Fairness is a common concept that parties can fixate on during separation, and whilst a ’50/50′ custody arrangement is fair for the parents, it may not be in the best interests of the children.
Therefore, this idea is family law fiction.
What works for your family will depend on your individual circumstances. ’50/50 custody’, or shared care, does work for some families because the parents get on relatively well, and the children have adapted well to the breakdown of the relationship, as well as living across two households.
For some families this doesn’t work and may never work. This, firstly, may be due to logistics. The two parents live far away from one another, but the kids still have to get to school, see friends, and attend extra curricular activities.
Another reason might be because there are very young children involved. Research generally shows that babies, toddlers, and even preschoolers, don’t have the coping skills to be away from their primary carer for long periods of time.
The last, and sadly most common reason, is due to the relationship between the parents. Shared care doesn’t work for some people because of their lack of capacity to communicate with one another. Relationships break down for all sorts of reasons, and sometimes this means that the parents will never be in a place where they can communicate with one another collaboratively.
We frequently meet clients who have entered into arrangements which don’t work for them, but are difficult to undo. If you have just separated, are thinking about changing your existing arrangements, or are coming under some pressure to enter into a 50/50 custody arrangement, get some advice first. You may not be keen on the idea for a good reason.
The same works in the reverse. If you’re not spending as much time with your kids as you would like and there is no logical reason for this, come speak to us. We can work with you to put a plan together and communicate with your ex partner so that you can spend as much time with your children as your circumstances permit.