Making Divorce Easier On Kids

Kids of divorced parents
CBS/The Early Show
About one-quarter of American adults come from divorced families, and many say they missed one parent terribly. Now there's a movement in some states to do divorce "better."

One approach uses custody arrangements that include both parents. The Early Show's Tracy Smith visited a family living with a divorce that even King Solomon would love.

Drew Eichner and Lynne Baker are divorced but they have a unique custody arrangement that allows their three boys, 14-year-old twins Joe and Sam, and 8-year-old Jack, to split their time equally between their parents' houses.

Monday and Tuesday are spent at Lynne's house, while Drew has his boys on Wednesday and Thursday; weekends are switched off.

It's perfect equity for mom and dad, but the kids move back and forth two or three times a week

The twins tell Smith it's not hard to get used to it, and jokingly call it "divorce mode."

The houses are within a few minutes of each other, but life still gets complicated.

"It's totally crazy. Sometimes there's pets, golf clubs," says Drew Eichner. "I mean it gets very crazy."

"Sometimes you just wanna rest, give my brain a little rest and just lay down," says Jack.

Welcome to the world of 50-50 joint custody. It's part of a larger "shared parenting" trend initiated by fathers' groups who say that traditional family custody law diminishes the role of dads.

"Fathers are pushed to the margins of their children's lives," says fathers' rights advocate Glenn Sacks. "You need shared parenting in order to protect that relationship with your children."

"I've taken on a lot more responsibility than I ever thought I would," says Drew. He now spends more time with the boys now than he did when he was married.

"I try to make it the four boys, it's the guys, it's a dorm room," Drew says. "We eat together, the toilet seat's left up. It's boy town."

"They need their mom for certain things, but they have an important — a really important — bonding relationship with their dad," says Lynne.