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50:50 Parenting Plans for young children. What works/doesn't?

(5 Posts)
CaptainM Tue 06-Dec-16 11:13:31

My STBXH has been intolerable since we separated 5 months ago. He's incredibly competitive which is one of the reasons for the divorce and given his desire to win, is fighting for 50:50 shared parenting with our dcs (4 & 6).

I've reframed the idea in my head and think it might help him be more present as a father. It'll also help him appreciate what parenting truly involves - something that was a challenge for him when we were together. He really struggles to switch off from work and is very forgetful.

Despite my fear/concerns about possible impact on my dcs if he's unable to fully embrace parenting, I have decided not to fight it and take comfort in knowing that if it doesn't work out, I can apply to have the arrangement changed.

So, here's my question: for those with young children who have a 50:50 arrangement, what works best? Did you include criteria that ex has to live within close proximity to the school? How do you split your weeks and holidays? I don't want too many change overs for them, so thinking one week of weekdays (5 days) with one and weekend (2 days) with the other, to include an overnight visit (pick up from school on Wednesday and drop back to school on Thursday morning) for the parent that doesn't have them for the week. Anyone do this?

I'm also considering the weekends to be - pick up from school on Friday and drop off to school on Monday. Anyone else do this? So far, he hasn't been good at bringing them back home on time for bedtime on the Sundays he has them, and doesn't pick up the phone when I callsad

My family live abroad and I would love to take my children to visit them for the Christmas and New Years of the year I have them. Does anyone split their holidays in a way that one parent has them for Xmas/New Year and the other for Easter?

I have to write a detailed proposal (for solicitors and possibly court) and I'm anxious about missing something.

Any help would be very much appreciated!

OP’s posts: |
Fourormore Tue 06-Dec-16 11:26:43

We split the weekdays and then alternate weekends so they are always with me Sun, Mon and Tue nights and with their dad Wed, Thu, Fri night and we alternate Sat night with them returning to me either 9am Sat or 6pm Sun (or Monday if a bank holiday falls on their weekend with dad). We've done this since the youngest was 18mo. It works well because the kids always know where they are going to be on any given day. We have been through periods of amicability and not speaking to each other but it's worked really well and generally we are reasonable and flexible if one or the other of us needs a bit of a change.

Sometimes we keep the normal routine in holidays, sometimes we swap days so we can go away for 1/2/3 weeks.

We both live near to the school. 50/50 isn't practical otherwise. I'd say no more than 30 mins drive (including rush hour).

Reducing handovers is definitely important.

We split Xmas day in half. I don't think either of us would have been happy to not see the children on Xmas day in exchange for having Easter. My husband's ex has family abroad though so one year she takes their children abroad and the next year they are with us for the same length of time (anything up to a week).

Fourormore Tue 06-Dec-16 11:28:47

Don't forget things like birthdays and mothers and Father's Day.

Famalam13 Tue 06-Dec-16 11:31:20

I was a child with 50/50 arrangements with my parents. From my perspective the most important thing is to agree consistency in the two homes so the same rules etc. I found it very disorientating as a small child to have to remember two sets of rules.

CaptainM Tue 06-Dec-16 20:52:29

Thank you so ,much, Fourormore and Famalam13.

Yes, I hadn't thought of birthdays!

I'm thinking of making the weekends long so that if he picks up on Friday, he drops off on Monday morning, then swap for the following weekend. That would work better as dcs usually go for sleepovers at my sister's on Saturdays and it's a pain to rush them back on the Sunday. Also, means I don't have to see him and he can't play games of bringing them back late and not picking up his phone.

Now, to work out the weekdays! It's all so depressingsad

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