19 answers

50/50 Custody

Hi Moms,
Does anyone have personal experience with 50/50 custody and schedules.
My ex husband is proposing that we share custody of our 8 year old daughter and says that a one week on and one week off
schedule is best for her. I am struggling with this as I do think that more time with her dad is in her best interest, but the selfish side of me is thinking of the week i am away from her. So, I am asking if anyone out there is on this week on/week off schedule and how has this worked for you? Any issues? Does it work well? Any thoughts are appreciated.


What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your thoughts, ideas, and well wishes. I appreciate every response. My ex and I remain friends as we have since the divorce 6 years ago. Thinking this over, I do feel that consistant time with both parents is what is best for our daughter. Consistency is key. Yes, it will be tough to be without her for 7 days, but she will be in a loving home with her dad and spending some good quality time with him. And when she comes to me, she will get that good quality mom time. In the end she will have two very loving homes to grow up in. As someone who grew up with both parents together, yet a pretty much absent father, her having quality time with her dad will mean the world to her. Thank you again for all your thoughts and kind words.

Here is to happy co parenting all around!

Featured Answers

My new sister -in - law does this schedule with her daughter and ex husband as far as I can see the daughter loves it and so do the parents as it was hard for me to grip this style of co- parenting I think it is great that they are doing what is best for their little girl.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Updated ad on.. ..For people outside of Texas. Here in Texas having 50/50 does not affect the child support amount. It is still based on the percentage each parent earns.. For instance, my BIL earns 3 times what my sister earns so he still pays child support. Also for insurance my sisters work has the best insurance so that is considered part of her portion of financial care. I think most parents are so involved in the care of their children that 50/50 is what they want, not a way to "get out of having to pay child support.".

sister and her ex, do the 50/50 and it works great for them. My sister is the one that moved out, so she purchased a home close to their house. This has made it lots easier for the kids to get home from school no matter "who's week" it is.

Also since the kids are involved in all sorts of sports and activities, both parents try to go to all of the events so even if it is not my "sisters week", she still attends the events and sees the kids and my brother in law and his wife can also attend on my sisters week. .. Same with school events.

This was VERY hard in the beginning. They have always agreed the kids can call the other parent ANYTIME. In the beginning (even now) there were some tough situations with switching weeks, and the holiday deal was tough. One year the kids spend Christmas with one parent the next Christmas with the other.Birthday parties and celebrations are still a touchy time.. . Unexpected things come up, so do they go with the other parent or with a relative? We all live in the same city.

There were hard feeling, hurt feelings, but it finally has settled down for the most part.

As a child of divorce and watching my sister go through this, I beg you to just do your best and when in doubt, ask yourself "how will this affect my daughter".

Let things happen organically, bend your ways and always try to take the high road. Remember this is your daughters life. She is watching and hearing everything, even when you do not realize it.

I am sending you strength. I really do understand how you feel. This is not the way it was supposed to turn out, but you are all going to be fine.

6 moms found this helpful

At 8 years old, it would be a good idea to get your daughter's views on this. As someone else mentioned, it is more important to understand how a week away from you will affect HER as opposed to how you feel about a week away from her. If your daughter can't handle 7 days in a row apart from you without getting very sad/depressed, then a shorter schedule may be best.

Sure it will be less confusing for everyone to do one week on/one week off, but only if your daughter handles it well.

Provided her father provides a healthy environment, it is great for her to know that her father wants to spend as much time with her as you do.

Although I'm not divorced, my sister is, so my experience with this is through my niece, who is also 8. As someone else said below, once you get a schedule going, being flexible for special events also means a lot to the child. My niece does get very sad when she misses an event with one family because she's with the other. Her parents are very flexible, but it's happened where a grandparent visit with one family has coincided with a special trip out of town with the other family.

I hope everything works out with the new schedule!

2 moms found this helpful

While you need to be equitable you also need to be flexible. For example, if the weekend he is scheduled to have her is Mothers Day weekend or your parents are visiting you can both be flexible and have her with you a second consecutive weekend and then he can have her the next two weekends. In the end it's not what's best for the two of you but what's best for her. Also, as she gets older her friends and school events will become more important. You have to be flexible about that as well. You don't say where your ex lives. If he's out of town your daughter may choose to spend more time at your home so she can do those events with friends and school. She might then spend more time during summer with him. Remember, it's about her.

2 moms found this helpful

I know that 50/50 will hurt your and your ex husband' heart but you need to do what is easiest for your daughter.
Will it be hard on her if she has to go back and forth every two to three days. It will be like she is living out of a suit case and she will get frustrated with that in time.
Sit down with your ex and your daughter and ask her how many days at a time she would like to start with and then maybe after a month or so she will do ok with a week gone from M. and a week gone from daddy.

Ease into it slowly.

It is nice to hear that your ex wants her 50% of the time as well.
Because some dads just up and leave. Kids need both parents and it sounds like you and your ex are doing good for her.

I wish you the best.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't have personal experience with 50/50 custody...though I know families for which it is a GREAT solution. It is always a great thing when dads want to spend time with their kids.

I wanted to share the other side of the coin with you. My ex-husband has practically nothing to do with our daughter. He chose to visit with her just five times in 2009...and just once so far in 2010. We live less than 20 miles apart and I've offered multiple times to meet him close to a job site.

You will miss her, but as you get further away from the actual divorce, you will begin to appreciate the time you get to yourself. Though I feel guilty that I often have to go on business trips...I also appreciate that I can sleep an extra hour in the morning, don't have to pack her lunch, and get to have dinner with adults...and an occasional adult beverage...lol!

Since the birth of my daughter and my divorce, the biggest stress I feel is on my time. Think about all the things you could do in your "free" week that would enable you to spend even MORE quality time when you are with her! Pay bills, stock the freezer with easy meals, see a grown-up movie, paint a room, clean out your car, read a book, eat cookies for dinner...lol.

Even if it is seen as a "tactic" to avoid child support...trust me, most support comes no where near supporting 50% of a child's care. If you live within a reaonable distance to each other, she can stay in the same school, insurance coverage isn't a problem...then this could be a great solution. Make sure that y'all agree about how school clothes, extracurricular activities, gifts, etc are agreed upon and paid for.

Rather than child support, maybe an agreement to deposit a set percentage of each of your gross income in a account for future expenses...such as college. This doesn't unduly burden anyone and puts a plan in place for the future.

2 moms found this helpful

I know several families that have this type of arrangement. The most extreme one is where the kids switch every day. The wake up at one house, go to school, go home to the other house, wake up, go to school, go home to the first house. Its insane! They are counstantly forgetting things at the house that they won't go back to for 2 days.

The one that I think works best is a Monday pm - Friday am, and Friday pm - Monday am situation. That way, each parent gets 3 1/2 days straight, and the kids don't change houses during the school week.


2 moms found this helpful

I have a 50/50 schedule with my daughter who is now 8. We started this when she was 5. Her Dad and I both agree that a whole week with one of us is too long (for her and especially for us!). We've come up with a schedule that means the longest either of us is away from her is 3 nights. My time with her looks like this:

Week 1 - Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday
Week 2 - Tuesday, Wednesday

We switch late afternoon on Sundays.

We live fairly close, so switching this often is not a big deal as far as transportation. We have had this schedule for 3 years and it works well. I have never been away from her for a week, and I hope that doesn't happen until college!

Some parents will say their children don't do well with frequent switching, and this may be true, but our daughter likes our schedule a lot.

2 moms found this helpful

For me, the anticipation of time spent away from my children, and them away from me, was even more complicated because of lack of trust with their father and his girlfriend--the divorce was because of their sexual betrayal, as she had once been my close friend. He also wanted shared legal custody--and was not responsible to their educational needs or medical needs, if it cost him money or too much transportation time. Finally, he had a weekend business at the time, and the kids did not want to go with him to participate in that--it was a craft business a couple of hours away. So for us it was a very complex decision. I got full legal custody--easily, as I was the most responsible parent for those matters. He got two mid-week days a week with them, and even that had to be carefully figured as to which specific days they would have homework due, likely field trips, etc, that would require extra school support and volunteerism.

I'm not telling you all these things to worry you, but to help you think through potential issues and maybe come up with your own. It doesn't make the decision easier, but it does give you a better chance at making it ultimately work for your daughter.

One other thing--just in case you decide at some point to go to college. I work in the financial aid office of my local community college. We frequently see students who have difficulty with being able to claim their child on their financial aid application for increased budget expenses and increased financial need, because federal regulations require you provide "MORE than 50% of the support". It can be just a little bit more, but the straight 50-50 parents run into trouble with this.

2 moms found this helpful

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