My girlfriend and I live in Indiana. Someday, we would like to get married and have a baby. And God could surprise us with a baby anytime before marriage too. Ideally, I would like to split parenting responsibilities like my parents did. But she said that all her life she wanted to be a stay-at-home home school mom like her mom was. Maybe we could work out a compromise, but let us say that we couldn't agree about parenting.
My understanding is that most marriages end in divorce. And legally, my future wife has the right to divorce me even if I did nothing wrong (no-fault). And then, according to the US Census Bureau, mothers usually get primary custody (unless she is on drugs or abusive, which she isn't). And according to the Indiana Parenting Guidelines, babies only get one night per week with the non-custodial parent. And even as a teenager, only alternating weekends.
Child support payments are based on custody, so I would need to pay her child support. And since she always planned on her husband financially supporting her, then I would need to pay her alimony too. And because of imputed income, I couldn't afford to take a lower-paying job with more flexibility.
I love and trust my girlfriend, but a cash incentive to divorce just doesn't seem to be in the best interests of our family. And caring for my children only one night a week doesn't seem to be in their best interests either. The issue of who is the primary caregiver seems to be awfully important. They have the right to enforce visitation, and they get first call on where they go to church and school.
Is there any way out of this situation? How can I ensure, starting now before my children are born, that their primary caregiver is me? It seems that prenuptial agreements do not cover child custody and child support. I would certainly try to get off of work to go to all of the doctors appointments and parent-teacher conferences. What about a parenting plan? Or moving to a different state? Am I only safe dating career women?