Shared-parenting.

(99 Posts)
Balderdashandpiffle Tue 04-Sep-12 00:04:21

I do shared-parenting. It works, the kids love it.

On here people say they're keen for it. In real-life I've not met a single mother ever who would do it.

It's not going to become the norm is it?

Balderdashandpiffle Sat 08-Sep-12 07:19:23

Crackcrackcrak.

This is honestly not a dig in anyway.

But what's the reason people have children with such idiots?
Is it being young and naive, or coming from dysfunctional relationships and seeing these as normal?

queenrollo Sat 08-Sep-12 08:28:21

crackcrackcrack i'm 5 years down the line shared-parenting with an ex who I get on with very well....we have completely open lines of communication. And it's still hard......trying to do this with someone who is not co-operative would be very hard indeed.

Balderdash the reason people have children with completely unsuitable partners is because they are rarely 'unsuitable' when you meet them. It has nothing to do with age/naivety or having a disfunctional background. I know people who have been in long term relationships with this stuff going on behind closed doors. If you met them in a professional capacity you would find it very hard to believe they would allow themselves to be treated so badly by anyone.

crackcrackcrak Sat 08-Sep-12 12:47:37

Balderdash - you mean 'any way' not 'anyway'
Hard not to feel got at by your comment as you don't know my circumstances either before, during or after my marriage.

If you met exp you would think he was the epitome of Disney dad - great expression I learned on here!

Also exp behaviour declined sharply as dd1 got older though in hindsight plenty of it was atrocious before that. Remember also that DV often begins or is exacerbated during pregnancy -we know this from research and stats etc.

Exp behaviour had its moments during his previous relationships but wax unprecedented during the last year of our marriage.
As I have said on my other threads, until you spend a lot if time with people whose marriages/relationships are more normal, you end up normalising behaviour from a partner which is unacceptable.

Please remember also that dv/ea spans all classes and social groups.

Balderdashandpiffle Sat 08-Sep-12 13:21:17

I'm not getting at anyone. Thanks for the grammar correction, I won't take it personally.

My brother was in an abusive relationship, i believe my niece is in one now, I'd like to be able to spot an abuser to protect my children.

As I can't relate to an abuser, if I don't ask questions I can't learn about them.

Balderdashandpiffle Sat 08-Sep-12 22:59:17

I've been reading a few more posts and threads.

And it's depressing, fathers are considered second best, it's a bit depressing.

crackcrackcrak Sat 08-Sep-12 23:04:28

Remember these threads are not representative. People with amicable separations and or ex partners who don't cause problems will not be posting in here for help and advice. Of course it's depressing reading!

SuperB0F Sat 08-Sep-12 23:10:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Balderdashandpiffle Sun 09-Sep-12 08:48:37

The maintenance bit comes into this regularly.

If a father wants to see his children more it's to avoid maintainance.
Really?

SuperB0F Sun 09-Sep-12 15:27:48

Oh do cock off, you whinger. I was clearly joking.

Balderdashandpiffle Mon 10-Sep-12 01:45:55

Charming.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Mon 10-Sep-12 02:28:57

OK, found this in Active. I had shared care with my Ex-H for my DS1 (long story about why it's not happening right now, to do with Ex-H's partner hurting DS1, but it worked for 8 years, so bear with me!).

We had a 60/40 split to start with, then a 45/55 split. It worked really well to start with, until my Ex-H got with a new partner and started a family. Continued it for years even in the face of her hostility, DS1 enjoyed spending so much time with his dad, and I got used to it.

We started shared care when DS1 was two, and it went on until 6 weeks ago, DS1 is now 10. Hopefully we can get back to a shared care arrangement at some point, but that is dependant on Ex-H's partner dealing with her serious anger issues. It has NOTHING to do with Ex-H's ability to care for his son or be a good dad, and everything to do with the fact that his partner hates the fact that I exist and my Ex-H has a past, and takes that out on DS1.

I'm not going to say it was easy to spend that first Christmas away from DS1, it wasn't, I spent half of it in the bathroom in tears, and the other half plastering a false smile on my face for the sake of my other DC's (DS1 was 3yo when he first spent Christmas away from me).

BUT I learnt to cope with it because I knew that if I felt like that when I was away from my DS1, then so did his father.

perfectstorm Mon 10-Sep-12 02:53:01

I think there's some research that has found shared care - as in 50/50 or thereabouts - can be massively unsettling for the children. They have to move between two worlds and ways of living on a regular basis. Obviously some will thrive, but others won't do well at all.

In terms of parental rights shared care is absolutely fair. In terms of children's, the picture is murkier.

I do however believe that anyone obstructing contact without due reason should lose residence to the other parent, because it's very, very good evidence that they are not capable of meeting the emotional needs of the child. Genuine fear after SV/EA is one thing. Implacable hostility is another. It's terrible that there is such a double standard in terms of level of behaviour expected by the parents - if the NRP behaved a tenth as badly as the RP is able to in contact disputes, their contact would be greatly restricted on the grounds that it's detrimental to the kids and the NRP cannot place their own needs second to those of the child. If the obstructive (without good reason) RP feared losing that residential status, they might behave somewhat better. Which in an ongoing capacity would work far better for children.

queenrollo Mon 10-Sep-12 11:10:53

perfectstorm it's a valid point about childen moving between two worlds/ways of living. Children are very adaptable but it does have its limits.

We have the same rules across both households as far as disicpline, expected behaviour etc is concerned. DS has consistency in many things, and I think this allows him to cope with the differences very well indeed. He sees all four of his parents communicate regularly, we have coffee together weekly etc.
I've been doing this for 5 years...i'd say the first two were the hardest, while we found a rythmn to it and ironed out the creases.

what couthymow says:
BUT I learnt to cope with it because I knew that if I felt like that when I was away from my DS1, then so did his father.

That is what I say to many people who say they couldn't be away from their child. My ex was at home as much as me when we were together, he spent just as much time parenting, and playing with our DS. Just because I gave birth to him doesn't mean that I have any more right or emotional attachment to him than his father. It hurts my ex just as much to be away from DS.

perfectstorm Mon 10-Sep-12 12:40:33

I think it depends on the child, and depends on the ability of the parents to work together, yep. Though actually it has been used successfully in viciously hostile contact disputes in order to derail one parent seeking to totally exclude the other, too - breaks the power lock. In more "normal" conflicted situations I just don't think it's good for the kids. I used to be a big fan, but there is some heartbreaking anonymised evidence from children on what being a perpetual, suitcase-in-hand visitor did to their confidence and security. That's obviously got to be factored in.

I have no patience with mothers who try to block this because they can't bear to be away from their kids - all the patience in the world for the emotion, none for the acts. I can't understand why they think the other parent doesn't feel similarly.

I should add that I've no personal experience of this as touch wood, my marriage is fine. So it's a theoretical perspective only.

Fortyshadesofgreen Mon 10-Sep-12 12:40:45

CCC - sorry I haven't been online for a couple of days.

I wasn't making a personal comment at all, I am glad you saw that. Everyone's situation is different. Good luck with yours.

I was making the point that if my ex was posting on here (and she probably does), she will call me, controlling, intimidating, intrusive, rude, disrespectful etc. She would be telling all who would listen that I was emotionally abusive etc etc. Every likelihood that she would be getting support to behave as she does, because of the skewed picture she can paint. And it is a beautiful picture, unfortunately only about 10% of it is based in reality.

In my situation and the current environment, being able to get shared parenting is impossible. Thats why I made the comments about early intervention / mediation / counselling etc.

STIDW Thu 27-Sep-12 19:00:43

Shared parenting isn't uncommon in the UK. Many parents agree shared parenting and there are a substantial number of shared residence orders granted. Shared residence doesn't have to be 50:50, it can be in different proportions and orders for 50:50 shared residence are fairly unusual.

The biggest obstacle to shared parenting 50:50 after parents separate is the absence of 50:50 shared parenting before separation. In the UK 90% of men in employment with dependent children work in full time inflexible jobs and fathers work longer hours then any other group of men. Whereas about 70% of women with dependent children work in lower paid part time/flexible jobs to accommodate children. Because it is usually less disruptive to a child's sense of security and established bonds to maintain similar arrangements to those before the relationship broke down fathers are at a disadvantage when parents separate. See;

www.dad.info/work/worklife-balance/can-you-share-work-and-kids-in-the-uk

It would appear to me that if society wants a more equal sharing of work and child care men's working practices need to change.

The law in Belgium is similar to that in Scotland where both parent have equal Parental Responsibilities and Rights, including having their children live with them, but if the parents cannot agree arrangements between themselves the court has the power to determine living and/or contact arrangements I thought. That means in practice it isn't actually that different from England & Wales.

Belgium law on Parental Responsibility in a nutshell is here;

ec.europa.eu/civiljustice/parental_resp/parental_resp_bel_en.htm

STIDW Thu 27-Sep-12 19:04:17

Shared parenting isn't uncommon in the UK. Many parents agree shared care and there are a substantial number of shared residence orders granted. Shared residence doesn't have to be 50:50, it can be in different proportions and orders for 50:50 shared residence are fairly unusual.

The biggest obstacle to shared parenting 50:50 after parents separate is the absence of 50:50 shared parenting before separation. In the UK 90% of men in employment with dependent children work in full time inflexible jobs and fathers work longer hours then any other group of men. Whereas about 70% of women with dependent children work in lower paid part time/flexible jobs to accommodate children. Because it is usually less disruptive to a child's sense of security and established bonds to maintain similar arrangements to those before the relationship broke down fathers are at a disadvantage when parents separate. See;

www.dad.info/work/worklife-balance/can-you-share-work-and-kids-in-the-uk

It would appear to me that if society wants a more equal sharing of work and child care men's working practices need to change.

The law in Belgium is similar to that in Scotland where both parent have equal Parental Responsibilities and Rights, including having their children live with them, but if the parents cannot agree arrangements between themselves the court has the power to determine living and/or contact arrangements I thought. That means in practice it isn't actually that different from England & Wales.

Belgium law on Parental Responsibility in a nutshell is here;

ec.europa.eu/civiljustice/parental_resp/parental_resp_bel_en.htm

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 19:12:02

I would say that it is the best thing for the child to have parents living close together and shared parenting. Mothers don't think it is best for them and consequently will probably not want it-especially if the father has a new partner.

STIDW Fri 28-Sep-12 20:15:08

It's not necessarily true mothers don't want shared parenting. I shared parenting with my ex when he lived nearby but he then moved 400 miles away. There are lots of parents with the majority of care who say they would like their ex to have the children more. There are also those cases where shared parenting is tried, but it's not practical and the father reduces contact. Then there are a few cases when one parent doesn't "win" residence and rather than accept shared residence walks away. In some cases judges have even apologised that they couldn't make a parent share care 50:50 against their wishes.

exoticfruits Fri 28-Sep-12 20:18:58

I think the main objection-judging from posts on here-is that the mother doesn't want a step mother playing a major role-which of course they will.

crackcrackcrak Fri 28-Sep-12 20:20:56

Exotic - where? My ex doesn't have a partner (neither do I) but shared parenting is utterly impossible with him. It's only achievable of both parties are capable of responsible parenting in the first place!

exoticfruits Fri 28-Sep-12 22:17:41

where? In general-not the specific.

crackcrackcrak Fri 28-Sep-12 22:23:38

The stepmother references

exoticfruits Sat 29-Sep-12 07:33:32

Stepmothers in general. It is very common for both parents to find new partners. While many are happy to have shared parenting with a single parent they are not happy with the new parent- in general.

colditz Sat 29-Sep-12 08:18:44

Very often, shared care is offered, and more often than not it is refused. It's a lot easier to tell people that you can't abide handing your children over than it is to think about the fact that a lot of men really could take or leave their own children.

Have a look on the lone parents board. How many men are.handing their children over to their own mothers because they cannot cope for a weekend? And on the step parenting board, you will find women on the point of leaving because their partner will NOT man up and stop being adisney dad!

I know 3 fathers will full care of their offspring, one is because of a neglectful mother, the second is because of a drug addicted mother, and the third is because the mother passed away.

I don't know one nrp who wishes he could share the care with a competant mother, but I know plenty of rps who wish the nrp would have the children more. But they don't. They have to go to work, or golf, or on holiday. Practically anything is more interesting than co parenting. And these are normal, non abusive parents, who just don't want to do it, the only thing they all have in common with each other is that they are male.

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