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50/50 shared care

(34 Posts)
Miaculpa Sun 12-Jun-16 22:21:27

Shamelessly posting for traffic but also genuinely interested in people's views as to if I am being precious.

H and I are splitting. We have 3 dc's, 5, 3 and 2. H is trying to insist on a 50/50 time split for the kids. Basically week on/ week off plus half the holidays.

I think given their ages a 50/50 split like that would be horribly unsettling for them and far too long away from their primary attachment- me.

Obviously I have skin in the game as I hate the idea of not seeing them for a whole 7 days and I am genuinely trying to be objective.

He has been a relatively uninvolved father but has been better lately now that the kids are leaving what he calls the annoying baby stage. That said he is by no means their emotional goto guy and is only selectively involved in the organisation of their lives.

I would be really interested to know others experience of a 50/50 split. If it works for them and if so, at what age they began it.

gonetoseeamanaboutadog Sun 12-Jun-16 22:34:04

I don't have experience of it but I think your instincts are right. It's not about fairness, it's about children having stability and a secure attachment with their primary caregiver.

I'd hate to live like that so why should they have to suck it up.

mlamle Sun 12-Jun-16 22:39:43

Would it be feasible to do half the week each, rather than a whole week at a time, incorporating alternating weekends? Are the younger two in nursery?

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 12-Jun-16 22:41:43

No, OP, you are not being unreasonable at all.

If a split is absolutely necessary then children need a fixed and firm idea of stability and a huge part of that is knowing where 'home' is.

Miaculpa Sun 12-Jun-16 22:55:27

Thanks for the replies. The 2yo is going to start nursery in September. The 3yo will be starting school.

I did think about a shorter period, like 3 days each on constant rotation or something but again, I think that sounds like a horrible way to live. No permanency anywhere. I think that would make for very anxious children.

H sees 50/50 as his right. I don't think he is thinking about its affect on the kids. I think he is thinking about punishing me for daring to not want to be married to him anymore.

Tabsicle Sun 12-Jun-16 22:58:46

I think it really depends on your DCs. Two of my friends were raised in 50/50 custody agreements which started when they were very young. One is very positive about it and says she felt as if it gave her a great relationship with both parents and basically meant she had two homes where she ended up coming and going at will. One ended up feeling as if she didn't have a home at all.

I think it can work, but both parents need to be very committed to it from what I've seen.

PeppasNanna Sun 12-Jun-16 22:59:15

Children are resilient. Tbry will get used to it.
Dp & I are splitting up & its me pushing 50/50 care. There are many positives to it!

YouAreMyRain Sun 12-Jun-16 22:59:57

Recent advice I've had is that the family courts don't like 50/50 as children need a secure base. Your instincts are spot on.

seasidesally Sun 12-Jun-16 23:02:11

it works for some but yours do seem a liitle young

i do know a couple that done this with 3 and it seemed to work pretty well

but i dont think a female should automatically be the main carer either if more time at one home is needed,especially as they are so young and maybe swapping each week completley will be to much for them

is 5/2 not better for them at this early age

Enkopkaffetak Sun 12-Jun-16 23:10:04

My friend did so when her and her dh parted. Like you she was not comfortable with the idea and felt as a prime care giver her children would miss her too much etc.

However in practice it has worked amazing for them. their youngest is now 15 and has a close loving relationship with both parents. They have found a way to co parent with the week changes (they change Thursday evenings now used to be Fridays but didnt work too well) He was 4 when they parted.

So yes it can work and work very well my friend now says that she enjoys her week off children but it took her years to learn to do so. All of their boys (they have 3) got mobile phones early on so they could text with the parent they were not living with that week.

Instead of a week on a week off could you do a mid week change? I think i remember seeing differnet ways this work for some people but in practice it means not going 7 days without seeing them and still managing the 50 50 swap.

RubbleBubble00 Sun 12-Jun-16 23:14:46

Depends. Who's going to look after them when they we not in school? Will they go to daycare? If your both working ft then 50:50 is fair enough.

Perhaps splitting the week sun to wed afternoon then we'd afternoon to sat ect. You both a weekend day and some week time

I get it though. I would struggle hugely not seeing my kids for a week esp at just two

Marmalade85 Sun 12-Jun-16 23:15:04

I read somewhere that a split like you described has a negative effect on children because they lack a base and continuity. 50/50 is more in the interest of the parent and rarely the child.

seasidesally Sun 12-Jun-16 23:18:34

do you both work,will it be a nightmare to organize

throwingpebbles Sun 12-Jun-16 23:23:00

I think it is tough on tinies. My daughter (2) struggles with longer than a couple of days a time at her dads.

Might be better when they are older, if you have really good communication so stuff doesn't fall between the gaps.

I think every other weekend plus one night in the week and half the hols is a sensible balance that ensures the children have one main base but see plenty of the other parent.

throwingpebbles Sun 12-Jun-16 23:25:38

It's not about what works for the parents/ what the parents want. It should be about what is best for the children. Doesn't matter how much dad "wants" 50/50 if it isn't right for the particular children.

throwingpebbles Sun 12-Jun-16 23:29:06

Penelope Leach is very clear in her book about the potential harm of 50:50.

(Fwiw my ex insisted he did want 50:50 then eventually realised he actually didn't. Never once were his arguments based around what was right for the children, it was all about him angry). I would like to never miss a second with my kids but I know they deserve a close and regular relationship with their dad (when he actually takes up his contact time, but that's another story...)

Miaculpa Sun 12-Jun-16 23:31:19

Sorry, don't mean to abandon the thread but must go to bed.

We both work full time. He works 4 days from home. I work 2 days from home and 3 in the office but have agreed a working pattern that allows me to do drop off and pick ups. Older two would do afternoon club 2 afternoons a week. Youngest would go to child minder after preschool finishes at 12pm until probably 5.30.

H thinks he wouldn't need any childcare and could have dc's in the house while he is working. I think he is delusional and if his boss realised he was going to do that he would be in trouble.

I have come up with a tentative plan the he could have them wed-mon every second week and every wed. It gives him 43% but i think that is the absolute limit of what I think they could tolerate without causing them emotional distress. He won't consider it cause it's not 50/50.

DarthPrincess Sun 12-Jun-16 23:53:19

We have shared care, ex h works full time I don't work ( back to uni in sept tho) our son is 2 and goes to dads every thursday morning at 9 and I get him back sunday - early/late alternatively. It's pretty close to 50/50 but as I don't work and he does its a balance that works for us.

We know our days every week and now its just our routine. It was hard at first but our ds is happy and that's the main thing.

The only big negative we have is that his step sister comes every friday ( dp and I live together) so he misses her most of the time so I worry about them having a bond but we do try and switch days every now and then to get them together along with my dd who quite enjoys having a few days of mummy daughter time.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 12-Jun-16 23:59:02

No Peppas children aren't that resilient , divorce and parents splitting can often have life long impacts on dc. Which is why unless there is abuse you stay together, your DC right to two parents together trumps your right to " be happy".

BlueFolly Mon 13-Jun-16 00:04:46

What has a lifelong impact in DCs is having parents who handle a divorce badly, not the divorce itself.

We do 50:50, half the week each as I do think 7 days is a long time without either parent.

It's not perfect, but it's better than the animosity and hatred our DC would have had to live with if we'd stayed together.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 13-Jun-16 00:12:36

But it's not better than dealing with animosity.

lalalalyra Mon 13-Jun-16 00:23:46

Does he realise that 50/50 doesn't necessarily negate an obligation to paying maintenance?

I mean, he may very well only be thinking of time with his children, but I know two people (1 man, 1 woman before I'm accused of man hating) who insisted on 50/50 then were stunned that, as higher earners whose ex had been primary carer sacrificing their own earning potential, they still had to pay maintenance. They changed to a more convenient stance after that.

BlueFolly Mon 13-Jun-16 00:23:53

Yes it is.

lalalalyra Mon 13-Jun-16 00:25:15

Darth will that not impact your child when he goes to school as presumably you'll be wanting to change the agreement to give you some time with him?

KamMum Mon 13-Jun-16 00:36:59

I've had a 50/50 arrangement with my childs father for almost a year now, our son was around a year and a half when we split up. It was extremely hard for me in the beginning as i missed him so much but i actually dont mind it now. I think its so important for him to see his dad and have as much of a relationship with him as with me. One week ill have him from wednesday evening to sunday afternoon then the next week, from wednesday morning to sunday afternoon - so i have him slightly longer. My son is happy and gets excited to see us both. I appreciate my time with him so much more but i have my me time - i work full time and study so this is important to me. We did have issues in the beginning and tbh we have only really started to get along well in the last two months. Im not sure about how this arrangement will work when ds starts school and we will have to talk about that soon. If your childrens father wants them for half the week i think thats great and i also think that children are more resiliant than they are given credit for. Of course there will be studies that say otherwise but i think children who see both parents regularly and know they are loved and wanted are happier. Good luck!

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