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Comparing 50/50 and 60/40 Child Custody

Updated on February 11, 2012

It can be difficult to choose a physical custody issue. It is important for you to learn all that you can about child custody to ensure you make the right decision for you, the other parent, and your child. I will be explaining the 50/50 and 60/40 physical custody schedules.

Similarities of 50/50 and 60/40 Custody

Many states consider 50/50 child custody and 60/40 child custody "shared custody". As long as you have 40% with your child, you are equally involved in the decisions about your child.

These schedules have become very popular options among parents and the courts. It is widely believed a child will do better being a part of both parents lives instead of having one custodial parent and "visitations" from the other.

Many things have to be heavily considered before choosing one of these schedules. Some of these are:

  • Relationship Between Parents- Can you get along with each other to discuss the welfare of your child, make joint decisions about your child, and be mature enough to handle conflicting feelings?

  • Location of Parents to Each Other- Do you live close enough to the other parent that you can easily exchange your child, will the child's life be disrupted too much, and do both parents have a stable homes?

  • Child Considerations- How old is the child, can the child move back and forth without causing problems, what personality and attachments does the child have?


Differences in 50/50 and 60/40 Custody

50/50 joint physical custody is very simple. Your child will spend half their time with you and half their time with the other parent. The 60/40 plan has the child spending a 60% of their time with one parent and 40% with the other.

Reasons why 50/50 custody might be chosen:

  • Both parents are able to be there equally for the child
  • Both parents have the flexibility to manage their children during their time.
  • One parent believes they will get out of paying child support if the time is split half and half. (Note: Child support may or may not be based on this. Child support is more likely to be based on the income of both parents.)

Reasons why 60/40 might be chosen:

  • Work or school schedules will be easier to manage with a 60/40.
  • The activities/schooling of the child makes it easier to have a 60/40 schedule.
  • One parent thinks it will give them an upper hand on decision making for the child. (Note: This may or may not be true. It depends on how your custody schedule/parenting plan is worded.)


Examples of a 50/50 and 60/40 Schedule

50/50 Alternating Weeks Schedule:  Your child will spend one week with you and the next week with the other parent.  This is one of many different examples of 50/50 schedules.  Research all the different schedules for you to choose from.
50/50 Alternating Weeks Schedule: Your child will spend one week with you and the next week with the other parent. This is one of many different examples of 50/50 schedules. Research all the different schedules for you to choose from.
60/40 4-3 Schedule:  Your child spends four nights with one parent and three with the other.  Again, there are many different types of schedules for you to choose from under 60/40 custody.
60/40 4-3 Schedule: Your child spends four nights with one parent and three with the other. Again, there are many different types of schedules for you to choose from under 60/40 custody.

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