If you’re a separated or divorcing parent, one of the first things to do is to determine when and how your kids will spend time with each parent.
When parents decide to divorce, children need to know and understand what they can expect from each of you, and where they will be and when. For more details about custody and parenting time agreements, check out this post.
When parents divorce, kids generally thrive when they are cared for and spend time with both parents.
Young children can and often do adjust to frequent transitions as long as they can rely on a consistent custody and parenting time schedule. Shared child custody arrangements, however, work best when both parents are cooperative, respectful, and can manage their emotions while communicating effectively.
Therefore, if you both agree that your kids will benefit most from a shared parenting arrangement, you might consider these 4 types of arrangements:
- A 2-2-3 schedule, where the children spend 2 days with one parent, 2 days with the other parent, and 3 days with the first parent. Then the next week it switches:
- A 3-4-4-3 schedule, where the children will stay with one parent for 3 days of the week and then 4 days with the other parent. The next week it switches so the first parent has the child for 4 days and the other parent 3 days:
- A 2-2-5-5 residential schedule, where the children live 2 days with one parent, 2 days with the other parent, 5 days with the first parent, and 5 days with the second parent:
- Alternating week schedule where the children spend 1 week with one parent and the next week with the other parent (it’s generally a good idea to add in mid-point evenings and/or overnights). This schedule repeats throughout the year:
It’s important to carefully consider your child’s needs and each parent’s responsibilities to determine the best custody and parenting time arrangement for your child. Simply focus on what would work best now, knowing it can and often will change as the children get older.
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