Can I Get a 50/50 Parenting Plan
Fifty/fifty parenting plans are more common now than they were even five or ten years ago, but they are still entered mainly by agreement. If one side opposes a 50/50 plan, the Court is unlikely to enter one.
The Parenting Statute and 50/50The Parentage Act, as amended, does not cast much light on when or whether the Court should enter a 50/50 parenting plan. The only provision that comes close is RCW 26.09.187(3)(b), which provides that the Court may order that a child frequently alternate his residence between the parents for brief and substantially equal intervals of time when such an arrangement is in the child's best interest.
Therefore, the Court will order, or not order, a 50/50 plan based on the same criteria it would order an unequal parenting plan.
Parenting Plan CriteriaThe Court is supposed to devise a parenting plan based on the following factors:
1. Strength, nature, stability of child's relationship to parent
2. Any agreements
3. Past and potential for future performance of parenting functions
4. Emotional needs and developmental level of child
5. Child's relationships, school, and activities
6. Wishes of parent and child who is sufficiently mature to express her wishes
7. Each parent's employment schedule.
How Do I Get 50/50 If My Spouse Doesn't AgreeA Court certainly could order a 50/50 parenting plan over one of the parties' objections, but I have never personally seen it. (I have seen plans that are very close to 50/50 when the objecting party wanted 75/25 or whatever). To get 50/50, you have to convince the Court that 50/50 is in the child's best interest. To do that, demonstrate that both parties always split the parenting functions 50/50 when they were together, and there is no reason to assume they couldn't continue to do so now that they are apart.