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Colorado Family Law

When should parents avoid 50-50 child custody arrangements?

It seems like equally shared physical child custody arrangements are the preferred solution for many Colorado parents these days. In the 50-50 child custody solution, the children have two homes and divide their time living between both parents' residences, and many experts on child psychology believe that this is a great way to raise a healthy child post-divorce.

Although psychological studies may appear to support the 50-50 child custody arrangement, it's important for parents to keep in mind that no two children and no two parents are the same. We all have different schedules, different relationships, different emotional needs and different "deal-breaker" scenarios. With this in mind, let's explore some co-parenting situations where the 50-50 child custody solution is probably not going to work:

The parents live far from one another: When children are living in two different homes, exchanges need to happen easily and they often happen frequently. When parents live hundreds of miles from one another or on the other side of the country, it can make the 50-50 physical custody split difficult, if not impossible, to manage.

The parents can't agree on anything: We've all known couples who constantly fight with one another. Maybe you're one of those couples too, and that's why you've gotten a divorce. If you can never seem to agree with your spouse, it's going to be difficult to work with him or her in a successful co-parenting relationship. Even deciding simple things like when is a good time for your kids to go to the dentist or what kind of clothes you should buy for the new school year could become the sources of constant argument and difficulty.

The parents have difficult work schedules: The 50-50 custody split works best when both parents have regular and predictable work schedules. This split could work with parents who have unusual work schedules, even with parents who travel regularly, but it depends on the situation and whether a workable scheduling solution can be found.

The children don't do well with two homes: Some children need one stable home environment and nothing more. Switching back and forth to different homes could represent an emotional stress for certain kids, and if you have a child like this, you might want to consider a different kind of custody arrangement.

Even if the 50-50 child custody schedule isn't the right match for your family, you may find that other workable solutions are available that better fit your needs. Make sure to investigate all of your child custody and parenting plan options thoroughly before making a decision.

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McGuane and Hogan, P.C.
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Phone: 303-691-9600
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