A woman writes of the time her former husband asked for 50/50 or shared custody of their children, she wanted to refuse him. She had received primary physical custody after their divorce. The girls were two and five, and he was not in a good place to care for them. But after the woman's father developed cancer, she needs the girl's father to help out getting the girls ready for daycare.
Originally, he only had visitation for a few hours every weekend with no overnights. Then, after months of helping out mornings, the girls would spend a full day with their dad on the weekends. He even had dinner with them at the woman's home. He would watch the girls some evenings when she ran errands.
Eventually, she needed to be out of town over a weekend and offered to take them for that time. After a trial run that went well, he took the girls and it was very successful. They then agreed to an every other weekend sharing. Finally, he asked for full shared custody.
She could not find a good reason to refuse and she realized whatever her qualms were about "losing her girls," she recognized that that was what was in the girls best interest. They loved their father, he loved them and his having equal time was what was best for them.
She does not mention how they made these changes as far as their custody order, but anytime you make changes to your custody order, you should discuss them with your attorney and have them approved by the court.
The incremental steps here probably helped the couple with the transition. What will work in your custody agreement may be different, but what it demonstrates is that change can be good and both parents need to stay focused on what is best for their children.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, "Why I'm Letting Go: Agreeing to 50/50 Custody," Aubrey Keefer, May 27, 2016