Custody arrangements during a divorce are a highly individual thing, and what works best for the children of a divorced or separated couple is often very specific to their situation. However, a previously suggested bill in the state of Florida suggested that 50/50, or totally equal, parental responsibility and time-sharing needs to be the new standard for children of separated or divorced parents. Under this insinuation, both parents would split time-sharing arrangements equally, and both parents would have an equal say when it comes to decisions involving their child. Although it’s true that many children can benefit highly from a time-sharing arrangement that allows them equal time with both of their parents, it may not always be the best choice in every circumstance. There are many circumstances in which a 50/50 custody arrangement can actually harm the children’s well-being, rather than being beneficial. Read on to learn more from Swickle & Associates about some situations where a 50/50 custody arrangement may be detrimental.
Situations Where 50/50 Custody Is Not Ideal
Some situations where a 50/50 custody arrangement is detrimental to the childrens’ well-being include but are not limited to:
- When abusive behaviors are present: If there are abusive behaviors or a history of abusive behaviors from one parent, the child’s safety may be threatened by spending time with that parent. In situations where one parent has shown neglect or abuse, it is essential to put the child’s safety first and fully evaluate if it is safe for that child to spend unsupervised (or any) time with the parent. A 50/50 agreement may be extremely unsafe if a parent has a history of these behaviors.
- If one parent offers much more stability and consistency: Another aspect to consider is which parent is best able to offer the consistency and stability that is required for a child to be healthy. In certain cases, one parent may not be able to provide a healthy living situation as they may be entrenched in an unstable or chaotic environment. For example, if they live an unhealthy lifestyle, or if they are forced to frequently travel for work.
- When one parent lives far away: The location of each parent is a potential factor to consider when determining custody. If one parent lives in a different country or state, it may be impossible to have a 50/50 arrangement, as that would require the child to take time away from school or travel frequently. In such cases, one parent may end up with less time-sharing in the agreement than the other primary caregiver.
- If one parent is physically unable to care for or provide for the child: The ability of each parent to care for their child is important to take into consideration. If one parent is unable to provide the child with adequate care due to lack of resources, or unable to physically care for the child, then it is not feasible to have a 50/50 custody agreement.
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It is critical to put your child’s best interests first when going through a divorce. Call Swickle & Associates for compassionate family law attorneys who can help you navigate these difficult decisions and ensure the priority of your child’s best interests.