What is a 50/50 Custody Schedule?

This simply means that both parties are ordered to have equal amounts of time with children after the divorce.

The schedule can be every other day, as in the example below.  The schedule can be alternative weeks, or a number of other combinations that enable both parties to have equal visiting times with the parents in the case.

What Does Joint Equally Split Custody Schedule Look Like?

As one example, this is the language from the schedule in this post that makes the custody “50/50”:

(the parties are awarded visitation every other day)

JOHN SMITH shall have possession of the children beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th, 22nd, 24th, 26th, 28th, 30th, 32nd, 34th, 36th, 38th, 40th, 42nd, 44th, 46th, 48th, 50th, and 52nd Sunday of each year, and ending at 6:00 p.m. the following Sunday.

JANE DOE shall have possession of the children beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th, 31st, 33rd, 35th, 37th, 39th, 41st, 43rd, 45th, 47th, 49th, and 51st Sunday of each year, and ending at 6:00 p.m. the following Sunday.

How Do I Get 50/50 Custody in My Texas Divorce?

One reason that we advocate for agreed divorce, is that this allows the family to take the custody schedule into their own hands.  No one is in a better position than you are to know what schedule your child will do well with.  If the parties agree, we can include the 50/50 schedule in your decree, with findings that show the court why it should follow our proposal.

How Does a 50/50 Schedule Affect Child Support?

Contrary to common understanding, a 50/50 schedule does not mean that a Judge cannot order one party to pay child support.    A Judge can still order child support with a 50/50 custody schedule, but we commonly see the Court agree that child support will not be ordered if there is a plan for both parents to have the children 1/2 of the time.

When 50/50 Schedules Are Not the Right Plan

Using a custody schedule to avoid child support is wrong because it does not consider the child.  If a parent does not have a sincere vested interest in being a 50/50 caretaker with the other parent, this parent should not enter a 50/50 custody plan after divorce.  Children need financial support, and present, involved parents.  Your divorce plan should consider how the children would actually do if they are moving from home to home.  Do not assume the child will be resilient.  Think of what will work best for your kids, and base your divorce on that plan.

When 50/50 Schedules Are the Right Plan

We are honored to represent great people who often have agreed divorces, and excellent plans in place on how to co-parent after the divorce is over.  These are parents who are parting as friends, and really will be involved in their children’s lives.  Engaged parents that live close in proximity can often have a 50/50 schedule that their children will do well in.

The motivation should not be to avoid child support.  The motiviation should be optimize the child’s divorce life schedule.

50/50 Custody Schedule, Alternating Week, Decree Language In Texas Divorce

 

1.  Possession and Access

 

The court finds that the parties have mutually agreed that the standard possession order is not in the best interest of the children, and that having equal amounts of time to visit with the children is in the best interest of all parties involved. IT IS ORDERED that the conservators shall have possession of the child at times mutually agreed to in advance by the parties and, in the absence of mutual agreement, as follows:

 

JOHN SMITH shall have possession of the children beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th, 22nd, 24th, 26th, 28th, 30th, 32nd, 34th, 36th, 38th, 40th, 42nd, 44th, 46th, 48th, 50th, and 52nd Sunday of each year, and ending at 6:00 p.m. the following Sunday.

 

JANE DOE shall have possession of the children beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th, 31st, 33rd, 35th, 37th, 39th, 41st, 43rd, 45th, 47th, 49th, and 51st Sunday of each year, and ending at 6:00 p.m. the following Sunday.

 

Holidays Unaffected by Distance

Notwithstanding the above periods of possession ORDERED for the parties, JOHN SMITH and JANE DOE shall have a superior right of possession of the child as follows:

 

  1.              Christmas Holidays in Even-Numbered Years – In even-numbered years, JOHN SMITH shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 26, and JANE DOE shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at noon on December 26 and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that Christmas school vacation.
  2.              Christmas Holidays in Odd-Numbered Years – In odd-numbered years, JANE DOE shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 26, and JOHN SMITH shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at noon on December 26 and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the day before the child’s school resumes after that Christmas school vacation.
  3.              Thanksgiving in Odd-Numbered Years – In odd-numbered years, JOHN SMITH shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Thanksgiving holiday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.
  4.              Thanksgiving in Even-Numbered Years – In even-numbered years, JANE DOE shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Thanksgiving holiday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.
  5.              Child’s Birthday – If a parent is not otherwise entitled under this Possession Order to present possession of the child on the child’s birthday, that parent shall have possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m. on that day, provided that parent picks up the child from the other parent’s residence and returns the child to that same place.
  6.              Father’s Day Weekend – JOHN SMITH shall have the right to possession of the child each year, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding Father’s Day and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Father’s Day, provided that if JOHN SMITH is not otherwise entitled under this Possession Order to present possession of the child, he shall pick up the child from JANE DOE residence and return the child to that same place.
  7.              Mother’s Day Weekend – JANE DOE shall have the right to possession of the child each year, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding Mother’s Day and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Mother’s Day, provided that if JANE DOE is not otherwise entitled under this Possession Order to present possession of the child, she shall pick up the child from JOHN SMITH’s residence and return the child to that same place.

 

General Terms and Conditions

 

Except as otherwise explicitly provided in this Possession Order, the terms and conditions of possession of the child that apply regardless of the distance between the residence of a parent and the child are as follows:

 

  1.              Surrender of Child by JOHN SMITH- JOHN SMITH is ORDERED to surrender the child to JANE DOE at the beginning of each period of JANE DOE’s possession at the residence of JOHN SMITH.
  2.              Surrender of Child by JANE DOE – JANE DOE is ORDERED to surrender the child to JOHN SMITH at the beginning of each period of JOHN SMITH’s possession at the residence of JANE DOE.
  3.              Surrender of Child by JANE DOE – JANE DOE is ORDERED to surrender the child to JOHN SMITH, if the child is in JANE DOE’s possession or subject to JANE DOE’s control, at the beginning of each period of JOHN SMITH’s exclusive periods of possession, at the place designated in this Possession Order.
  4.              Return of Child by JOHN SMITH- JOHN SMITH is ORDERED to return the child to JANE DOE, if JANE DOE is entitled to possession of the child, at the end of each of JOHN SMITH exclusive periods of possession, at the place designated in this Possession Order.
  5.              Surrender of Child by JOHN SMITH– JOHN SMITH is ORDERED to surrender the child to JANE DOE, if the child is in JOHN SMITH’s possession or subject to JOHN SMITH’s control, at the beginning of each period of JANE DOE’s exclusive periods of possession, at the place designated in this Possession Order.
  6.              Return of Child by JANE DOE – JANE DOE is ORDERED to return the child to JOHN SMITH, if JOHN SMITH is entitled to possession of the child, at the end of each of JANE DOE’s exclusive periods of possession, at the place designated in this Possession Order.
  7.              Personal Effects – Each conservator is ORDERED to return with the child the personal effects that the child brought at the beginning of the period of possession.
  8.              Designation of Competent Adult – Each conservator may designate any competent adult to pick up and return the child, as applicable.  IT IS ORDERED that a conservator or a designated competent adult be present when the child is picked up or returned.
  9.              Inability to Exercise Possession – Each conservator is ORDERED to give notice to the person in possession of the child on each occasion that the conservator will be unable to exercise that conservator’s right of possession for any specified period.
  10.            Written Notice – Written notice shall be deemed to have been timely made if received or postmarked before or at the time that notice is due.

This concludes the Possession Order.

 

 

 

Download 50/50 Custody Schedule Via Word Document

To ensure easy access to proper formating that is accepted in Texas Courts, download document here.

50/50 custody Every Other Week

Megan Victoria Cook

Megan Victoria Cook

Texas Divorce Lawyer & Managing Partner of Cook & Cook

I would be honored to talk to you about your 50/50 custody divorce needs in Texas. My telephone consultations are free. Call today (210) 271-2800. I serve families throughout the State of Texas.