In Maryland, parents are obligated to act in the best interests of the children when deciding custody matters. This extends to the way that physical custody is divided when parents have an even split. Experts are now saying that alternating weeks between the parents’ homes may not be best for the children, and parents should consider alternatives.
From a child’s perspective, it can be incredibly difficult to say goodbye to a parent knowing that they will not see them again for an entire week. Having to do this on a weekly basis can create psychological issues for the kids. It could mean that they either develop separation anxiety or grow distant from one or both parents. Divorce is traumatic enough for children without the custody schedule making it worse.
Moreover, the logistics of the alternating-weeks schedule may also prove challenging. Some parents find that employers are not flexible enough to allow them to be on call for the pickups and dropoffs that a custody schedule requires. Furthermore, if the exes have a poor relationship, it may be difficult to stay in touch when issues come up during long off-weeks. Accordingly, the best type of arrangement may be to split custody down the middle with more frequent rotation between the homes.
This might take some getting used to for the parties who aren’t conditioned to accept this type of child custody arrangement. A family law attorney could make suggestions about how best to accomplish the shared custody while maintaining a schedule that is better for the kids. They might then help their client negotiate this and put it into the divorce agreement. This could require some negotiation, which is where the attorney could be helpful.