Transitioning from married to single is a difficult task, especially for Arizona families with small children. Both parents usually want to remain closely connected to their kids, and many families will consider a child custody arrangement that divides parenting time equally. While this may seem like an attractive option, it is important for families to carefully consider whether truly shared custody is the right fit.
When kids are still small, shared custody is easier to manage. Once those kids reach school age, things quickly become complicated. School schedules can pose a challenge to intact families, and can be even more difficult for those who divide parenting time and duties. In order for equally shared parenting to work during these years, a great deal of communication and cooperation is required of both parents.
Parents will need to create as much consistency as possible from one household to the other. This means working out routines for homework, extracurricular activities and study habits. Kids thrive on consistency, and shared routines can make it easier to transition from one home to the other. Another consideration involves flexibility, which becomes more important as a child moves into middle school and high school. Clubs, sports and peer activities become very important to kids as they grow older, and parents must be willing to cooperate with one another to ensure that their kids are able to participate in social activities.
Shared child custody is a topic that looks one way on paper, but may be quite different in practice. Arizona parents who understand the complexities involved are ahead of the curve and can make custody decisions that will suit the needs of all involved. As a general rule, the closer a custody arrangement is to a truly equal split, the more actively involved both parents need to be in communication and collaboration.
Source: popsugar.com, "Navigating a 50/50 Custody Agreement", Laura Lifshitz, Jan. 11, 2016