Should you agree to a 50/50 custody split for your child? I know you want to do what’s best for your child. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out if custody is worth fighting for. If you are wondering if you should agree to a 50/50 custody split, consider why it is being requested.
MOST PARENTS ASKING FOR A 50/50 CUSTODY SPLIT ARE TRYING TO GET OUT OF CHILD SUPPORT.
I would say 80% of the time that somebody asks for a 50/50 custody split, they just want to get out of child support. Its important that you understand that even if you agree to 50/50 custody, that should not eliminate child support. Before you agree to 50/50, consider this: is it really best for your child to spend half of their time with someone whose main motivation for having them is to get out of paying you money? If this is the motivation, you should not agree to a 50/50 Custody Split.
SOME PARENTS WANT TO PROVE THEY ARE EQUAL.
The second most common reason to ask for 50/50 custody is that a parent wants to prove that they are equal. Remember, a custody order is not supposed to make parents feel good; it is supposed to take care of the child. You will know that the other parent’s ego is the motivation if the other parent is saying “Don’t you think that this would be fair?” Or, “Shouldn’t we be equal?” They are focusing on how they feel about it. Their feelings are not what matters— you’re deciding the future of your child. That decision needs to be made with only your child in mind. If a parent want 50/50 to feel equal, you should not agree to a 50/50 custody split.
DON’T AGREE TO A 50/50 CUSTODY SPLIT BECAUSE YOU ARE AFRAID YOU WOULD LOSE CUSTODY–NOT UNLESS YOU’VE TALKED TO AN ATTORNEY.
The third reason that people ask for a 50/50 custody split is because they don’t think they could get primary custody. Dads tend to assume they can’t get custody. Sometimes parents think that because they don’t earn enough, they can’t get custody. Sometimes parents think that because they are the ones causing the divorce, they cannot get custody. None of that is true. The Courts tend to award custody to the parent who has spent the most time caring for the child during the marriage. Before you give up primary custody out of fear, talk with a family law attorney.
IF THE PARENTS HAVE BEEN 50/50 PARENTS WHILE THEY WERE TOGETHER, THAT IS A GREAT REASON TO AGREE TO CONTINUE A 50/50 CUSTODY SPLIT.
The fourth reason that I hear people suggest a 50/50 custody is unfortunately the least common. They have been 50/50 parents while they were together, and they both want to remain deeply involved in the child’s life. Some of the things that we look at to determine if the parents have been 50/50 parents while together are:
- Who give the child a bath?
- Which parent puts the child to bed?
- Who feeds the child?
- Which parent enrolled the child in daycare or school?
- Who buys the child clothes?
- Which parent does the child want to talk to when they are upset?
- Who takes the child to the doctor/dentist?
If both of the parents have been equally involved before the parents separated, and they want to continue that level of involvement, that’s a great reason to agree to a 50/50 custody split.
“JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY” OR “JOINT CUSTODY” DOESN’T MEAN 50/50. A TEXAS STANDARD POSSESSION ORDER IS “JOINT CUSTODY”.
The other parent may be sending you articles touting “joint parenting”. “Joint parenting” and “shared physical custody” do not mean 50/50. A Texas Standard Possession schedule, which would give Thursdays and every other weekend, counts as a “joint parenting schedule”. “Joint physical Custody generally means 65/35. Those studies the other parent is sending confirm how well children do under a standard possession order.
In conclusion, I know that this is a heart-wrenching decision. The most important thing is to do what’s best for your child. But sometimes, it is difficult to figure out what that means. We can help you determine what’s best for your child and we can help to make sure that your divorce decree reflects that. Please, contact us. We’re really looking forward to helping you out.