What Are the Ins-and-Outs of 50/50 Child Custody or Possession?
01 November 2017IN: Family Law
In Tennessee, it is possible for parents to equally split parenting time after divorce
Recent studies have shown children greatly benefit from spending the maximum amount of time possible with both parents. This goes against the past belief that shuttling children between two parents might be detrimental and therefore, one parent should have the majority of parenting time for stability sake. Tennessee child custody law is in line with the more updated studies and reflects a belief that it is in the best interest of the child to have both parents’ participating in his or her life as much as possible.
In the parenting agreement, the former spouses may agree to equal parenting time. This means the agreement can actually state each parent will spend exactly 182.5 days with the child, a completely even 50/50 custody arrangement. In the absence of this type of agreement, however, a judge may be hesitant to establish a plan with such a strict split, but it is still possible. A judge will consider things like whether both parents have an established history of acting as the child’s primary caregiver.
Despite an even split in child custody time, child support calculations for a 50/50 child custody, or possession arrangement, can still be complicated. This type of arrangement does not eliminate the possibility of paying child support. Typically, the residential parent will be the recipient of most child support payments. The primary residential parent is the parent who has majority custody, but neither spouse has majority custody in a 50/50 custody situation. Other factors considered in child support payment obligations include:
- Which spouse is the higher income earner;
- Who pays healthcare costs;
- Are there any childcare expenses due to work obligations; and
- Who pays for the child’s health insurance