Is a good answer to 50/50 custody suggesting that Dad have the kids every weekend? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 02-01-2011, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my STBX wants to have 50/50 custody but since we could soon be living 1 hour away from each other I suggested that he could have the kids each weekend from Friday night to Monday morning.  Do any other parents do this arrangement?  How does it work out for you? 

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#2 of 18 Old 02-01-2011, 04:17 PM
 
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I wouldn't expect that to go over well - especially if his children's mother works during the week - both parents like having day's off with their kids regularly.  The only way I can see that happening is if mom didn't work during the week, and worked weekends instead.  If you want 50/50 I would recommend living close by.

 

ETA - I see that I misread, and that its your stbx, not your husband that wants it.  Do you really want to give up weekend time with your kids?  Weekdays are exhausting, and I love having weekend days to kinda chill out a bit with my ds.  If we never had weekends together I would be devastated.

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#3 of 18 Old 02-01-2011, 07:28 PM
 
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You need to talk to a lawyer. I suspect that a lawyer will tell you to start your negotiations at EOW. 50/50 is not workable for people who don't live very close to each other, such that school and activities and play dates are convenient for both households.

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#4 of 18 Old 02-02-2011, 05:29 AM
 
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I agree that giving up every weekend is unreasonable. Why will the distance be an hour? Living close to one another will be easier on the kids.

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#5 of 18 Old 02-02-2011, 07:02 AM
 
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My husband and his 1st ex wife did this and it seemed to work for them.  However:

 

1.  At that time he had a job requiring him to travel all week, every week.  So, except on rare occasions, weekday parenting time wasn't an option for him.

 

2. For the 1st several years, on weekends he stayed in an apartment over his ex-wife's garage, since the only reason this was "home base" for him was to see the kids.  He didn't have any other reason to maintain a home here.  So, although technically he had the kids every weekend, it's not like they were away from their mother all the time, every weekend.

 

3.  He and his 1st ex get along pretty well and definitely respect each other's importance to the kids, so they were able to make this work.  i think that's pretty unusual.

 

Even though this arrangement worked for him once, when he and his 2nd wife divorced, he was not interested in the same arrangement for their kid.  (By then, his oldest kids were grown and out of the house.)  At the time of the 2nd divorce, he worked locally and it was very important to him to have weekday parenting time and participate in homework, school and weekday routines, not just be a weekend dad.  (In fact, he has sole custody, now.)

 

If your ex wants 50-50, he probably also cares about being a full part of his kids' lives and not just being a weekend dad.  For him to have them every weekend would not satisfy that desire and, besides, I think it would be a real let-down for you, to never have weekends with them.  Especially the older they get, as school and activity commitments become more intense during the week.

 

If you wind up living an hour apart, one week on and one week off would be too much, with the kids having to drive an hour to school every day, every other week.  But you and he could meet in the middle to exchange them after school - and then before bedtime - one or two days each week.  Then he could have every other weekend.  Or maybe one weekday each week they could spend the night with him, if he's committed to getting them to school on time the next morning.

 

Most information I've read that seemed sensible and unbiased shows that it's good for kids to have involvement from both parents in school, homework, etc. 


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#6 of 18 Old 02-02-2011, 09:40 AM
 
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My daughter is 6 years old. Her father lives 45 minutes away. Our arrangement is this...

 

During the school year, he gets her every other weekend from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. If she has off extra days from school on his assigned weekend, he can keep her the extra days  -- up to a week. On the opposite weekend, he gets her for the day on either Saturday or Sunday from 9AM until about 7PM. Then for the summer we do 50/50 split with each of us having her a week at a time. I personally enjoy the summer only because I have her full weekends -- weekends are the only time we're able to do anything together as a family since she's gone at least part of every weekend during the school year and I HATE that.


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#7 of 18 Old 02-02-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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If your ex wants equal parenting time, it sounds like you both want to be equally involved in raising your children. When you are trying to come up with something that feels equitable to both people, you might try thinking of something that you would be happy with regardless of which half of the schedule is yours. 

 

So, would you be happy with every weekend and having them spend every week with dad? If not, I would guess he wouldn't be thrilled with that either for all the same reasons you wouldn't want to do it. 


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#8 of 18 Old 02-02-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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DH has a 50/50 parenting time arrangement - week on/week off.  This was decided when DSD's mom lived 10 minutes away.  Last year, she moved in with her BF and his kids (who have the same parenting time schedule) almost an hour away.  We have moved a little closer, so now it is a little less than 45 minutes.  DSD goes to school in our area.

 

The current situation is doable, but it is annoying.  Obviously, it is more annoying for DSD's mom due to the long commute to/from school.  It probably helps that she only sort of works - it would be near impossible with a full-time job.  It makes participating in school events difficult for her mom (she even missed conferences last fall).  The holidays were a nightmare, between the distance and arranging events around the families of five adults (DH's, mine, DSD's mom's, her BF's, her BF's ex-W).  We used to have a lot more flexibility when the distance was shorter.  We used to do joint birthday parties, that is no longer occurring.  We have to be pretty careful about making sure she has everything when she switches houses - it can be hard to get the forgotten item back to the other house, especially in the summer.

 

I will admit, some of the problems stem from DSD's mom's new BF's insecurities (he freaks out when DH calls their house, for example, so I can't see him hanging out with us at a joint birthday party for DSD), but the distance has compounded it.  I also might be feeling the distance a little more currently because DSD's older sister (no blood relation to DH), who has not adjusted well to the living situation up there, has moved in with us for the past couple of weeks and getting her to and from school, etc, has been annoying.  I have to be honest, I can't wait until DSD's mom breaks up with this one.  The situation has been annoying and they don't even sound that happy together.

 

The direct affects on DSD have been that she has to wake up early to get to school and gets home late.  The evenings are short at her mom's, so she doesn't get as much time just relaxing there.  She has two distinct sets of friends: friends down here from school and neighborhood friends up there.  The two groups will probably never meet.  It makes getting DSD in activities a major hassle - thank God she learned to swim last summer, because lessons would be nearly impossible now.

 

50/50 over distance is annoying, but not horrible.  50/50 has been a good thing in our situation - DSD is a part of both of our families instead of feeling like a visitor at our house.  She really knows her siblings at both houses, gets to spend time with both parents.  She gets exposure to the lifestyles and value systems of both of her parents. 

 

If there is a way that one or both of you can move a little closer to the other one, it would make the situation a lot better.  It might not even be that difficult now, but when/if you and your ex re-partner, it can get tricky.


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#9 of 18 Old 02-02-2011, 01:16 PM
 
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A friend of mine does something similar only "dad" has weeks and she has weekends. She drops DS off with dad on Sunday morning and ds stays with dad through until Thursday and Thursday after school mom picks ds up and she is responsible to commute to the school on Friday morning ( commute is 45 minutes) and then has her ds until Sunday am when the whole rotation starts over. Its what works for them and I think it's something that can always be rehashed as plans/life changes. And if dad wants ds for a weekend trip or something similar the parents work it out and it's no problem. 


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#10 of 18 Old 02-03-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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We have DSS every weekend and it works pretty well for us but we are all pretty flexible so if he wants to stay at his mom's for something happening on the weekend that is what we do. Also if he has time off school we usually get him. We don't live that far apart 20 minutes and he goes to school by his mom's.  My ideal schedule would be for us to have him during the weekend for the school year and for her to have weeks and then during summer we would have the week and she would have the weekend but so far this has not happened. Good Luck


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#11 of 18 Old 02-03-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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It would depend on the ages of the kids and what your weeks are like. If you are able to SAH with the kids during the week (you don't work, they don't go to school) then I could see how it could work. However, if you work during the week OR the kids are in school, you'd be agreeing to never have any fun time with your kids, never take them to the zoo, never have a lazy day making pancakes together, etc.

 

One family I know has a different schedule during the school year and summer. Mom is a teacher, and during the summer the kids spend every weekend with Dad, but she gets to spend the weekdays with them. That don't do that during the school year -- he just sees them every other weekend.


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#12 of 18 Old 02-05-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Talk to a lawyer. The best thing you can do.
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#13 of 18 Old 02-06-2011, 07:30 AM
 
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This! And we do the second paragraph, more or less. I am not a teacher, but I've been a student for a couple of years, and I'm home during the week during the summer. I'd be delighted for their dad to take more of the responsibility during the week, but he won't.
 

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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

It would depend on the ages of the kids and what your weeks are like. If you are able to SAH with the kids during the week (you don't work, they don't go to school) then I could see how it could work. However, if you work during the week OR the kids are in school, you'd be agreeing to never have any fun time with your kids, never take them to the zoo, never have a lazy day making pancakes together, etc.

 

One family I know has a different schedule during the school year and summer. Mom is a teacher, and during the summer the kids spend every weekend with Dad, but she gets to spend the weekdays with them. That don't do that during the school year -- he just sees them every other weekend.



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#14 of 18 Old 02-07-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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I have this and it sucks.  Granted, ours started out with the tricky situation that he worked and lived 5 hours away, but would be allowed to have the kids every single weekend he was home.  It didn't take long for him to lose the job and move back this way, and now he generally takes them every single weekend (unless him and his girlfriend need "alone time.")  I hate having no control over what weekends I have my kids.  There have been a few times where I've wanted to make plans and was given the ultimatum of "letting" me have weekends so long as I went back to a full-on 50/50 arrangement (not going to happen, he lives too far for the kids schooling). 

 

I obviously need to go back and revisit this legally, myself, but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone else.  Start with every other weekend, go from there.

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#15 of 18 Old 02-07-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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It works out OK in our situation, because my SD's mom works Saturdays anyway (and likes having Sundays with no work and no kid). We also switch schedules in the summer, weekdays with us, weekends with Mom, but we make the "weekend" Saturday evening to Monday evening to accommodate the work schedule. The letter of the parenting plan says Mom gets one weekend a month during the school year, and Dad gets one weekend a month during the summer, but we don't usually do much with that due to work schedules. However, sometimes travel or snow days or whatever change the schedule up anyway, so it probably works itself out.

 

It's going to get harder as my SD gets older, because we live 90 minutes apart and activities will become more important. Right now, if there's an activity (most often a birthday party) we just suck it up and drive, but if, say, she has a soccer game every Saturday for months on end, we'll need to figure something else out.

 

We'd for sure be doing 50/50 if we lived closer. (My husband moved away several years ago because it was impossible for them to successfully co-parent, manage boundaries, and so forth living close together. The distance has helped tremendously, though I think now, if we lived closer together, it would be OK because the boundaries have largely been established.)

 

Flexibility is key--this sort of arrangement isn't good if either parent wants "make up time" for parenting time missed, simply because, well, when would it come?  I would also recommend against doing this kind of arrangement if you're not fully on board with it. It would be easy to resent the lack of downtime/weekend time with your kids and resent your ex for getting to do all the fun stuff.

 

Oh: And you absolutely need to be OK with your ex coming to events on "your time," and your ex needs to be OK with you coming to events on "his time," because otherwise, you will never see your kids in weekend activities (as sporting events tend to be) and he will never see your kids in weekday activities (as school plays tend to be).  This also includes new partners/spouses and their kids--I know that one's been awkward for my stepdaughter's mom (especially when she ran into an exceptionally pregnant me at the school musical--she knew by then I was pregnant but she was only expecting my husband), though she's handled it gracefully.


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#16 of 18 Old 02-08-2011, 03:17 PM
 
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Consider this very carefully, for all the reasons mentioned above. This would create a scenario where Dad is getting the kids for all their "free time" each week and Mom would be seeing them during the week, but if she is working and they are schooling, then that "all week" translates into a little time in the morning (rushed) and a bit of time after school/work.

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#17 of 18 Old 02-09-2011, 05:13 AM
 
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Im not sure how old your kids are but once they reach school age,(and if you are not homeschooling) those weekends take on a new meaning.  I love the weekends so much with my kids. I couldnt give them up, that would kill me. If you are a working mom, all the more so. Dont give up every weekend!!!

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#18 of 18 Old 02-10-2011, 10:15 PM
 
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I agree with previous posters that if the kids are in school during the weekend, it is important for them to have some weekends with their dad and some with their mom. The weekends constitute a unique time for kiddos, and they dynamic is very different from the school week. Maybe a mid-week exchange? ie) Weds to Weds, that way everyone gets weekdays and weekends. My friend did this growing up since her parents were divorced, and they liked it a lot.


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