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50/50 schedule
Hi All,

I'm new here. :/ I'm looking for some advice.

Me and my ex have a 2.5 year old daughter and my ex and I are going through separation / divorce.
Our current living arrangement: Week on week off in the marital home (I stay away for a week and my ex stays away the next) to have less impact on our daughter (she's stays with the parent that's home). We do a 1/2 visits every week.

She's in childcare pretty much full time during the day.

My relationship with our girl: great, no issues, she asks for mummy sometimes when she's away but no issues really, she seems like a typical 2-3 year old toddler, very bright
My ex's relationship with her: When I'm around she always asks for daddy, she's showing a clear preference, sometimes pushing my ex away. When I'm not around they get on, but my ex is often upset about things.

We haven't had our first mediation yet, but my ex and I are talking to each other and she suggested 3-2-3, with every other week the same. My recommendation was week on week off (which we have currently) with 2 evenings a week spent with the other parent, not the night. I know there are other options as well.

My ex: thinks that our daughter shouldn't go without seeing the other parent for more than 3 days. (which I agree hence the visits)
Me: I think this is going to cause confusion for our daughter and week on week of is preferred but in any case change less frequently (where she sleeps)

1. With a child this age what sort of arrangements do you guys have?
2. Is it worth talking to a child psychologist for recommendations, or someone else?
3. With our girl showing a clear preference is this anything to worry, question, discuss, address?
This is common discussion .. kid is young so things will change as she gets older and goes to school etc

If you are your ex are talking about 50:50 and just working the detail - WELL DONE... you are in a good place... keep it there

Remember (not saying you think like this) but its not winning and loosing ... its about the kid... and parents are responsible for compromise

1000 ways to skin a 'contact' cat... both what you and the ex suggest is do-able and equally valid but constant change is not good for kid so courts (in an agreed 50:50) will favour alternate weeks

Answers (only my opinion and its worth jack)
1. If it was me i would suggest alternate weeks - swap on a Sunday night and Wednesday with other parent for dinner or contact night (i used to do 2-2-3 and it was nightmare. Court ordered we went alternate and i agreed
2.NO. Never. Unless ordered by court... why?
3. Stop it ... seriously... if you were a mum coming up with that cr*p about how your kid only wants to be with you then that would be called parental alienation ... and there are plenty of lads on the other end of that.
Your kid is NOT showing a clear preference.. She is 2... she has no idea what is going on... she loves you both and you both love her
Your job as a equal PARENT is (despite your relationship with the ex) is to ensure that kid grows up with 2 loving responsible parents who co-parent her to adulthood.... you start trying to score points now you will trip yourself up and spend years in court and waste a load of money you could spend on the kid... avoid that by working together

Keep it collaborative and friendly for your daughter's sake .... you are both good parents and she deserves you both
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
Thanks for your reply - I'm only trying to look at what's best for my daughter.

1. She's dead set that the alternate weeks wouldn't work - I disagree and there doesn't seem to be much flexibility.

2. I was going to ask a professionals opinion on the issue - I'm not the font of all knowledge but I thought this 2-3-2 was a bit too much change for our girl.

3. I'm not trying to do anything in fact I keep on telling our daughter that mummy loves you as well. I'm not trying to alienate - I want her to have just as much of a good connection with both of us. Fact is fact - when I'm around she always wants me and I'd like this not to be the case. If my wife wants to hold her she asks for me. The last thing I would want to do is for this to be the case. And yes I could imagine it would feel horrible the other way around. If anything I want to help to fix this.

There is also a disagreement about the marital home - as my ex firmly believes that it would give me an unfair advantage (if I stayed) as our daughter views that as "home" and whoever has to move would be disadvantaged. Any experience on this?
1. it doesn't matter what she wants ... if you cannot agree the judge will make a ruling (i advise against this as it removes any flexibility 2 sensible co-parents would have ... but it does give you security that she cannot play games

2. You are right - i agree with you ... constant change is a burden for kids... they need some stability and weekly care allows this plus the love of 2 good parents... you dont need professional psych report for this ... judge knows it

3. Good luck with this one... kids ebb and flow between parents .. next week she might not like you as much as this week ... do not go to court with this ... it will make you look bad... aim to find middle ground always ... trust me on this one... my ex did what you are saying... didn't work and weakened her case ... judge saw it as desperate

House - stay if you can ... you ex is making a false objection ... she is correct about whoever moves out will be disadvantaged but hey... make sure it aint you ... :-)
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
Great advice from LTCDad

There is actually something called "birds nest" co-parenting. Whereby you carry on what you are doing now basically. The child stays living in the same home all the time and the parents move in and out weekly. I would keep that going as long as you can until you have a consent order agreed, and don't move out until it's legalised. With a consent order, which you can draw up at mediation, it can be sent to the court to be stamped as a court order. However, once either of you consults a solicitor things could go pearshaped as Solicitors turn it adversarial and are very good at making Mothers feel they are more important and giving the tips on all the things they can do to keep residency etc.

I would not trust this idea of you moving out and having a vague 3-2-3-2 type thing as once you move out you lose all control and are at her whims (aided by her solicitor possibly).

Agree with LTCDad - it's not a competition. It's normal to feel like this but put it out of mind. Your child needs both parents and 50/50 gets away from one parent trying to be numero uno in child's life.

I guess what your ex is saying is - week on week off, is one thing while daughter stays in same house. But if you and ex live in different houses then it is quite a long time.

An alternative for 50-50 is 2-2-5-5. So two nights a week with each of you and every other week-end with each of you. That means less length of absence but has more changeovers than week on week off. So say you had every Mon and Tues nigth and your ex had every Wed and Thurs night, this would be the same each week. The week it's your week-end you would have Fri, Sat, Sun Mon Tues, she would then have wed thurs fri sat sun nights, then back to mon tues with you, wed thurs with her and fr to wed with you again.

See what she thinks about birds nest parenting. Do you think it's sustainable? Whatever you do - don't move out till you have a court order.

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