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Divorcing - advice on best way to split 50/50 custody - weekly or daily with alternate weekends?

(10 Posts)
positivo Tue 09-Feb-16 10:08:03

Almost there with moving house and divorcing...I hope. We had initially agreed that the kids would live half the week with me and half with him and then have them alternate weekends...stbxh is not talking to me as I had to call the police last week and since then he has been advised not to speak to me (suits me most of the time as he is an horrendous EA) The DC's are 13.5 and 16.5 (boy and girl) I just wondered on a practical basis what worked for others and more importantly for their kids. The kids are at school and the other at college. I plan to live near a train station so both can be independent regarding getting to and from if necessary. The reason I now ask is because he mentioned to DS last night that he's changed his plans...and that he wants the kids to live with us one week on and one week off (but hasn't discussed this with me) partly it's about control and he's getting advice from his numerous 'women' who are divorcees and partly from friends and family all of whom think he is a major victim in all of this - especially since the police incident (so now I'm tagged as vindictive and paranoid - sigh) Would love to hear how you split the custody and no, the kids are happy to split their time at the moment and I don't want to pursue full custody.

DeoGratias Tue 09-Feb-16 11:17:39

I don't think teenagers compared with younger children ) are easy to split 50/50. Some hardly leave their bed rooms to speak to their resident mother never mind be bothered to go down the road to their other parent. Mine is easy as their father chooses not to have them even a night a year! (more fool him). I was able to buy my ex out of the home as I earn 10x more than he does.

It sounds like your children are happy to split the time at the moment.

I think a week on and week off works well with younger children and is fair too as it gives one parent the whole week without the children too.

If I were both of you parents I would ask the teenagers what they want and go by that.

Once a child is about 13 even if a court orders them with one parent it cannot actually force it anyway (look at Madonna's 15 year old as an example). So really it is whatever is going to work for the children who probably didn't choose to be in this divorce situation. What makse their life easier, what ensures their stuff is in one place or a parent is prepared to lug it from place to place as it is the parents who caused the upset, not the children, what ensures they get to school more easily.

In some ways I have it easiest even though I work full time and pay for them myself (he pays nothing) as there are no disputes although one night a year without them would be rather nice. Over 150 nights must be massive freedom... roll on university years.

shoeaddict83 Tue 09-Feb-16 13:04:20

i think it depends on so much - the kids, their commitments to school/clubs etc, distance from each other, parents jobs...
My DP and his ex separated and a year later she moved 40 mins away meaning the kids were in new schools and could no longer come to us after school 3 days a week as they used to. It wasnt practical to have them in the week as some nights they have after-school clubs and by the time we drove down there they would only have an hour before their bedtime so seemed pointless.
Instead we agree to every other weekend Friday-Sunday and extra over school holidays/halfterms. This works very well for now and both kids seem happy with this. DP has adjusted to not seeing them as much as its just not possible with the distance. Instead he skypes a few times a week to chat to them.
When they were in the same town though he also picked them up from school 3 days so he had more time with them and evening meals together etc and they would go back to his ex before bedtime.
Holidays are just organised year on year and both are flexible with it, i do admit we have it lucky as i cant imagine how hard it must be to sort if you and your ex are not even on speaking terms.
I imagine as they become older (currently 6/11) and teenage years hit it will be up to them where and when they want to spend time with each parent, but at the moment the arrangement works well.

confusedaboutlostpassword Tue 09-Feb-16 23:38:39

I have mine Mon/Tues, they are at ex on Wed/Thu & we alternate weekends. I think the kids have adjusted as best they can, and are very organised with their stuff but honestly I think it is hard splitting equally, and it took a long time to feel that either of their new homes (we both moved) were really home. My personal preference would have been to have them slightly more with me. There is so much heavy school stuff that gets taken back & forth. (both at secondary school).
We don't speak. We do it all by email. It works.

positivo Thu 11-Feb-16 17:38:56

haha! confusedaboutlostpassword Yes we are communicating more by tex t and email even though we're in the same house! Mind you having had to call the police about his (emotionally/verbal) abusive behaviour he seems to have decided to stop speaking to me which suits me fine. The kids were suggesting week on and week off as more practical - I think we'll try both methods to see which works best. WE are also both moving house so lots of upheaval initially for everyone and we are all going to miss one another to begin with (I'll be running around the house screaming woohoo swigging straight from a champagne bottle, then collapsing in a hysterically happy heap the first night!! - assuming the kids aren't with me!!) Then reality will hit. Our final mediation went well today and we have a settlement. The house is under offer so with everything crossed and thinking positively there is light.

confusedaboutlostpassword Sat 13-Feb-16 21:24:49

It sounds like your getting there.
In the beginning I was distraught when the children weren't with me. I've been a SAHM for 17 years, but now I'm used to it, and I even sometimes dare to enjoy the time I spend without them!

Sammysamread34 Wed 17-Feb-16 22:37:31

Just today my stbx and I were at family court sorting the access. I have 3, 2 boys of 7 and 9 and a little girl of 2. I've been absolutely gasping for air and needing a break and the situation has been extremely difficult between us. We have, eventually, aged on the alternate weekend's with a Wednesday school pick up from him and dinner for the inbetween, and ate splitting holidays. Although I've said not consecutive weeks. Now, although I thought I'd be overjoyed for the break, I've suddenly sat here and realised that I don't want to be without my babies. I know it'll be fine, and I've fought for so long for him to give them a stable and routine visit. ...but now I just feel empty.

I know that this'll work. ...well, at least I hope so. ...but now I'm not sure if I made a mistake in that.
Sorry, I was meant to put something positive, but my feelings ran away with myself!

Sammysamread34 Wed 17-Feb-16 22:40:02

My feelings are that daily is too flitting for kids to be able to grasp. ..but then yours are a bit older, so I would agree with s previous reply and say am the kids. Thru are old enough to understand and know their own mind. And would probably appreciate being brought into the equation as an equal.

DeoGratias Thu 18-Feb-16 08:32:33

Week on week off is a lot simpler particularly for older children with complex lives but each family has to work out best what works for them. Older children have a say too as it's impossible to drag a 15 year old (look a Madonna's 15 year old - you cannot really force children that age into anything).

dgcoco5 Thu 18-Feb-16 08:46:27

I live 5 mins away from my ex and now live with my dp. .shared custody with ex by having kids every weekend, Dd is 12 and comesee to.me after school 3 days a week and Ds goes to school 15miles away and lives with ex in week as school close to ex's work . School holidays tend to be alternate weeks and every weekend so not too bad .I've been lucky that our split was amicable and arrangements have been civilised which as helped the dc adjust well.

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