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  1. #1
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    Default 50/50 Custody

    50/50 custody of young children, specifically. Under 3. How did you do it? What did you do when it was time for school (kindergarten)?

    Have 50/50 phsyical and legal and we are baffled as to what to do when DS is school age.

    What would you do differently?
    Words of wisdom?
    mykidshavefourlegs.blogspot.com



  2. #2
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    Jan. 27, 2002
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    I hated it and so did my kids. they had to switch homes every two weeks and it was terribly terribly hard on them, even though we lived in the same school district.
    my only option was to give one of them up permanently and that was unimaginable to me so I went along with it.
    i'm sorry to be so bold, but that was our experience.


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  3. #3
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    May. 6, 2006
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    I had 50/50 custody of mine, but they were a bit older, 7 and 8 years old. We basically sat down and looked at our schedules and worked it out on a week to week basis. The kids were at his house, or at my house, and they had rooms/clothes/toys at both.

    We adults thought we had it all figured out and it was great.

    My youngest is 20 now, in college, and he just recently shared with me that he HATED the arrangement, because it felt like he was always going back and forth and didn't have a one true HOME. It shocked me, because I thought we had done so well, and worked so hard to remain friends with each other after the divorce.

    Now that the kids are both in college, their dad no longer has bedrooms for them at his house, so when they are home from school they live at my house. I thought this was awful for their dad to do that, but both boys said they appreciate not having to make a choice and all of their stuff is in one place.

    Good luck!
    "Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?" Sun Tzu, The Art of War
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  4. #4
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    Dec. 21, 2008
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    It is really hard on them going from one place to the next and I am sorry your child is going to have to go through that. Obviously you and your ex live close enough for this to be possible, so I would enroll at a school that is close to one of you . The other parent will have to make transport available to the child if they are out of the school district you choose. Or live in the same school district.

    My nephew had to endure this for a while and it was hard. Eventually the mom just gave custody to his father.


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  5. #5
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    Apr. 15, 2008
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    Default

    My youngest is 20 now, in college, and he just recently shared with me that he HATED the arrangement, because it felt like he was always going back and forth and didn't have a one true HOME. It shocked me, because I thought we had done so well, and worked so hard to remain friends with each other after the divorce.
    this. happened with my cousin, and he felt the same way. moved out on his own as soon as he could so he would have someplace that was *his.*
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  6. #6
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    May. 3, 2008
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    2bayboys,
    Don't beat yourself up. Your son may have "hated" going back and forth but I'm sure he loved having two parents who did their best to get along and didn't put him in the middle. I'd also bet that maintaining an equal residential relationship with both parents allowed him to maintain a close relationship with both of you in a way that is difficult when one parent feels like a visitor in the child's life.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Oct. 26, 2007
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    San Jose, Ca
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    I grew up (from 5 years old on) in a 50/50 custody situation. From my point of view as the child, I think it worked well.

    First, my parents made a written agreement to live within X miles of each other (meaning they would both stay in the same small town). So, then I had no disruptions in school (both lived in the same district) - I simply kept going to the same one.

    I spent most of my time at my dad's house, but it was not structured that I HAD to be at a particular house on a particular day. If I felt like going to mom's after school, I could - I would often take the bus to her house, spend the afternoon there, then head over to dad's for the night, and he would do the before school routine with me in the am.

    Dad supported my horsey habit (in both time and money), so I would often be there on the weekends, but if I was going to visit friends (or have friends over) I would often do that at mom's house. Mom came to the shows and other events - I felt supported by both.

    I REALLY appreciate the fact that they did not let me be aware of it if they squabbled over me. I also really appreciate that they made the commitment to stay put in the area, as it was the best for ME.

    50/50 works - if I make sure the child feels like they are still the most important part of the equation.


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  8. #8
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    Jul. 29, 2006
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    I don't have any practical suggestions- but I read this book http://www.amazon.com/Putting-Childr.../dp/1583334017

    and it had a lot of study based information about custody and kids of different ages. I found it very interesting what the kids they interviewed said they liked best.



  9. #9
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Upstate NY
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    I have no kids but my brother has been divorced twice. Both times with one kid involved with that mother (eight years between the kids). Both times he had 50/50 custody. Divorce agreement included that both had to live in the same school district. Kid spend 3 1/2 days per week with one parent and 3 1/2 with the other. Both times things were flexible. If mother had something she wanted to do with kid on one of his days the kid got off the bus there instead. Everyone was civil enough that if there was something at the other house that the kid needed/wanted they just went and got it.



  10. #10
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    Nov. 24, 2006
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    I am SO glad I didn't have that to deal with....that's got to be tough to figure out. One thing I think I can suggest, if you are on friendly terms with the ex (at least as far as the kids) don't do the "that stays here because I bought it" thing... Let them take things over there and hopefully he will let them bring things to your house when they switch. Instead of two totally different households with different clothes and toys and belongings...try to merge the two as much as you can...has to be easier on the kids that way.
    Kerri


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  11. #11
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    Aug. 29, 2010
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    In one of the most creative solutions to 50/50 custody that I have ever seen the parents bought a second house together. The children stayed in their original home 100% of the time, the parents moved every two weeks between their original house and the second house. Each had his/her own bedroom in the second house.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by over60 View Post
    In one of the most creative solutions to 50/50 custody that I have ever seen the parents bought a second house together. The children stayed in their original home 100% of the time, the parents moved every two weeks between their original house and the second house. Each had his/her own bedroom in the second house.
    Very interesting!!
    "Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?" Sun Tzu, The Art of War
    Rainy: http://tinyurl.com/kj7x53c
    Stash: http://tinyurl.com/mmm3p4e


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  13. #13
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    Oct. 12, 2010
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    We did Monday/Tuesday with me, Wednesday/Thursday with him, and weekend with me, and then switched. The kids were both in day care when we split and they don't remember anything different. They have, however, both expressed how complicated and annoying it can be to have two different houses. While I don't live in the same county as ex-H, I live very close to the county line and we decided to go with the Ex's school system because the kids had friends from day care that would go to kindergarten with them. They are now 14 and 17 and are both "go with the flow" kids. If they want to stay with him on my days, that's fine, and vice versa.
    Alis volat propriis.



  14. #14
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    Mar. 23, 2005
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    Default

    Not my kids, but some friends of mine divorced with two very young kids - one still in diapers and calling any familiar woman "Mommy"

    They split custody 50/50 for years and it did not go smoothly... three days at one house then four at the other. Once they were in school it seemed that homework or a musical instrument was frequently at the other house. New step mom didn't like kids, so that went well, particularly when they were normally messy teenagers.

    I think the idea that the kids stay in one house and the parents switch sounds great, but realistically what adults are willing to give up having their own place to call their own.


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  15. #15
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    Mar. 24, 2004
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    I only saw this custody arrangement on paper: Child A would spend 6 months with Parent A while Child B would spend the same 6 months with Parent B and then they would switch for 6 months. In this case the kids were opposite sex and about 5 years apart in age. But the siblings never got to live together. Parents were in different states. No idea how that would work out. I personally thought that sounded like a really bad idea. No idea why the judge decided that was a good arrangement.

    I am going to state up front I don't have kids but my parents divorced when I was 14 my brother was 9. On paper my mom had custody and that is where my brother and I lived. However there was no formal every other weekend. I worked for my dad so he picked me up every morning during the summers and dropped me off after work.
    We routinely stayed at his house on weekends. He would come to my mom's house frequently to do work around the property and for holidays. (The house was still jointly owned). Since he did not live in our school district we didn't tend to stay over during the week during the school year. When my brother was a senior he moved in with my dad and switched high school. It was a very fluid arrangement.

    I was fine with it. My brother apparently had issues with something to do with how he was parented since he no longer communicates with either of my parents. I talk to him every couple of years.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  16. #16
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2bayboys View Post
    My youngest is 20 now, in college, and he just recently shared with me that he HATED the arrangement, because it felt like he was always going back and forth and didn't have a one true HOME. It shocked me, because I thought we had done so well, and worked so hard to remain friends with each other after the divorce.
    I hated it, too. We did Monday/Tuesday with one parent, Wed/Thurs with the other and alternated the weekends (so it was 2 days with mom, 5 with dad, 2 with mom, 2 with dad, 5 with mom, etc). I felt like we were always back and forth.

    Before that, it was weekdays with dad and weekends with mom. I didn't like that, either, as I never had a weekend at my dad's house.

    I would have HATED to have only seen one parent on the weekends or every other weekend like a lot of kids, though.

    So I think kids aren't going to like divorce and moving back and forth, no matter what you do. In hindsight now, I'm SO GRATEFUL my parents split our time with them and worked so hard to make everything fair. I'm glad I got to see both of them equally.
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  17. #17
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    Apr. 29, 2002
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    I was a 50/50 child from first grade on. I spent half time with my mom, half with my dad. Both lived in the same town.

    The thing that made it easy was that my parents were entirely flexible. Especially as I got older, there were days when I wanted to stay at one house vs. the other, or it was easier to stay at the house I'd been at for a few days, rather than leaving. I had some stuff I kept at both houses, and both of my rooms felt like home. My parents were understanding and drove me back and forth when I forgot a school book or something that I needed. They kept it civil and even helped each other out with things like feeding the other's pets if they had to stop by to grab something of mine.

    I really didn't mind it at all. I think I would have much preferred it to only seeing my mom every few weeks (which would have been the other potential arrangement).

    The biggest "issue" I had was that some of my friends' mothers would not let them sleep over when I was at my dad's. Thought it was odd for young teen girls to be staying at a man's house (eye-roll)... but then again, that could have happened regardless of custody arrangement.



  18. #18
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    Jun. 19, 2006
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    Default Shared House Option

    Quote Originally Posted by over60 View Post
    In one of the most creative solutions to 50/50 custody that I have ever seen the parents bought a second house together. The children stayed in their original home 100% of the time, the parents moved every two weeks between their original house and the second house. Each had his/her own bedroom in the second house.
    My law firm deals with a lot of divorces and custody issues; horrible, horrible unhappiness a lot of the time, frequently over access. DH and I have always said we would do the "nest" thing if our marriage broke up. This idea's interesting, too:

    Duplex for the divorced

    Not necessarily the easiest thing for the parents, but likely good for the kids, so long as everyone gets along.
    Be compassionate, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. - Philo of Alexandria



  19. #19
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    Feb. 1, 2001
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    We did not deal with a toddler, but had joint custody of DH's son from when he was about 8 or so. We committed to living close enough to his ex wife that DSS could easily and safely ride his bike between our two homes. Thus, no matter "whose day" it was on any particular day, DSS could really be anywhere he wanted to be, and having stuff at one house or the other really wasn't an issue. (Not that we did not have plenty of occasions where someone had to go pick up a school book or something at the 11th hour!)

    I'll be honest and tell you that I did *not* love living so close to my DH's ex. But - that was what we thought would work best for the kid, and I think we were right about that. He stayed in the same school, kept his same circle of friends, didn't have to really change much.

    DSS has since told me that while he didn't like having to split his time between the two houses… it beat the heck out of living with two parents who were not happy with each other. He is now a very successful young adult who enjoys good relationships with both his parents (and his step mother, haha) so it seems to have worked out. The bottom line is that life can be messy, and sometimes you simply have to make the best of an imperfect situation.
    **********
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  20. #20
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    No kids of my own, but I've known several barn kids with 50-50 arrangements that seemed to work successfully. Lots of communication required between parents. The best arrangements seemed to be the ones where both parents lived very close together, like in the same neighborhood, when the kids were small. As the kids got older and parents moved farther apart within the same city, then issues of rides to activities, driving to school, etc became a bigger deal.

    From the outsider adult's point of view, what seemed to work best was when I had a regular point of contact, whether it was mom or dad. It got way too messy when I was asking the wrong parent for a check or calling the wrong number to cancel a lesson.



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