spend more time with me.
My son is 13 and my daughter is 15. She will be 16 in July.
We currently have joint custody with parenting time as 50/50.

There are a few reasons they my children give me for wanting to live with me more, but the main reason is that they miss me and feel it is more stable at my house. My kids and I have always had a close relationship. They also don't like how their mom has been acting since she divorced me.
They wish to change the parent time to where they are with their mom one weekend a month and every wed from 5pm to 9pm.
Do I have a chance of getting the parent time changed based on the fact they are missing me and feel it is more stable at my house?
I would love to see them more since they wish it also! I do promote them to see their mom, but I don't feel it has to be 50% anymore.

Under 'Miscellaneous Provisions' in my parenting plan it says that if a dispute shall arise under this agreement that we are unable to resolve between ourselves that the parties agree that such disputes shall be referred to mediation by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist of the parties joint choice in my county of Kansas. Then if either of us disagree with the resolution of the mediator, we can then file court motions if wanted.

If she doesn't agree when I talk to her, does that mean the kids would see a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist?
Then if necessary I can file a motion with the court to get a mediator appointed to us?

Thank you for any help you can offer!


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Re: my children would like to live with me more. Is that possible?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2014, 09:20:32 PM »
I have seen this type of language in many orders.  Mediation, in my personal opinion, isn't worth the paper it's written on.  A mediator cannot encourage parties or make their own recommendations, so it can sometimes be a complete waste of time.  Depending on what county you are in, Limited Case Management may be available and is a step up from mediation.  This process is essentially identical to mediation, but the mediator will make a recommendation to the court if the parties reach impasse.

Your initial question about being awarded more parenting time is a very loaded question I think.  It is based on so many factors that we probably can't address all of them here.  Children in their teenage years can sometimes influence the decisions of the courts, but sometimes not.  Just because the children want more time, doesn't always mean that's what's best for them.  Obviously if there is some kind of deprivation or abuse involved, that changes the argument completely.  But, in my opinion, if the children are being well cared for, the chances of changing residency would be slim.  I know that probably doesn't answer your question, but maybe you can provide a few more anonymous details to help us weigh in with an opinion.


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Re: my children would like to live with me more. Is that possible?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2014, 09:42:04 PM »
Thank you Guru for responding. I have not heard of Limited Case Management but I will google it.
I am in Johnson County, Kansas. So, I  don't know if that is available to me or not.

One question that I am unclear about still. It says that if I talk to my ex-wife and she does not agree to change parent times that  "such disputes shall be referred to mediation by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist of the parties joint choice in Johnson county of Kansas".
Does that mean my kids go to the licensed psychologist or psychiatrist or my ex-wife and I? I am thinking it means my ex-wife and I.
But I find it odd that it has to be a mediator that is a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. Is that typical?
I have nothing to hide so I am willing a ready to do that if she does not agree.
If you need me to I can type the exact paragraph. Some of it is in the first post of this thread.

As for more details about me being awarded more parent time I am willing to offer more details.
I just know when my kids come back home from her house that they are frustrated with how she acts. I am guessing nothing illegal.
They just say she is cranky most of the time, on the phone in her bedroom talking to her fiance or in her bedroom sleeping.
I have been encouraging my kids to get along with her for the past year, but they say it isn't working.
My ex-wife tells the kids she is moving on whether they like it or not. That they have to at least put up with her til they are 18.
She skips some school functions and misses the majority of the sports activities.
She does sacrifice her parent time occasionally so she can go with her fiance to the lake or for other reasons.
I am glad about that, because she asks me to keep the kids. I do get the extra time there.
They are scared to tell her that they want more time with me because of the yelling she has done since our divorce.

It really boils down to . . . My kids and I have always had a closer connection and they are missing me.
I know that may not mean much to changing the 50/50 time and probably doesn't mean much to other people, but it does to us.
I should have asked for more parent time during the divorce. My kids wanted it then too, but I was in a state of shock.
I would do very many things different during the divorce now that I am not in as much of a state of shock. lol
Matter of fact when I was served coming home from work she had the kids telling them what was going on.
They would not stay with her, so she let me pick them up.
All this means nothing to the court, but it shows the connection we have.

My ex does let me take them to practice, games, etc whether it is my week or not.
My son is on a competitive baseball team so she does let us go to the batting cages extra.
She does let them go to church with me most Sundays, even if it is her Sunday.

So, I don't want to mess that up. But it is hard to move on when my kids are unhappy at her house.



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Re: my children would like to live with me more. Is that possible?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2014, 10:12:13 PM »
I don't believe Jo. Co. has LCM, but you should probably check.  I've heard of people requesting certain mediators for a change of custody, but I think that's really up to the judge.  Getting a mediator who is a LSCSW or psychologist will be more difficult to find than an attorney I'm sure.  Keep in mind that even though your order says that, you can file your motion to change custody and set it for trial.  If she asks to attend mediation, you can then attend, but I don't think I would ask for it.  I know one of our members here had language very similar to yours.  Custody was changed and they never even attempted mediation.  That's because, like I mentioned earlier, mediation is great for couples who can actually work together, but for highly conflicted parents, it is a complete waste of time and money.

It sounds as if the kids genuinely want to be with you more, which will weigh in with the court, but they need to have very good reasons for doing so.  Just because dad is nicer wouldn't be a very good reason to me.  But, something like asking for help on homework and Mom won't take the time to help, but Dad will, is a good argument.  If you are ready to spend the money and put your kids through a court battle, just be prepared for all the junk that goes along with it.  I'm not discouraging or encouraging you, I'm just telling you to be prepared for the emotional toll it will have on everyone.  If it is worth it, then go for it.

Now, I do have something else I might throw out there.  Courts generally try to order what is "typically" occurring.  So if you ask your ex to have the kids for additional time routinely and you start to exercise a parenting plan that places the kids with you more, then you could argue that you are already acting as the primary residential parent anyway, so the change for the kids would be very small.  Good thing.


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Re: my children would like to live with me more. Is that possible?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2014, 12:42:08 PM »
Teenagers complain. They do so to both parties and attempt to wedge their independence between the parties. This happens in health intact marriages too.

Wait until the eldest is driving. Let the eldest tell the other parent that they will be at your home on a specific parenting day. The younger can follow with. See if that flies. I am pretty sure that leaving the court out of  it and avoiding the expense and contentiousness of the court process will be better for your children. Unless it is your intention to do this to reduce a support obligation. Let it happen naturally and at the will of the elder, more independent child who drives. They may even get a job which improves their position to make such choices with the court.