FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. Florida courts recognize the need for both parents to be a part of their children’s lives. Practically, this often means that one parent has physical custody of the children and the other parent has visitation rights. Yet, more parents who live close to one another are choosing to have 50/50 child custody arrangements, in which parents split the time and custody as evenly as possible with their children. While many claim that these arrangements are great for both the children and parents, there are definitely some things you’ll need to consider before moving forward with this arrangement. Whatever custody agreement you and your former spouse are considering, it is a good idea to speak to a child custody lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Visit curtcowanlaw.com to learn more.
Some common difficulties parents face with 50/50 child custody arrangements:
- Consider what will happen if one parent needs to move. 50/50 parenting plans work well when both parents live close to one another. Yet, post-divorce life can bring many changes, from new partners to new jobs. If you do plan to have a 50/50 child custody arrangement, you should definitely add provisions in your parenting plan that outlines what happens if one parent wants to move.
- Consider your children’s needs. Some children benefit from spending equal time with both parents. However, the constant moving can be disruptive in a child’s life. For instance, you’ll want to consider how changing homes frequently will impact your child’s friendships, extracurricular activities, and school life.
- Make consistent rules for both homes. If you and your ex don’t agree on rules for raising your children, then the constant shuffle and change of rules can be very difficult for some children. If you cannot agree about boundaries and rules, other custody arrangements may be better.
- Is there a time when you’ll want to change the agreement? Younger children might benefit from a 50/50 split, while older children might benefit from having one stable home. If you plan to share custody for now and then later transition, make sure that this is clearly outlined in your parenting plan.
- According to Popsugar, it is important to discuss how homework will be handled in both homes. Will children be expected to do homework at the same time each day? Is there a way you and your ex can easily communicate about school concerns?
- Don’t give up all the weekends. A 50/50 split shouldn’t mean that one parent has the children during the workweek, while the other parent gets the weekend. This promotes a situation where one parent will become the “fun” one and the other will have to deal with homework, school, and all the responsibilities.
50/50 child custody should not be confused with joint legal custody. Most courts award joint legal custody which grants both parents the right to make decisions for their children, whether or not the children reside in the parent’s home. According to Psychology Today, 50/50 custody arrangements should only be considered in cases where both partners are good communicators and where the divorce is fairly low-conflict. If this doesn’t describe your situation, a different parenting plan may work better. Finally, it’s always wise to speak to a child custody lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida before making any final decisions. It can be difficult to change child custody arrangements once they are finalized. Contact the Family Law Department of KO Lawyers in Ft. Lauderdale today to protect your family and your rights.