Choosing Shared Parenting: What To Know

Divorce means choosing a custody plan. Parents have several choices, and one very popular choice is shared or 50/50 parenting. Read on and find out more.

A Fair Choice 

It's easy to see why shared parenting seems so attractive. After all, most parents want their child to spend plenty of time with the other parent. The family court system likes this custody choice too. It means the child benefits from both parental relationships equally. 

Another potential choice is sole custody. One parent has full physical custody of the child, and the other parent has visitation privileges. Bird's nest custody puts the child in a home with each parent having custody for a few weeks at a time.

Shared parenting could be right for your situation. It involves splitting up the child's time with each parent approximately by half. For instance, one parent might be with the child for three and a half days and then the other parent has the child for three and a half days.

Shared Custody Challenges

This form of parenting seems fair, and children seem to do well with it. However, it can be challenging for the parents. They must be extremely organized with activities, work schedules, and other issues to keep things moving smoothly.

The Child Has Priority

With shared custody, you may have to deal with scheduling conflicts by giving your child priority handling. Unless you have a very understanding ex, not being able to fulfill your time with the child because of other obligations could cause problems.

Some of those problems, unfortunately, could lead to changes in the custody agreement if your ex feels strongly enough about it. The way the family court sees it, your divorce should not cause your child to suffer in any way. When you choose shared parenting, be sure you can abide by the schedule with only emergency adjustments.

Care With Planning

If you go with shared parenting, use these tips:

  1. Before you do anything else, make a list of your child's activities, school times, sports, classes, and social interactions with friends.
  2. Look at your own schedule and note any conflicts.
  3. Consider how flexible and understanding your employer might be.
  4. Talk with your spouse about what could happen when one of you cannot be available and how to handle sickness and other emergencies.
  5. Consider having a set of belongings and schoolbooks at each home.
  6. Parents that reside near each other will find that to be very convenient with shared parenting.
  7. If you cannot make shared custody work, consider a sole custody plan with generous visitation privileges.

Speak to your divorce lawyer to find out more.