What to Expect With 50/50 Custody

In News by YKF Law

Every parent wants their children to have a positive and healthy relationship with both parents. Parents are a child’s safety net, there for them whenever they need them, knowing they’ll be loved unconditionally. When a couple divorces or if there is a custody modification, a child may need to split their time between both parents. Some of these changes result in 50/50 physical custody.

The court always has the child’s best interest and well-being in mind which often means spending equal time with both parents and ruling for 50/50 physical custody. There’s a lot to figure out with a new custody plan, but we’re here to help you understand what to expect with a 50/50 custody arrangement so you can feel more prepared for this lifestyle change.

Your Child Will Need Time to Adjust

Any lifestyle change can be overwhelming and may take a while for an individual to adjust. Whether you move across the state or country, start a new school, or are adjusting to a divorce, remember that it takes time to adapt to changes. According to the American Psychological Association, it can take children up to two years to adjust to their parent’s separation.

Just as it takes time for children to adjust to their parent’s divorce, it’ll take time to acclimate to 50/50 custody. They’ll be shuttled from one home to the other, having to organize two different schedules with two parents, which can feel overwhelming. Help them adjust by listening to their concerns and feelings and offering them your love and support. Preparing your child for a new custody arrangement can help them feel more comfortable.

You’ll Want to Give Them Two Bedrooms

Whether you are the parent who kept the marital home or the one who moved elsewhere, make your space cozy and homey, including giving your child a bedroom at each place. When there’s a new custody arrangement or a modification, children will be living in and sleeping in two homes. Giving them a bedroom at each home will make their new space feel cozy and more like the home, they’re used to. Make it a fun project and get them involved with designing and decorating their new bedroom. It’ll be a great bonding experience!

Routines May Be Off for a While – Stay Consistent

As a parent, you understand that routines are key when it comes to keeping your children comfortable and disciplined. Any change in their routine can throw off their entire day, leading to a tantrum if they’re in the toddler phase and high emotions regardless of age. Adjusting to a new 50/50 custody arrangement is no exception – routines may be off for a while as they adapt to all the changes.

To help your children’s routine stay as consistent as possible, speak to your co-parent and make sure you’re on the same page about the importance of routine. Though your child will now be sleeping in two homes and spending their time evenly between their parents, their routine can still be consistent. Discuss with your co-parent bedtime routines, after-school activities and extracurriculars, dinnertime, and bedtime to agree on a time and expectation for each. In return, your child will sleep better and adjust a little easier if their routine remains consistent between their two homes.

You’ll Have More Time for Yourself

One of the most bizarre things about a 50/50 custody arrangement is that you’ll have more time for yourself. Having your children half of the time means that you’ll have certain days of the week when they’ll be with their other parent, freeing up some time on your calendar. While you may feel some sadness and loneliness as you adjust to not having your children around all the time, you can take this opportunity to rediscover yourself as an individual.

Open up your social calendar and schedule dinners with friends, wine nights with your best friend, family dinners with extended family you don’t get to see often, as well as trying new things. You’ll finally have the time to sign up for that fitness class that never worked for your schedule or to start a new hobby. Take advantage of your free time by creating a social calendar and exploring new things as you adjust to your divorce or custody modification.

You May Need to Communicate With Your Ex Often

Sharing 50/50 custody with a co-parent means you’ll be living separately, yet sharing time between your children. You’ll have your own lives, no longer sharing a home and activities, and life can get busy as you adjust to this lifestyle change. Because of all the changes, you may need to communicate with your ex more often. 

From discussing your child’s new school project, grades, extracurricular activities, tuition, healthcare, and everything in between, there’s a lot for parents to discuss when it comes to their children. Living separately creates a space between you two, so you may need to call or text them regularly, keeping constant communication going to discuss your children. Healthy communication in all relationships is essential. Thus, maintaining a healthy co-parent relationship is paramount to your children’s happiness and success.

Adjusting to a 50/50 custody arrangement will take time for both parents and children, but can be a little easier by following the tips above. Remaining consistent, truly listening to your children, and having ongoing communication with your co-parent are great ways to help your child adjust to 50/50 custody. 

If you are going through the divorce process and are looking for a family law attorney in Kansas (in and around the Leawood area) or a family law attorney in Kansas City and the surrounding area, The Law Office of Young, Kuhl & Frick, LLC can help. We can also help modify an existing parenting plan or help with any child custody matter including regaining child custody

We’re dedicated to the practice of family law and can help guide you through any family law matter, keeping your best interests in mind. With over fifty-four years of combined legal experience, our family law firm is a team skilled in negotiation and litigation, handling family law matters from the most complex to the most straightforward.
We have offices in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and Leawood, Kansas (consultations by appointment only). In addition to our two physical locations, our firm’s family and divorce attorneys have practiced in Jackson, Clay, Cass, Lafayette, Platte County, Missouri, and Johnson County, Kansas. Contact our family law firm today to schedule a consultation – we can meet in person or face-to-face via Zoom.