The most common types of child custody schedules are those that split the time between parents 50/50. Even within this category, however, there are many different calendars. Further, you may need to consider different schedules based on your child’s age, maturity, and attachments to each parent.
Only you can choose the right calendar for your family, and your attorney can help. Family courts can be particularly helpful when parents disagree.
This blog is one of the many online resources for creating a child custody schedule. For personalized legal advice and representation, simply call Crossman & McNamee, LLC at (937) 468-3796.
If we use a 50/50 schedule as a starting point, alternating week schedules are likely the easiest. A “week on, week off” custody schedule allows children to spend one full week with one parent and the next full week with the other. Parents can decide what day works best to start the week. The week on, week off schedule can easily be shifted to last for 2 weeks at a time, although 2-week stretches may be too long for younger children.
When 1-2 weeks is too long for children to be away from one parent, families may arrange a midweek visit or overnight, or opt for schedules with mid-week transfers. Schedules with mid-week transfers even out at the end of 2 weeks and include:
- 3-3-4-4: in this rotation, children spend 3 days with Parent A and 3 days with Parent B. Every other week, one parent gets an extra day (usually a Saturday).
- 5-2-2-5: this schedule allows for entire weekends, and parents always have custody on the same 2 consecutive days of the week (usually Monday and Tuesday or Wednesday and Thursday).
- 2-2-3: in this schedule, children reside with Parent A for 2 days, with parent B for 2 days, and with parent A for a 3-day weekend. The next week, parent B gets the 3-day weekend.
- Alternating every 2 days (with a half-day in between).
- Every extended weekend (alternating weekends that account for 3rd party time, such as school or daycare).
While mid-week transfers can be useful for younger children and help solidify caretaker relationships, they can also disrupt your children’s lives. Teenagers especially need to be able to plan for extracurricular activities and social lives, and constantly going from house to house can take a toll on young minds and bodies.
When you plan your custody schedule, you should also consider holidays and popular vacation times. You may want to develop special schedules for summer, when children are not in school, and make sure your parenting plan addresses important holidays.
Of course, a good co-parenting relationship is the most important aspect of any custody schedule, as you may need to make temporary changes or adjustments along the way.
If you need help with any child custody matter, our lawyers at Crossman & McNamee, LLC are here for you.
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