Many modern parents want to have a 50-50 custody plan for their kids. Indeed, family and child psychologists -- in addition to medical researchers -- tend to agree that the more time a child spends with both parents, the better the outcome for the child. That said, the 50-50 arrangement, in which the child lives half the time with one parent and half the time with the other, will not work for all parents and children.
Here are a few things to consider when evaluating whether an equal parenting plan will work for you and your family.
When a 50-50 parenting plan works best
All families are different, of course, and the following are generalities. But you may find that co-parenting works best when:
- You and your ex can work together relatively easily. There will be times when you and your spouse disagree about specific parenting concerns. Yet, it's essential that you and your ex can come to a mutual agreement relatively easily -- even when things get difficult. You'll have to make frequent arrangements about where to pick up and drop off your child, and you'll need to make minor scheduling adjustments from time to time. It's vital that communication and compromise are possible in these circumstances.
- You live relatively near the other parent. If the parents live far away from one another, a 50-50 parenting plan is usually too impractical.
- Your work schedules are conducive to the arrangement. Parents can usually figure out a way to make the 50-50 plan fit with their work schedules. However, parents who travel regularly and those working rotating shifts, e.g., firefighters, doctors and nurses, may need to get very creative to make this work.
- Your child does well with the arrangement. Some kids just don't do well with 50-50 parenting arrangements. Make sure that this style of parenting is agreeable to him or her.
Understand all your options before you choose a parenting plan
If you want to set up a successful parenting plan for your kids, learn about the various options available and select the one that best reflects the needs of your child you and your ex.