Family attorneys fight hard for their clients, and they often have to help those clients navigate difficult situations. Perhaps you are divorcing your spouse, and you need help securing your financial future through alimony. Or maybe you are trying to adopt a child who has been the victim of abuse, and you need a lawyer to guide you through the legal process of gaining guardianship. A good family lawyer does not just help their clients navigate the law; they help their clients move forward into better life situations. We appreciate the work these attorneys do, and we have dedicated this blog to spread the word about their profession.
Are you in the process of divorce mediation where you are trying to figure out a custody schedule? It's great that both parents want to be involved in their child's life, but it can be hard to figure out a practical schedule. Here are some tips for parents that are having trouble working out a schedule for when they are splitting custody 50/50.
Alternating Weekly Schedule
The easiest way to divide parenting time is with an alternative weekly schedule. This means that the child will spend seven full days with each parent before they switch off to the other parent. Some parents prefer to switch off on Friday afternoons so that the child starts the change in custody with a parent right before a weekend, and picking the child up from school is a great way to have a transition where both parents do not need to see each other. It also prevents breaking up the school week between parents and possibly disrupting the school week.
Some parents prefer that they do not go a full week without seeing their child, so they decide to use a 2/2/3 custody schedule. As the name implies, it involves changing custody 3 times during the week. Parent A will get two days, followed by parent B getting two days, and parent A getting three days. The next week the parents switch days to make it even since you can't divide a week in half evenly. The week can start on Monday so that each parent gets a full three day weekend with their child every other week. This schedule gives each parent an equal amount of time where they are not away from their child for too long.
An alternate way to schedule parenting time, though it can be confusing, is a 2/2/5/5 schedule. The child would start the week on Monday and Tuesday with two days with parent A, then two days with parent B on Wednesday and Thursday. Parent A would then get five days in a row of custody, then parent B would get five days if a row with custody. It divides up the time across 2 weeks, and some parents prefer this type of schedule so that they can spend more days in a row with their child and also have a full weekend with them.
If you are not satisfied with any of these types of custody schedules, work with your lawyer to see what other ideas they can come up with for scheduling.
For more information about child custody, talk to a lawyer.