A 50 50 custody in Texas refers to an arrangement in which parents evenly split the time each spends with the child after divorce.
Such an arrangement works in the form of alternating weeks or groups of days and can be approved by the family court if found to be working well.
This article will discuss the different types of 50 50 custody in Texas, their pros and cons, reasons for a 50 50 schedule, whether parents can draft the arrangement on their own, and the common problems with a 50 50 arrangement in Texas.
It’s also an excellent resource for someone seeking equal parenting time with their partner and ensuring that their child receives equal attention from both.
Types of 50 50 Custody Arrangements in Texas
You can implement 50 50 custody in different ways to ensure both parties have an equal time with the child. The most common arrangements include the following.
– Every Other Week
This arrangement rotates weekly. If a child spends the first week with one parent, they’ll have to spend the next with the other parent. They’ll have to do this back and forth.
Here, the parents will have fixed days in the week where they can exchange possessions. For instance, they may decide to exchange the child on Sunday and Thursday evenings. They can also adjust this schedule to ensure each party spends alternating weekends with the child.
– 2-2-3 Arrangement
In this arrangement, one parent lives with the child during the first two days of the week. When this time elapses, the child will spend another two days with the second parent again. Next, the child spends the weekend with the first parent. The parents will then exchange this standard possession order in the next week.
Pros and Cons of the Different Arrangements
The arrangements have varying benefits and disadvantages, including the following.
– Midweek and 2-2-3 Arrangements
The midweek and 2-2-3 arrangements favor the parent-child bond since it doesn’t separate them for long. This arrangement assures the parent and child that they’ll be seeing each other every two or three days a week. This would maintain the closeness between the parents and their child, especially if their family law divorce occurred recently.
The cons of the midweek and 2-2-3 arrangements are frequent weekly exchanges. This could lead to confusion among the parents, especially when a party forgets their time with the child has elapsed and must move to the other parent’s place. This isn’t just confusing the parents but the child as well.
A child may have difficulties keeping up with the standard possession order and remembering where to sleep on a given night. A 50 50 custody is sometimes difficult to implement, especially if you engage in business or constant travel.
– Week-on, Week-off Arrangement
The main advantage of the week-on, week-off standard possession order is that it gives the parent and child a nice time for settling in. Since the parent will spend the entire week with the child, they’ll have enough time for bonding and offer child support. This specifically benefits those children that engage in busy sporting or extracurricular activities.
Despite that, the week-on, week-off schedule also comes with some drawbacks. If a child stays with one parent for the whole week, the other parent will not see the child for an entire week. Also, it’s time to move to the second parent just after the child has settled in for the first time. Since these custody plans have pros and cons, it’s wise to identify a schedule that works well for your family. The judge may also have the final say on the decision you make.
Reasons for a 50 50 Parenting Plan
The first reason parents may choose a 50 50 child custody plan is that unequal custody may affect each parent’s role in developing the child’s life. If one parent spends more time with the child, they are more likely to deny the child a chance to experience love and care from the other party. The child may also develop a stronger bond with one parent.
A 50 50 custody minimizes such problems since parents will have equal possession of the child. They’ll also have an equal opportunity to nurture the child, offer child support and help them develop some important life traits. A 50 50 parenting schedule also enables both parents to mind the child even after the divorce decree.
If a party is denied equal time with the child after the divorce, their role in the child’s life may become insignificant to the point that the child fails to recognize their contribution to adulthood. According to family law in Texas, parents should play an equal role in bringing up the child to ensure the child grows wholesomely and experiences both motherly and fatherly love. It’s in the child’s best interests to have both parents splitting time between them.
– The Influence of Texas Family Code Policy
Parents may consider a 50 50 parenting time in Texas since the state’s family code policy requires parents to have frequent contact with their children to ensure a continuing relationship. Most parents will seek equal parenting time to implement this policy to the latter.
This ensures the child experiences optimized development with equal contribution from each parent. In the long run, the parents will develop a strong bond with the child.
What Are the Common Obstacles to a 50 50 Custody Schedule?
The first obstacle is the age of the child. If you’ve recently divorced and had a child under three years, it becomes problematic to implement a 50 50 schedule. The court will likely give full custody to the child’s mother because of the type of care the child will need. It’s common knowledge that the child will need breastfeeding and extensive care. It’s hard for a father to perform such child support duties.
A second obstacle to a 50 50 Texas child custody plan is when parents live far from each other or have different work schedules. Although parents may initially live close to each other immediately after the divorce, things might change, forcing one party to travel and work far from the other. A parent’s work schedule may also affect the implementation of a 50 50 custody. Making 50 50 child custody plan such as midweek or 2-2-3 schedules becomes difficult in such situations.
Another significant obstacle to 50 50 custody is the lack of parental cooperation or coordination. A 50 50 schedule will only work if both parents show great commitment to the plans. For example, if the parties use the 2-2-3 or midweek arrangement, they’ll need to stick to the changeover schedule. If a parent’s time with the child has elapsed, but they fail to let the child move to the other parent’s house, a disagreement may ensue.
Problems With 50 50 Custody in Texas
Parents are always eager to create parenting plans that can work best for each party. A 50 50 custody strategy suits parents that want to share their time with their child evenly and not pay child support. Despite its benefits, parents may fail to implement the arrangement due to some problems here and there.
Some problems that may arise when implementing a 50 50 custody in Texas include the following.
– A Child’s Needs May Change With Time
Similar to how the needs of parents change after a contested or uncontested divorce, so do those of the children as they grow. During the initial stages of the custody plan, things may work well. With time, a child may participate in extracurricular activities that limit their commute time between the separated parents. The child will therefore spend more time with one parent so that they can attend extracurricular activities like sports or music.
Also, as the child grows, they might have friends in the neighborhood or school. If the child has to split time between the parents evenly, they might feel disconnected from some friends. The child will therefore prefer spending more time with a parent that lives in a place where they can easily connect with friends.
– A 50 50 Split in Parental Duties Is Hard
Apart from the even distribution of time spent with the child, a 50 50 custody may also mean that parents have to split some duties. The arrangement might have to allocate some responsibilities to one parent fully. Such responsibility could include deciding on a child’s primary residence during the arrangement. It’s not easy to implement an equal sharing of duties for parents.
Another duty parents cannot perform evenly is making emergency medical decisions for a child. For equity, a 50 50 arrangement would mean that parents agree on how to respond to their child during an emergency. This is not practically possible due to the nature of the situation the child is in. A sick child can’t wait for parents to decide on the way forward during an emergency.
It, therefore, means that one party will take full responsibility for deciding on how to handle the child during an emergency. If parents want to allocate duties as they did with time allocated to the child evenly, they must consider seeking the services of a Texas divorce lawyer and spend some time planning what to anticipate in the future in their 50 50 arrangement.
– Geography May Affect the Arrangement
Another problem you may encounter during 50 50 custody possession schedules is a change in location due to work or business. During the initial stages, a 50 50 arrangement may work because divorced parents could still live near each other. However, if one party decides to move to a new location far from the other, it becomes troublesome for the children to commute frequently.
The children will therefore have to spend more time with one parent. This might even affect their health and mental well-being. It becomes difficult to implement a 50 50 arrangement in such a scenario.
– Equal Influence on the Child by Both Parents Is Impossible
Apart from spending equal time with the child, parents may also want equal influence in teaching and disciplining the child. Although this may look enforceable at the start of the arrangement, parents may conflict on the right way to teach or punish the child. For example, if one parent disciplines the child but realizes that the other party doesn’t, it may cause disputes.
One party will feel that the other is reluctant to nurture children morally. Also, if parents belong to different religions and each wants to teach the children about their faith, it becomes problematic on the child’s part. The child will be confused about the religion to follow since you cannot serve two religions simultaneously.
– Can Parents Draft a 50 50 Custody Schedule by Themselves?
Yes, if parents cooperate, they can draft a 50 50 arrangement on their own. Even if the court doesn’t approve the plan, it will indicate their willingness to focus on the child’s best interests. The Texas Family Code encourages parents to have frequent contact with their children even after divorce to develop a close and consistent relationship.
Parents can therefore implement this policy by drafting a joint custody strategy that evenly allocates their child’s time. If the judge establishes that the parents of a child have shown seriousness in developing a 50 50 custody in favor of the child, the court might legalize the arrangement during the custody case.
You should therefore ensure that your parental plan displays some stability to have it granted by the court. Although parents can draft the possession schedules on their own, they should also consider seeking the services of an attorney.
To effectively implement 50 50 custody, parents should choose an arrangement that works well for both of them and doesn’t lead to conflict. A week-on, week-off custody strategy could work well for you if you want to avoid the confusion of having the exchange custody after only two or three days. This article has taught us that a 50 50 custody arrangement in Texas is possible when parents cooperate, and in summary, we’ve learned that:
- A 50 50 custody plan seeks to ensure that both parents spend equal time with the child for proper development.
- A 50 50 custody in Texas could take different arrangements like week-on-week-off, 2-2-3, or midweek.
- Common obstacles to implementing a 50 50 custody include the child’s age, work schedule, or lack of parental cooperation.
- If parents think 50 50 custody is best for them, they should consider drafting it and seek the court’s approval later.
- It is possible to split time during 50 50 custody evenly, but it doesn’t apply to duties and parental responsibilities.
If you want to create a 50 50 custody arrangement with your divorced partner but are unsure how to do it, you should consult a family law attorney to receive legal guidance.
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