50/50 Presumption and the Child with Executive Functioning Isshttp://ashleajohnson.com/wp-admin/edit.phpues

In the debate over the 50/50 presumption I am really hoping that the executive functioning of children with neurological differences will be considered. Expecting children to live half of a week at one house and the other half at a different home is challenging for some children without executive functioning issues. My therapists and I see plenty of neurotypical children who struggle with anxiety over items being forgotten, leading to conflict between their parents or a poor grade in school.  So consider the challenge of residing in two homes for a child or teen who struggles with the attention, focus, organization and/or communication skills needed to meet the demands of the school and social environments without structured, consistent supports.  When parents are in high conflict they rarely can maintain consistency in a child’s behavioral plan or communicate effectively about what supports they believe their child needs for an upcoming week of tests, reports, etc. to problem solve as they would in a conflict-free home.  Sadly, the child often feels increased stress about meeting expectations and not letting the parents down, and left unchecked, those stresses result in anxiety and mood disorders.  There is no standard solution to this issue and it requires the skill and savvy of a talented mediator to negotiate this challenge. There is no benefit to having every divorcing family start with a presumed 50/50 arrangement.  No two families run their homes in exactly the same way, and the same goes for how their homes will run post-divorce.  The most negatively impacted by an assumption of 50/50 timesharing would ultimately be the most vulnerable member of the family, the child with a special need.

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