50 50 Custody North Dakota

Splitting Time & Sharing The Love: Decoding the Most Common 50/50 Custody Agreements

April 26, 2024


Parenting time is a crucial aspect of parenting arrangements, sometimes referred to as custody arrangements. These designations carry significant weight, shaping your family’s dynamics, daily schedule, and even impacting your child support obligation. There are three kinds of parenting time arrangements, each dictating the physical custody of a child in a divorce, separation, or parenting rights and responsibility case.

First, there is the primary residential responsibility designation, which is also commonly referred to as primary custody. This arrangement sees one parent taking on the lion’s share of the time with the child, if not all of it. Meanwhile, the other parent typically gets specific parenting time or “visitation time” to spend with the child. There are many variations to a primary residential responsibility schedule, for example, a 60/40, a 70/30, an 80/20, etc. For child support purposes, this designation will only consider the noncustodial parent’s income in the calculation.

Next, split residential responsibility arrangements come into play in cases with multiple children. One variation includes having one child primarily reside with one parent and the other child primarily reside with the other parent. For child support purposes, this designation will consider both parent’s income in the calculation.

Finally, there is equal residential responsibility, also known as 50/50 custody, which is the focal point of this blog. Here, both parents share the responsibility of parenting in equal measure, with the child spending the same amount of time in each parent’s care. This arrangement promotes equal involvement from both parents in the upbringing of the child and works best for parents who can co-parent effectively. Among the most popular choices in the 50/50 category are the one-week on/one-week off schedule, the 2-2-3 schedule, and the 2-2-5-5 schedule. For child support purposes, this designation will consider both parent’s income in the calculation.

One Week On, One Week Off

The one-week-on, one-week-off custody schedule is an alternating custody schedule that works well for families who prefer consistent schedules with less shuffling around.  It also assists in cases where parents get along fine but would prefer not to have to see one another multiple times a week for exchanges. This option also works great for parents who don’t live in the same neighborhood.


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  1. Consistency: This schedule provides consistency for both parents and children, as it alternates weeks between households. It can help parents anticipate their schedules, knowing exactly where they will be each week. Another pro is that it is easy to remember.
  2. Extended Time Together: Each parent gets a whole week of uninterrupted time with the children, allowing for deeper bonding and involvement in their lives.
  3. Minimal Transitions: With longer periods at each household, there are fewer transitions for the children, reducing the potential stress and disruption.


  1. Less Flexibility: Planning activities or events outside the designated week can be challenging and may require additional coordination between both parents.
  2. Longer Periods of Separation: If parents live far apart, children may go longer periods without seeing one parent. This may be a struggle, particularly for younger children, as one week may be too long to go without seeing the other parent.

The 2-2-3 Schedule

The 2-2-3 is best for parents who live in the same area. It begins with one parent having the children for two days, then switching to the other parent for two days, and finally going back to the original parent for the remainder of the week. The parent then alternates every other week so that each parent has an equal amount of time with the child.

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  1. Frequent Rotation: This schedule involves alternating switches throughout the week, providing regular contact and involvement with the children.
  2. Flexibility: With shorter periods at each household, there’s more flexibility for scheduling activities and events.
  3. Quick Adaptation: Children may adapt quickly to the routine of switching between parents every few days, reducing the potential for separation anxiety.


  1. Increased Transitions: The frequent transitions may be disruptive for some children and parents.
  2. Logistical Challenges: Coordinating pickups, drop-offs, and logistics for school and extracurricular activities can be more complicated with shorter timeframes. This can be more challenging if you and your co-parent do not live closeby to one another.

The 2-2-5-5 Schedule

This schedule allows for a mix of the two previously mentioned by allowing both frequent and extended periods of time in a two-week alternating schedule. In other words, the child will live with one parent for two days, switch to the other parent for two days, then go back to the original for a longer period of five days, and finally back to the second parent for five days. There are many variations of the 2-2-5-5 schedule as you can start it on whatever date works for your family.

Example: In this example, the parenting week starts on Sunday with the 2-2-5-5 schedule.

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Example: In this example, the parenting week starts on Tuesday with the 2-2-5-5 schedule.

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  1. Structured Routine: The schedule provides a consistent routine, offering stability and predictability. For example, “You will always be with Mommy on Wednesdays and with Daddy on Thursdays.”
  2. Balanced Time: Both parents get equal time on weekdays and weekends, ensuring frequent contact and ultimate involvement in the child’s daily routine.
  3. Less Transition Fatigue: With longer periods at each household, there are fewer transitions, reducing potential stress on the children and parents.


  1. Complex Logistics: Coordinating schedules, especially with school and extracurriculars, can be challenging due to the alternating weekdays and weekends.
  2. Limited Flexibility: While the schedule is consistent, it may offer less flexibility for parents to accommodate changes or unexpected events.


As you can see, every 50/50 custody plan presents its own set of advantages and challenges. It is crucial to take into account your family’s unique needs and dynamics before settling on a parenting plan that could affect your children until they are eighteen. For additional guidance or questions, contact SW&L’s family law team at 701-297-2890 or email us at info@swlattorneys.com.

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