Many states endorse 50/50 custody plans for children following their parents' divorce. In Illinois, 50/50 joint custody means that both parents share decision-making and parenting time equally. However, while joint custody with shared living arrangements can be beneficial for some children, it doesn't always work out.
Several factors can hinder the success of a 50/50 custody arrangement, affecting the well-being of the children involved. Below, you'll find the most common factors that affect child custody arrangements and how an attorney can help look out for the best interests of your child.
Disagreements over childrearing
When parents engage in ongoing disputes and disagreements about how to raise their children, shared custody can become a source of continued conflict. This can create a hostile and emotionally turbulent environment for a child. They may feel caught in the crossfire of their parents' disagreements. This compromises parents' ability to provide stability and a nurturing environment for their children.
Parental conflict can make it exceedingly challenging for both parents to effectively co-parent in a 50/50 custody arrangement. The ability to collaborate on important decisions, such as education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities, is hindered. As a result, the children may not experience a smooth and balanced transition between households. In cases where parental conflict over childrearing persists, alternative custody arrangements may be more suitable.
Unequal parenting abilities
While courts often assume that both parents possess equal parenting skills and capabilities, this is not always the case. One parent may demonstrate a notably better ability to meet a child's emotional and physical needs. Attempting to maintain an equal division of parenting responsibilities can be detrimental to the child's well-being. This exposure can result in the child spending significant solo time with a parent who may struggle to provide adequate emotional support. This can potentially lead to feelings of neglect and anxiety.
It may also be emotionally burdensome for a child to navigate the emotional challenges of the less capable parent, especially in the absence of the other. As a result, 50/50 custody arrangements should consider the child's best interests and prioritize their emotional and psychological welfare.
Unsteady parent-child interactions
In these custody arrangements, children spend substantial time with each parent separately. Their well-being depends on the quality of parenting they receive from both parents. If one parent has a history of emotional caregiving to the children, it's essential to consider this attachment. The parent who provides emotional support and nurtures the children's needs, regardless of whether they work outside the home, plays a crucial role in a child's life.
In such cases, the emotionally-attuned parent may not always be present to buffer the unsupportive parent. The absence of this buffer can lead to emotional struggles for the children, affecting their psychological well-being and adjustment to the new custody arrangement.
Daily logistics challenges
Questions such as "Who do I go home with today?" and "Whose turn is it to pick me up from practice?" become common and can create stress and confusion for a child. Moreover, long distances between the parents' homes can lead to extensive travel times.
This often disrupts a child's routines and causes them to spend considerable time on the road. Plus, without a single primary residence, children may feel like they lack a stable and consistent home environment.
How a child custody attorney can help
Family law can be complex, and child custody arrangements involve various legal considerations. A family law attorney from Courtney Clark Law P.C. can ensure that your rights and the best interests of your child are protected. We'll go over the relevant laws, regulations, and court procedures with you so you understand what to expect.
Plus, we'll provide impartial advice, helping you focus on your child's best interests rather than personal emotions. Our goal is to help you find common ground and reach an agreement that you can both accept. We serve clients in Bellevue and the surrounding area. Contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation to see how we can help you.