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STBX wanting 50/50 custody.

(17 Posts)
NeverGuessWho Fri 24-Jan-20 05:21:03

I‘m just looking for advice from people who initially found the idea of not having their children for half the week traumatic, but came through it and found that it was actually fine for their children, and themselves. But also, experiences where it’s not working out, so I can be prepared.

I’m worried about how the DCs (14, 12 & 10) will cope emotionally, and on a practical level. Their DF will be present, but currently spends most of his spare time on his phone/computer, though I’m hoping he will put more effort in when I’m no longer around.

Also, do your children manage OK with the chopping and changing between two houses? What have you/they found difficult, and how have these issues been overcome, or are they still ongoing?

Things that my DCs have mentioned so far include:
DC10: how will we make sure that they get their favourite teddies to each house, and not forget them?

Making sure that they have PE kits and swimming kits at both houses.

I don’t want to only have them 50% of the time, but I think a court would insist on it, apart from my son (14) who has expressed that he would rather be with me in the week.

OP’s posts: |
Soontobe60 Fri 24-Jan-20 05:55:42

I had 50/50 with ex for 14 years and it worked very well.
My DD was 5 and in school. He stayed in the marital home, I moved 15 miles away. DD stayed at same school and with same childminder. Our arrangements were as follows:
Friday after school pick up DD from childminder, go to his house and collect bags with her things in (initially her spare uniform, weekend clothes, favourite toys) Child benefit left for me to collect.
DD with me for the full week. ( dropped and picked at cm daily by me).
Friday am dropped off at cm with bags, cm paid for the week, dinner money given to cm to hand in at school. Each of us took it in turn to wash uniform so on a Friday pick up I'd collect her dirty uniform and wash it over the weekend, then the following Friday morning he would have the dirty uniform to wash.
School holidays split equally (even though I was a teacher).
Birthdays split annually so we each had her alternately the evening before and the day of her actual birthday.
Christmas the same, from Christmas Eve day to Boxing Day morning.
Annual holidays- each parent had 2 weeks for this, then the other parent would have her for 2 weeks on her return.
I did dentist, hair cut, parents evenings etc.

It was very hard for me at first but soon became the new normal. DD eventually had a spare lot of clothes at mine plus toys etc.

The arrangement only stopped when DD left home to go to university.

millymollymoomoo Fri 24-Jan-20 06:51:32

Do your children want 50:50? At their ages I think they should get some level of say and input?

Pinkandpurplehairedlady Fri 24-Jan-20 07:01:57

We do 50/50 and so it’s working brilliantly. The kids are happy with it. The logistics have taken a bit of working out but I think we’re there now. They have clothes at both houses including school uniforms and anything they want to travel with them goes in a bag to school for the other parent to take them when they collect them.

Otter71 Fri 24-Jan-20 10:04:56

My 14yo DD has been doing 50/50 for a year now. A few initial hiccups but resolved by duplication of uniform, PE kit etc. But we live close enough now to be in same school catchment so she catches bus from her dad's Monday morning Nd walks to mine in the evening then does the reverse the next Monday. Does probably help that the school has a 2 week timetable though...

TheBusDriver Fri 24-Jan-20 16:11:43

More worried about money I would say.

50/50 should be the automatic goto shared care and if not a variation should be required to change. This would save on alot of aggrevation.

NeverGuessWho Sat 25-Jan-20 06:32:43

Thanks everyone. It’s encouraging to read your comments.
Sorry, what do you mean, “More worried about the money I would say.”
And I think I might know you!

OP’s posts: |
monkeymonkey2010 Sat 25-Jan-20 22:43:11

if he gets 50/50 he legally doesn't need to pay you maintenance......

Personally, i would have hated doing 50/50 at any age, i prefer one main place to set down my roots.

MollyButton Sat 25-Jan-20 22:48:13

I would think the wishes of the children would be listened to.
Where does he live? How easy is it for them to get to school from his?

It has worked well for some friends of mine. But their father went to a lot of effort to get them to school, even when he moved further away. But he was an involved father (and they were younger at the start).
The big thing is will he facilitate their activities? Would he take them to friends parties for instance?
And he can't have all the weekends.

OEJ1979 Sun 26-Jan-20 13:43:42

This has been really interesting to read. On verge of separation and H has been very clear he will ensure all money is gone in fighting to have kids 50/50 if I say no.
He doesn’t work so can not see how a judge would decline him although I do think DD at 13 may talk with her feet.
I’m not sure he can give them the emotional support they need (he is controlling and manipulative) He is great at ‘play’ but can do little else.
Someone on another chat said the fact he can’t cook or use a washing machine doesn’t go against him as he can learn!

My concern is over a 14 day period how you get 7 days each?
School books, sports equipment will be come a nightmare...or it’s two of everything!!!
The kids have been my main reason for sticking around however I’ve realised that I really am happier with them when he is not about. They notice on both sides. They have more fun when we are alone than together!

What rota did those that had a successful 50/50 have?
Week on/off or few days each?

youknowitmakessensedunnit Sun 26-Jan-20 14:08:32

I do a "2 2 5 5" routine with my ex wife (opposed by her but won through court) which goes like this in term time:

Mon Tues me
Weds Thurs her
Fri Sat Sun alternating between us.

We have completely separate clothes and gear between houses, 2 of everything pretty much except school shoes and bag (which I pay for), much less drama that way, lol

tonga Sun 26-Jan-20 14:54:59

Hi OP, it’s tough but if the father wants 50/50 then agree a court will likely grant it. I very reluctantly agreed to 50/50 three years ago. I have DD (9) and DS(6) from weds school pick up until Sat am or Sunday pm. That’s our fortnightly routine. I couldn’t do a week apart from them on a regular basis. I like the certainty of having them weds/thurs/fri nights and have managed to fit my four days work around this. We’ve made new traditions like always having a special Friday night dinner and film then big breakfast Saturday. The extra things you need are annoying but so much easier to kit out both houses than fight over who has forgotten what. XH is a devoted dad and doesn’t live too far away. We don’t get on at all but I’m glad he’s so involved in their lives. The worst thing has been that he has made it difficult for me to call them when they are with him. Try to agree how you will communicate. I did buy my sensible DD a phone but he refused to let her have it at his house.
We have The Bag which goes from house to house with washed returned clothes and anything the kids want to take to the other house. My DD takes her teddy in her school bag on Wednesdays. DS decided to have a teddy in each house.
I found other people’s reactions were surprising and sometimes unhelpful and hurtful (mothers amazed I would agree to be apart from my children) but I learned to ignore comments. The house can feel very quiet but look after yourself in those times and be ready for them when they come back. Good luck!

tonga Sun 26-Jan-20 15:03:06

What I also meant to say is that the children seem settled with the arrangements now. They are in far less childcare than they were when we all lived together and get devoted 1-1 time with parents separately. They are close as siblings which really helps. I feel better knowing my daughter will comfort her brother and look after him. It was fun arranging their new bedrooms at my home and they do seem happy and doing well at school.

OEJ1979 Sun 26-Jan-20 18:52:11

@youknowitmakessensedunnit do you both cope with the five days every other week?
If I understand correctly you get a fri-tues and she gets wed-sun?
I know I would find that exceptionally hard but writing it down it does seem a good plan. Not sure how my DD at 13 would cope. Dad doesn’t get teenage girl life/attitude!
Pmt doesn’t exist in his matter how old you are.
For me clubs would also be an issue as they both do so many and both have matches Sunday mornings. DD also boards are school occasionally mostly Thursday so I wouldn’t want those days!

Poppinjay Sun 26-Jan-20 18:57:53

If the children don't want it and they can explain it to CAFCASS in the context of his history of being disengaged, I wouldn't agree to it.

Bluewater1 Sun 26-Jan-20 19:00:21

We do 50 50. It was hard at first but it has become the new normal and the DC have seemed completely happy about it from day 1

Yesyesitsme Wed 29-Jan-20 22:52:35

What hours do you both work? And who's been the main carer up until now, or has it been equally shared?

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