50/50 care arrangements(17 Posts)
I have a 5 and 7 year old. They have been living at two different homes for over a year and it seems to be going well. I have them mons, tues and alternate weekends from fri eve until mon mornings. The ex has them weds, thurs and alternate weekends. This works well for the children as they can say oh its a monday, I'm with mummy. The weekends are alternate overall but we work out on a diary every 3 months or so. Advantages are they are not chopping and changing houses every day. Disadvantages is that you have 5 days away from them at a time. I honestly think this is one of the better time splits and thought carefully before instigating it. Hope this helps.
Our son is 13. My ex isn't working - we live in a non English speaking country and I work full time. (one day a week from home - on Wednesdays) We live 5 mins away from each other.
I have our son Tuesdays and Wednesday. (my ex joins us for a "family" lunch each Wednesday)
My ex has him Sunday night, Mondays and Thursdays. Every other weekend we alternate Friday, Saturday and Sunday till 18.00
We have the agreement that when our son wishes to see the other parent - he is free to. And should I wish to drop by after work on a Thursday or Monday to say goodnight and have a cuppa - that's fine too.
We split holidays equally.
The arrangement works well - it's been like this for 9 months. Our son has adjusted really well - but the fact that we are still friendly to each other has been an important factor there.
I moved out 10 weeks ago. My daughter is almost 5. We have totally as hoc arrangements. I think it totally depends on your child's personality.
I work away during the week, but not every week. So we literally plan houses week to week -as it also depends if one of us has something planned at the weekend. Usually by that I mean planned for her! Visiting cousins, pantomime, a birthday party...
What I think helps is that I've been travelling for work since I finished mat leave, at 12 months. So she was already used to having say 3 days without mummy around. And as our marriage was shit, she was used to being with only one parent at the weekend - usually me, frequently going away with her.
We're settling into something of a default that she's with me if I'm not away, simply because I'm the more involved parent.
She seems perfectly happy with two homes and short lead times on arrangements. I think that's partly a very relaxed personality, and partly that at 4, she just isn't thinking so far ahead herself. We may change it according to her needs as she gets older.
She does - understandably - like to know day to day who is picking her up from school! We tell her every day who is picking her up, and remind her every day when the next change over is - well, I do. Expect Ex doesn't consider it as much.
The other thing that I think has helped, is I let Ex stay in our old house, didn't force a sale (he couldn't afford to buy me out). The new house has quickly become accepted, because she spends more time here. And the old house is already accepted. I think she might have found it harder to feel at home if there had been two new houses (hence no insisting on my equity yet) or if Ex had had a new house but not much child care.
So I'd say don't assume it can't work - my daughter just accepts that she has two homes. But always be clear with her where she is going. She also is very open about saying if she wants to go to the other parent. I think 4 is a great age for divorce, as she's thoroughly self centred and not worried about upsetting us!
My two boys are 3 and 5 so calendars are a bit beyond them! But I get the idea about consistency and communication.
We also alternate bank holidays, have flexibility for long weekend holidays and exH takes them to France for 2 weeks in the summer.
We used to split the weekend but it works much better this way.
Creative from my experience as long as the spend the same days with the same parent there is consistency. DD has a school diary and I still write in for her who she is going home with when and if she has after school activities.
I try to make sure on my side any planned trips are talked about well in advance so she knows where she is going to be when. ExH is very poor at this and with him she has two homes, this upsets her and I believe ultimately damaging their relationship. Asking for him to tel her when she is going to be has lead to the 'I am not being told how to live my life by an 8 year old'.
That sounds workable DinkyMole. I've been wondering how to get consistency without splitting the weekend. I'm going to think that one over.
I have my two DS Mon tue & wed til 12, exH has them wed afternoon, thur, fri. We alternate weekends so I either have them at 9.30 sat morning or 6pm Sunday. Works well for both sides and we are flexible when necessary.
We haven't started mediation yet and are living in the same house for now. I was thinking of proposing something like wed, thu, fri, sat with one parent and sun, mon, tue with the other. That way our 2 ds would always know where they will be, we have certainty for work and childcare. My hope is that we would live very close to each other. But this isn't how most people seem to do it and I do worry about a lot of chopping and changing.
My arrangement works over 2 weeks. Changeovers are after school on Wednesday, after school on Friday and 4pm on Sunday. It means DS has alternate weekends with us. He has been doing this since he was 3 and is now 9. He is happy and settled. He has siblings, toys and a bedroom in both houses. It works well for us. We all agreed that as soon as DS wanted only one house or wanted the other parent we would be flexible (DS's dad only lives a couple of minutes away). It has not arisen yet.
We did one parent wednesday 12pm until either 6pm on the Sat or 12pm on the Sunday (alternate weeks)
My ex therefore had the children from 6pm on a Saturday one week , or 12pm on the Sunday the week then dropped off at school/my house first thing on the wednesday
It worked so it is 50/50 , and has worked well for us. We were both working at the time and lived a 25 min bus journey away
My eldest is 20, and was nine when we separated does say he thought the arrangement worked really well. He has a great and equal relationship with both me and his Dad
He felt loved by both parents and knew he'd see the other in only a few days so it worked really well for us.
I have some friends who did a week each but personally I think that is too long for young children to go without seeing one parent.
I hope you find a solution that works
Probably she is 9 and 50:50 is her choice. As long as the days are fixed so she knows Mummy's she is happy. If they get muddle for any reason she hates it.
That's a really well made point Mrs Young. Some people do move house and the kids stay put. it would drive me mad - so how would my kids feel in the same situation. My gut feeling is that kids need one 'home' but lots of contact with both parents but trying to establish 2 homes is not really possible - it is just suitcase living and v unsettling. But I would really like to hear from people who have 50:50 and have the kids settled effectively and happily in 2 homes over the long term and how that has been achieved - like the OP.
How about she stays in the same house and you and STBX move to the other house every couple of days? if you find that onerous, how do you thinks she will feel?
Isn't it very disruptive for DD to have to move house effectively every other day? How does she settle to that?
DD is with me Monday and Thursday nights and with ExH Tuesday and Wednesday. Then she is with each of us every other weekend Friday after school to Monday am. It is supposed to be with us equal holidays in truth more with me as ExH needs to use quite a bit of his holiday shagging.
We have 50:50 shared care, but I end up doing 100% of the parenting.
Can anyone tell me about how their shared care arrangements work? Stbx and I start mediation soon and this seems to be the best option. Just trying to understand how people make it work and any pitfalls.
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