Few divorcing parents set out to make things more difficult for their children and most of them place a high priority on doing what is right for them. It might be helpful for divorcing parents to know that the family court system, which oversees divorce, takes the health and well-being of minor children very seriously and so should you. For most parents, that means making a child custody choice based on what is best for the youngster and not necessarily for the parents. One custody choice is favored by parents who both want to take the lead — shared custody. Read on to find out more about this choice that purports to make things even.
You Get Half and They Get Half
Shared custody, also known as 50/50 parenting, is very different from another form of custody that can be confused with it, joint custody. Where joint custody appoints one parent as the primary physical custodian of the child, shared custody appoints both parents as the physical custodians. Both shared and joint custody are alike in that the legal responsibility for the child is shared between the two parents.
Shared Custody Can Be Good
For some situations, shared custody is the most natural way to parent a child. The child benefits by being able to spend equal measures of time with both parents, just as many married parents might try to achieve. While 50% is the goal, real-life may intrude so that some weeks are skewed toward spending more time with one parent or the other. What is important, however, is that everything equals out to about half and half over time. If you feel that shared custody is right for you, check the below considerations before you decide:
- For logistical reasons, the parents should live near each other so that the child can easily travel back and forth.
- For peaceful parenting, the parents should get along because they will be interacting with each other on a regular basis.
- For a happy child, the time spent with one parent should not interfere with the child's schedule, classes, sports, or social life.
Shared Custody and Precautions
For this form of custody to work, the parents should be super-organized. Otherwise, chaos will reign. Since children get busier as they grow older, shared custody might work better for younger children with less independence. To avoid packing nightmares, try to have a set of everything from medicine and clothing to school books and toys at each home so that the child can transition easier.
Speak to a child custody lawyer to learn more about this and other child custody choices.