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To have shared 50/50 custody

(42 Posts)
PinkTardis Tue 07-Jul-15 11:04:55

I don't think I am but it's causing such a rift now in my family I need to know if I'm missing something?
I'll try not to drip feed so If any things irrelevant just ignore

I have 2 dcs - first is irrelevant as she doesn't view exh as dad and made the choice to not go etc.

Ds is 2 goes to his dad's wed teatime until 9am sat and then the second week he stays till after tea on sat. If either has appointments/weddings etc or holidays we are flexible and Xmas I have Xmas eve and then till 2.30 Xmas day birthdays we Alternate

We where married for a few weeks off two years and have been separated for just over a year , divorce is finalised and I've now got a new partner. As far as I'm aware ex is single.

Everything between exh and I is amicable , we can hold a conversation when I drop ds off ( this used to be hard at first but I'm at peace with everything now)

Exh left me - very sudden and unexpected we never argued or anything , he citied in the papers me working full time ( he worked as little as possible so someone had to make the short fall!)

Very soon after he asked for the divorce he handed the keys back for the house and it was repossessed ( I was aware of no debt etc) this is relevant because my mam references it almost daily as him making us homeless.I had took my stuff anyway and had moved into my sisters and no way could I have afforded bills at the time on my own.

A month ago I moved to be closer to dp, he lives an hour away, because of me choosing to move and exh not driving I said I'd happily pick up ds on a Saturday everyone and most Wednesday's I'd drop him off but sometimes I ask him to meet me half way - which he does no problem and without grumble. When I drop him off on a Wednesday I get to see friends and family so I'm in the area so why would I make him come thru to get him when it would take around 2 hours each way on public transport ? This is another major issue I have with my parents - me being exhs 'taxi service'hmm as far as I'm concerned I'm benefitting my son.

Ex pays a small amount £20 a week which to be honest I don't need and as he has him 3 nights I feel it's not needed so i put it into a savings account. If I text and say he needs new trainers etc depending on his financial postition will either pay in full for them or give me half, he payed towards passport etc after I mentioned it also - so I have no issues with him not providing.

I worked around 50 hour weeks when we where married ( no choice - he didn't want to but food needed to be on the table and we both had minimum wage jobs) because of this he was always dss main parent for lack of a better phrase. I had no bond with ds I had post natal depression and I returned to work when he was 2 months oldsad

I feel that is a key point - why would I suddenly take ds away from his security of his dad? It would for me have been simply nasty to do that to ex and also ds.

Since we split I took time off work and spent good time with ds and have a much stronger bond now finally and in general my life is in the right direction - dp respects exh and he agrees with me that it's only fair he sees his dad frequently.

My close friends are all on my side ( don't know if it's just out of loyalty tho) so why are my family so dead against it?
A hand full of comments that I get regular are:
*What kind of mother hands her kid over for half the week - you may as well relinquish your rights to him
*do you actually have your son this week?
*i will never forgive you
*he should be going one night maximum
* your an idiot - everyone agrees that you should have fought him at court

I know ds is loved v much by his paternal family, I know he wants for nothing, yes he may choose when he's older to live with him but I'd rather that then him grow up and hate me from keeping his dad away. Yes when we split up we where both angry and his actions were not ideal but I honestly do not care about that now.

If you read all of that then we'll done. I'm happy to be told Ibu but if your going to tell me this please tell me why?

hedgehogsdontbite Tue 07-Jul-15 11:21:13

What kind of mother hands her kid over for half the week

The kind of mother who puts her child's needs above her own.

LadyCuntingtonThe3rd Tue 07-Jul-15 11:21:49


paulapompom Tue 07-Jul-15 11:50:23

Your ex sounds like a crap husband but a good dad, which is fine as you are not with him but your ds gets to spend time with him. I can't see any benefit to changing things if they are working well, and if ds is happy then they ARE working well.
I can understand your family being cross and bitter towards ex and his behaviour when you were splitting (and think you are doing brilliantly to get past that for ds sake). But being cruel to you is unreasonable.
Having worked with children with behavioral problems, l have seen children struggling to accept that they will not have a relationship with both parents - for whatever reason - illness, death, crime, dv - I've been a lone parent since I was expecting my twins so no judgey pants here.
You are managing the whole situation really well, but the rest of your family need to see the big picture and keep their unhelpful comments to themselves. I think a sit down talk might help.
Good luck op x

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 07-Jul-15 11:53:22

YANBU. You're all happy with the arrangement, most importantly your sun is happy with the arrangement, so why change it? You sound like a great mother putting your son's needs first.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 07-Jul-15 11:53:30


LilyKiwi Tue 07-Jul-15 12:14:31

Yanbu, sounds like you are both doing a great job of parenting together after the split.

WhyTheDrama Tue 07-Jul-15 12:24:28

Yanbu - it's lovely to hear of two parents who are mature enough to put their children first. There is no reason that this can't work long term and the fact that you are civil with you ex at this stage is a good sign for the future.

50/50 might not work long time but you can see how it goes. Isn't it a lot better if you can both chop and change your arrangements in an amicable to suit you all of you. It must be so much better than being rigidly constrained by what a court rules.

I think you need to firmly tell your family to butt out.

Good luck.

WhyTheDrama Tue 07-Jul-15 12:25:32

...In an amicable way..

Mmbop Tue 07-Jul-15 12:25:39

Yanbu, I agree with hedgehog. Sounds like you are doing the right thing.

susurration Tue 07-Jul-15 12:35:58

YANBU. Definitely not. I think your arrangement withs your xh sound brilliant for your son and if you're all happy then ignore the negativity. Your parents have no right to dictate the relationship between your son and xh, and if you're happy to continue facilitating it then DO so. If he is happy, safe and enjoys being with his Dad, your son will benefit massively from this relationship.

crazykat Tue 07-Jul-15 12:45:42

It sounds like you're doing the right thing for now and putting your ds first.

However, perhaps your family are thinking ahead to when your ds starts school, you live an hour away from your ex so there's no way this arrangement can carry on then. It will be hard for your ds to go from spending half the week with each parent to only seeing one at weekends/school holidays.

angrybird3 Tue 07-Jul-15 12:53:38

YANBU (first time I have ever posted one of these!)

I also have a 50/50 with my ex husband, and it works out great, most of the time. Most importantly my kids know where they will be, and who is looking after them, and they know that Dad & I work together on family matters.

We are both now remarried, and although it can be tense occasionally, for the most part we work it out like adults and we always maintain positivity in front of the kids.

If it helps, I have been doing this for 7 years, and I regularly have people commenting on how well adjusted the kids are, and how reasonably we have dealt with what can very often be a hideous situation. Feel free to tell your detractors to mind their own business. What do they know? Are they you, or your ex or your kids? No, they are outside looking in and they cannot know what's best for you.

PinkTardis Tue 07-Jul-15 12:57:39

I've been dreading reading the replies to this.

I've tried to talk with family - my dad has came around to my thinking but my mother is just massively bitter. She's like this in other areas and is renowned for holding a grudge ( another thread in itself but I just switch her off to be honest lol)

I know once he's at nursery in a years time it's probably Going to be every other weekend and a few nights midweek but he's have to make arrangements as I simply won't have time to pick him up and get dd to school. I don't think I could let him go to his dad's every weekend - His sister would only ever see him on a school night and we usually do weekend day trips or short breaks and it would make me sad that he'd miss out.

Other option is currently we have are weekly arrangement then we both get 6 full weeks ( in connection with exs work holidays ) which we can use for holidays or just a block of time with son - done to keep it as close to 50/50 as poss. I was thinking he may 'just' be happy with every other weekend fr- mon and then 6 full weeks I'll pass on my 6 weeks and then if say I'm visiting my friends I could drop him at his dad's whilst o have a catch up then bring him home with me.

I will literally bend over backwards to keep their bond going, his face on a Wednesday when you say he's seeing daddy grin

The poster who said ex wasn't a good husband but a great dad is bang on. He's never done anything against my wishes even hair cuts he checks with me first. He just simply didn't value me as much, I feel he values me as a mother but not a woman ( does that even make sense?)

Thank you all tho for making me more comfortable with my decision - my family trying to convince me it was all his clever game plan to gain full custody will now be ignored.

We did go to court and 2 nights where mutually agreed. We'd both requested mediation but my solicitor hadn't corresponded this properly so he asked for court so something was on paper - I don't blame him it was v early on and everything was pretty raw and I was quite huffy with him lol

because of me 'giving' extra time to him they seem to think it means ill look bad like I'm palming him off. I'm truly not - it's the days he's either off or early finishes before son arrives and its days which I'm now going to be working now that everything's settled down after the move.

I honestly don't think he's going to try and get him full time. I think we both just want what's best for him - it takes two people to create a baby so I would never cut his dad- I deeply wish dd had a dad so I could never remove dad from ds's life

Thank you again to all of you, it's nice to know not everyone thinks I'm a heartless cow or pushover grin

cestlavielife Tue 07-Jul-15 12:59:34

gosh you are nbu you are doing the right thing.
the only thing that might make it tricky is school but if you chose to keep him in school near your ex/his dad then why not?

does your family tutter and mutter about anyone sending their kids to boarding school? does that make the parents less of a parent?

and in your case ds is with his dad. good all round.

rookiemere Tue 07-Jul-15 13:01:34

I'm always impressed when separated DPs manage to work a visitation schedule maturely. It must be hard and particularly so in cases where there would be obvious reasons for resentment.

In your case the charitable interpretation of your relative's remarks is that they feel your ex is a bit of a na'er-do-well, which to be honest he does seem to be.

However they are saying unkind things to you on a regular basis which can't be helping your self esteem very much. Do they bring much positive into your life?

PinkTardis Tue 07-Jul-15 13:04:41

Crazy cat , this is definitely an issue that will arise. I've mentioned in my last post about weekends in the future. I do feel confident that we would be able to sort something not to suit us but to suit ds. If I thought me having only the occasional weekend with ds was what he wanted then I'd do it - I would be sad about it, without a doubt but it's not my feelings which are the most important at the end of the day.

Grapeeatingweirdo Tue 07-Jul-15 13:06:21

I think you're a fantastic mother and that you deserve more support from your family

PinkTardis Tue 07-Jul-15 13:13:17

Rookie my dad is a very good grandad to my dd. he's the only stable male she's had so he's her consistent. My sister I'm pretty much non contact with - we are so very very different. My mother I tolerate but now I have support from dp and I'm not on their doorstep I've found im pulling away more and more. My mother and me have a very toxic relationship I'm not valued highly and she will put me down whenever possible. She can occasionally be nice but it's usually if she wants something.

The move away has helped me a lot with headspace and I see more and more how toxic she has been. I'm a very laid back person, I just float around quite happy, I find the good in anything but frankly she sucks the life out of me.

PinkTardis Tue 07-Jul-15 13:18:54

Grapethanks thank you , I'm lucky that dp helps me massively, a little financially if I'm stuck but the emotional support he offers is amazing. We balance each other perfectly which I find refreshing. In my family and in my marriage i just always had to get on with it so I just did , it made me cold which isn't who I am. Dp and the kids have helped me be fun me again smile

hibbledibble Tue 07-Jul-15 13:25:05

Well done for putting you son's needs first.

It is so common for parents to not see past their anger to their ex partner after separation, and this is so harmful to the children.

I have seen a mother telling her children she had to choose between her or their father. It really damaged the children.

You sound like a great mother, and as long as your ds is happy with the arrangement their is no need to change it.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Tue 07-Jul-15 13:30:26

So he's a good dad and you have a reasonable relationship. You are doing a good thing in allowing DS to have a relationship with both of you instead of his dad being a EOW parent.

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 07-Jul-15 13:34:59

you are doing the right thing, you know it. Well done for keeping it all sweet and putting your child's needs first.
If anyone says

" What kind of mother hands her kid over for half the week - you may as well relinquish your rights to him"

you could point out to them that in fact, parents do not have rights, only children do, and he has a right to a good relationship with both parents.


wallaby73 Tue 07-Jul-15 13:42:26

I've been doing 50/50 with my ex since we split 4 years ago; I can't see how anything other than that is fair, the DC's need us both, we did stuff equally when together so why on earth would ghastly "1 night and every other weekend" thing be right now? Unless things were hugely uneven before, i've never grasped this as a "standard".

19lottie82 Tue 07-Jul-15 13:44:13

I think YADNBU OP. The question should be "why SHOULDN'T a Father, have his kids 50/50?".

My DH and I have my 2 DSD's 50/50, in fact, we used to have them even more than that (his ex is a recovering alcoholic), and people always seem a bit bemused when I say we don't just have them EOW. I realise this is a different situation to yours, but even if his ex hadn't been "ill" (as the kids call it!), then he wouldn't have been happy with anything less than 50/50 anyway.

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