California parents who are divorced aim to focus on what’s best for their young children. Agreeing on a co-parenting schedule is a great way to do that. It might seem second-nature to go with the 50/50 plan, but it might be best to avoid it for various reasons.
Understanding the 50/50 co-parenting schedule
Parents who share custody often want to be as fair as possible. This is where the 50/50 co-parenting schedule comes in. Also known as the alternating weeks schedule, it is self-explanatory. The child lives at one parent’s home for one full week and then switches over to the other parent’s home the following week. Every week, this parenting arrangement reverses with which parent has the child in their custody.
Why alternating weeks should be avoided
Although the alternating weeks co-parenting schedule seems ideal for many families, it has a few drawbacks. Children are away from one parent for an entire week, so this can lead to the development of separation anxiety and depression. Younger children are particularly vulnerable and are most likely to experience separation anxiety as the 50/50 schedule can disrupt key aspects of their development. Kids may also miss some of the routines and people they are used to experiencing and seeing on a more regular basis.
Parents can also suffer from this arrangement. They can feel as though they are missing out on important events going on in their children’s lives when they only see them every other week. Coordinating childcare may be more difficult as well with this co-parenting schedule. There may be issues with work schedules with the alternating weeks plan that could lead to tardiness getting to work or picking the child up from school.
The biggest problem with the 50/50 plan is how it can affect your child psychologically. Fortunately, there are plenty of other co-parenting schedules that can work out for your family.