When parents get divorced, one of the most challenging issues they face is deciding how to divide their time with their children. One solution is to establish a 50/50 custody arrangement. In Texas, this type of possession plan is most often reached by agreement and then approved by the court as in the best interests of the child.
In a 50/50 custody arrangement, both parents have equal time with their children. This means that the child spends an equal amount of time with each parent, typically alternating weeks or some other regular schedule. The parents share decision-making responsibilities regarding their child’s welfare, such as education, medical care, any psychological needs, and religious upbringing.
One of the benefits of a 50/50 custody arrangement is that it allows the child to maintain a close relationship with both parents. It also allows the parents to share parenting responsibilities and expenses equally. However, this type of arrangement requires a high level of cooperation between the parents and may not be feasible if the parents have a history of conflict or have difficulty communicating.
One common question about 50/50 custody arrangements is whether either parent pays child support. In Texas, child support is typically determined by the court based on the income of the non-custodial parent. If both parents have equal time with the child, the court may still order one parent to pay child support if there is a significant difference in their incomes. For example, if one parent earns significantly more than the other, the court may order that parent to pay child support to help maintain the child’s standard of living while in the care of the other parent.
If the court orders support under a 50/50 custody arrangement, the support is usually offset. This means that the court would compute the support that would be owed by each parent with one parent paying the other parent the net difference.
However, in a 50/50 custody arrangement, it is also possible that neither parent pays child support. This may occur if both parents earn similar incomes and have similar expenses related to the child, such as daycare or medical costs. In such cases, the parents may agree to split these costs evenly.
In some situations, a 50/50 custody arrangement may not be practical or in the best interests of the child. For example, if one parent lives far away from the child’s school or medical providers, it may be difficult to establish a 50/50 custody arrangement. Additionally, if one parent has a history of substance abuse or domestic violence, the court may decide that it is not in the child’s best interests to have equal time with that parent.
In Texas, if the parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, the court will make a determination based on the best interests of the child. The court will consider factors such as the child’s emotional and physical needs, the parents’ ability to provide for those needs, and any history of abuse or neglect. The court may also consider the child’s preference if they are old enough to express it.
In conclusion, a 50/50 custody arrangement can be a viable solution for parents who are getting divorced in Texas. It allows both parents to maintain a close relationship with their child and share parenting responsibilities equally. However, it is important for parents to work together and communicate effectively in order to make this arrangement work. If you are considering a 50/50 custody arrangement, request a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney here at Lundberg Law. It’s important that you have an experienced family law attorney in order to fully understand your rights and obligations under Texas law.