Is A 50:50 Shared Custody Agreement The Best Situation?
Back in the ‘70’s when couples divorced it was a pretty sure thing that Mom would get full custody of the kids and Dad would pay child support. Nowadays, a lot has changed. The impact of a father on his children is now recognized, along with his rights and responsibilities. It is often in the best interest of the children to have both parents fully present in their lives. When couples head into divorce court, there is every possibility that a 50:50 shared custody arrangement can be arranged, to the benefit of all parties.
In many situations, Mom, Dad, and the kids all stand to benefit from this type of shared arrangement:
- Mom gets more time to herself, and is able to pursue a career or other interests, and feels more rounded and able to focus on her kids during her 50 percent;
- Dad gets to interact with his kids on a more regular basis, develop deeper connections, and truly be an active participant in his kids’ lives;
- Kids experience twice as much love, input, and role modeling, increasing their confidence, stability, and emotional well-being.
Tips to Making it Work
While it’s true that 50:50 custody arrangements require quite a bit of coordination and mindfulness, research indicates that kids really thrive when everyone is committed to making it work out. Some ideas that have helped other families include:
- Developing a schedule that respects everyone’s needs, and flexes as necessary;
- Being supportive and loving as kids leave to spend time with their other parent, and enthusiastic in greeting them when they return to your home;
- Making a point of catching up and reconnecting at the beginning times at your home;
- Making sure the kids have everything they need at both homes so they don’t wind up hauling tons of stuff back and forth all the time;
- Keeping kids connected and actively participating in each home by involving them in decision-making, planning, and chores in both places.
When it’s Not a Good Idea
There are, of course, some situations in which custody and visitation must be limited:
- When the parents live too far apart to make it work without forcing excessive travel time into everyone’s schedules;
- When one parent is unfit due to mental health issues, problems with addiction, or with abusive tendencies;
- When a parent is involved in illegal activity such a prostitution, gang activity, or illicit drug sales.
Best Outcomes for All
If a 50:50 custody arrangement sounds intriguing, you should know that it is certainly a possibility in Missouri. While it’s certainly easier to achieve when both parents are on board with the idea, don’t discount the possibilities if your former spouse is reluctant to give it a try. At Courtney & Mills, our Springfield child custody attorneys are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for you. Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.