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

Forum Jump: 
 10Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 37 Old 01-04-2010, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
Halfasianmomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 3,713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I guess I'm just getting frustrated mamas, because it seems like wherever I turn, whatever I read, it's always about how children fare better with two adults in their lives, and so it stands to reason that if the parents are no longer together, the kids need to be shuttled around regularly so they get "equal time" with both parents. My mediator and my lawyer both state that every child has the right to see both parents, but I wonder if while we're running around protecting that right, we're not disregarding their need for stability.

My STBX swore up and down that if DD didn't get to spend time with him, she'd end up a teen pregnancy, hooked on drugs and violent men...it was almost like he was painting a picture out of some grocery store magazine sensationalizing the drama of poor wayward girl who lost her way because daddy wasn't around. Is this really what happens with children who do not spend "equal time" with their fathers?

In my research, I was only able to find a single article written by a Quebec lawyer, questioning the wisdom of shared custody and pointing to the potential damage it can cause to children. Aside from that, all other resources back shared custody, so I'm wondering if I just need to give in on this issue and move on.
Halfasianmomma is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 37 Old 01-04-2010, 02:36 PM
 
RollerCoasterMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: the burbs
Posts: 5,399
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
TOTALLY my own opinion here...

I agree that everyone deserves a right to have a relationship with both parents if at all possible. But there are different ways that can play out.

HOWEVER, I do not feel like 50-50 (equal time) is necessarilly healthy until a child is old enough to initiate it. I really feel like every human being should have the chance to have a home-base. Somewhere that is stable, a safe-haven. It isn't necessarily the most "fair" for the 2 parents, but in the interest of the child, I feel really strongly that it's important. Negotiating over visitation, sometimes people seem to forget it's a person they're dealing with. Not something to share equally...someone to ensure the healthiest environment possible in the midst of changes.

And for the record, there are lots of people that grow up with one parent and don't end up a statistic (and lots with married parents that do end up one of those statistics!). If you demonstrate healthy relationships, that's what she'll learn.
RollerCoasterMama is online now  
#3 of 37 Old 01-04-2010, 03:05 PM
 
NolaRiordan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 857
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've thought about this a ton and read a ton of studies on these issues, and my answer to the question about what's best for kids is I just don't know.

We have 50-50 legal and physical and have been divorced for 14 months now. So far my kids haven't complained too much about having to go back and forth, but still it's so hard to think that this is and will be their situation. They seem to be adjusting OK. And actually my DD (9) has said a few times that she's glad we divorced and she remembers how daddy used to yell at me and she's glad she doesn't have to deal with that any more and "the switching" isn't too bad.

I do think it's best for kids to have 2 loving and involved parents. But I read a lot of studies that showed a kid can do fine as long as they have one person with a high degree of "parental warmth" whether that person is a parent, grandparent, aunt or whoever. They need one person with whom they feel safe and nurtured.

I know a ton of single moms who have kids whose dads have either faded away over time or who have gone on to start other families and have left eh kids from the first family in the dust. And I suspect that's what's going to happen to my kids as their dad gets more involved with his "new family." I think that's really a tragic situation for kids.
NolaRiordan is offline  
#4 of 37 Old 01-04-2010, 03:34 PM
 
Rosehip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My personal feeling (& this was the strong opinion of a child/adolescent/family psychiatrist with whom I consulted) that split physical custody is rarely good for very young children. He argued that it runs counter to healthy attachment, and once you've got an attachment problem, you've got a problem.

Scenarios in which I could see it *possibly* working - the parents communicate well, they are both very reliable, they are able to work out a very stable schedule, their parenting styles are very similar with pretty similar rules/boundaries in both homes, they live close to each other so there's not taxing travel (tough on little ones!) & can continue with other routines (friends, classes, school) fairly easily from either home.

Luckily, my X had no real interest in joint physical. Heck, he doesn't even own toothbrushes for the kids for when they stay over.

Oh, I think the NCP can absolutely be an involved, responsible, attentive, loving parent without having to shuffle the kids to & fro multiple times per week.
Rosehip is offline  
#5 of 37 Old 01-04-2010, 03:53 PM
 
organicpapayamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,485
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I believe everything is circumstantial. I bet there are some situations where that arrangement works out great but for others not so much. I fall into the other category. I have found that with the type of person stbx has become that worse case scenario your ex described if he were not in the picture would actually be (for me at least) what WOULD happen if ex were in the picture, even minimally. (though you can replace your dd with my ds) My story is long and complicated as most of our stories are so Id rather not go into it but wanted to say that yes I agree with you. Its not always the best thing. thankfully my stbx doesnt want to be in the picture so I dont have to go against what I feel in my heart is best for ds. I can only imagine the struggle you have to go through. hugs mama.


BFPChart2.gif

organicpapayamama is offline  
#6 of 37 Old 01-04-2010, 03:57 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
in my dd's case ABSOLUTELY yes!!!

however 'children fare better with both parents' is a blanket statement.

even with two parents, some children are messed up.

it sooooo depends on the child and their personality. some are fine with one parent, some miss the other parent. its not simple - black and white, but shades of grey.

in my dd's case yes i believe my dd would go down the horrible path if her dad suddenly rejected her. died is one thing. but emotionally and physically withdrawing himself from her life would totally devastate her.

i think for me though worse than teen pregnancy and all that stuff is the hurt one carries lifelong. my 86 year old neighbour lost her mother at birth. she still carried the wound at 86. she still talked about how lucky i was that i had my mom and that dd had me.

so will all teens go down that path. no. my friends newly adult dd did not go down that path. however i think she has gone thru a more horrible path. she has an alcoholic dad. and you can see the stamp of sadness on her face. that she carries to this day. i have known and watched her for ten years and it is sooo sad. though that is the case with present emotionally withdrawn parents too. even with both parents in their lives the children suffer.

however i differ on 'equal' time. there is nothing called equal time. there is more or less time. but not equal time. what is more important is a willingness to follow your child's wishes. somedays they need daddy more. somedays mommy more. if dd at 14 decides she no longer wants to live with me but wants to go live with her dad i will respect her wishes no matter how much it tears me up.

so your question does not have a simple answer.

i can only speak for my dd. shared custody was definitely the way to go. BUT on HER terms. not on mine, ex's or the courts. but hers. inspite of our differences we were able to do that. so no i will never say shared custody is bad. ever. just the opposite.

imho - assuming daddy does not have issues where safety is not a concern - then yes when parents split up - shared custody IS really the best thing for a child. wouldnt you say that is a no brainer? i dont need any articles to tell me that.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#7 of 37 Old 01-04-2010, 04:19 PM
 
MissLotus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosehip View Post

Oh, I think the NCP can absolutely be an involved, responsible, attentive, loving parent without having to shuffle the kids to & fro multiple times per week.
That's what I think. I myself would not want to live half the time in one place, then pack up my stuff and go somewhere else every few days. How disruptive! I want home to be HOME! A child needs more stability than that. Plus, the constant shuffling requires the parents - who may not get along well (thus the splitting up part) - to constantly interact, which can be stressful for all involved. I think 50/50 physical custody is a bad idea, and it's just something the courts dole out to shut parents up about what's fair.
MissLotus is offline  
#8 of 37 Old 01-04-2010, 05:16 PM
 
Ceinwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: The cold, crazy north
Posts: 2,599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For our two dds (age 7 & 2) the answer was/is no - they do not do better with 50/50 shared custody. My ex & I both found that the stability of one home base is much better for them.

My current partner is the child of divorced parents, and they tried 50/50 custody as well (this is 25 years ago) and she remembers feeling like nowhere was home - she never got to settle into any one place, she was always shuffling back and forth.

So, I agree it's totally child dependent. My girls see their dad EOW (standard) and occasionally once or twice a week for a short time. They are super attached to their father, and their relationship hasn't suffered at all. If anything, it's become better because he's actually forced to parent them the short time he has them (even if it is disney dad style... which is another post altogether).

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
Ceinwen is offline  
#9 of 37 Old 01-04-2010, 05:47 PM
 
khaoskat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,317
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think it all depends upon what you mean by shared custody. A 50/50 split rarely works out unless both parents are relatively close and in the same school district, etc.

Also, a lot depends upon the ability of the parents to work things out.

My SIL has an excellent Shared Parenting. Her and her ex split on somewhat good terms are able to work out differences or exceptions to the parenting time schedule and all the needs of the child (educational, medical, etc).

While my BF has one that has gone horribly wrong. Her and her X cannot get along to make all the joint decisions that are needed. As a matter of fact, they had been divorced for approximately 3-4 years and out of that time had been back into court 3-4 times. The last time the Court basically said come back and we will terminate the shared parenting and do a full on custody battle.
khaoskat is offline  
#10 of 37 Old 01-04-2010, 06:01 PM
 
Ruthla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 43,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
IMO, kids need a place to call home. I personally don't know ANYBODY who spends 50/50 time with both parents. I know a lot of kids who live with one parent, but go to the other parent EOW and school vacations. That may end up being 50/50 in terms of total days, or it might not, but at least there's a clear understanding of "I live with Mom and visit with Dad."

When I split from my first H, we got joint legal custody and I got primary physical custody. The time was never 50/50 and he never wanted it to be. We agreed on a visitation schedule and never needed the court to intervene with it.

Thanks to the mess with DS' Dad, I now have full legal and physical custody of the girls, but our lives are the same as they were before. I still wouldn't dream of making any major educational or medical decisions without his input.

Things are very different with DS' bio dad- he was so unstable that the judge gave me full legal and physical custody and gave X no visitation or contact with DS whatsoever.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
Ruthla is offline  
#11 of 37 Old 01-04-2010, 09:41 PM
 
mumblemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 102
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It depends. I fought for the last year against 50/50 because I didn't think it was good for the kids, esp when my youngest was a year old. But now, we do 50/50 and the kids seem to be doing better.

A combination of factors besides 50/50, though, such as the ex and I now are getting along. We do things as a family, and he's even been hanging out here. We went ice skating yesterday all together. We are doing well at being "friends", and this is AFTER a horrific, awful court battle we were undergoing and finally both said "enough!"

The kids don't pack anything up, as they have things at both places. I think for my kids it helps a lot as the three of them are always together and are VERY close, and as long as they are together, they feel "home" if that makes sense. I was mostly worried about my now 2yr old, and she has been doing wonderfully and is excited, "going daddy house?" with big smiles.

So, yeah. It depends.
mumblemama is offline  
#12 of 37 Old 01-05-2010, 01:44 AM
 
bobandjess99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Northern IN
Posts: 5,835
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
While the majority if the evidence is that children o better with both parents involved, I do not know that there is much to back up the "50/50" argument. I think a liberal visitation plan, with an emphasis on the kids needs, rather than a strict percentage of time, works better.

CPST
bobandjess99 is offline  
#13 of 37 Old 01-05-2010, 02:32 AM
 
flowmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Has anyone posted above about the arrangement where both parents share a secondary residence and alternate living with the children in their home? I can see about a zillion reasons that would prevent that from working, but it seems so much fairer for the children to have liberal access to both parents while still having the comfort of a stable home base. And the parents who have botched things have to deal with the annoyance of shuttling back and forth. Obviously it would only work in a tiny minority of cases, but it does happen.

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
flowmom is offline  
#14 of 37 Old 01-05-2010, 02:38 AM
 
CorasMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Standing on my head
Posts: 2,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am a child of 50/50 split custody. Back when my parents did it, it was considered the new, best thing to do for kids. My parents parented very similarly, and got along very well. They had very open lines of communication with each other and with me. They did everything "right." And it was a huge mistake. I have major issues with stability, and the concept of "home."

My mother said, in the years before she died, (I was in my mid-20s), and my father says, that if they had it to do over again, they wouldn't do 50/50.

scifi-convention runners Kate, DH Drew 11/07, DD Cora 12/97. We , ,
Welcome to baby Fiona with a giant omphalocele, 6/17/10!
CorasMama is offline  
#15 of 37 Old 01-05-2010, 03:13 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
see i think if the child has the option of choosing then 50/50 works really well.

so far its been working for dd v. well.

somedays i have dd more. somedays ex has more. we do have our days but requests are always taken into consideration.

for us this is a much healthier situation (we live about 15 mins drive apart) than living next door. however till dd was 3 it was more 80-20. since she was 3 its been 70/30 or 60/40 on an average.

dd has neighbours she likes hanging out at her dads and at our place. we also do one day on one day off. not a number of days.

so a 'set in stone 50/50' will never work.

my 7 year old actually enjoys two residences. she feels she gets doubles of things. she has figured out how to work both parents so she is having a ball.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#16 of 37 Old 01-05-2010, 03:40 AM
 
craft_media_hero's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: I'm diggin for fire!
Posts: 1,851
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
JMO, no, it's not always the best thing.

I have full custody of 6yo dd, and her bio-dad took the easy way out and hasn't seen her since she was 18mo. In our case, this was good because he is an established woman-abuser and I felt like it was just a matter of time before he began to abuse her, too. Him bailing was the best thing for our family. He had visitation, which I facilitated, but was relieved when he chose to fade out.

If she had been forced to spend half of her days with him, it would've been very traumatic for her. And when I found my partner, she wouldn't have been able to have the same relationship with him. Now he is her real dad, not her stepdad. If bio had been there every week, that would never have happened.

On the other hand, my sis' kids are 50/50 spending half the week w/ mom and stepdad and half the week with dad and his gf. They seem to be doing fine.

I think it really has to do with your individual circumstance. For me and dd, it would've been a nightmare (she is super-attached and would not have coped well with being away from mom/home half the time), for my sis' kids, it works out well---they have always had an equally attached relationship with both mom and dad.

Happy and in love with my family!
craft_media_hero is offline  
#17 of 37 Old 01-05-2010, 04:19 AM
 
Kino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I assumed 50/50 was best, but it is not working out for DD. Her father loves her and is a good dad, and our parenting is similar, but he is TOO DEVOTED TO WORK. Ugh. I couldn't take it and now DD can't take it. She needs me as a stable home base more than she needs "equal" time. Ex agrees also it is not working out and we're feeling things out for the new year. I think we may end up at 80/20, even 90/10, for awhile.

coolshine.gifSHINE!  Yogini.  My tuna girlgoldfish.gif  Partner to Dteapot2.GIF  Our little flower is herelove.gif/surpriseuc.jpg
Kino is offline  
#18 of 37 Old 01-05-2010, 08:02 AM
 
dziwozony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: new zealand
Posts: 431
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think that making blanket statements about what is best for *all* children is destined for inaccuracy. I have really been struggling with coming up with what is best for my 2 young boys & while it's good to read about varying opinions & perspectives, you really have to look at your individual situation & decide what is best for you. In whatever the circumstance, you have at least 3 *individuals* with varying needs & wants & those need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

I have been strongly rallying against 50/50 because of how young my boys are (2 1/2yo & 1yo), but if I'm being perfectly honest about what's happening, they are both SO excited to see their dad, are never sad about leaving me for him, & come back happy & content. So while I'm still going to resist full 50/50, if I am fairly observing what is good for the boys, then something closer to 50/50 might be best for them. If you strictly stick to what most psychologists recommend, they'd probably say my boys are too young for that, but I'm starting to think it's more important to really pay attention to what is good for them as unique individuals in our situation.

Kids are all so different...some do not adjust well to moving around at all & turn into an emotional mess, & some are up for the ride. You just have to pay attention to their emotional state & frequently check in with them about how they're doing.

It's so, so hard & I'm not nearly as settled about this as I might sound (it's all very new & fresh, we are sorting out this new arrangement as of Nov when I moved out)...but I felt compelled to respond. Oh, & to add that it's just nonsense to say that children are always advantaged by having two parents in their lives! What if one parent is abusive & damaging? I guess the point is that it benefits children to have two parents in their life that are supportive & loving & all of that good stuff.

mama to 2 busy boys (may 2007 & december 2008)
dziwozony is offline  
#19 of 37 Old 01-06-2010, 12:19 AM
 
Mouchois's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can say from experience that shared custody has done wonders for my child.
Even if your ex is a total pain in the toosh, you can make it work for your baby. Remember to ALWAYS put your child's needs first. Put your thoughts of your ex behind you and think about what it would feel like to have the kids taken away from you, as well.
Over time, 50/50 can alleviate a lot of the pressure and give your child more people to love them. It also gives your child time to decide what they think is best for them.

Along with counseling, I have found that the 50/50 (although really confusing) has made my child more at ease with the whole stressful event. Even though my ex doesn't work with me and feels that I should have *no* time with our son, I still feel that 50/50 is the best thing for DS. I would NEVER take that away from him.
Mouchois is offline  
#20 of 37 Old 01-06-2010, 03:33 AM
 
weliveintheforest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 5,521
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm sure it varies with the situation, and is not always what is best.

My dh had an interesting arrangement growing up. Sunday-thursday he slept at his Mom's, and friday-saturday nights were at his Dads. Not so unusual, except that monday-friday he always went to his dad's for dinner. So, on any typical school day he would wake up in his bed at his mom's, go to school, go home to Mom's and get picked up by his Dad on the way home from work at 4ish. Then his Mom would come pick him up at 7pm and take him home to bed. It sounds like way too much work, but he is so happy they did it this way because he saw both of his parents every day. Luckily they lived pretty close to one another so the travel times were short. It also worked well for the parents I think.

BC Mum of four ('05, '07, '11 and 06/14!)     
weliveintheforest is offline  
#21 of 37 Old 01-06-2010, 05:53 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
the most important term for situations where daddy is present and not abusive is 'shared' custody.

not 50/50.

50/50 might work for a 5 year old. but would be hard for a one year old or a two or even 3 year old. however some babies ARE also ok with 50/50.

so really its the children's needs.

and the sad part is that the court who has NO idea about custody (imho no is the word, they can make decisions on abuse but not emotional wellbeing of child) are making these decisions. i dont blame the legal system. within what they have 50/50 works. its sad they refuse to look at the best interest of the baby. but its such a hard thing to do that i dont blame the courts either.

which is why doing one thing in court, if you do go to court, but doing a whole different thing by yourselves is a much better plan.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#22 of 37 Old 01-06-2010, 07:35 PM
 
BabyBearsMummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 805
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
While I can see having both parents involved in their life is in the best interest of the child. I cannot see how even with the most peacefull coparent arrangement that 50/50 parenting could ever be in the best interests of the child. A child needs to have a home base with the stability that comes with it instead of frequent transfers back and forth between parents homes. Put yourself in the childs shoes how would it make you feel if you had to spend 50% or the year somewhere other then at home.
BabyBearsMummy is offline  
#23 of 37 Old 01-06-2010, 09:18 PM
 
Ceinwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: The cold, crazy north
Posts: 2,599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyBearsMummy View Post
While I can see having both parents involved in their life is in the best interest of the child. I cannot see how even with the most peacefull coparent arrangement that 50/50 parenting could ever be in the best interests of the child. A child needs to have a home base with the stability that comes with it instead of frequent transfers back and forth between parents homes. Put yourself in the childs shoes how would it make you feel if you had to spend 50% or the year somewhere other then at home.
That's pretty much what my gf said, word for word. She was always a visitor at someone else's house. Her parents got along fine, lived in close proximity, she had adequate items at both households - but she hated switching every week. She says now, as an adult, that she feels it was to benefit her parents by having her every other week. In no way was it a positive experience for her.

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
Ceinwen is offline  
#24 of 37 Old 01-07-2010, 03:21 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceinwen View Post
That's pretty much what my gf said, word for word. She was always a visitor at someone else's house. Her parents got along fine, lived in close proximity, she had adequate items at both households - but she hated switching every week. She says now, as an adult, that she feels it was to benefit her parents by having her every other week. In no way was it a positive experience for her.
again its the child's personality AND how the parents set it up.

dd is 7. some of my friends have become single moms. over the last couple of years they have borrowed my dd to talk to their children.

and dd always talks about the fun of two households. she has never known 'one' household. she has figured out if she doesnt get it from me she can try daddy. she gets us as much as she needs us. we do one day on and one day off. and she has friends at both houses so she gets to have playdates at both houses.

one of hte reasons why i think it really works for her is the difference in our parenting styles. i am super laid back where my philosophy is we are two humans living together, whereas with her father it is all super strict where he is the parent an she is the child and she HAS TO listen to daddy. it is the best balance for her.

i have friends who have had no problems with two homes and for some for whom neither is home. i do not understand why that is so.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#25 of 37 Old 01-08-2010, 12:04 AM
 
mum2be's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Midcoast Maine
Posts: 1,228
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just wanted to pipe in here. I was a SAHM to my dd (now 3) and did 99% of the parenting. My ex wanted little to do with her until I left and he got a lawyer. His lawyer (I'm assuming) pushed him to fight for full custody. It was insane. We went through over a year of legal battles, a horribel GAL, and just a nasty, nasty divorce. And dd suffered a lot. My ex did a lot of really horrible things to me in that year+, and now he acts like none of it happened and wants us to be buddies. It's very odd, and I know I could never, ever trust him again.

My only problem is dd has been going downhill since she started spending time away from me. She literally went from spending everyday and night with me to being gone 3-4 days at a time. For the past year she's spent half the week at his house. And it is literally split 50/50 right down to the minute. He even wanted "compensation time" for when she spent 4 hours with me on Mother's Day (Sunday...usually a "Papa day")

So for an entire year, dd has struggled. Her sleep is horrible, she went through periods of severe anxiety with night terrors, the pick-ups were excruciatingly painful for months and months, she has lost her sense of self and I see her emotionally going downhill weekly. She is not in any physical danger, so nobody will do anything about it. I am dealing with a very manipulative, selfish ex who won't listen to my thoughts on her needs and struggles. He doesn't care, he just wants her half the time.

We have never parented together, even when we were together. We don't have similar parenting styles, don't agree with the same rules, etc. so 50/50 is really hard! And he is so passive aggressive when communicating that I put off contacting him for any reason! It really sucks.

So no...in our case I would have to say 50/50 is failing miserably. Dd very obviously needs the stability of ONE primary home. I have a new partner who is also my best friend whom dd adores. We are a very stable, very tight knit trio. She is not lacking a male figure in her life, and decreasing her time with her biological father a little bit to give her the stability of a primary home would not cause her any long term problems. On the contrary...I think it would help her TREMENDOUSLY! I have no intention of kicking her father out of her life, but his selfish actions and inability to listen to her emotional and developmental needs have interfered with her getting a custody arrangement that she would really thrive in.

Sure, in a couple of years things will be different and she could possibly do the 50/50 thing with no problem. And heck...when she's a teenager she might ask to live with her father. And you know what? If that's what she truly wanted, then I would let her. It's not about me. It's not about him. it's about her. And from what I've seen in the courts, that's the last thing they tend to consider.

I found this article, which I found quite helpful. It was one of the few that talked about the children in joint custody, and not just the parents' rights.

Mama to DD 06' Partner to Sasa
mum2be is offline  
#26 of 37 Old 01-08-2010, 11:09 AM
 
Goodmom2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 720
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think that 50/50 is best for all kids. My kids are with me most of the time and they are happy, well-adjusted kids who love both their Mom and Dad.

The one summer that it was close to 50/50 (my ex had Mondays & Tuesdays off so he had them from Sunday night to Tuesday after I got off work). My older child loved it at first. My younger one hated it (but then she doesn't like overnights away from me as it is). By the end of the summer both kids made it quite clear to both my ex and I that they did not want any overnights at Daddy's house anymore. Ever. Well, they still have overnights. Just eow rather than 2 nights a week. They are handling this schedule better.
Goodmom2008 is offline  
#27 of 37 Old 01-08-2010, 11:56 AM
 
Ceinwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: The cold, crazy north
Posts: 2,599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
mum2be, that is so incredibly sad. My heart hurts for you and your little one. Why on earth are the courts so hell bent on 'equal' and 'fair', when it's neither for the small child involved?

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
Ceinwen is offline  
#28 of 37 Old 01-08-2010, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
Halfasianmomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 3,713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
mum2be...thank you for that article. I intend to read it thoroughly once more and bring it to mediation with me.
Halfasianmomma is offline  
#29 of 37 Old 01-16-2010, 02:42 PM
 
justmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: beginning anew
Posts: 5,727
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
I don't know, I think it's different with each kid. My kids see their dad 2 nights a week for a few hours and then a full 24hours each weekend. It seems to work well. But I think it only works well because things are so amicable between us. We get along, we are actually friends most of the time, and the kids see that. they love spending time with dad and look forward to seeing him but I can't see having a 9,5, and 2 year old spend 50% of their time with him and 50% with me. It's just too much back and forth. Like most other parts of single parenting, if the parents are on the same page regarding discipline and rules and the daily structure, life is just so much easier. What is expected of them at dad's has to be what's expected fo them at mom's or the system breaks down. I guess for us it just works better to do this instead of 50/50 custody. They get to avoid daycare, they have someone getting them from school everyday, and they get time with each parent every week like clockwork. They know what to expect. And they don't go more than 3 days without seeing either parent. When they sleep at our house, they call dad before bed every night and when they sleep at dad's house, they call me before bed. We keep as much communication as humanly possible, even if it kills me to keep him so involved in my personal life. I think you have to sacrifice a bit for the kids to keep a divorce amicable.

treehugger.gifjog.gifgreenthumb.gifknit.gifnamaste.gif

justmama is offline  
#30 of 37 Old 06-14-2014, 05:04 PM
 
momma,mia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Missouri
Posts: 259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Growing up I stayed with my mom and only visited my dad and looking back I am grateful for that. My parents were very different and adjusting to 2 different lifestyles was confusing. I had one home base and still got to see my dad. My kiddos have a similar situation but go to their dad's about 8 days a month-non consecutively, so every other week they stay with their dad for 2 days then with me 2 days then with their dad 2 days, then they are back with me for 9 days. It has been hard on my 10 year old. He has been doing this since he was 3 and he hates going back and forth.

It should depend on the child, parents, and the set up of the situation, but it seems lately that the court seems to lean toward 50/50 and parents' equal rights. It's just not fair sometimes that the kids' rights don't seem to be put first.

I'm a single working mom of 3 wonderful kiddos. 

momma,mia is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off