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.