Divorced parents often have trouble deciding on custody arrangements. In shared custody, both of you will have a say on how your children are cared for, raised, and educated. However, when it comes to the time spent with each parent, there are no hard and fast rules.
To help simplify your arrangements, here are some sample shared custody schedules. You can modify any of these to fit your needs. No matter what you decide, children will need bedrooms and living space in both locations. Also, consider keeping separate wardrobes, toys, etc. at each home, so the kids don’t need to take everything back and forth.
In a week-by-week or alternating week schedule, kids live at one parent’s home during one week, and with the other parent the next week, going back and forth. Weekends are a common time to make the switch, but it could happen on any day that suits your family.
Alternating Weeks with Mid-Week Visitation
If your family doesn’t want the kids to go a full week without seeing either parent, you may opt for an alternating schedule as listed above, but during the week, arrange evening visitation with the parent who has the “off” week. Another variation of this is to have a mid-week overnight visit, but that will depend on school locations, work schedules, and other factors.
In this arrangement, children spend 3 days with one parent, 3 days with the other, and then 4 days and 4 days, respectively. For example, they would be at mom’s house from Sunday to Tuesday, then at dad’s house from Wednesday to Friday. For Saturdays, each parent would have custody on alternating weeks, offering each parent some weekend parenting.
An example of a 2-2-3 rotation is where the children are with mom for 2 days, then spend 2 days with dad, then go back to mom’s for the 3-day weekend. The following week, the structure is opposite, for 2 days with dad, 2 days with mom, then dad gets 3 days for the weekend. The obvious downside to a schedule like this is that it can feel complex and disruptive for the children, and can be complicated if parents live far away.
When it comes to holiday schedules, there are also plenty of options. Children might spend Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas Day with the other, flipping that schedule from year to year. Or, mom can have custody for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on even years, with dad having odd years. When it comes to long school breaks, you can apply your normal shared custody schedule, or divide the time off from school evenly between parents.
These are certainly not the only ways to structure a shared custody arrangement. Talk to your family law attorney about your own agreement, taking careful consideration of the disruption and inconvenience any arrangement may cause. Burton Family Attorneys are experienced in helping families navigate the world of child custody after divorce.
Contact us for help making fair arrangements that ease the disruptions of a sensitive situation.
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