Agreeing to a custody arrangement after a divorce can be a difficult process. Many modern parents consider a 50/50 custody arrangement to be in everyone’s best interests, but is it really? If you’re in New Jersey, you need to know how NJ law allots custody of children to each parent seeking a split custody arrangement.
50/50 custody arrangements
A 50/50 custody arrangement is split evenly between both parents. The children spend an equal amount of time with each, with an equal amount of living at home and school they would normally have in the other parent’s house. However, one parent remains the primary custodial parent, especially if they are the parent with the marital home, or have the most parenting responsibility.
Older children benefit most from 50/50 custody arrangements as they do not need to see each parent often. Otherwise, the children will require frequent changeovers every 1-2 nights.
Other split custody arrangements
Some split custody arrangements occur after the parent who is the primary custodial parent fights to receive sole custody. Other times, parents reach a split custody arrangement when they agree to share parenting duties upon divorce.
For split custody agreements, one parent has more parenting time than the other. The amount of time is often measured in nights or even hours. Typically, it is dependent on how often the children spent time with each parent before the divorce.
It is possible to achieve a 50/50 custody arrangement, but it may not be in everyone’s best interests. The parents must live close to each other and be in the children’s school district, their schedules must allow for equal sharing of parenting duties, and one parent cannot be deemed unfit. New Jersey accommodates such a split if the children have a strong relationship with both parents.