Equal shared parenting is often discussed as if it is ideal after a divorce. However, there are downsides to 50/50 shared custody that parents should consider.
50/50 Custody Can Be Disruptive for Your Child
Children in general benefit from spending time with both parents, as long as the parents are fit. Yet 50/50 shared custody can be disruptive for your child, especially when it means switching houses or apartments mid-week, every week. While it is important to spend time with both parents, sometimes it can be better for the child to spend most weekdays or school days with one parent, and weekends with the other parent.
School Drop-Offs and Pick-Ups Can Get Complicated
Sharing custody 50/50 usually means that both parents will have drop-off and pick-up responsibilities on different days of the week. These school drop-offs and pick-ups can get complicated for parents with shifting schedules, especially when one parent lives significantly farther from the school than the other parent.
Extracurricular Activities May Be Limited
When a child is going back and forth between two parents’ homes each week, it can be difficult for that child to participate in local extracurricular activities. After-school classes and sports are often held locally. Even if both parents’ homes are in the same school district, it might be difficult or impossible for the child to attend all aspects of a particular activity or sport if it requires more travel. For example, if a child plays baseball and practices four days a week, the child might have to skip a couple days of practice while at the other parent’s house.
Travel Times Can Be Frustrating
Travel times can be frustrating for kids and parents when custody is shared 50/50. In these types of custody arrangements, children and parents can spend hours each week in the car. While it is important for kids and parents to be able to spend time together, a 50/50 arrangement can lead to frustrations concerning commutes. Those frustrations ultimately may spill over into the parents’ co-parenting relationship, as well as into the relationship between the child and parent.
Parents Will Need to Have a Lot of Contact
When parents share 50/50 custody, those parents usually must have more contact with one another through pick-ups and drop-offs. Many parents in South Carolina are able to co-parent effectively. However, it is important to remember that many parents still have contentious relationships with one another. When those parents are seeing one another constantly, contentious issues may worsen.
Difficult Child-Parent Dynamics Can Get Worse
Sometimes kids are better off spending more time with one parent than the other due to certain child-parent dynamics. This is often true with older kids in particular., according to Divorce Mag. A child might have a contentious relationship with one of the parents. While this is not a reason to limit that parent’s custody in theory, it might be a good reason to avoid an equal or 50/50 custody arrangement. Difficult child-parent dynamics might improve with a custody arrangement other than 50/50 shared parenting.
Contact a South Carolina Family Lawyer
The South Carolina family lawyers at our firm can discuss the benefits and limitations of different child custody arrangements. Contact The Peck Law Firm today online or call our office at (843) 631-7117.