50/50 Custody Question

Updated on March 02, 2013
C.R. asks from Signal Hill, CA
12 answers

My ex and I are battling in court and I would love some insight with out dishing out all the details of our case...I currently have 70% he has 30%, we have joint legal and joint physical, I am the primary care giver. Dad left when child was only 6 months old, child is now 3.5 years old.

He is fighting for 50/50, I am against it. I don't blame him for wanting 50/50, however... I truly, from the bottom of my heart, KNOW it will not be in our child's best interest. A few key things, we are a "high conflict divorce", we can't agree on anything, we live about 1.5 HOURS apart. Our child has shown anxiety toward her father for the past 2.5 years, running from him, crying when she sees him, begging not to go, etc. Because of the anxiety our child displays we have been ordered to attend co-parent therapy and our child has been in her own individual therapy for over a year.

MY QUESTION: I'm wondering if any of you out there have had the 50/50 battle and the dad's time did not increase. If the dad fights for 50/50 does he usually get it? I know is CA the courts are trying, when ever possible, to grant 50/50. But as a parent I know that 50/50 is not always best for the child. I'm wondering if the court really takes each case as individual or if they just try for even time.

Obviously there are SO many details to our case that will influence the judge and I would rather not go into them, just curious if anyone has endured this battle :) Thanks!

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answers from Dallas on

I would think that being that you don't like in the same area 50/50 would not be reasonable. Even if she's not school age she will be soon and then what. You can't move her back and forth. To me it would be crazy for them to grant that. but that's just me!

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answers from St. Louis on

Judging from your other question you do not live an hour and a half from each other, just 45 minutes which is not far at all.

Thing is why doesn't your daughter want to go to dads? The court will ask what you think is the reason. They will judge you on the answer.

They will also judge your reasons and I get the feeling they will see you are not fighting for your child but your lifestyle. 50/50 will most likely mean a reduction in support which means you will work full time.

I guess I am saying what you have listed here will not sway a court to keep the current arrangement. The court takes a look at each case but your ex has just as much right to the child as you do so they will go with 50/50 unless there is a good reason not to.

I can tell you from my own divorce what you want matters little to the court.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Perhaps if you go to 50/50 custody and work harder to become a low conflict divorce, it would go a long way to helping with your child's anxiety.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

No one can predict a judge's decision, it depends on your state's legal precedent, the case you and your ex make, and the mood of the judge at the time.

Typically, though, if a father wants 50/50 time, the only reasons to deny them would be - if it were logistically impossible, or if the mother could prove it were not in the best interests of the child. 50/50 time can be over the course of year, it doesn't have to be weekly or monthly.

My daughter has 50/50 time with her dad. We divorced when she was 41/2 and she is 11 now. We did not battle about our co-parenting arrangement (or anything else about our divorce agreement), we both agreed that it was best she spend equal time with each of us. We live 20 mins apart. She goes to school closer to his house. I drive her to school when she is with me. We switch off every 2 or 3 days. We are able to talk and agree on things (mostly because I learned to communicate in an effective way, let a lot of things just go, and work hard at keeping a good relationship).

If I were a judge (which of course I'm not) I'd be most interested in what you both were doing to relieve your daughter's anxiety about being with her dad. I would hold off on making any changes in her life until that could be resolved.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

It is impossible to know what the courts will decide. They may think the anxiety is because the child does not know the father well enough and think that more time with him would help. I think in most cases 50/50 is what is best because the child is the child of both parents. I think it is unfair that mothers usually get kids most of the time and dads turn in to nothing more then a child support check.

and no, preschool will not necessarily "stop this", I know families that share 50/50 custody but due to distance the child does 6 months and 6 months. I would think switching each week would be better then that, and you will both more then likely have to do half the driving. My cousin meets his ex half way (she lives 6 hours away).

and according to your previous question he only lives 45 mins away, that is not far at all, especially if you guys split the driving, either meeting half way or he picks up one way and you the other. Seems more then fair.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I dont think you stated any reason except travel that he shouldnt get it. If your daughter decided she didnt want to see you then thats not something she should be able to choose J. like seeing dad.
Although I'd think with living that far apart it's not possible.

I dont see why the judge made you do coparenting classes unless you cant communicate on either side nicely. I could never imagine not being able to comminicate with my ex peacefully in front of my daughter on my saide (i cant control his side) and luckily we both are pretty calm and friendly most times. Sure we dont agree with eachothers parenting style but thats for us to gripe about to friends or on here not to eachother so it doesnt effect emmy at all


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Question - does 50/50 in this case have to mean during the week or can it be something like he gets most breaks and summers, which gives him time, without disrupting the school year? The school year (many children start preschool by 4) should be something to consider. My DH's ex lived 45 mins to an hour away and had EOWE, time in the summer, one dinner a week and breaks. We got 1 week for a family vacation each summer. We became EOWE in the summer and the kids were primarily with her during that time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Just based on the distance, I would be surprised 50/50 would be reasonable. Also, once your child starts school, then you have to start all over again? or would he drive them to school and activities every day?

My ex and I had joint physical and legal, but I was the school placement and primary parent. Attorneys I consulted explained that "joint" is a term to placate a parent, but its the school placement and primary parent that make the difference - meaning those terms equal custody and the other parent visitation. It may be different in your state.

Each case is unique on some level. I don't think they'd necessarily focus on him not being around in the past bc this arrangement is going forward, but the distance and age with preschool and school would.

For me, after we finally settled, my ex moved out of state therefore needing to change the entire arrangement. So, we ended up back in court. He did not get the full amount of time he wanted and I didn't get exactly what I wanted. It's all about compromise.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Hello! I can completely identify with your situation. When my ex and I got divorced, our daughter was 3.5. The judge granted 50/50 custody and it seems that this is the overall trend these days. With 50/50 there is usually no child support being paid. The tricky part is deciding on how to split the time. My ex and I are very involved in our daughter's day to day and we initally agreed to ....2 days on, 2 days off and every other weekend. Initially it seemed the best way as we both want her every day...and at 3-4 years old..our daughter wants us both. My daughter is now 6.5 and I am now trying to change the arrangement to 1 week on / 1 week off...each week the other gets 2 dinners with our daughter....but overall, she gets a week with me....and i feel that it will better her consistency and give her more time in each home to settle in for a while....live within each of our rules in our homes, etc.

No matter what, it's about the child. My ex dislikes me more than he loves her so all of his actions are usually directed at me rather than what's best for her.

We too, had her in therapy during the divorce. A very contentious divorce to boot. She came through it like a champ! She is understanding that daddy and mommy aren't married and that daddy has a live in girlfriend and mommy as a boyfriend. This is a testiment to me and my ex that we both work at it. Trust me....we do not like eachother and it gets ugly sometimes, but it's so much easier to not react to the negativity.

Overall, when you go to court....have your facts in line. No emotion. Court does not rule on emotion, they rule on what's best for the child.



answers from Los Angeles on

What is the opinion of the therapist? If the therapist agrees with you it may be beneficial in court.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I felt sadden when I read your post. It breaks my heart to picture a little 3 yr old in the middle of this tug of war between her parents. No wonder she has anxiety. Why do you guys live so far apart? She needs both her parents to live by each other otherwise this poor kid will spend her life in a car. You mentioned the word battling and "high conflict" anc also stated you two can't agree on anything. These are the factors that contribute to kids not adjusting to a divorce. Most kids find their way, but the kids whose parents can't resolve their differences are the ones who suffer the
most. Goggle "high conflict divorce" and "kids" and you will see study after study that shows these kids really have trouble.



answers from Kalamazoo on

He lives way too far away for 50/50. I mean what will happen once school starts. Enroll your child in preschool, that should stop this, unless he is willing to make 2 3 hr round trip everyday to bring the child to school.

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