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Hit me with your custody arrangements

(76 Posts)
GoldenOrb Thu 09-Jun-16 17:38:39

H and I still can't come to any agreement on custody. We are coming from totally different viewpoints and I'm getting stuck on how to make it best for the children.

For those who are divorced/separated, can you let me know your custody arrangements, and how happy both you and the children are with them? In particular, do they move between homes a lot in the week, and how disruptive do they find that? Hoping that I might be able to find some sort of way to figure it out by hearing what works for others.

Rosewine72 Thu 09-Jun-16 17:45:45

Hi goldenorb, I've been divorced and separated for 8 years now, my dcs have always lived with me for the main part, see their dad for one evening in the week (but not overnight) and then every other weekend, then the holidays we just try and work it out , I think it's given the children more stability that way. My dp has his children 50% of the time,to me it seems hard living between 2 houses forgetting things in one house etc but the dds are used to it and seem to like it , however their mum doesn't always keep the 50% up and it ends up we have them most of the time. What is it your ex wants, is he in a position to get the kids to school etc, mine isn't as he starts work at 8 so it wouldn't make much sense for him to have them more

CatsGoPurrrr Thu 09-Jun-16 17:45:46

depends really on the dc ages. The contact arrangement my dd has with her father has changed a lot over the years.

She's currently 10.

Sees Dad eow plus every sun and mon night.

Officially half the holidays (school), but in practice it depends who takes annual leave etc.

We're flexible if days/nights need to change for work/family dos etc.

Works for us. Dd is very happy and settled.

GoldenOrb Thu 09-Jun-16 17:53:05

Cats yes I would imagine it will change a lot in time. The 3 DC range from 4 to 8. I like the sound of your arrangement, not too much moving around in the week. Do weekends start on a Friday after school or Saturday morning?

rosewine H wants a 50/50 split, but I am not happy with that. I have been main caregiver since they were born, H works a lot of hours and has had lots of weekends/time away. I would like them to have more stability with the person that has always been there since the day they were born, not the one who suddenly thinks that now a divorce is imminent he wants to be an involved dad.

Whatafrickennightmare Thu 09-Jun-16 17:55:12

We have DSS 3 nights a week, Fri, Sat, Sun night then Wed, Thurs,Fri. I feel DSS is unsettled at this but then my opinion does not seam to count (hmm)

DSS mum has suggested we have him every weekend and she has him Mon- Fri morning and occ weekends i think this is a better idea, unfortunalty DH does not as feels he will loose time with ds.

GoldenOrb Thu 09-Jun-16 18:00:25

whata interesting, thanks. I have also wondered if a weekday/weekend split would work for mine as then there is no moving about in the week. I feel I would miss out on some quality fun time, but I'd be willing to sacrifice that for the fact that they would be more settled and in one place during the school week.

GoldenOrb Thu 09-Jun-16 18:00:49

whata how old is DSS?

Matilda2013 Thu 09-Jun-16 18:05:40

My dp has his daughter every Friday to Sunday evening. Picks her up from school and mum has Monday to Friday morning. Occasional extra nights both ways if needed but it works and she knows where she will be

nam207 Thu 09-Jun-16 18:06:21

When my husband and I separated for a while we found this useful

www.familieslink.co.uk/pages/court_reporters_cafcass_child_contact.htm

CatsGoPurrrr Thu 09-Jun-16 18:07:03

Gold, weekends start Sat am. Times vary. Dd does to her Dad Sunday pm. Times vary depending on who's doing what. Usually around 5, so she has dinner at her dads.

GoldenOrb Thu 09-Jun-16 18:09:45

nam207 thanks that's a really helpful document (and seems to be similar to my thinking).

matilda thanks, good to know that arrangement works. Does her mum ever have her on weekends?

nam207 Thu 09-Jun-16 18:25:43

That's OK. We found it useful as it kept the child at the centre of our thinking and was independent and written by people very experienced in the area. Most parents at the end of the day want what's best for their children.

GoldenOrb Thu 09-Jun-16 18:29:20

nam207 you'd think, wouldn't you? Or hope that would be the case. Sadly it's not in this situation. He wants what is best for him, or what he deems as "fair", which is 50%. And yes, that means down to the exact same number of nights per year.

Fourormore Thu 09-Jun-16 18:31:28

I have Sun, Mon, Tue nights, ex has Wed, Thur, Fri nights. We alternate weekends. We're flexible if there needs to be a swap. We split holidays 50/50.

My ex worked a lot while we were together. He changed his working pattern when we split to make sure he could be around for the children.

Of course I would rather have my children more than 50/50 but overall, I'm really glad we've managed to make this arrangement work for everyone. The children have a great relationship with us both, are settled, know where they will be, there isn't too much chopping and changing.

GoldenOrb Thu 09-Jun-16 18:32:39

fourormore how old are your DC?

Fourormore Thu 09-Jun-16 18:36:21

We started the arrangement from 15 months old and it has been in place for 10 years. We didn't used to split school holidays 50/50, we used to stick to our normal arrangement unless someone was taking the children away. The full splitting of holidays has only been in place for the last 2-3 years.

deVelvet Thu 09-Jun-16 18:39:56

We have one week on one week off. So dc come to ours on a Sunday at 1pm and for to other parents the following Sunday at 1pm.

Whoever has the children for that week does all school runs, clubs, homework, pays all school fees for that week and arranges any childcare.

The dc have 2 homes, 2 sets of everything from shoes/school uniforms to xboxes/ipads.

Nothing goes between the homes except homework.

This works for us. The dc know where they are every week and we have everything here to suit them when they are.

I find that packing a bag to stay with your (other) parent is more like going on a holiday iyswim so we like to ensure they have everything they need in both homes.

I find that the children benefit from exact details experiences with both parents, y'know homework, weekend brunches and crazy school run mornings. Each parent gets to interact regarding school and extra curricular activities as and when hey happen so bot feel more involved in the dc lives.

Also on the plus side, each parent gets a free week to themselves - this is when I tend to travel with work or sort things in the house.

TheseLittleEarthquakes Thu 09-Jun-16 18:42:19

My sister and her ex do 50/50, they alternate weeks so eow and 2/3 days in the week. It seems to be working, it's been about a year.

GoldenOrb Thu 09-Jun-16 18:44:44

deVelvet I don't think that would work for us, but good to hear it works for you. How old are your DC? Do you find they miss the other parent being away from them for that long?

Matilda2013 Thu 09-Jun-16 18:45:52

Her mum doesn't normally have her for full weekends. Occasionally she stays with her on the Friday if there's something she wants to do or goes home earlier on the Sunday. Or if we have something on that we can't get anyone else to babysit for

Cabrinha Thu 09-Jun-16 18:51:02

Depends entirely on the personality of the child.
We have a variable set up due to my work shifts, and frequently fiddle with handover times too - at my 7yo's request if she wants to play longer with he stepsister.
There's a basic pattern:
Week 1: me 6 days, him one midweek night
Week 2: him Sun night-Fri morn, me Fri-Sun (actually through til Wed as we're back to week 1 pattern)

My 7yo very much feels she has two homes - if you ask where she lives, she say "x and x".

I don't doubt that some people reading would say that's horrendous for her, lacking this "stability" that is important to you. But in all things she has never needed routine, and is very happy go lucky, and suggests changes herself. For her personality, it works fine (that's nearly 3 years now)
What is stable for her, is that she has two parents who both want to spend a lot of time with her, and she has things in both homes so never feels she's not "at home".

Much as it has irritated the fuck out of me to see lazy involved dad have more time with her at my expense, it's been brilliant for their relationship.
It's not a bad thing for him to have 50% and then have to step up to achieve it.

GoldenOrb Thu 09-Jun-16 18:55:21

cabrinha I feel very similar. I don't doubt it would improve the DCs relationships with their Dad for him to have better quality time with them and him have to pull his socks up to achieve it. One of my DC would really need a routine. I'd hope as they got older we would be able to change the arrangement to suit them too.

Fourormore Thu 09-Jun-16 18:59:29

You can put that you want things to be reviewed in whatever arrangement you come up with.

I always made it absolutely clear to my ex that once our eldest was old enough to walk home from school and have a key, that they should be allowed to decide where they wanted to stay that night. As it turns out, our eldest generally stays in the usual routine. There was a blip last year where they didn't get on with their dad at all and stayed with me for 5 weeks straight. Some active encouragement and a bit of flexibility got things back on track.

GoldenOrb Thu 09-Jun-16 19:02:19

fourormore I guess you must live quite close to each other, or at least both close to school?

Placeinthesun Thu 09-Jun-16 19:04:39

60:40 split here, they are at ex's mon and tues night and EOW. I do school pick up mon and he picks them up for an activty at half 6, they come to me before school everyday to save on breakfast club and ex helps with activity pick ups for eldest on a couple of eves. Works for us around our work patterns/commutes and we basically split the holidays 50:50 although ex sees them a bit more as he's a teacher while I'm stuck with 25 days leave pa + some unpaid parental leave. We get on well though so this pattern works and suits us both as neither gets long without seeing the kids but get EOW "off". Good luck.

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