50/50 Parenting: Tearing Kids Apart

Guest Writer Saryna Pineau
They always say it’s in the “child’s best interest.”  Little did the court system know, the parent cleaned up enough for the court hearing so they could get all the benefits, but not really for the care of the child. Behind the nice clothes and the neatly brushed hair is a drug addict, who hopes they get the child just for the money, or a parent who doesn’t have a place to live so they end up sleeping on the street. How can this be in the child’s best interest?
Children of divorcing parents often get caught in a tug-of-war. In cases where parents can’t agree, a judge will create a custody arrangement based on the evidence presented, including expert opinions. The goal is to determine what will serve the child’s best interests and set up a custody situation that will foster a child’s happiness, safety, security and growth  
From personal experience, I think 50/50 is not what is best for the child. They need a “home” they’re in the majority of the time, instead of having to pack up their things every week to go to mom or dad’s house. We all need a home, a place that is ours.
My parents moved around so much when I was a kid, I was always living somewhere different every week because they could never stay in one place. That’s when my grandma’s house became my home because she never moved around. I always knew that she’d be there and that she wasn’t going anywhere.
“I always hated having to pack my things to go to my dad’s for a week it, was always so hectic,” said sophomore Morgan Brooks. “Now that I’m older it’s just a lot of work, still having to pack my things every week. I wish it was like every two weeks, so I could actually unpack my things and not have to worry about leaving in a few days anyway.”
Shared custody removes the consistency in a child’s life. What can be allowed in one house may not be allowed in the other house. Bedtimes may be different, as well as general house rules. There is no consistency, and the child has to adjust over and over again. This is especially difficult for parents as well because the child starts to compare and contrast his or her parents.
Instead of having a peaceful and relaxed relationship together, there might be a lot of inconsistencies in the ways parents bring up their children. Inconsistencies and lack of structure in the environment occur as children rotate between two households and at least two parental figures, each who have their own personality, their own discipline style and their own separate rules.