Is shared custody REALLY the best thing for kids? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 35 Old 06-15-2014, 04:20 AM
 
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Here's the thing: The courts do not sit there looking over your shoulder making sure you follow the court order to the letter. You must meet the minimum they set, yes, (although if your ex doesn't file anything against you- the courts won't take it upon themselves to butt into your life) but you define your maximum.

A parent with 100% full custody, other parent only has visitation, is fully within their rights to discuss all decisions with the other parent and make decisions together as if they had joint custody. The custodial parent can choose to increase the amount of visitation and even overnights the other parent has without having to go through the courts. But if there's ever a big issue where they don't agree, the parent with full custody doesn't have to go through the courts to make the right choice for their child.

The best thing for the kid is to have two parents who can get along well enough and don't use the child as a pawn to hurt each other- sadly, that happens too often in divorce. When the parents get along that well, 50/50 can work, but often there isn't a huge difference over whether there's 50/50 or 100% custody- because the parents are working together whatever the courts say.

Shared custody is not the only way for both parents to be in the child's life, which is really what kids need (and only when both parents are good parents). If your ex still sees your daughter often enough and can still be a good father figure to her, how will your having full custody hurt her? If he's going to be a dick and refuse to be in her life as much as she needs just because he doesn't have shared custody, then what quality father can he actually be?

Mum2be- that really is heartbreaking. A kid that young really does need stability, I agree, I imagine there are some kids that could handle it at 3- but I question what quality parenting she's getting at his house. Shared custody shouldn't have to mean "splitting time spent together down the middle", especially with children so young. I do believe that that is how they define it, but it shouldn't be.

Honestly, it's my opinion that a really vicious divorce should automatically prevent shared custody unless the parents are able to prove they can still get along for parenting. If the parents can't get along well enough work out a divorce amicably, how likely are they to work out co-parenting amicably? Vicious divorces lead to, if they don't originate in, deep hurt and inhibit communication- one or both parents are more likely to put their own issues over their child's well-being when they're that hurt. Which is what's happening here- you r ex cares more about the status symbol of having 50/50 than your daughter's well-being. It's awful.
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#32 of 35 Old 07-22-2014, 09:03 PM
 
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My personal opinion is that 50/50 custody is NOT the best thing for any child. Even in the best of circumstances (both parents are reasonable and truly parent the child), the child has two homes, two rooms, two sets of rules, two dynamics and quite possibly not much consistency...how is that good? And when they become teens and the parents live in different towns, socializing with friends and having a job become BIG issues with scheduling, transportation, etc.

And in the worst of circumstances, the child may be neglected, or worse, all in the name of "being fair" to both parents. That is what happened to my son.

Children can have relationships with both parents, even if one has primary custody. Even when couples stay married, are they both at home with the kids for equal amounts of time? Rarely. One parent is usually (and I admit there are exceptions, but they are exceptions) the primary caregiver...it's just what happens.

Always, always, advocate for the best interest of your child and never give in just to be fair to the other parent. Always encourage your child to have a relationship with the other parent, whatever that relationship may be, but you don't have to give up custody to do that.

Unfortunately, most states now advocate 50/50 custody (that's what happened to us), so if you end up in court, that's what you will likely get. If at all possible, work things out without more court and within your custody agreement. Dad wants to be more involved? You both attend sports, music, school events, etc. She has an activity every Tuesday night? Maybe dad can pick her up and take her to it. There's no better place to talk with a teen than in the car...you have their attention! Be creative an encouraging...so long as it does not harm your child...but I would never advise 50/50 custody. Ever.

And by the way...my daughter, who was 14 when we divorced, did not have a relationship with him after he left because he rather dropped out of our lives for almost three years. She made it through high school in honors classes, played sports, became a life guard, went to college (her dad didn't even go to her graduation!), met a great guy, got married and is now expecting their first baby. She has a limited relationship with her dad to this day, but she made it through her teen years just fine.
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#33 of 35 Old 07-25-2014, 07:53 PM
 
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I came across this relatively recent article entitled "Arguments Against Joint Custody":
http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/...3&context=bglj
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#34 of 35 Old 07-26-2014, 08:35 AM
 
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When joint custody works best is also when it's least needed. When the parents get along and truly have the childs' interests at heart, joint custody can work- but it's also not necessary because, whatever the court orders, the parents will decide to do what works for their child. The courts don't look over your shoulder and make sure you follow the custody agreement to the letter- if the custodial parent decides to give more visitation or hte non-custodial parent decides to pay more child support, the courts aren't going to step in and demand they first update the legal agreement.
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#35 of 35 Old 07-27-2014, 08:25 PM
 
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I've always found it hard to swallow how it could possibly be in the best interest of anybody, especially a child, to have their entire lives literally split in half. Even with two loving and committed parents, how can they feel that any place is really "home" if they are never there more than half their time? I truly believe that in most cases, children can have loving, meaningful relationships with BOTH parents even if they only live with ONE parent.
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I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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