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When a couple decides they are not right for each other, they break up or divorce and oftentimes hope to never run into the other person again. However, when the couple has children that is not possible. Custody decisions will have to be made either by a court or as a collaborative effort between the parents. 50/50 custody is a popular choice for the well-being of the children. It means that both parents have joint custody and spend an equal amount of time with the children. While New Jersey doesn’t default to 50/50 custody, courts recognize the importance of the child maintaining a relationship with both parents. Work with a Sussex County, Sparta child custody attorney to protect your parental rights and ensure a suitable custody arrangement for your family.

What Are the Pros and Cons of 50/50 Child Custody?

It is widely agreed upon that having access to a healthy relationship with both parents is vital to a child’s development so it would make sense that 50/50 custody would be the best option. However, as with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages.

The pros of 50/50 custody include:

  • Spending equal amounts of time with each parent allows the child to maintain strong relationships with them both
  • Children with access to both parents tend to have higher self-esteem and perform better in school
  • Having two steady homes can help enrich the child’s life
  • Responsibilities are more equally distributed between parents
  • Both parents are actively involved in the daily lives of their children
  • Both parents can contribute to making important decisions regarding their children

The cons of 50/50 custody include:

  • Logistics can be difficult depending on how far the parents live from each other
  • The child may become overwhelmed with the constant switching of locations, home life, and schedules
  • Parents need to communicate regularly and effectively
  • There can be a stark difference in parenting styles
  • Disputes and conflict can arise between the parents on decisions for the child

How Can I Get 50/50 Custody of My Children?

New Jersey does not have a legal statute regarding 50/50 custody. While NJ courts want to keep in mind the best interests of the child, equally split custody is not always the default. However, you can reach a 50/50 custody agreement if that is what both you and your child’s other parent want.

You and your ex should feel free to create a parenting plan on your own. Especially if your relationship is amicable, you can negotiate details like when each parent will have the child, what holidays they will alternate, and more. Once the plan is finished you can bring it to the court for approval.

If you can’t come to an agreement on your own you can also reach a 50/50 custody agreement through the use of mediation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution technique where a neutral third party sits with all parties involved to discuss the details of your situation. They can help you navigate the negotiation process until you reach a satisfactory conclusion.