Even in cases in which child custody rights are shared by both parents, that does not always mean that the division of parenting time is equal. You’re not necessarily going to spend 50% of your time with your children, while your ex gets the other 50%.
Why might the court set up an arrangement that is different than this sort of “fair” and even division?
The children’s best interests come first
Overall, the big reason is just that the children’s best interests have to come first, not yours or your ex’s. If it’s better for the children to spend less than 50% of their time with you, the court may settle on that, even if you would prefer something else.
For instance, whether or not they can go to the same school is often one of the children’s biggest concerns during a divorce, and it’s closely tied to whether or not they’ll have the same friends. They do not want their entire lives to change, even when their home life is changing.
It may be easier for the children to live in the same school district with your ex, keeping them near their friends and in the same class. They can come see you every weekend. You may prefer to have them every other week, but the court may not give you that option because of how it would upset the children’s lives. You may not care which school they attend, but they do, and that has to be taken into account.
Understanding your rights
This is just one example, but it shows you how the court operates and why cases can get complex. Make sure you know your rights and options at this time. An experienced attorney can help guide you.