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Mother with majority timeshare wonders if 50/50 over long-distance is okay for infant

Your Question:
My ex wants to move out of state. He and I have an infant together. I currently have full physical custody and we share joint legal. He wants me to agree to 50/50 custody so he can get more time with our son. However, he is currently not taking full advantage of the time he is allowed to see him now. I really don't want to share custody, but I also don't want to be a jerk. What do you think I should do?

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My Answer:

Trying to nail down a parenting plan is all about deciding what's best for a child. Doing it right has nothing to do with being a jerk.

If it's best for a child to be in a 50/50 parenting situation, then that's what the parenting plan should be.

If circumstances or parenting abilities (i.e., if one is far less than an average parent) preclude a 50/50 arrangement, it's up to someone to figure out what the next best arrangement is for the child.

If you and the father can work together or with a mediator, that "someone" can be the parents.

If you and the father can't work it out, that "someone" will be a judge.

So... given all that... in looking at your situation, if the father moves out of state, you can't do 50/50 with an infant. There's no parenting plan that would support it, if looking at the child's best interest.

If he stays local and avails himself of all parenting time you make available to him, and if he's a decent parent (i.e., not necessarily identical to you, but adequate enough), then consider letting him build up to 50/50 to see how it goes with the baby and with the father.

But, if he's waiving a good part of his current custodial time, a judge would wonder why he's going for 50/50.


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