Stepmom Asks Why Divorced Moms Work So Hard To Stop 'Good Daddies' From Getting 50/50 Custody

Child custody battles are already overwhelmingly complex, without all the extra commentary.

Dad and daughter reading book elenavagengeim / Canva Pro

Child custody agreements can get very messy, especially following the end of a relationship. For many couples, barring any concerns about the welfare of the children, a 50/50 split seems like a reasonable decision, especially if there’s already a good co-parenting system in place. 

Stepmom Megan Gower has been navigating the child custody conversation through her partner and she couldn't help but question why her partner’s ex-wife is so adamant about fighting against 50/50 custody of her children, alluding to selfishness as the root cause.


Gower questioned why divorced moms work so hard to stop ‘good daddies’ from getting 50/50 custody of their children.

“Why do moms fight so hard to not let good daddies have 50/50 custody? It’s almost like you would rather the dad not exist at all. If that dad is a good, safe, and interactive father… then what is the point?” 



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“Why can he not have the same rights that you have? What’s the point in fighting him so hard to not have that? I genuinely want to understand.” 

Gower suggested that her partner’s ex-wife has ulterior motivations for trying to take “custody of their children away.” Whether it be for control, money, or jealousy, she didn't acknowledge the wealth of other situations where 50/50 custody just wouldn’t work, even for healthy co-parents. 

Many comments suggested divorced moms see a much different side to fathers than a new stepmom would. 

“Divorced child here,” one commenter wrote. “I switched between homes as a child and it was the worst possible feeling ever. I’d imagine that’s part of this mother’s motivation for fighting it.” 


Others suggested this mom knows exactly the kind of parent the father is after watching him interact and care for their kids for several years. 

Another user put it simply, “While jealousy is likely present, it’s just a fact that many mothers are more involved in their children’s day-to-day lives. Even if you say he was safe and interactive, the truth is they probably never even had a 50/50 split of child responsibilities while together.” 

A true 50/50 custody split comes with challenges many parents don't consider including travel, logistics, and location. 

“I think it’s important to understand that 111 nights with the kids a year is considered a ‘joint custodial’ parent,” divorce attorney Jaclyn on TikTok said. “Now when we talk about 50/50 custody, that’s an equal physical split of the children.” 



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While it might sound like the quickest and easiest option for many parents, it’s actually one of the more difficult child custody arrangements for everyone involved, especially if the parents have an unsteady relationship

For an ideal situation to work, parents have to live within 20-30 miles of each other, have an appropriate job that allows them to provide care 50% of the time, and cultivate a healthy co-parenting relationship with their ex-partner.

In order to navigate all the logistics of splitting time, it’s essential for communication to be there. So, of course, after leaving a toxic relationship, a lot of partners fight for custody, which allows them to have limited contact with each other.

“The final piece is: are you showing up for the kids?” Jaclyn explained. “Are you really involved with the kids and activities? Are you able to take them to the doctor, the dentist, be up to speed with the kids' homework, the meals, and schedules?” 


For many mothers, the burden of childcare falls on their shoulders in a marriage and they’re inherently ‘more involved’ in their children’s lives. 

While it’s not the reality for some families, many mothers tend to adopt the responsibility of child-rearing and housework in the home. In fact, data compiled in 2021 regarding European households suggests that 91% of women with children spend more time on housework than their male counterparts in relationships.

It's not much different in the U.S. According to the Pew Research Center, 74% of mothers say they do more to manage their children’s schedules and activities than their spouse.

Stepmom Asks Why Divorced Moms Try To Stop Good Dads From Getting CustodyAndresr / CanvaPro


They’re bringing the kids to practice, picking them up from school, taking them to playdates with their friends, and coordinating the greater part of their schedules. When these families experience a divorce or parents decide to separate, this is something that mothers can use as a defense against 50/50 custody. 

It would be more work for the father to navigate appointments, playdates, and logistics because they hadn't done it before. 

So, while every relationship is inherently different and unique, it’s important to point out the inconsistencies in true joint custody arrangements for many women who have been tasked with the majority of the child-rearing responsibilities prior to divorce.

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture and human interest stories.