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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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My wife moved out over 4 months ago to be with another man.

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My wife moved out over 4 months ago to be with another man. We have 3 boys (6, 5 and 1) but they just know that mom has moved to another house. We have agreed to a split custody arrangement and rotate weekly (every Wed.) and get dinner with the kids the Sundays we don't have them. My wife states she really dislikes this arrangement and feels that the kids should see each of us more than every other week. She feels that this is not the best arrangement especially for our 1 year old. She would like to switch to a 2-2-3 schedule. I am really struggling with this as I think rotating the kids 3 times a week creates too much instability in their lives (especially for our 6 and 5 year old). I do want to do what is best for our kids and they seem to have adjusted to the every other week schedule we currently have, even the 1 year old. They are happy when they are with me and belive they are the same with her. Is there any good reason for me to agree to the 2-2-3 schedule?
Hello and thanks for using!

The visitation schedule that will work best for your family is the one that all of you are happy with. I will say, however, that I've seen children have a great deal of difficulty with transitioning back and forth too much -- the environment, expectations, dynamics, and even disciplinary methods are often different and require some adjustment each time. I can honestly say that school staff can always tell when a student has spent a few days at the other parent's house and is about to "switch" -- there's an increased level of overall anxiety and sometimes misbehavior.

If the problem is that she's feeling the space apart is too long, perhaps you could try a mid-week dinner? For example, the kids are with you for the week, but she picks them up for dinner on Wednesday night only (returning them to your house after they eat). If she's adamant on trying the 2-2-3 schedule, you could certainly give it a shot and see how it works. Better to try this during the summer break than during the school year. If you don't think it's working, you'll at least be able to say you tried it her way and now you'd like to talk about another possibility.

There are many ways to split custody and again, it's a matter of what works for everyone involved and allows for the children to have a predictable routine. Here are some other ideas for how to do a 50/50 visitation schedule. I wish you the best of luck!
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