50/50 Custody Schedules in California

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Split Custody Schedules

Planning child exchanges and custody calendars can be a juggling act.

When a couple goes through a divorce, one of the biggest dilemmas they could face is the matter of physical custody of their child. Both parents are responsible for answering how they plan to handle the physical custody of their children. To put it in perspective, physical custody is about deciding who the child will live with. This also includes finding common ground when deciding upon a parenting schedule. 

It is pertinent to mention that physical custody is entirely different from what legal custody is. Legal custody determines which parent is responsible for making major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, like their medical care or education for example.

As parents, if you have opted for joint or shared custody, you will still need to work closely together to determine the parenting schedule that will fit your family best. 50/50 parenting time schedules are one of the most common forms of shared or joint custody, however, parents should not just jump into one thinking everything will magically work out. There are important things to consider to help make it a successful plan for your children and yourself.

50/50 Parenting Custody

It is the topmost priority that children get the most healthy and loving bond with both parents, even after a divorce. Therefore, many parents see 50/50 parenting custody as one of the simplest ways of maintaining that bond. However, for a 50/50 custody schedule to work out in the best possible way, parents must be committed and dedicated to meet the particulars of this type of custody and schedule.

Keys to 50/50 Parenting Success

Consider Distance & Commute Time

A 50/50 parenting schedule will require frequent exchanges of the children. If both of you live just a few blocks away, or reside within the same neighborhood, making those exchanges won’t be an issue. However, if a significant distance separates the parents, this 50/50 parenting schedule may not be the ideal choice of custody.

Make sure both parents have considered the distance and commute time before agreeing upon 50/50 parenting time.

Smooth Communication & Interactions

Considering that 50/50 parenting custody schedules require constant exchanges, parents need to keep aside all conflicts to allow smooth communication. It is important that the parents don’t let the animosity or hardness of the divorce affect their interaction with children. Moreover, if the parents are unable to communicate peacefully or civilly, then this can turn out to be a huge obstacle in such an arrangement.

If both parents seem to struggle when it comes to remaining cordial, choose a 50/50 schedule that requires minimum exchanges, or choose a different split in time.

Common 50/50 Parenting Schedules

1. Alternating Weeks

This is probably the simplest 50/50 parenting schedule pattern. In such an arrangement, the child gets to spend one week with, let’s say, Parent A (mother). Similarly, the child gets to spend the other week with Parent B (father). Such a pattern allows parents to keep the exchanges to a bare minimum while still giving the liberty to both the parents to have and maintain healthy relationships with the children.

2. Alternate Weeks coupled with Mid-week Overnight

This is an ideal choice for parents who are looking for a simple schedule while at the same time, do not want to wait for an entire week without having seen their children. This schedule allows the parents to include one single night in the middle of the week. However, such a pattern might not be suitable for parents who happen to live far distances. Moreover, the children might  have a hard time handling such a disruptive back and forth schedule.

3. The 2-2-3 Parenting Schedule

Children spend 2 nights with Parent A (mother) and other 2 nights with parent B (father), followed by 3 nights with Parent A (mother) in a 2-2-3 parenting schedule. The cycle then repeats but in the opposite direction, i.e., two nights with Parent B, the other two nights with Parent A, followed by the next three nights with Parent B.


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