What is 50/50 anyway? Flip a coin. What do you get? An equal chance of two results occurring. A 50% probability. You may land on heads. You may land on tails. Neither one has a better chance. And most likely, your penny would land on heads one out of every two flips.
With regard to custody, my first husband and I share 50/50 custody of our girls. This means, half of the time, they are with him and the other half, they are with me….on paper. But, thanks to my flexible job and strategic planning of meetings, I am able to spend more time with them than the 50/50 written in our agreement. And I am oh so grateful for that! I get to drive them to school, even on mornings they aren’t with me. I pick them up from school, even on days that aren’t “mine”. I see them at their practices and lessons. And I am able to keep them on snow days and throughout the summer. While the thought of spending only half the time with my kids devastates me, I have to take a different perspective to turn things into a positive.
In line with the 50/50 mentality, is my glass half full or half empty? How will I view my situation with regard to custody? The most beneficial way for me to view it is with optimism. After the girls’ father and I split, time with my girls diminished greatly. However, while it was less quantity of time, with my new perspective on life, I made it much more quality time. Initially, I took having them with me all the time for granted, honestly. On a daily basis, I took them to and from day care, I fed them dinner, I gave them baths, I read to them. I’m guilty, as it sometimes felt like a chore. (Terrible, right?) Now, while I don’t get to tuck them in every night or simply have them in the same house all the time, I try to make the time I do have with them more intentional, and I very much treasure the moments more, making memories while we are at it. I want to drive them to and from school. It gives me time to find out about their day. I want to fix dinner and eat with them. It gives us time to share stories. I want to do bedtime routine with them. It gives us time to share our favorite parts of the day and what we are thankful for. It allows us to do a one-minute devotional each night. I want to tuck them in. It lets me spend one-on-one time with them, helps wind down the day, and serves as a time for them to express any concerns they have.
As a whole, my first husband and I are cordial to one another. We communicate when we need to. I NEVER badmouth him, and to my knowledge, he echoes that behavior. There have been times, however, that we have disagreed on custody and what exactly that means for our situation. For instance, the only holidays specified in our decree are Thanksgiving and Christmas. We split those days with the girls. When we were going through the process of determining custody, we didn’t think to include other important holidays like Easter, July 4th, Mother’s and Father’s Days, and the girls’ birthdays. So we have had our share of disagreements about who gets them on those days and the amount of time. And sometimes I fall into the trap of arguing over minutiae, such as, one or two hours of time with them. In the grand scheme, I need to realize it’s better to make the most of the quality of time I have with them instead of worrying about the exact quantity of time. We are only on Earth for a short, specific period of time. Make the most of it!
And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
We Want To Hear from You:
What disagreements have you had regarding your custody agreement? How could you have shifted your perspective to move towards a more peaceful outcome? What things can you do moving forward to remind yourself to focus on the quality of time spent and not the quantity? What tools did you find helpful in this blog and how will you apply them going forward?
Be sure to read our devotional on YouVersion: 40&7: A Guide To Peace During A Custody Battle
For more resources to assist you or others you know going through a custody battle click here.