"As my ex and I try to work toward a more long term custody plan, I am struggling to envision how a 50/50 custody plan and various arrangements will work in practice. My network hasn't turned up anyone with an actual 50/50 or even close to that plan. So I would really appreciate it if you could help me to locate some folks with experience with this sort of arrangement. I'm trying to think about what will work for the kids in terms of time, predictability, etc as well as what will let me feel like an genuinely engaged parent and to have some kind of social life. I have realized that I'm struggling with giving up time with my kids, how to help me and them to adjust and feel good about whatever we agree to. But I also have practical questions like do you split up weekends and how does that work on a practical level?"
This is a great question for today because I'm sick and can't muster much of an answer, which is convenient because I'm not allowed to talk about my divorce details on the internet because of a clause in my settlement agreement anyway.
I think I can say that we don't have 50/50. I wish we did. But living in New York with housing the way it is it's not super-practical, plus our work schedules would make it really hard. New York makes parenting, especially two-household parenting, brutal in a lot of ways.
I do know some other parents who do an alternating 3/4 schedule, with three nights at one parents' house, then 4 nights at the other's, with one night swinging so the next week it's 4/3. (If that made no sense, somebody please explain in the comments better.)
I also know people who do two nights at one parent's, the next two at the other parent's, and then alternate weekends. But this really only works because they live two blocks from each other.
I've heard of people who do alternating weeks, and it seems like that would kind of rock from all sides, especially if the parents lived close so the kids had the same lives the whole time, just different dinner companions (because that's what it boils down to anyway, as anyone with with WOH parents and kids in school full-time can attest).
I think, because I know A and her situation, that she could also use a little reassurance that it will all be OK. And that her kids won't come untethered to her if they aren't in the same house every day. And that the kids will come through this to be able to form healthy intimate attachments. And that she herself will go on to a happy life.
So, thoughts, please? I'm going to drink some TheraFlu.