regrets regarding 50/50 custody? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 04-29-2010, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone agreed to shared, 50/50 custody, and later regreated it? Why? And why did you agree to it orginally?
thanks,
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#2 of 11 Old 04-29-2010, 09:55 PM
 
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I'm wondering if you would find more wisdom about this subject in Single Parenting.

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#3 of 11 Old 04-29-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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We do 50/50 and have no regrets. It has worked well for us. The caveat to that being that all of the parental figures in DSD's life get along well. It would be difficult to do 50/50 in the presence of a lot of animosity.

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#4 of 11 Old 04-30-2010, 01:27 AM
 
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We do 50/50 but it's been very difficult in many ways. Unfortunately, I don't think dss's mom really wants to be this way and doesn't ever acknowledge that we are equal households for him. If that makes sense. I think that in our situation because there is a lot of animosity towards us it's been that much harder. WE wouldn't ever give it up though because if dh didn't have the constant presence in his life she would wipe him out of his life completely.

I'm not trying to sound negative, it's just the way it is and it's sad, I wish it was different.

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#5 of 11 Old 05-09-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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I definitely am having regrets and here is a few reasons why.
We divorced when my daughter was 4 and at first I had full physical. Then a year later he called me up crying that he missed her and wanted her more...which I totally understood so I agreed to 50/50. At the time I was trying t get myself a career etc so I thought this might work out too and give me the chance to work extra hours...At the time she was in kindergarden and we lived 30 minutes away from dad. I even decided to move back to the same town he lived in so it would be easier. We have been doing this for 3 years now. If anything at all think about your child school situation. The main reason I regret this now is that I am not able to follow up on school work consistently thru the week. Even though dad says he makes her do homework that is not enough...he is not involved at all in what is going on in the class and the way she is learning and my daughter needs extra help because she struggles a little in school we need to make her practice more etc...so the consistency of having One House during school days, One Parent, One bed I feel strongly would make my child more stable and secure. Looking bck now I wish I had known that and been firmer and realized she would have thrived better in One home. And I could have offered him more visitation days or something....Its heart breaking I know though to separate a child from another loving parent...divorce is hard enough as it is....
I even consulted 2 child therapist for their opinion on that and they felt like I mentioned above...the consistency of one home was better...
Second big reason is that now I am engaged (and sooo happy) and moving in with him this summer. He lives an hour away and of course her dad doesnt want me to take her there and change school, even though I explained to him how I feel strongly she would thrive better in one home etc....anyways he refuses to have me have more days with her so basically I have to reformat the visitation schedule or go to court to fight it out...So what is better for her right now?? The pressure of a long court battle, angry dad, new school...or new schedule, same school, happy dad...??? My new schedule will give me thur, frid, sat and alternating sundays...so I will commute her to school and hope for the best.... You see how it is difficult and frustrating....but that is my situation...yours may be entirely different...but I wish I had thought and known about the importance of the consistency during the school days and the what if I meet someone and want to start a new family...
Good Luck and hope this helped in any way!

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#6 of 11 Old 05-11-2010, 08:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
We do 50/50 and have no regrets. It has worked well for us. The caveat to that being that all of the parental figures in DSD's life get along well. It would be difficult to do 50/50 in the presence of a lot of animosity.
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Originally Posted by ArtsyHeartsy View Post
We do 50/50...WE wouldn't ever give it up because if dh didn't have the constant presence in his life she would wipe him out of his life completely.
50/50 may be even more important when there's a lot of animosity, to offset whatever the parents do to undermine the child's relationship with each other.
1- It's easier to influence a child to feel negative about someone, the less time the child actually spends around that person, to form their own opinions.
2- If, for example, the CP is telling the child that the NCP is somehow "bad", that assessment may be confirmed in the child's mind by the fact that a judge or custodial evaluator decided the child should spend less time with the NCP. Even though there can be 1,000 different reasons for an unequal division of time, a child may not understand that, especially if the person he spends the most time with tells him "The judge knew I'm the better parent," or "Your other parent is dangerous or doesn't love you as much," or whatever.

My ex and I get along wonderfully, but we've never done 50/50. The older the boys have gotten - and the more control my ex has had over his work schedule - the more time he's asked to have with them and I've cooperated. I don't think there was ever a problem with our boys thinking their Dad was bad, or that he wasn't as much of a parent, because they spent more time with me. Just as, in intact families, children can comprehend that their parents have different roles - a division of labor - and even though, say, Mom's always around and Dad is gone more, earning all the money, Dad's just as important in their lives.

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#7 of 11 Old 05-12-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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I think that fifty/fifty can cause a lot of problems, and I kind of regret that we went that route. I'm just the stepmommy to be [engaged to my partner, their mom] so I didn't have much say in the whole thing. I think my partner wanted to be fair and just thought it would be easier. But we have a LOT of problems with her ex wanting to change the schedule at a moment's notice and having no legal ramifications on that. Additionally, he does NOT discipline the kids whatsoever...so every time they come back to our house, we kind of have to "reboot" them in terms of encouraging good manners/cleaning their rooms/not whining/etc. I know that both of us worry about the behavioral problems that can result from him letting a 4 and 2 year old basically run his house. We've also encountered some problems with joint legal custody in terms of choosing preschools and such. I think it would have been better off if Georgia [Mom] had just gotten primary custody. We debate revisiting the agreement from time to time...but not sure what the best solution would be.
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#8 of 11 Old 05-13-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by angielablau View Post
I think that fifty/fifty can cause a lot of problems, and I kind of regret that we went that route. I'm just the stepmommy to be [engaged to my partner, their mom] so I didn't have much say in the whole thing. I think my partner wanted to be fair and just thought it would be easier. But we have a LOT of problems with her ex wanting to change the schedule at a moment's notice and having no legal ramifications on that. Additionally, he does NOT discipline the kids whatsoever...so every time they come back to our house, we kind of have to "reboot" them in terms of encouraging good manners/cleaning their rooms/not whining/etc. I know that both of us worry about the behavioral problems that can result from him letting a 4 and 2 year old basically run his house. We've also encountered some problems with joint legal custody in terms of choosing preschools and such. I think it would have been better off if Georgia [Mom] had just gotten primary custody. We debate revisiting the agreement from time to time...but not sure what the best solution would be.
But don't you think the ex's lack of consideration about changing the schedule would be a problem, regardless whether you had 50/50 or primary? Generally, a well-worded order is what's needed, to reign in someone like that. Even when parents share joint legal and physical, both can still be required to follow a carefully-worded guideline about the time-frame in which they may change the schedule and that they must defer to the regular schedule if both parents don't agree to a change.

Adjusting to different expectations at each parent's house is also par for the course, regardless of schedule. Your kids are pretty young and will likely adjust better as they age. My 14-year-old twins are mildly Autistic - talk about addicted to routine! - but they are perfectly well-adjusted to the different routines, attitudes, food and expectations at their Dad's house and mine. And, although we don't do 50/50 (they sleep here every school night), they do spend EOW and two evenings a week at his place, so they're shuffled around a lot.

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#9 of 11 Old 05-15-2010, 09:02 AM
 
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My 18 and 15yr olds will tell you its not all its cracked up to be. Both will tell you their issues with disorganization stems from 2 lives. They dont recommend it.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#10 of 11 Old 05-15-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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50/50 may be even more important when there's a lot of animosity, to offset whatever the parents do to undermine the child's relationship with each other.
You have a point here. In theory, this makes sense.

In practice, parents who do not get along can run into problems with 50/50. One of DSD's friends does week on/week off as well, but the parents do not get along in that case. If information gets sent home from school one week, the other parent often does not get the information (this school isn't great with communication in general, so often notices come home once with little notice before activities). The child is pretty smart, and she uses the lack of communication to her advantage, playing one parent off the other.

Even though we get along well, it took us a while to figure out a "best practices" scheme for the whole situation - how to pass information/DSD's personal belongings back and forth, how to schedule pick-up/drop-off, how to do holidays. Granted, these things come up in any custody situation, but they come up more frequently in a 50/50 plan.

Also, since there is not a custodial parent, there is no "default" parent that attends things. Either that role gets established through practice or through negotiation. Or DSD has an entourage at any given event (Doctor's appointments tend to be like this since we schedule all three kids back-to-back - that means three adults and three kids in an exam room the size of a walk-in closet) .

For example, we have always taken DSD to get her hair cut. Since haircut #1. This happened for a number of reasons - haircuts aren't high on DSD's mom's list of things to do, our other children are boys with short hair and get frequent cuts. So we wind up going to the hair place more often, and if it is DSD's week with us, chances are, she will get a trim, too. At one point, DSD's mom got upset about this and told DH that she felt like she was being usurped as a parent by him doing all of the haircuts. DH told her that she was welcome to take over the haircuts. Then she told DH that she didn't believe that DSD ever needed her hair cut. DH told her that was fine, but if she wasn't going to take DSD, he was going to because from time-to-time, she did need a trim and enjoys getting her hair cut. So we are still the default haircut household. Little things like haircuts can become big things out of no where. In a situation where there is one main parent, chances are, the custodial parent by default would do things like haircuts.

I think that the bottom line is that more decisions get made jointly with 50/50. In a lot of situations where there is one custodial parent, it is easier for them to just make a decision and not consult the parent that only has the kids EOW. With 50/50, there is a greater chance that any given decision will affect both houses, so discussion must take place. This is much easier if everyone gets along.

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#11 of 11 Old 05-19-2010, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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all your responses have helped...and people have mentioned some of my biggest concerns..
My STBX is a pretty good dad, he is involved in most aspects of the girls lives. Takes them to soccer games, will check homework (although needs reminders often from me) and overall does pretty well with them. I do think that he could have issues "keeping all the balls in the air" or keeping track of everything without reminders. Which concerns me when it comes to consistancy.
Also, I work an hour away and have considered moving to be closer to my job/career and my family. I think he would make this impossible since I am thinking that he will want to stay in the same town where the family home is located. (I do not think I can afford to stay in the home and I am leaning towards "starting over" in a new home with less upkeep since I had to go back to a fulltime career rather than be a SAHM which I have been all their lives )
So many people have suggested going for primary custody and once I have it, I can always give him more time with the kids at my discresion. I would never keep the kids from their dad since I think he is critical for their normal development. It's just the day to day "operations" that are so complicated!

I also would like to go on with my life but I know that he will not negotiate anything less than 50/50 custody with me..so this discussion could go on for a while. We get along ok...but we tend to think differently which concerns me when it comes to having to discuss everything with him regarding the kids.

I've considered allowing 50/50 if he wants to take 3 weekends and one night a week...that way they spend most of their time during the week with me in one house which would be more consistant for school work and most weekends with their dad. He's a better weekend type parent anyway...more into going places, activities and sleeping late then being organized. LOL
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