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The challenges of 50/50 child custody arrangements

Parents who decide to end their marriage are often concerned about how the change will impact their shared children. Often, both parents want to remain involved in the daily lives of their kids, but once the family is divided into two distinct units, this can be difficult to accomplish. A solution lies in 50/50 shared custody, an arrangement that has a range of pros and cons. For those in Arizona who are considering this form of child custody, it is important to take some things into consideration.

Once a child reaches school age, their life becomes far more complicated than in the preschool years. While they will develop some types of autonomy as they grow older, they also take on a  whole new set of responsibilities in relation to school. Splitting time equally between two homes can be tough, and parents must be ready to pay close attention to school projects, homework and various deadlines. In addition, school supplies must be kept in line with a policy that is mirrored between both homes, so that the child is always aware of where his or her bookbag and work is located.

Another challenge comes in the distribution of parenting duties. Being a parent involves plenty of fun times, but there is also a need to lay down and enforce rules. While this is a less appealing role to play, it is vitally important to the healthy development of a child. In shared custody settings, it is important that co-parents share both the positive and negative aspects of parenting, so that one parent is not saddled with the role of "enforcer" while the other is viewed as a pushover.

Parents who want to pursue 50/50 child custody should carefully consider if this approach is a good fit for their personalities and parenting style. A much higher level of communication is required to make shared custody a success, and many Arizona parents are unable to work well with their former spouse. While 50/50 custody may sound like a fair solution, it must also be a solution that works for the best interests of the child, as well as the family as a whole.

Source:, "Navigating a 50/50 Custody Agreement", Laura Lifshitz, Jan. 11, 2016

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