Minnesota parents will probably want to spend as much time as possible with their children — and this usually translates into living full time with the child. The problem is, as a divorced parent, it may be impossible to live with your child full time unless you receive full physical custody.

This brings us to the question of how to divvy up parenting time and the two most common ways that parents go about doing this: (1) the 50-50 child custody solution, and (2) the custodial parent and non-custodial parent arrangement.

The 50-50 child custody solution

The 50-50 child custody plan goes by many names. Some parents might call it an equal parenting relationship, shared custody or a half-and-half child custody split, to name a few. Essentially, this child custody solution involves the parents creating two homes for their child or children. Half of the time, the children will live in one home with one parent, and the rest of the time, they’ll live in the other home with the other parent.

There are many benefits that come with the 50-50 plan and this format tends to suit parents best when they live near one another, have predictable work schedules and when the parents have a good working relationship. The benefits of the equal custody split transfer to the children, who usually enjoy spending as much time as possible with both parents and also receive psychological benefits from this constant and valuable interaction. Also, parents could benefit because it gives them a rest time from their parenting duties to explore other things — as well as new romantic relationships.

The custodial parent and non-custodial parent arrangement

When 50-50 arrangements are not practical or the parents do not prefer them, one parent will usually receive physical custody — the custodial parent — and the children will live with that parent full-time. The other parent — the non-custodial parent — will receive frequent and regular visitation rights. That parent may have the children every other weekend, for example, and also during important holidays.

However you choose to divide your parenting time, make sure you understand your options, as well as your legal child custody rights under Minnesota child custody law.