real life

What would you do: He wants shared custody but is it right for the kids?

Alexa* writes…

“I recently split from my husband of 10 years.

We have two beautiful children, a little girl of 8 and a son of 5 who is starting school this year.  My husband is pushing to have custody of the children every second week (from Friday to Friday).

I don’t want that, I think it would be very unsettling and unfair for the kids.  I understand that he needs and deserves to see the kids but I am heading towards 4 days a fortnight.

This is so foreign to me, as I’ve grown up in a two parent household and I do not know anybody that has separated when they had young kids. I’ve read everything and spent hours on the internet trying to make sense of this mine field.

This is the worst bit about separation – the children and trying not to stuff up their lives

What is the right balance?”

There are few issues as fraught or emotional as this one. I know a couple of people going through this exact issue at the moment after seperating. In both cases, the fathers want shared custody. One week on, one week off. Or three days one week, four days the next.

But is that necessarily in the best interests of the kids? I’m genuinely interested to know because I don’t. Whether the primary carer is the mother or the father, my point is that surely it’s unsettling for kids to swap houses, room, rules and geography every few days or each week?

I’m fascinated to know of your experience either as a parent in such a situation or the child of divorced parents – how does/did your family do it?

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