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50/50 custodies and the frustrations outside the homes.

invisiblestepmom's picture

I'm wondering if anyone else has a 50/50 custody arrangment with no one being primary. We do and it is so frustrating when you deal with schools, doctors offices and pretty much anythig else because the forms have room for only one address for the child. No one is primary so who do you put down. We prefer it be us because BM does not comunicate with us very well unless she needs money for it or doesn't want to do it herself. Places will refuse to send notification out to both addresses because parents are supposed to be mature responsible adults and get along well enough to communicate about thier kids. Well sometimes they don't. Sometimes they do and you just forget to tell the other parent. Sometiemes games are played like BM does not want BF at the paretns night so she does not tell Bf about it and even makes the kid call BF up and cry taht BF was not there when BF had no idea that the night even happended becasue notification got sent home to BM's house and she played her games. It would be really nice if society would adapt better for these situations. Why not come up with different forma for the kids of blened families or let kdis wiht two households have two fomrs on file one for eahc household. Why not send take home folders to both custodial parenst homes. It's a PIA. What is another copy another stamp to them? Nothing when it can save some emotional heartache in a kids life and keep all parents involved. Its really annoying because I know our states ourst push for more and more of the 50/50 custody so both parents have the same rights then other instituison do not change the way they work and their equal rights have to be fought for every day, whether they are fighting with BM or BF or fighting with the schools for proper access to information. Its not 1952 where every one stasy married. More than half of all kids come from split, mixed blended homes to really when is society going to change? When are people going to learn how to deal with blended families in a way the is best for the kids, its a reality that the blended family is not going away so seriously can't we get a little more respect and guidance in our lives? I feel all we get are sterotypes, stigmas and being judged for not having the perfect family. I fele like professionals dont know how to deal with blended families so how the heck are we supposed to figure out how to deal with it on our own.
Oh this reminds me of the funny solution to this that my SD15 used to have. She was going to be kid rock star and build a mansion where both her families could live under one roof. She accepted mom and dad would not get back together, and liked her step parents she just hated going back and forth between homes because she missed the other while she was away.. Ha Ha could you imagine being that blended and living under the same roof ex spouses and first spouses siblings, half siblings, step siblings etc... all together. YIKES !!!


Stepmomtogirls's picture

It is very frustrating in 50/50 situations. Me and my ex are 50/50 for legal and physical custody. We have issues all the time with daycare, its not so much as we don't communicate with each other, its more than daycare doesn't communicate the same information to both of us, and we are stuck in a 'well she told me this' 'oh, well she just told me this' and then daycare says they can't remember who was told what.

With total 50/50 everything is harder, and unless parents talk about it it will never get better. Sometimes things with me and my ex are okay and sometimes they aren't.

Maybe you can bring up your issues with the dr's, schools, etc and explain your situation and ask that both of your household info is put into their folders and ask that both parents get notified of everything.

invisiblestepmom's picture

i agree parents in these situatins need to advocate better for themselves as a united front. We always get treated like ours is a special cirumstance. Not every divorce ends with one parent being out of the picture, not every custody arrangement is EOW t dad's house. Its so frustrating, Espeically when the two households are trying to work together and these systems make it harder.
Oh I do bring it up. I even worked in a school and was trying to get it changed from the inside, but was told this is how it is they will not pay for the extra copies bieng sent. I am all for saving trees and paper, and $$ but what is more valuable a few cnets a few sheets of paper or a kids well being?
I told my coworkers that I would remember that when they go through a divorce and are in this situation and send thier kids to me for therapy because this is how it is and how it is ,puts kids in the middle because of the misinformation going back and forth, and I do agree one home is told another thing where the other is told a whole new story. I remeber last year SS was failing spanish, teacher told BM that he just wasn't getting it and was a nice kid thus the failing grade, then the teacher told me and wasn't even supposed to leagally tell me but she called our house frustrated with this kid and wanted to talk to Dh but he was not home so she told me, SS was not turning in any work and was rude and disrespectful to her in class to the point she was in tears...hmmm 2 different stories there. We have even had teachers say " I dont know which parent is supposed to be told this (duh both) so I'm going to tell the kid to relay the message (and kids remember every thing correctly especially to tell their parents they ahve problems at school). I often felt that my SKIDs academics sometiems slipped through the cracks becasue they had learning problems that were not addressed just becasue the school did not want to get in the middle of the two parents and have the parents placing blame. So yeah rather than get involved they just didn't help the kids learn better. Luckily I could help them catch up at home.

invisiblestepmom's picture

The kids are insured by both households. My husband is court ordered to have it, and then because it does not cost any extea to cover them under BM's family plan which she needs anyway they are covered by her. Both paretns are to pay 50/50 on the bills which is where it would be nice if the Dr. Offices cooperate w/ us. Mom asks for $$ to pay them but used to not use the money to pay them. Found this out when she files bankrupcy and thier orthodonist wouldn't see them any more for outstanding bills that we were up to date on our ptotion so we dont trust her. Especially since the orthodonist was going to have the unpai for braces removed so all our $$ paid on them was going to be thrown dow the drain, my husband had ot pay her unpaid portion that she filed bankrupcy on to keep his kids in braces. She has also asked for $$ to pay bills that did not exist,and $$ to pay for bill that we already paid so we would like the proof of the bill and she is such a rag about giving it to us because we should "trust" the lying conniving witch and don't that we prefer to get it sent to us too and have to fight for it. I dont get it the doctors offices have no problem taking our insurance (even mine as step mom) or our $$ on these kids but will not send us a copy of the bill because the kids are listed under mom's account.

invisiblestepmom's picture

I wish we only saw her that much we are pretty immeshed. I could walk to her house in less than 5 minutes she's that close. I see her at least once a week and talk to her several times and DH does even more. Actually I take that back now that I am trying to get along with her, fake it until we make it thing i talk to her even more than he does especially on line.

Stepmomtogirls's picture

Yup, its best to try and do exchanges through somewhere (i.e school/daycare) this is how I have gotten away with not having to see my ex except for a few times a year. One of us drops her off and the other pics her up.

invisiblestepmom's picture

I wish. I have tried to set up boundaries. At least I got DH to say no to BM being at our wedding. really if she was mature I would not mind it at least she would have seen it for her own eyes but I know if she was there she would have sat with the inlaws and made fun of me the whole time and that was the last thing I needed that day. She felt she had the right to be there since her kids were in the wedding (not by my first choice). WTF we didn't get invited to her vegas quickie wedding nor did her kids whihc is why I was forced to include them in my wedding party. We purposefully got married out in the country at my gradparents farm that she has no idea where it is for a reason. That way she couldn't crash it. Which like I sadi her being there was thelast thing I needed since my gradnpa died of a suden heart attack the morning of and I was the one who had to call 911. Yes our wedding that finally happened was a very bittersweat day as I lost one of my favorite men in the world that day so my husbands EX was the last thing I needed to worry about that day.
But DH refuses to back me up on them. Like the time I come home and catch SS15 giving BM a fucking tour of our upstairs our bedroom inlcuded. Just because she's a nosy bitch.
one of these times I want BM or the skids whom are 15 an know about sex to walk in on us when they POP in to get s forgotten unnessary item. I was livid when DH gave them keys and permission to come get thier bikes and fishing stuff out of the garage as they pleased. I asked that they call ahead of time because I almost called the cops on SS15 I thought someone was breaking into our garage. DH may have regretted letting this free pass go because now some of his own fishing stuff is missing. Hmmm wonder where it went. I told DH that by given them keys they will be here when we are not home, with snoop of mom and so if anything of value is ever missing gues who my first supspect will be. Movies and food have already shown up missing.
Wanna here something really funny about drop off and picking them up...DH does it all. BM will not bring the kids over here when it is his time not because of boundaries because of shear laziness and lack of respect. So if he wants his kids he has to go there and pick them up, if he doesn't she tells the kids oh your dad doesn't want to see you, its 4:45 and his time started at 4:) guess he doesn't care (no dumb bitch he gets off work at 4;30 and hasn't gotten there yet.) Then when DH does get there they aren't both home and he has to make numerous trips back and forth to get them both because they can't simply call and say hey dad at 4:30 i am at practice or at the mall. I think its totally rude. Then when its BM's time again she wont come get them she makes DH bring them back to her. Remember above I said they live 5 minutes away. really the 15 year old kids could walk if it wasn't dark, raining , too cold or too hot...but I guess making lazy kids do something like that is child abuse and parents just being lazy so I've been told. WE have left it up to her at times to pick them up because we had plans then she does not show up until 2 hours late bitching and screaming that she had to get them and we are pissed by them that our plans got ruined.

stepmasochist's picture

We don't have 50/50 and it's just for reasons like this. BM has asked for 50/50, but DH and I don't think it's what's best for the kids.

Although DH has sole custody and BM visitation, there are still things that fall through the cracks. So far, the kids are on medicaid through BM so she has been handling all of the doctor, dentist visits, etc. I told DH he should take a more active role in that, but he has yet to do so.

When it comes to the school. They have both addresses, but they hardly ever mail anything. Everything is sent home with the kid or they call or email. The skids go to BM's house EOW and Thurs, straight from school so there are things we miss, like permission slips, even report cards. Luckily, our schools have a good website and we can do a lot of things online, like check grades, some assignments, etc.

Your DH should write a letter to all doctors or care providers and include a copy of the custody order. Tell them that he will not pay anything unless he is sent a copy as BM has not been responsible in the past.

Talk to the school principal and if that doesn't work, go to the school superintendent and then school board. You should advocate this change. I agree with you that blended families are not going anywhere and children benefit by having both parents involved in their schooling. Maybe get some other parents in your area who are experiencing similar frustrations to back you and take it to a public forum at the next school board meeting. I have to attend school board meetings for work and we have some good representation. I believe they really genuinely try to do what's best for all kids. I'm having some problems because it seems the different schools have different policies on such things. I have a good communication with SD10 and SS6's schools, but SD8's school is a pain in the a$$ - (it's primarily this one busy body secretary that I'm gonna have to bring the smack down on). I might have to take some of my own advice on this one.

Also, if the school doesn't want to go to the expense of extra mailings, perhaps slip the skid(s)'s teacher(s) a book of stamps or some self addressed stamped envelopes to let them know you and DH really really want that information.

invisiblestepmom's picture

Thanks for the good ideas. I think I might also talk to them about adding my email address. As I tend to follow through more than DH. It must be a man thing or something.

invisiblestepmom's picture

Oh I forgot I agree that 50/50 custody is not always what is best for the kids. It is actually a lot harder on them than people would think. Also I dont care what all the experts say, I have seen so much ugliness from poor parents through my past socail work jobs, and kobs in special education classrooms, and with our BM putting the kids through the wringer and in the middle all the time that sometimes kids are better off without both parents in their lives, or at least with just minimal visitation.
I know my skids sometiems feel like they have no place to truly call home because they have two homes. 50/50 also makes more situations that the kids have to choose between parents sometimes and then they feel they betrayed the other. Plus there is always something going on when they are not at one home that the miss out on because they are at the other. It is very hard on them. I guess saying that now I should take a step back from my anger and frustration someteims and listen to my own words.

buttercup123's picture

We totally have the same issues from BM not telling us about ortho appointments to parent teacher nights. So annoying as we always take the high road and keep her in the loop, for the kids sake. BM is only nice when she wants something.

invisiblestepmom's picture

I feel exactly the same way when BM is nice, it should mean we're trying to get along but it really means she is buttering us up for a favor or irrational request.