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What Is the 60/40 Child Custody Split?

There’s a common perception in child custody cases that North Carolina courts favor the mother, almost always awarding them primary custody. However, over the past decade or so, this “default” has fallen out of favor and courts are moving toward more equitable custody arrangements.

With the numerous logistical challenges of parents living in two separate courts, you and your ex-spouse can choose from a wide variety of child custody plans that can best fit the needs of their children. This blog spotlights the 60/40 child custody plan, as well as a brief look at more typical custody arrangements.

What are traditional child custody plans?

As you know, if you’re divorcing and have minor children, you must work out a formal custody and visitation agreement that works in their best interests. You and your ex can resolve these issues on your own and have a judge review and sign off on your agreement. If you’re unable to come to agreement, the court will do it for you. Every child custody plan must address issues like physical custody, legal custody, visitation schedules, who will make important life decisions for the child, as well as day-to-day decisions.

Today, the vast majority of North Carolina judges strive for a 50/50 parenting plan, but when those are not possible will work toward other types of arrangements, including 80/20 custody or 60/40 plans.

What is a 60/40 child custody plan?

The 60/40 parenting plan involves the children staying with one parent 60 percent of the time and the other 40 percent with the other parent. Parents with unusual schedules may benefit from this custody plan, as there are a wide variety of ways in which to implement the arrangement.

Here are two popular examples of the 60/40 custody split:

  • Every extended weekend. Your child spends four weekdays with one parent and a three-day weekend with the other parent.
  • The “4 – 3″ plan. This plan involves your child living three days with one parent and four with the other, alternating. You can split the days to fall anywhere during the week.

It’s important to note that just because the child is technically with one parent for more days each week, it does not mean that the child will spend more face-to-face time with that parent. School schedules and work schedules need to be considered to evaluate how much real time the child will be with both parents to ensure that the split is fair.

Is shared custody good for a child?

Shared custody may not work for everyone, particularly in cases of high-conflict divorce or when one parent is incapable of caring for the child. However, research shows that joint or shared custody plans tend to benefit children. A summarization of 40 studies performed over the past 25 years showed that children in shared parenting families had better outcomes with their behavioral, emotional and psychological well-being – as well as their physical health and relationships with their parents.

The divorce and family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC can help you evaluate a 60/40 plan, as well as any other options or solutions, and determine the most suitable child custody plan to meet your needs. We serve clients in Charlotte, Weddington, Boone, and throughout North Carolina. To reserve a consultation, please call 704-859-2287 or fill out our contact form.

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