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Posted by♂ 395 months ago

Dating with Conflicting Custody Schedules

This is geared towards those co-parents that are dating and doing custody math. Given that custody schedules can look like anything these days, do you generally pass on anyone that has a schedule that is more or less incompatible with your own or have you tried to pursue things regardless? Those that have pursued a relationship, how did that work out and what did you do to try and overcome that barrier?

I know babysitters are an option, but those get expensive quick.

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level 1

Yes, have passed. Usually custody schedules can come out early in texting/app conversations.

level 2
♂ 39Original Poster3 points · 5 months ago

Have you ever had a really nice back and forth exchange on an app, talked about kids and then just said "I guess it won't work", then bounce?

level 3

Yes. Earlier this year in fact. I wasn't CRAZY into the person's profile, but I would have given it a shot. Conversation was good on the app for a few days. We talked about custody schedules, and hers was literally the exact opposite of mine. There would have been 0 days available. I think I said "oof, we literally have exact opposite schedules!"

and then neither of us responded again lol.

level 4
♂ 303 points · 5 months ago


level 1
♂ 49 Chicagoland3 points · 5 months ago

Is this a thing now??

You meet the perfect person for you but you have to pass because you have arbitrary but conflicting custody arrangements?

In my dating post-divorce my ex and I simply contact each other if we want to flip weeks or something. And I never went on dates when I had my kids.

level 2
♂ 455 points · 5 months ago

Some people don't have exes where that's really easy, or have other conflicts or reasons that it's set up that way.

level 2
♂ 39Original Poster0 points · 5 months ago

It's a conversation that came up between I and someone I'm seeing. We hit it off and then got to talking about kids. We found out there are literally 2 days a month when we are both free. We decided to give things a shot and so far so good.

I was curious about others' experiences. How do you know it's the perfect person for you IF you don't even have the initial time to establish that fact?

level 3
♂ 49 Chicagoland1 point · 5 months ago

I've never encountered such a thing where we couldn't find any window within which to meet. TWO DAYS?

You can't negotiate some schedule adjustments with your ex? What about a lunch date during work? If your kids are young you could even do a facetime date after they go to bed. Where there's a will there's a way.

level 4
♀45 4 points · 5 months ago

There are a lot of reasons why this ends up being a thing, and it sucks. Some exes are like mine - uncooperative, refusing to be flexible just to be a douche.

But some potential dating partners also weed themselves out by refusing to be flexible, too. I've had a few unmatch when I couldn't make the first proposed meet time (even though I suggested some alternatives). Then of course if you have a single parent dating another single parent, that means at least four people all having to find it in themselves to be flexible with scheduling.

But you are right ... where there's a will, there's a way. Which is why I referred to those guys as weeding themselves out.

level 5
♂ 49 Chicagoland2 points · 5 months ago

I think it's interesting how many dating toll gates you go through with someone new before you get to an official "relationship." And it's sad/pathetic/amusing when people remove themselves so early based on such silly issues.

level 6
♀45 1 point · 5 months ago

I agree completely!

level 6
♀ 35 childfree/never marrying1 point · 5 months ago

Conflicting schedules is one thing, but having/wanting children is another. I'd absolutely nix any parent or wannabe parent and I'd hope they'd do the same to me. One's a logistical incompatibility and the other is a lifestyle incompatibility.

level 4
♂ 39Original Poster1 point · 5 months ago

We've done lunch dates and schedule adjustments with my ex are around the corner. With the holidays around the past few weeks we've actually got to see each other a bit.

I'm definitely all about making time for this to work in my case, this post was more to get exposure to others' experiences. This is the first time I've encountered such a polar schedule since I started dating.

level 1
♂ 343 points · 5 months ago

As a child of divorced parents (they divorced when I was 12), I’m so glad my father move several hundred miles away so I wasn’t bouncing around from house to house every few days. That seriously sounds awful. A few select holidays and a month in the summer was more than enough.

level 1
overgrown child w/ regular child(s)3 points · 5 months ago

I don't even engage w/ someone who has kids until I know our schedules can line up. What's the point? I'm not changing my custody schedule, you're not meeting my kids for 6 months, and I'm not paying a babysitter for 6 months to explore that option.

level 1
2 points · 5 months ago

At one point I was able to casually date 2 single moms that had opposite custody weekends, and one had Tuesdays as her kid free weekday, the other had Wednesdays as kid free day.

It sorta worked for a few months.

level 1
2 points · 5 months ago

As long as there are one or two days a week to explore things - I'd give it a chance. Especially since connection is the rare part for me.

If I can connect with someone? I'll move heaven and earth (and my kid schedule) to free up more if it's needed.

Last instance, I actually moved around my kid days to align with days she was working late and it gave us another evening to spend together.

level 2
♂ 39Original Poster2 points · 5 months ago

That's sort of what I was thinking, but trying to establish when to think about moving the schedule around. After 2 or 3 months of dating? I know it's a delicate balance of trying to get to know someone before changing things but having a hard time doing so until you do.

level 3
2 points · 5 months ago

There's no hard/fast rule - you just need to (presumably) not do it for everyone who comes along especially since you have your child(ren) to consider as well as the other parent.

Had that woman I juggled things for not changed her mind about the age of my youngest being a deal breaker, we'd probably still be together.

I kept the schedule rather than revert it though and it's been over a year.

level 4
♂ 39Original Poster4 points · 5 months ago

That's what I was thinking. Plus there's the other parent to consider too. I'm sure they wouldn't be too keen on changing things more than once a year.

That's kind of messed up that she changed her mind about the age of your child. Sorry that happened.

level 2

I don’t have children myself, but I know the moving around of kid days just wouldn’t be possible for some- even if they wanted to. I know a man who shares equal custody of his 8yr old daughter, the days he has her are rigid and there’s no way his ex would agree to change a day or weekend around.

level 3
0 points · 5 months ago · edited 5 months ago

the days he has her are rigid and there’s no way his ex would agree to change a day or weekend around.

Unless the specific days are in the court order, they typically can be changed - even with an unreasonable parent (so long as the court can determine it's in the best interest of the child/a reasonable request).

So, that man you know may simply not know how to go about it or he has a contentious relationship with the custodial parent (also within his ability to change arguably).

level 4

Yeah. But if it is going to require going to court, then is it really worth dealing with all that. "Well your honor, I'd like an order to change our custody dates and disrupt my kids lives even more than they already are because there is this woman I've been chatting I met online. I've been chatting with her a few days and would like to go on a date with her".

It just doesn't seem worth it...

level 1
♂ 322 points · 5 months ago

Haven't been in this situation yet, but its something I've wondered about a lot. Only parent I ever dated had her kiddo 100% of the time, but for at least the first 3 months I always worked out dates for when I didn't have mine.

I might try to make it work but they'd have to be pretty damn amazing as a prospect. My son is 3 and a half and since I work on top of that I really try to make the most of the time I have with him.

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