What Are the Benefits of 50/50 Custody?

What Are the Benefits of 50/50 Custody?

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

When you are going through a case involving child custody in Illinois, you should know parents will likely share parenting time unless, according to Illinois law, the court finds evidence that a parent’s use of parenting time would seriously endanger the child’s health.

While the standard of a “preponderance of the evidence” is not the highest evidentiary bar, Illinois courts do want to ensure that both parents share parental responsibilities when it is appropriate. However, just because parents might share significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time, this does not necessarily mean that they will share custody in a 50/50 manner.

In recent years, there have been pushes for courts to begin with a presumption of 50/50 custody and to deviate from that 50/50 presumption only when appropriate or necessary. Yet is 50/50 custody in the best interests of the child? Our child custody lawyers in Chicago and Skokie, Illinois want to discuss the benefits of 50/50 custody.

Key Benefits of Equally Shared Significant Decision-Making Responsibilities 

Shared 50/50 custody can refer to two different types of parental responsibilities: significant decision-making responsibilities or parenting time. When it comes to significant decision-making responsibilities, it is often beneficial for the parents to share these responsibilities equally. In having equally shared significant decision-making responsibilities, neither parent is individually responsible for making a major decision about the child’s upbringing or well-being, and both parents will know that they have played an equal role in making determinations that can have a substantial impact on the child’s future.

Advantages of 50/50 Parenting Time

When parents have 50/50 shared parenting time, meaning that they each spend approximately half of the week, or half of each month or year, with the child, there can be advantages for both the parents and the child, such as:

  • Each parent can have the joys of raising the child and seeing the child as much as possible on a regular basis
  • The child will be able to spend time with and learn from each parent equally
  • The child will learn to adjust well to two separate home environments and may become more flexible to changes in living situations as an adult
  • Parenting time arrangement will be straightforward without surprises when the family sticks to a 50/50 plan

Understanding Potential Limitations of 50/50 Custody 

While there are certainly benefits of 50/50 custody in a number of family situations, it is important to keep in mind that the allocation of parental responsibilities should consider the particular factors of each child custody case on a case-by-case basis and should take advantage of the flexibility in Illinois parental responsibility law. When parents do not live near to one another, for example, and the child would need to commute an extended distance to school while living with one parent, the disadvantages of a 50/50 arrangement may outweigh the benefits. You should discuss the specific facts of your case with a child custody lawyer who can help.

Learn More from a Child Custody Attorney

If you are anticipating a complicated child custody case and want to push for 50/50 shared parental responsibilities, one of our experienced Chicago and Skokie child custody attorneys can speak with you today about your options. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC to learn more.