Why I am Thankful We Lost Custody

Can you trust God and rest in His goodness, even when what He allows isn’t what you want? Of course, divorce was not in God’s original plan. But this doesn’t mean you are on your own. If you are going through a divorce, and/or if custody issues are on the horizon, you can find comfort! His Word still provides guidance even when you have strayed from His plan. In Christ, there is forgiveness, restoration, and grace. You don’t have to be defined by your divorce and custody issues. It is not the end of your story!

My husband and I had been divorced, and also experienced custody issues before our marriage to each other…and after! When we met, he was already sharing 50/50 custody of his two (Kenzi and Ethan). I had primary custody of Gabe and my ex-husband did the best he could to see him. We’ve been married for 13 years now but the pain of those first years is not far from my memory. Splitting 50/50 custody of his two children, who were 4 and 5 when we married, was quite tumultuous at times. Some years our schedule was: Staying with mom every Monday and Tuesday, us every Wednesday and Thursday, and switching back and forth every other weekend. Other years they spent one week with Dad (us) and one week with Mom. My son was 3 when we married. He saw his dad on the weekends when he could travel from out of state to visit. Because of his work schedule and life circumstances, those visits were often sporadically spaced in the beginning.

50/50 Custody Pros and Cons

  • Some of the ways sharing 50/50 custody was helpful included:
    • We got to build relationships between our youngest and his two older siblings when we were all together.
    • We had one-on-one time with just my son when they were with their mom.
    • When my son visited his dad, we got one-on-one time with each other. Pretty awesome for a newly married couple that became an instant family of five.
    • I was teaching at the school where the children attended. So I got to see them even when it wasn’t “our” time. BONUS!
    • All the kids got equal time with mom and stepdad, dad and stepmom, and all their siblings on both sides!
  • Some of the reasons having 50/50 Custody was not our favorite:
    • We had two kids who felt like they didn’t have their own home. It was either “Mom’s House” or “Dad’s House”
    • They also had to constantly adapt to two different set of parenting routines, values, rhythms, expectations, and so on.
    • Sibling birth order was continually in flux as his/our middle child was the youngest at his mom’s house. It was also hard for my/our youngest who was also an only child half the time.
    • We had to persistently be on top of the switching schedules. Because often items seemed to be at the other home when it was needed in this home. For example, homework, clothes, toys, or lunch bags!
    • Worst of all, we never felt like we could have 100% influence on our children – because we couldn’t! Once we got a solid rhythm going, they would be off for a time in the other home. And then back to us at square one to start all over again.

How Our Custody Changed

In our fourth year of marriage, Kenzi and Ethan’s mom remarried and they had a child a year later. Then her husband got a better job in another state and we had to figure out what to do. Although that was 8 years ago now, I still remember the devastation I felt the night they told us they were moving. It broke my heart to think about them growing up without the consistent presence of ONE set of their parents and siblings. Ashamedly, we had an ugly, expensive, long, and painful court battle. What ended up happening was that Kenzi moved with her mom, stepdad, and siblings. And Ethan stayed here with his dad, brother, and me. For so long, I mourned the loss of relationship between Dad and daughter, siblings, and the relationship I had with “my only girl” that I lost sight of ALL THE BLESSINGS with which God has indeed gifted us!

We are raising and homeschooling our two boys together.

Our boys are only 10 months apart, but couldn’t be any more different! For an insight into their personalities, written in their own words, check out their essays here. However, through their personality variations, we get the opportunity to help them see and navigate through doing life alongside someone who sees, feels, and experiences just about everything very different than yourself. This helps them develop empathy, compassion, and perseverance in relationships – now and in the future.

We have the desire to continually work on having a strong marriage.

We’ve both been married before and did not put God in the center of our marriages. That proved to have disastrous consequences. Therefore, before we were even married to each other, we took “Divorce” off the table as an option. We faithfully and regularly seek God’s Word and know that He has a plan and a purpose for our lives for our good and for His glory. We are very connected with our local church (we both work there!) and we live in Community with others in the church. There have been difficult times, times of poor health, and even poorer attitudes, but amazing ones, too! And we joyfully look forward to what God has for our future together.

We could go of the responsibility of raising our teen daughter.

And here is the reason for this article and the explanation of the title. I mourned the loss of daily interactions and influence with my sweet Kenzi for about five years. It was beyond time to accept that it is what it is. She was raised by her mom across the country differently than we would have chosen. But it’s out of our control. Choosing to accept this fact or continuing to feel angry IS in my control. The time for thinking about how things “should” have been is over. I have accepted that if God allowed this to happen, it was for His glory and my good. God loves our children even more than we do! He can still work in their lives, no matter how badly I mess up! And, I am going to be thankful for all things, in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18)….even for losing custody.

Kate Fraiser is a Parent Coach with Connect Point Moms helping you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you’re in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them. For quick and helpful parenting videos, find her on InstagramYouTubeTikTokor Facebook.

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