Equal parenting time is all the rage, and many parents laud the many benefits of raising their children in this fashion. Indeed, the benefits are clear. Children and parents get to maximize their time with one another in the fairest way possible. At the same time, parents enjoy some free time away from their parenting responsibilities each month to pursue other interests — or even new romantic connections.
That said, even though you may be hearing from different friends and family members for whom the 50-50 custody plan is working well, it’s not always the best solution for every family.
Here are several situations in which the 50-50 custody solution — in which the children have two homes and divide their time between both parents’ residences — is not going to be very effective:
Two parents who can’t seem to agree on anything: When you and your spouse are fighting and bickering about every tiny detail pertaining to your kids, the 50-50 plan is going to be especially difficult for you and your children to navigate. A constant toxic environment between the two parents will not be healthy for the psychological well-being of the children.
Two parents who live far away from one another: With the 50-50 custody plan, regular child exchanges will be necessary. If these exchanges are inconvenient due to distance, it might be possible to make this plan work.
Odd and unpredictable work or travel schedules: If a parent has strange and unpredictable work hours — or if the parent has to fly to different areas of the country on a moment’s notice, the 50-50 parent time structure is not very practical.
The kids can’t handle having two homes: Not all children adjust well to dividing their time between two houses. If this sounds like your kids, you might want to give up on the idea of forcing them to have two homes.
There are many kinds of parenting plans available to help parents organize the sharing of their children. By speaking with an experienced family law and divorce attorney, you can determine which child custody arrangements are correct for you and your family.