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Tell me all about shared parenting

(11 Posts)
cannotseeaway Sun 11-Nov-12 20:47:26

DP and I split about 10 days ago and are exploring our options. I have been the main carer and work part time, XP full time. He wants to stay a big part of their lives and has made no secret of the fact he would like full custody, I do not want to give my babies up.

XP is thinking of cutting his hours at work so we can have shared custody and renting smaller houses close to eachother. In principle I think this could work, but i worry about missing my babies and also that my ddi is too young to spend protracted periods away from her mum (ds is 4 and dd 17m). My ideal would be XP having them every other weekend and 1 midweek overnight.

Talk to me and tell me how fab shared parenting is please! I know we need to come to a happy compromise as neither of us want a nasty split for the sake of our wonderful dcs .

STIDW Mon 12-Nov-12 00:13:05

Parental Responsibility means both parents have equal responsibility and rights to carry out those responsibilities. "Residence" determines where children live and can be in favour of one parent or both (shared Residence). Shared residence doesn't have to be 50:50, it can be in different proportions. Generally shared residence is indicated when both parents live in close proximity near the children's school and children spend a reasonable amount of time with both parents. When children spend two or three nights alternate weekends with one or two midweek nights in between it may be considered a shared residence arrangement.

avenueone Mon 12-Nov-12 00:31:03

The factual explanation has already been given - I'm not in your position my ex has not been involved since he left whilst I was pregnant but I just think you have to do what is right for the children and see how they respond maybe? I know I would hate not having one home and my things between two places but some people/children like it/cope with it. Was it your choice to split? There is no hard and fast rule that children need mum more unless breast feeding nor is there about what the children want/need apart from a great relationship with you both. You may just enjoy the free time, it isn't going to be easy doing everything yourself at home. If the children are happy you will be and I know it seems a long way down the line but if you do meet someone else you will have the time to spend on a new relationship too, something I can't do really.

cannotseeaway Mon 12-Nov-12 09:31:18

I am not very up on the terminology yet, so I suppose what we are looking at is joint parental responsibility with 50:50 residency. I think this will be hard but hopefully work for the dc.

I ended the relationship after a lot of soul searching, it has been the most difficult decision of my life, and now I just want to be the best Mum I can.

I would love to hear from people parenting in this way; what has worked, what hasn't, how we can move forward in the best possible way.

Oh and avenueone, I think that one of the plus sides will definitely being able to have some time our, although at the moment a new relationship seems like exactly what I don't want or need !

cannotseeaway Mon 12-Nov-12 09:32:23

Out, not our blush

balia Mon 12-Nov-12 11:17:00

Start with lots of talking (get mediation if it leads to rows on your own). You can download parenting plans (if i can find the link I'll post it) to guide you through - they often get you to think about stuff that hasn't even occurred to you.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 12-Nov-12 16:00:44

I've shared care of my DD with her dad on a 50:50 basis since we split over three years ago - she was 8 then and we've had to adapt and overcome over time as we've all moved on!

Like you, it was my decision to split - and it's not been easy!
Happy to share my experiences by private message if you drop me a line - too much info might out me more than I'm happy with !

Daddelion Mon 12-Nov-12 17:16:02

I'm a father and we do shared care.

It's not always been 50-50 time wise as it needs to be flexible as the children get older.

What worked for us is:

Take the emotion out of it, who did what doesn't matter.
What ever decisions made, must be justifiable to the children that it was in their best interests.
Be flexible.
Other parent always gets first call if the other parent needs to swap.
Live near each other.
Neither one is more of a parent than the other.
You have to let the other parent, parent their way, as it could be different to the way you do it, but it doesn't make it wrong.

Basically you both have to put the children first to make it work.

DoubleYew Mon 12-Nov-12 17:19:29

I know someone whose younger child had one extra night with the mother while the older went to the father's. This meant they both had one on one time, next night younger one went to join sibling at father's. Once they were older they made it even. Everyone seemed happy with this set up.

8rubberduckies Tue 13-Nov-12 10:27:22

It is OP and I have namechanged.

Thanks, some helpful pointers there. Things are still very raw but I am hoping we can both step up and become excellent communicators with eachother, as I think it is going to be of massive importance.

The downloadable parenting plans sound like a great idea balia. If you can find the link that would be really helpful.

balia Tue 13-Nov-12 11:41:54

Cafcass one very long and detailed, not all will be relevant, uses questions as prompts. shorter, more like a work book.

Other ideas I have heard of/used;
communications book - to keep handovers short, you record basic stuff in the book (any health concerns, basic eating info, any medication given etc)
joint agreed diary for important events (we used calendar sheets from publisher) both of you have a copy and fill in school dates, doc's appts, wider family birthdays/events, work commitments etc.
Regular review of arrangements - you need to be able to respond to the needs of the children as they get older.

Good Luck!

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