Should I Help Ex in Taking Care of Kids?

Updated on January 19, 2013
L.P. asks from Upland, CA
22 answers

I'm getting a divorce and he wants 50/50 which I'm happy to do so he'll be with the kids. We want to switch every other week. Only thing is, he works 50 miles away and although he can take them to school, he can't pick them up or come home until about 7:30pm. I believe kids should be with parents first before hiring a nanny but I'm wondering if my want to be with the kids as much as I can is the wrong thing to do. If I do this (take care of them after school during his weeks) I will be in the same place I was before.... bound to the kids every day of my life but now without a husband. I am not asking for alimony. I am not even asking for what the court says I should get. I really want to get him to stop controlling me and making me feel like I owe him my life since he pays for everything (he makes over $150K and I make $24K). I'll agree to calculating cost of the kids and then dividing by 2. He's pretty hell bent on not giving me anything. He wants to make sure all the money goes to the kids. Fine. But I came into this with the idea that I should help and be with the kids when I can. Should I let it go and make him be completely responsible for the kids during his week? Even though I may be 5 miles away... should I just sit around while someone else he hires does the job of picking them up and taking care of them until he comes home? I'm crushed as to whether I am clinging onto them when I should not. I do yearn for that break I never had but I also don't want to leave the kids, especially when I have nothing I'm doing. Maybe I take care of them but agree that I can break from it a certain number of times so I can go on a week vacation? Because as it is, if I take care of them during his weeks and mine, I never can leave. But for him, he can do what he pleases during my weeks. Should I learn to let go or am I right in offering myself to the kids?

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So What Happened?

***********FInal Update on what happened********************
The way we calculated custody, we did the cost of living and he's paying that. That way, even if I lose my job I can still pay basic necessities. His child support amount came out to be so that both our monthly incomes are the same (that way we both can take care of the kids in the same way). He has a slight raise advantage over the years but I claim the kids since I'll be low income and the money will stay with us rather than the government. That means that we are back to the way we lived before when he paid for housing and basic bills and my money is for what it used to be (clothes, entertainment, food...) but now I don't have him to do the savings and extras that pop up (except I do have the retirement). No big deal to me. Honestly, he was at the brink of making me pay for half of living cost since it's 50/50. I knew it felt wrong but I can't stand up to him. You can't say I should just do it... I can't so the best thing for me is to get away by divorcing him. So... what made him go back to our original agreement of him paying for all basic needs? He talked to his mom that he has not seen since he was 7. I don't know what she said to him (I talk to his mom more than he does and I've tried to bridge the gap between them) but he got off the phone more calm and less angry. I think he found out his mom was not as bad as his dad made her out to be all these years.

As for the original question of taking care of the kids... I have to do it. I can't not. I can't see myself living with myself knowing that I have very little time with my kids as they grow up and 10 years is a stretch as the time period they really need me to be around them. My 3 year old could probably stay at home alone with his teenage siblings in 7 years when he turns 10... maybe even sooner. That means I really don't have that much time until they are teenagers and I won't be picking up and dropping them off. I'm not about to "teach him a lesson" about how hard it is to raise kids because the important thing is to raise the kids. Period. Thank you all moms who put things into perspective and I know I did not follow everyone's advice (or anyone's in particular), I'm doing what my conscious tells me. I was never mad at being with the kids all the time, I was mad that I didn't feel appreciated for doing so. I think the final papers being submitted really set me free (for now) because I no longer feel like I need his approval.

Okay, read the replies, REALLY HELPFUL!

1.) He works 50 miles away, he plans to live within 5 miles to be with kid when he comes home so he will commute.
2.) 5 kids are 3-10 years old.
3.) He owned the house before marriage so he may not be able to give it to me but he plans on giving it to me and he plans to buy a new home (this one is really old and small).
4.) He has to give me $100K of his retirement because there's no way around that since it was made during marriage. It ofcourse can't really be touched so I don't think of it as anything.
5.) We do 75/25 for school, extracurricular and emergency medical insurance (basic medical is covered under me since I work for the state and have good coverage for the money).
6.) I'm a lecturer so I work flexible hours, take all regular school vacations (unless I want to take on a summer class). My full time is 24 hours a week so that's why I refer myself as SAHM. I can always not work night classes if need be. I have a physics degree (doesn't prepare me emotionally apparently) so the point is, I'm not completely dependent on him. He's always covered basics and my money has always been "fun" and other stuff he doesn't shop for like clothes and school stuff. Just a bit of background...

One poster is right, I want to be with my kids everyday, I don't need a break but I am already starting to feel resentful towards him and I just don't want to go there and live like that. I think we do need mediation so he will hear what a neutral person says and yes, I still want to complete this online but I think it's time to get some help to resolve this before we fill it out and turn it in.

Featured Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

is it possible on "his" weeks you take the kids MWF and he gets help T/TH. so you kind of get the best of both worlds?

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answers from Chicago on

His week his responsibility, but I think one week with one family and another week with the other SUCKS for all involved and is a bad idea.

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answers from Washington DC on

Read Anita's post again. She is on the mark.

A 50/50 won't work with the distances involved. It's that simple. It's a little hard to tell from your post but I assume he lives near you and it's his job that's 50 miles from you both. Well, all the kids would be doing on "his" weeks would be sleeping at dad's -- that's it. If you do the arrangement you describe, where you pick them up after school, would you also keep them at YOUR house until he his home at 7:30 p.m. and then take the kids to his house, and repeat it the next day and the next? That means the kids are with him from about 7:30 p.m. until maybe 8:00 the next morning -- if they are elementary aged that means they are doing nothing at dad's other than sleeping. Is he really thinking he's going to have any quality time with them at all if this is the arrangement? No, he isn't thinking about it at all; he just wants his "share" of the kids like his share of any other asset.

He will get home from work tired after a long drive, ready to have his dinner and unwind, but each night for two weeks a month he will instead need to meet you for dropoff; get the kids to do homework (if you haven't already -- yes, you will be homework overseer ALL month long); get them ready for bed; get them up the next morning; get them to school. That's his entire interaction with them under the arrangement you describe.

Here's what will result: Very tired kids who are just being dragged between houses to sleep, for no good reason other than to fulfill a court order. Kids who forget homework, or leave their school backpack at your house so you have to run with it to school the next day, or at his house, so the kid doesn't have it at all the next day. Another scenario: He decides to be superdaddy and when he gets the kids at 7:30 p.m., he insists he have "his time" with them so he keeps them up far too late on school nights; doesn't require them to do homework when with him (because....YOU saw to that when you had them in the afternoons, right?), etc. Again -- tired kids who think dad is fun but who actually are stressed out because they are perpetually behind on homework and don't sleep enough.

Can you see how this arrangement is going to hurt your kids? They may love it for a while if he's fun-dad and lets them play video games every school night or takes them out to eat five nights a week because HE is hungry and tired after work. Or they may be resentful that they are hauled around only to sleep at dad's and little more. Either way the kids lose. Why agree to this for the sake of having some alone time?

Anita posted that you need a traditional arrangement -- where you have primary custody and he has a traditional visitation (often that means having the kids one night each week and every other weekend, plus much more time at vacations etc.). That would be much more consistent for your kids and would especially let them have consistent school-day schedules.

Oh, and when he needs to "go in to work early" or when he is stuck in traffic getting home from his distant job, you will end up getting call from him: "I am so stuck here -- can you just keep the kids overnight tonight" or "I have to leave early tomorrow so I'll take the kids out to dinner and bring them back to your house at 9:30 and they can stay with you tonight because I can't run them to school in the morning...."

Please think about the kids first and go for the more traditional arrangement. You frankly sound a bit resentful of your kids, and you want a break from them, but at the same time you say you feel you're clinging to them. You could consider some counseling to help you straighten out what seem like conflicting feelings about your kids right now, as well as your ex. But this 50/50 sounds like a recipe for disaster and a whole lot more resentment building up on your part very soon when you end up babysitting your own kids every other week. They do not need to be put into that position where you are resenting having them around because it's dad's week. I'm not saying you dislike your own kids!! I'm saying you are hurt and conflicted right now and agreeing to an unworkable 50/50 seems like it's letting him have time with them (and letting him have half the work involved) -- but it is not!

As for the money, go through the court and get every cent that the court calculates he owes you. Do not "make a stand" on not needing his money. Of course you do. Rejecting it on some principle of independence is basically letting him cheat your kids. Ensure your attorney is fighting for all money including both alimony and child support.

I bet if you DO go with this 50/50 he is eventually going to tire of it and try to rearrange it anyway.

If you and he can't agree, please ask the court for formal mediation over your child custody arrangements.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

Your soon to be ex is playing on your emotions and controlling you here. 50/50 custody is not possible when one parent lives 50 miles away and can't be with his kids until 7:30 in the evening. Besides, if you watch them in the afternoons, it's not actually 50/50 custody. Really. I'm going through a divorce myself and at least in my state - you watching them in the afternoons would change the custody. You'd have to basically lie to the judge and say that he was going to be taking care of them.

Were I in your shoes I would agree that he can have them every other weekend and one afternoon a week. How he handles the afternoon is his business. If it means they have a nanny, that will stink - but it gets him out of your life. If you have to watch the kids every afternoon you'll be seeing him EVERY day and you know he'll continue to make you feel like you've been feeling before. You'll basically be his employee. Can you imagine asking your ex husband for permission to take a break from watching your children? Do you know how guilty he would make you feel? Ugh. I could not handle that, and my soon to be ex doesn't sound nearly half as jerky as yours. Please please please make this a clean break. He deserves to see his kids, but not at your expense. If his high paying job prevents him from spending time with his kids during the week, don't let him have custody during the week. It's a simple as that.

It's really hard, but stand up for yourself. And even more important, stand up for your children. If you don't want alimony, that's your decision. But don't agree to less child support than your children deserve. It sounds all noble now to split child expenses in half, but do you really think that's good for your kids? Do you want to explain to your daughter that she can't have the cool pair of jeans her friends are wearing because you don't have enough money (but would if you had let the court figure out the appropriate levels of support?). Or do you want to tell your son that you don't have the money to sign him up for baseball (but you would if you had gotten the right amount of child support?). A lot of women think that if they don't take anything from their husbands during divorce it will make them more independent and stronger. But it really doesn't. It makes them poorer and MORE dependent, and bitter. And it hurts their kids more than anything.

For what it's worth, here's approximately what your husband would "owe" your children in child support in New Mexico (there's a great calculator provided by the state):

If you do 183 days with you and 182 with him (basically 50/50), and he pays $200 a month in medical/dental premiums for the kids through his work, he would pay you $1174 a month.

If you do every other weekend plus one day during the week, plus give him two full weeks in the summer, and he pays medical/dental premiums and $300 a month for a nanny to drive the kids to his house once a week and watch them until he got home, he would pay you $1832.

Please PM me if you need help working through this. I'm so passionate about this because I'm going through it myself... and I just hate to see someone get steam rolled by their controlling soon to be ex... and that is what is happening to you. Please please please get a lawyer to help you through this. In every state, the cost of your lawyer is a marital cost - so it comes from your joint accounts now, not the money you'll have afterwards.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

Well, if this is what would happen then it's NOT 50/50 custody! AND you're screwing yourself out of child support that you need and deserve for the kids.

If I were you I would push for a different custody arrangement and pursue the appropriate child support. Also, I'd make sure that I was getting all I was entitled to - alimony included.

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answers from San Francisco on

Get a lawyer, you're getting screwed.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

My initial thought to this is, of course you should watch your kids and make them as comfortable as possible.

However, you make very little money and he doesn't seem to want to contribute any additional support??? You need to negotiate that he pay for some activities and food aka support, during their stay with you.

So let me get this right, he works long hours to make good money, you work and make less money, he wants 50/50 and you keep the kids. Oh, I forgot the girlfriend that he will entertain while you keep the kids and eat peanut butter on crumbs of bread.

If I remember correctly, you were trying to handle your divorce online. Get an attorney.

By the way, he is still controlling.

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answers from San Antonio on

If you go ahead and do the 50/50 split...and I do understand his house is 5 miles away not 50 (just his job).

On his weeks...if you keep the kids (which would be ideal as they would do best with you.) Write up a nanny contract, get your attorney to help, and make him pay YOU what he would have to pay a nanny. Get it in writing and signed...and if he doesn't pay your salary for picking up the kids and keeping them until 7:30pm. Then he can be on his own finding someone who is willing to nanny only two weeks a month. If he would have to pay someone anyways might as well pay you.

And I don't mean to sound horrible...but go after every dime of alimony and child support you can deserve it!! Especially if you helped put him through school to be making the 150K job. If you end up not needing the extra money and can make it on 24K great, but what he pays you in the bank. Save it, one day you will need it. Get all you can now...don't be "noble" and I am a strong woman and I don't need you...take the money you are intitled to and use it to better the lives of your kids.

Sending you a huge hug...don't let him control you anymore or keep you from what you have given to this marriage.

And you will still have two glorious weekends a month with no children to enjoy and have some time to yourself.

Sending you a big hug!! Stand up for yourself...and if you just can't do it...find a therapist who will help you find your courage to demand what you deserve for yourself and your kids!!!

Let us know what happens!!! Please!!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

If you do it, please get the child support AND alimony especially if the court is encouraging it. You're entitled to it and he can afford it, and it will supplement your salary until you can get a pay raise. I think it's great that you're willing to step in to be with your children during his weeks so that they don't have to be with a babysitter and put your former husband in the lurch... and your children get to be with their mom. But as you said he's binding you to the house and children during his time and in effect you're getting them for much longer than 50% time, technically... and should be compensated for that if only because it's during his time and children are costly. It would be cutting into the money he's already giving you.

Or you could decide not to make things easy for him and let him have to scramble to find child care and pay through the nose so that he can see that paying you additional child support and alimony is actually more cost effective.

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answers from New York on

I guess you have to weigh which means more to you - being with your kids instead of them being with a sitter, or breaking away from your ex. I don't think you mentioned the ages of your kids, but if he's picking them up to have an hour with them before bed, I don't see why they can't just live with you primarily and he can swing by in the a.m. to bring them to school. If you are the one taking care of them during his custodial time, he ought to be paying you. If he makes 6 times what you make, you should not be dividing the cost of the children's expenses by two. It's not done that way. Don't let this man bully you into letting him not be responsible for his kids. When you divorce, there's a formula that calculates the child support based on how much each person makes and assigning a similar percentage. This isn't you controlling him, it is the court controlling him, and if you do what he wants, HE is still controlling you. The kids should not have to live a poverty level lifestyle with you and a 6 figure lifestyle with dad, consistency is so very important for kids. Sorry if that sounds preachy. Good luck to you.

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answers from Boston on

I do not see a 50 50 here at all. This is not good for the kids either. One week here one week there. The distance needs to change or he should get them every other weekend and you get child support. Do not worry what is good for him. Your focus needs to be on what is good for your children and you.

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answers from St. Louis on

After my divorce it made me laugh, kind of that what the hell laugh, when he fought tooth and nail not to give me a penny but then he would pay someone 500 a week to watch the kids when I could do that. I would think dude! give me an extra 1,000 a month during the summer and I could cut my work hours! He was all about punishing me for divorcing him. He loves his money above all so he thought it was the money and not the kids I wanted. Stupid projecting idiot!

Still with all the drama I took them, I helped him because it was always about the kids for me. A couple years ago when they were old enough to latch key I let them come to my house on his days so they can ride the bus every night like normal kids. Sure they eat me out of house and home and he doesn't pony up a penny, but they are happy, and that is all I want.

So to actually answer you, you are doing the right thing offering to help. You kids will love you for it, well more than they already do. Don't think of it as helping him, which we all know it is, think of it as helping them have a stable life.
After reading your what happened, divorce is a reason you can pull from retirement plans without a penalty. You will pay taxes on what you pull out but looking at your income that is going to be less than 10% of it. If pulling some money out of that retirement is going to put you in a more stable place I suggest you do it. When my divorce was final I took the 50,000 in cash because I knew I was going to need the money until I graduated with my degree. Well worth the taxes I paid!
Oh wow, some of the answers are off. She is only asking should she allow the kids to hang out with her at her house until he can get over there and pick them up!! Why all the answers like he is asking her to take them 100% with no child support?

I divorced a controlling man and he liked to control through money. I wanted nothing to do with his money unless I had to take it so I get where the OP is coming from. Now days his child support check isn't even part of our budget, we throw it in a savings account for big ticket items for the kids, drives him freaking nuts that we don't pay his money the respect it deserves, yeah, whatever!

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answers from Kansas City on

wow guilt trip much?

i honestly think you should let him be on his own. now, if he wants to do every other weekend with a couple weeks during breaks, then that (to me) would make more sense (of course then you would need financial compensation). but he's being an A-hole by insisting on 50/50 - then wanting your help during his 50%.

not to be a B, but that's not fair. if he wants 50/50, he needs to be RESPONSIBLE for his 50%.

(and as some others have said -kids need a stable home. they can visit, but two homes just doesn't sound stable to me at all)

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answers from Eugene on

Stop being the martyr and get the spousal and child support you are entitled to. It will allow you the flexibility to do what is best for your kids.

You don't owe him anything special because he is paying more $$. You were married, you have 5 kids and it is his responsibility to support them, and you too. You put more time, and your body into making those children. Think about how much a surrogate would charge to carry those babies!

Please find a counselor to support you through the divorce. The cost can be part of your settlement.

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answers from Wausau on

Based on his being 50 miles away, I don't think the court will award 50/50 time. That situation is just not sustainable long term.

You need a lawyer. Don't try to do this yourself because you're not in the mindset to look out for your own best interests.


Based on his being 50 miles away, I don't think the court will award 50/50 time. That situation is just not sustainable long term.

You need a lawyer. Don't try to do this yourself because you're not in the mindset to look out for your own best interests.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I truly think that children do much better if they have one home and visit the other one. Your kids are not going to have a home but 2 places they visit.

I suggest you talk to someone very quickly who will help you get through your own emotional junk...been there and know how it is....and then you can fight for your kids. They deserve to have a home and a parent who will make sure they are provided for.

What you are suggesting on his weeks are that they get up at least an hour early every morning, get to school, get out of school to go to mom's, eat dinner etc..., then wait for dad to pick them up. When he gets there they have an hour drive ahead of them. So it's nearly 9 when they get home to get ready for bed. So the weeks they are at dad's they get to be sleep deprived, spend a vast majority of the time they see him in the car traveling or in bed asleep.

That's no life for kids. They need to get up each school morning at the home closest to the school, go to school then come to that home and have their evenings.

IF dad really loves them and wants to share their lives as much as he's saying he does he needs to think about what they'll be experiencing while it's "his" week.

He's only doing this so he won't have to pay part of his money to you. YOU deserve to have some spousal support and to have full child support.

Your children deserve to have a parent who will fight for them so they don't have to live like he's suggesting.

If you allow him to get a way with this you'll be living okay but not "well off". With child support alone you'll get probably $800+ per month. That's enough to make a house payment in Oklahoma. So you need to take care of your kids. They actually deserve better.

There's no reason the 2 of you can't work this out better. He can take the kids every other week during summer or even several weeks for special trips and on school breaks. This way he can make plans and even do his vacation time when he has the kids and they can make some wonderful memories.

There's all sorts of time he can take them and spend quality time with them when he's not working or at least he can get a baby sitter in his town on his weeks and he's working during the day. That way you will have a few weeks of the year to do some things you're wanting to do. I understand wanting to have to breaks from the kids.

I strongly suggest that you request mediation. This will help you have the strength to stand up to him. Describing what their days with him during school time should make him realize how unreasonable his request is. His suggested custody arrangement is so totally cruel to these kids. They'll be sleep deprived and only sleeping at his house with NO time with him.

I have a friend who has a 50/50 custody with her ex. They live within a couple of miles of each other, he works days at a normal job. They have an adult son with Autism who graduated from high school but has not moved up the waiting list to receive services from any facilities that offer work shops or any sort of daytime care/job/training......

They also have a daughter that is an older teen who lives with dad most of the time. He is controlling and mean to her. She stays with mom as much as she can but dad "owns" her vehicle and if she doesn't do exactly what he wants he puts the car in his garage and she is not able to go to her CNA job. She doesn't make enough money to get out on her own and support herself yet. She is in school that she is paying for herself to get her nursing degree. She's a great person and is really trying to get out from under dad's thumb.

So mom is destitute since she receives no financial support what so ever. She is often struggling to even buy food to eat for herself. She has a vehicle that has worn out and has absolutely no money to get repairs or buy something newer.

She took a job working nights so she could go to ex's house during the days to take care of the autistic son. Dad got the nice big house since the son had to stay at home to feel secure and do well. That's due to the autism.

She gets up each morning and goes to the dad's house after her younger daughter is off to school. She is awake nearly all day because her autistic son doesn't like it when she sleeps and will come in to wake her up. Then she gets her daughter from school and starts dinner. She takes care of the house, takes care of everything just like a SAHM but with no benefits at all. She is not allowed to eat "his" food, use "his" shower or beds, she's nothing at all to him. He doesn't even have to pay her for "babysitting" the older boy or the younger daughter like he would if my friend wasn't able to be there.

She is house sitting for a traveling couple who come home a few times per year. She pays them rent of a couple of hundred a month and pays all utilities. This is nearly her entire check from her job. She works full time and has to be awake the entire night. She works in a high maintenance group home. They have to have 24 hour care. So her job is high stress and hard physical labor. She barely manages to get 2-3 hours of napping during the day.

Her adult daughter stays at her house the couple of nights per week she is working her over night job to watch the younger daughter and also get a break from the dad.

Every other day when her daughter wakes up at her place she starts crying begging her mom to not make her leave and to not make her go to her dad's. She cries all the way to school begging her mom to not send her away.

She blames her mom with this situation. She hates her dad and begs her mom to make it stop, she wants to have a home and not a temporary place. She has nothing stable and is suffering.

This situation has made me realize exactly how impossible it is for the kids in a 50/50 situation. They suffer intolerably. It is miserable for them in most cases. This is not a trend I like to see for any children. Parents don't think about life like kids do. They want to come home, go play with their friends, have their own stuff around them, their own clothes, their room, their mom, their bed. They want to go visit somewhere else. They don't want to go someplace else every day.

My friends daughter is begging her mom to hire her an attorney so she can beg the judge to make it stop. This is because my friend is mentally unable to stand up to this monster of an ex. He manipulated her into this because he didn't want to pay child support.

Something else to think about. My friends mom nearly died this past year in California. She talked to her ex about taking a vacation to go spend some time with her mom who she hasn't seen since the divorce.

He said that was fine but she had to make arrangements for her daughter because she couldn't go with her. She would NEVER be allowed to miss his 24 hour period of visitation. So if she took a vacation or had to go to a funeral she would be doing it without a child with her.

So when her mom dies she can go to California to take care of final arrangements and have the funeral. BUT she has to leave her daughter in Oklahoma and also pay someone to take care of her on her 24 hour visitation since it's not dad's responsibility. Her adult daughter works days so if this is time when schools out she'll have to pay out of pocket for someone to watch her daughter while her adult daughter is at work and she's attending to her mom's final arrangements.

This is how bad 50/50 custody can turn out. Seriously, how can ANYONE think 50/50 is good in any situation? I think it only helps dad's to not have to take care of their own children. I think it makes it where they get a lot more out of a divorce than the kids or the mom.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I don't mean to sound harsh, if that is how it comes across. If you take your kids afternoons, when they are under his watch. Then it is not 50/50 as he is proposing. It's my understanding that attorneys push for 50/50 custody because it changes child support drastically. So if you were to do the math of the amount of time they would be spending with you, it is clearly not 50/50. You are trying to accept a false arrangement on the pretense of something else, your contemplation is called cognitive dissonance= it just doesn't fit on an intellect. I would not say no to watching my own kids, but I would insist on the custody split. Good luck.

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answers from Cumberland on

you should move Heaven and Earth to be with your children as much as possible-if you don't, someday you will be filled with regret and insurmountable guilt.

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answers from Seattle on

Ask yourself what is best for your children.
Then act accordingly.
It's really that simple (actually hard).

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answers from Miami on

Instead of one week there and one week not I suggest a different switch. Since he can take them to school let him have them every Sunday. Let him have 2 additional days a week where they can go to an after care or even some nice dance program sport program that he can pick them up from. Probably earlier in the week like monday and Tuesday. That way he has them 3 days and then you take them 3 days Wed, Thurs Friday and take turns on Saturday. You need to find something you are doing during the week. Don't just sit home. Get involved. I always felt my ex and myself always had differences but since he pays for her school, health insurance and health bills and after school activity and is involved I need to cut him some slack. Our relationship is over but he still has a relationship with our daughter and I do not need to make it worse on her.

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answers from Fargo on

That doesn't make much sense that he would take them 50/50 if he doesn't get home til dont say how old they are, but my 8 year old is starting to get ready for bed at 730. Where's his 50? I know the court looks at overnights but that doesn't seem right. When i was going through my divorce, i had to switch my hours from 2nd shift to first. And then he up and moved without notice, so it didn't matter anyway.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Maybe there is a middle ground - you take the kids on T/Th or MWF on his weeks and let him hire a nanny or something to do the other days. That way, you can see your kids some on the weeks that he has custody, but you can still have some time to yourself too. I imagine that if you didn't see them at all for a full week straight, you would end up missing them a lot more than you realize. Plus, it will be good for them to see you those weeks too.

I have a friend who alternates weeks with her ex and they are in a similar situation. Dad lives very close to school, mom is farther away. On Mom's weeks, their son usually goes to dad's a couple of mornings a week before school (doesn't start till 10:00) and a couple of afternoons a week after school (1:30) till Mom picks him up at 4ish.

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