If you're a parent with young children who is facing divorce proceedings, one of the most important decisions on your mind probably relates to child custody. Should you adopt a 50-50 parenting structure where your children live with you half the time and your spouse the rest, giving your children the benefit of equal time with both their parents? Or, should you do an every-other-weekend plan and have your children live in one home?
Let's take a closer look at these two parenting agreement strategies, including the benefits and advantages of both:
The benefits of 50-50 parenting plan
Equal child-sharing arrangements have become more popular in Minnesota and the rest of the nation in recent years. This is largely the result of psychological research that shows children benefit from spending as much time as they can with both parents. When both parents have frequent and regular contact with their children and are equally involved in the caregiving process, the children are more emotionally secure and experience better psychological development into adulthood.
It should also be stressed that these parents benefit from having frequent and regular contact with their children as well. Finally, parents may appreciate a "break" from parenting each week, giving them time to explore their own interests.
The benefits of the every-other-weekend plan
The 50-50 plan may not be appropriate in all situations. When children are toddlers and younger, they may require more stable living arrangements in one place they call home. Furthermore, if parents can't agree on child-rearing concerns or can't have frequent and regular contact with one another without fighting, the 50-50 plan might not be practical.
In these cases, the every-other-weekend plan, in which the children live full-time with one parent and visit with the other every odd weekend could be a better match. The every-other-weekend plan could also be appropriate for parents who live a long drive away from one another, or in cases where one parent has an unusual work or travel schedule.
Which parenting plan is right for you?
It should be stressed that the above plans are only two of the unlimited options available to parents looking for the best parenting schedule to suit their needs. Make sure you understand all your parenting plan options and the benefits and advantages of each before you make your selection.