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50/50 custody when working full time?(15 Posts)
I wondered if anyone has experience of a good working pattern for 50/50 custody when you work full time? I work mon-fri and am on call 1 in 11 roughly.
my hubby is SAHD but things are very much on the rocks at the moment. My children are nearly 18, 12 and 7. it's mainly younger two that would be a concern in how I could fulfill joint custody and work. i would need to work to have a place. We are council tenants and to be honest I would prefer a clean break house wise than to keep where I am. As hubby is SAHD it's only fair I think too.
He's in Uni part time so has student finance and a small income from home. Child tax credit and child benefit are paid into his account.
I work full time and do 50:50. One week my DD is with me 4 days and the next week 3 with alternating weekends. I utilise breakfast and after school clubs to enable me to do it.
This is where it's tricky, D3 doesn't like breakfast club and there aren't any after school clubs (rural setting).
D2 could walk to school if I stay close enough and I could pick her up with D3 from her dads, but it's really tricky as I start early sometimes. For instance Monday I've a 6am start, 500 mile roundtrip and can't guarantee a finish time even on a standard day.
D1 is an easy one as she can get college bus from dads or from where nearer to D2/D3's school which is what i'm thinking of as the best option.
We moved away from family 9 years ago too so no outside help.
I have done this (I have them about 60% and ex was sahd) and have to use after school clubs and a childminder in the mornings. DS1 especially complains about this, but it's tough, and it's not every day anyway. I also tell myself this would have happened had we stayed together as ex couldn't have been a sahd for much longer - the same might be true in your case as your h is doing a degree?
If there are no clubs after school, could your h have them and then you collect from his? We did this for a while (though ex came here rather than the other way round) and it eased the transition, then you might find other arrangements evolve quite naturally from there. For instance, your ex may take on more work once you split, so he may not be around after school either and then both of you will need to find a solution - it won't just be you, iyswim.
I found the logistics of working and being a single parent really difficult after I separated for similar reasons to you. I had dc in different schools with different start times and used a mixture of childminders and breakfast clubs but for various reasons, it all broke down and after two years I had to give up my job.
Rather than 50:50 whole days, can you organise it between you so that he does the school run when you have an early start? Or can you have a similar arrangement to the one you currently have but just be separated? If you can be flexible that should help.
Btw after I separated ex did the morning and after school childcare for me to work and it was fine for about six months then that broke down too. If our relationship had been amicable it would have been a better option than all the childminders and clubs though.
Exh and I share custody and as I work full time Monday to Friday we split it so I have them Friday from school until Monday morning. I consider it to be more or less 50/50. This is working well for us although I get a lot of comments from people who like to tell me how unusual it is!
I've known people who both work full time and do a 50-50 managed by having regular days (or one does Monday and Tuesday night, the other Wednesday and Thursday) then alternating the weekends. That means both got some fixed days of the week when they could work early/late with no worries about kids. However I think there was some after school clubs involved and a bit of flexibility in what hours they worked on the days when they did have the kids.
Your situation sounds difficult. Would it work better for your ex to have the kids in the week and you to have them maybe every weekend? Or 3 weekends out of 4? Tbh my experience of any form of shared care is that it's difficult for teens who find their lives easier to manage with one main home and benefit from one main carer who's on top of their lives. Your 18 year old will certainly need to be on board with whether you decide.
Would it work better for your ex to have the kids in the week and you to have them maybe every weekend? Or 3 weekends out of 4?
I think the OP would be hard pushed to get an agreement with her ex that he does all the school runs and homework and she gets all the weekends/days out.
OP I only know two couples who do 50/50 and one is a teacher. She doesn't have her children 50/50 in term time, but has them more than 50% of the holidays so they balance out over the course of the year. The other do week about with the children going to the other house on a Sunday evening. They have dinner with the non-week parent on a Wednesday so that it's not a whole week without contact.
How flexible is your work? Could you do some longer days and some shorter days?
Is their dad going to need to get a job?
There's a lot of things to think about. But I can see the kids finding it a bit unfair if they have to do lots of clubs etc all of a sudden. at 12 though, aren't they nearly old enough to get themselves to school and back? It can't be long till both of them could do that? (Assuming they are relatively sensible).
Have you spoken to a solicitor yet?
As he has been primary carer for some time, a court may consider a split that gives him more time is less disruptive for the children.
How long until he finishes uni and goes to work?
What would the kids want? Would 50/50 suit them?
I have been divorced 4 year, two dc, 13 and 15. We have always had 50/50 split and i work full time. Exh works part time / school hours / term time only.
I have them 4 nights a week and he has them 3 nights. its usually works EOW and then some in the week. We are quite flexible.
It sounds as if him having them more than 50% would work better....
He can either have 75% of the time, or you ask for 50/50 and you will need to get an au pair or similar for a few years ( might involve you all squeezing in sharing bedroom to make space for one).
If your youngest is 7 , then it's only a few years until they start gradually being old enough to be left alone an hour or so
Also consider if your elder children could cope as 'childcare'. Ie would 18 year still be at home for a while? If so they might agree to dropping child at breakfast club or
Thanks for so many inputs and experience - lots to think about.
I'm not very flexible in being able to negotiate early / lates as I work in funeralcare and that means we need to be flexible to families and demand. There are times I get more time off than expected so would be able to be fluid at those times.
I think, the girls will be varied in their wishes - D1 is closest to me as we go to the gym, socialise together (cinema / shopping etc). She's looking at a gap year of travelling and working then Uni away from home. So her life is in transition soon too.
D2 is more of a daddy's girl and quite lazy on weekends so she'd be happy at home but of course I need to keep contact strong and let her know I'm not leaving her so would want some form of schedule I could keep to. D3 is young and whilst dad is main carer she comes to me if I'm around and she's hurt, for homework etc and we spend one on one time at the horses etc so that could continue.
D1 is our baby sitter so yes she'd happily be home with the girls if I needed her to be and was around. I drive her around to work etc at weekends and social occasions so we have a good relationship.
Hubby's degree is part time so fits around the girls, still has 3 years left so he has time on his hands in terms of that buffer without needing to work and work wise things could change in time. There are some roles 9-5 and also I could look at less hours too if need be. Ideally i'd like to stay in my role at the moment though.
We are amicable and he's a good dad so I don't think he'd be bitter - but breakups don't always go well do they?
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