ok so yesterday my ex dropped the kids home and dropped it on me that he had talked to the kids and they all want to live with him for a week and then with me for a week and so on, ive never stopped them seeing their dad and i would never he is a good dad im just a bit worried about this i dont want to disrupt my kids its such a change in routine for them but its what they want and id feel awful saying no because they need their dad as much as they need me. maybe im being selfish and dont want to share them i dont know but my first worry is how will it affect my kids does anyone else share their kids like this, am i making a mistake by letting them try it out?
I did this with my oldest boy who is now 26. He was 11 at the time, and because his father and i stayed amicable throughout, we all sat and decided to do this shared access or living arrangements. However, my son was not 100% happy with things, but kept it to himself for a long time. Not sure how we got around to discussing it all again, but basically my son said, that he wanted to stay with me in one permanent home but visit his dad at the weekends. Lots of reasons, one being his dad had an older son from his 1st marriage who would come over at weekends only and they were quite close. My son also said, that he didn't like the upheaval of taking all his things with him each time. As they grow up, they have more things that i suppose they want around them. My son was too afraid to say how he was feeling to his dad, for fear that his dad would take it all the wrong way and think that he didn't love him or want to be with him. We did address it, and sadly it did go wrong, in that, his dad, got quite upset and hurt and then refused to have him at all. A few months went past, and we eventually sorted things again, but i believe to this day it has effected their long term relationship. Not saying this is going to be the case for everyone. Sharing our experience of what happened. The most important thing is to all talk and make sure, everyone knows it can change at any time.
Just wanted to add - though i dont have any experience of it myself - that 50:50 is the default arrangement here in Belgium - I know lots of people that do it and it seems to work fine. Means that the dad can stay fully involved and the mum can have a social life!! It's so much the norm that some companies are introducing flexible working hours to accommodate it! One week longer, one week shorter hours.
It sounds like you have a sorta reasonable relationship with your ex (which is good for your kids) so it should be possible to come up with something that is in their best interests.
If there are various sticking points organise a good neutral mediator. They will find the things you agree on, narrow down the issues and help you come up with something that works for everyone - most of all your kids.
There's a lot of research to proves that children who have a meaningful relationship with both their parents (i.e. far more than the tired old `every other weekend and midweek contact for dad' regime that some cling onto on the grounds it's `normal') do better emotionally and academically.
Overall the research is inconclusive and there is no real evidence that shared parenting 50:50 is any better or any worse than any other arrangement after parents separate. The majority of children from separated families have much the same outcome as those from families whose parents stay together.
I think that your ex and you should sit down with the children and discuss it together. Then the two of you can sit together privately and work out what is best. Maybe even use a mediator.
A week is a long time for a three year old to be without either of you IMO. Even the six year old might struggle. The older one will probably adapt well becuase it seems that at that age they don't like to tote their belongings to and fro very much and like to know where they are. But all families are different and this may be perfect for yours. I don't like the idea that there is a default whether that be EOW, week on/ week off... or anything else.
My ex did this with his ex iyswim - the kids seemed pretty okay with it once they got into the swing of things. In some ways I guess it makes it easier on them because they know that this week they're with mum, next week with dad, rather than having to remember which day of which week it is.
been forced unwilling into this myself - very unhappy about it for my dcs-cafcass said 'they requested it' , my kids are young primary and guess what - it is what the father wanted since the separation. Crock of total ...t as far as Im concerned, appears to be the idea of the moment and will disadvantage the dcs, me, but not ex who will be able to offficially shirk all financial responsiblity while still working as has flexible employer. I will not be able to work and wont be a full time mum either so feel very weird about it...court has'nt considered the financial implications and evidently doesnt have to - But if one parent will be impoverished as a result of this shouldnt they take it into account? - given up trying to understand rationale here; I know lots of mums wish their dcs father more involved - believe me - I envy you ladies who cant get fathers to see much of kids - thank your lucky stars. Ive been very happy as a single mum and am devastated will be losing my kids when pretty sure its all about the money and not what is best for the children at all - ex had very generous access already and Ive never been obstructive. Truly loathe my solicitor now as feel she gave ex everything while Ive paid through the nose and got fifty percent less of the time with my young children. Told I could 'gamble' in court if I wished but had better agree to be seen as being reasonable 'or else' - wtf?
Hi steph. It's great that your kids have a good relationship with their dad. Research shows that kids work just as well with 2 homes- Mum & Dad. I would suggest that you try and work some arrangement with him whereby the children can extend contact?