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  • Writer's pictureSummers Family Law

The Surprising Benefits of 50/50 Parenting Schedules

As a family law attorney in Massachusetts, I often counsel clients going through the difficult process of divorce and child custody disputes. One of the most contentious issues can be determining a fair parenting schedule that puts the children's best interests first. However, a growing body of research suggests that a 50/50 parenting schedule, where children spend equal time with both parents, can be highly beneficial for their overall well-being.


Numerous studies have found that children in shared parenting arrangements do equally well compared to children in nuclear families when it comes to academic, cognitive, emotional, and psychological outcomes, as well as behavioral problems, physical health, and the quality of the parent-child relationship. Interestingly, these positive outcomes improve the closer the parenting schedule aligns with a 50/50 split.


This research challenges the traditional notion that children should primarily reside with one parent, typically the mother, while the other parent assumes a "visitor" role with limited parenting time. By contrast, a 50/50 schedule ensures that children have the opportunity to develop strong bonds with both parents, which can be crucial for their sense of security and emotional well-being.


According to child development experts, if one parent is absent from the child's life except for every other weekend, the child may start to think, 'That parent doesn't really want to spend more time with me and maybe I don't matter that much to that parent.' A 50/50 schedule communicates to the child that both parents are equally committed and involved in their lives, reducing the risk of emotional insecurity and potential abandonment issues.

Beyond the psychological benefits, equal parenting time also has practical advantages.


Fathers who are given ample time to develop their parenting skills are less likely to become discouraged and slip out of their children's lives, a common concern for children of divorced parents. Additionally, 50/50 parenting can alleviate the financial burden on single mothers, as studies have shown that they tend to have higher employment rates and incomes when they share equal custody.


Of course, no one-size-fits-all solution exists, and equal parenting may not be appropriate in cases involving abuse, neglect, or active addiction. However, for many families navigating the challenges of divorce, a 50/50 parenting schedule can provide a fair and beneficial arrangement for both children and parents.


If you're considering divorce or facing child custody issues in Massachusetts, I encourage you to explore the possibility of an equal parenting schedule. As an experienced family law attorney, I can guide you through the legal process and ensure that your children's best interests are protected every step of the way. Contact me today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how a 50/50 parenting schedule could benefit your family.


Disclaimer: The content provided in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and readers should not act upon any information provided without seeking professional legal counsel. The author does not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information provided. This blog is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader.

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