Equal Time-Sharing: As Good As It Sounds?

Psychologist Jerome H. Poliacoff, PhD., recently wrote an article for the Family Law practitioners in Florida, in which he endorsed equal time-sharing by both parents, where they are near each other.

Dr. Poliacoff also endorsed as a default time-sharing schedule the 5/5/2/2 plan, except where the child(ren) is (are) very young.

In Dr. Poliacoff’s example, the child(ren) spend Monday and Tuesday with Mother, Wednesday and Thursday with Father, Friday through Tuesday with Mother, Wednesday through Sunday with Father and then the entire cycle repeats from the beginning.

According to Dr. Poliacoff, research supports such an arrangement as benefitting children of divorce.

With all due respect to Dr. Poliacoff and the community of psychologists in agreement with him, I think it would be detrimental to children for the legal system to subject them to such a nomadic regimen of bouncing from house to house on command.

Equal time-sharing, also known as rotating custody in Florida, has been recognized and tried, mostly by private agreement. And, in Florida, the weight of authority unequivocally disfavors rotating custody as not serving the best interests of children. Even though frequent and meaningful contact with both parents is favored.

Today, technology, such as real-time video-conferencing via the internet (as just one example) offers far less disruptive and exhausting opportunities for kids to have meaningful contact with the non-custodial parent on a daily basis, without leaving home or losing home. The next best thing to being there – and much easier on the kids.

What do you think?

Source of Article Cited: Commentator, published by the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, Vol. XXII, No. 1, Fall 2005