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Newest Member: Daughterofthemosthigh

Divorce/Separation :
Successful Custody Arrangements for Kids (Ages 10, 13 & 14)??

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 HopeToHealSoon (original poster new member #84876) posted at 10:13 PM on Wednesday, July 10th, 2024

Am looking for anyone who has advice on successful custody arrangements for their children. I've filed for divorce today after finding out about the affair 3 months ago, and after attempts to reconcile that were met with more lies and by BH not being able to leave his AP.

I know each state has standard possession orders, which can be modified by the parties....I'm looking for advice from others on how they've made this work with their kids. 50/50? Stay with me during the week/ school time and be with their dad on the weekends? Any words of advice?

Thanks!

BW, 49 (kids 10, 13, 14) D-Day: April 10, 2024Separated: April 12, 2024Divorce Filed: July 11, 2024 (after STBXH couldn't do NC and continued to lie about A)

"I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become." — Carl Jung

posts: 11   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2024   ·   location: Central Texas
id 8842115
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 1:18 AM on Friday, July 12th, 2024

Sorry, my kids are adults and we didn't have to deal with custody. Hopefully somebody else will be along with a better answer.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3573   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8842231
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Sally24 ( new member #70794) posted at 1:43 PM on Friday, July 12th, 2024

My kids were 14, going into high school. I felt my kids deserved equal time with each of their parents. We did 50/50 custody with week on/week off, exchanging on Sunday afternoon. This way it's more equally split responsibilities for the parents as well, rather than one parent during the week and the other for the weekend.

My lawyer had also suggested a 2-2-5-5 schedule that she said was common for younger kids, for 50/50 custody.

Never let your fear decide your fate

posts: 50   ·   registered: Jun. 18th, 2019
id 8842282
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 6:04 PM on Friday, July 12th, 2024

We opted for 50/50 which is the default in Canada. At first, we switched on Fridays, but found that this was too stressful as the kids had to pack up after school, so we switched to Sundays. This made it easier on all involved.

I tried to make the switch a pleasant as possible, picking them up at 6:30. I would always have a comfort food, like a roast or stew, cooking in the oven or pot, so they would associate coming to dad's with fond memories.

We would play a game when I picked them up.they would ask if there was anything for dinner, and I would tell them I was too busy to cook. Then they would open the door to my apartment and get hit with the smell of a home cooked meal (I'm a scratch cook). It became a ritual.

Divorce can be hard on kids, but it need not be as hard as we think. There are some real upsides. At first, if I'm going to be honest, I tried to show my EXWW what she gave up by being a better parent than she was. I quickly realized that this was not right and I just tried to be a decent dad for my kids. I tried, not always successfully, to hold it together until they went to bed, and then I collapsed in my trauma. The healing took time, but I got better.

One positive thing was my week off. I used that week for me, learning to live again, while I was fully present at home when my kids were with me. My EXWW was more selfish with her time and often left the kids alone at home while she went out. My daughter commented that even though she was locked in her room, she felt comfort knowing I was just on the other side of the wall. I said, "Like a fire extinguisher?". And that became our running joke.

I think one component in a successful transition is to not mourn the life you lost, but create a new life filled with new rituals. Christmas was a tough one for me. When I was married, we would host Christmas and anyone who wanted could join us. Often, we would have 16-20 people. I would put in a skating rink and have speakers outside with music. It was great.

I went from that to a cramped two bedroom apartment with a plastic table-top tree I got in a thrift store (it was all I could affort), but we made it work. We did champaign and appies on Christmas eve with stories and conversation. I still opened my place up, but usually it was just my BFF and sister who joined us.

I'm waxing on because I want you to know there is hope. Make no mistake, I feel like an abject failure as a father, because I let my trauma consume me for many years. I just couldn't help it. But despite this, my daughter who is in her early 20's now, thanked me forgiving her a good life.

Both my grown kids choose to live with me full-time now. I've gotten a place an finally have room. Their friends come and go, often just hanging out here and I feel like I have a daily again.

I wish we could see where we end up. It would certainly help while we are in the thick of trauma and despair. I'm not saying that I am in a great place, but I'm fine, good even. I hope you find your good place too.

I'm an oulier in my positions.

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 20

posts: 1835   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8842419
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Alonelyagain ( member #32820) posted at 9:54 PM on Sunday, July 14th, 2024

I was divorced in 2018, and at that time my three kids were 10, 13 and 15. I split custody 50/50 under the 5-5-2 plan. Simplistically put, I had them on Monday & Tuesday, my XWW had them on Wednesday & Thursday, and we alternated weekends (Friday-Sunday). More accurately, I dropped them off at school on Wednesday morning and picked them up from school on my alternating Monday and Friday afternoons. On alternating weeks, I had them for 5 days in a row or not have them for 5 days in a row, but I always had them for at least 2 days a week. This was preferable to my kids because it gave them the most predictability of where they would be for scheduling after school activities. If you’re offered the same schedule, realize that most school holidays fall on Monday. I realized that after the fact.

posts: 413   ·   registered: Jul. 18th, 2011   ·   location: New Jersey
id 8842598
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Landslide1920 ( new member #83685) posted at 2:17 AM on Monday, July 15th, 2024

First of all, I'm sorry you're here and that you and your children have been put in this terrible situation. My family composition different than yours so I'll share some questions I would think through and then what my family is doing (which is working well for us).

Every family is different, so I would start by thinking about what your ideal situation would look like for you and your kids, from a practical and emotional standpoint. How involved a parent has your STBXWH been over the years? What do you think his ideal situation would be and what would he agree to? Your children are older, so consider how their preferences might play into custody arrangements.

I saw you're in the US, as am I. In my state at a certain age a teenager is a allowed to choose which parent they live with (barring abuse, for example).

How will the custody arrangement affect their school and extracurriculars? Are you and your STBXH planning to live closely enough until your kids go to college to enable a week on week off schedule (or some variation thereof)?

How will the custody arrangement affect child support (ie who pays it and how much)?

Have you spoken to an attorney yet? You said you already filed, so I assume you did, but if you haven't I would the attorney's opinion (but I would take any advice with a grain of salt).

I'm my case, my two children are young (3 & 5). Despite my now ExWH having been very "involved" (at least on paper) before I filed for D, we discussed openly what would work for us and my ExH was more than happy to have the stereotypical 80's custody arrangement (every other weekend). During that discussion he made it clear he wouldn't fight me on custody as long as he didn't have to pay much in child support, during the discussion about custody saying, "What would I do with them [our kids] anyways?" barf

My attorney told me I would likely Not get the every other weekend arrangement if a judge were to decide, BUT a judge would agree to it if we both did (ie uncontested).

Long story short, it was an adjustment, as I'm sure all D are, and my kids did struggle for a while. The living situation has been this way for nearly a year now, though, and they are thriving and well adjusted. It's hard for me since I only get 2 days free every other week, but honestly, I knew my ExWH wouldn't handle the kids well and my keeping them more was in their best interest.

Good luck and please keep us posted and know we're here to support you. It's such a hard road, but things do get better. I'm honestly 100x happier than I was a year ago (shortly after DDay).

posts: 36   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8842611
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 HopeToHealSoon (original poster new member #84876) posted at 3:23 PM on Monday, July 15th, 2024

Thanks, all, for your thoughts and support. We just told the kids this past Friday and it's been devastating. They are in shock and it's a hard time to try to get anything out of them (i.e., what their thoughts on custody might be). I am also having a hard time keeping my own hysterical outbreaks under control while they are around. Everything is just tinged with this overwhelming sadness at what we've lost. I don't want them to have to feel like they have to assuage my sadness, in addition to working on processing on their own. I'm probably trying to rush things along too quickly....I'm sure there will be time to gather more input (from my STBX, as well as the kids, on what might work for everyone). I'll keep checking back in....thanks everyone, again.

BW, 49 (kids 10, 13, 14) D-Day: April 10, 2024Separated: April 12, 2024Divorce Filed: July 11, 2024 (after STBXH couldn't do NC and continued to lie about A)

"I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become." — Carl Jung

posts: 11   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2024   ·   location: Central Texas
id 8842632
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