7 of the Best Shared Custody Schedules
Types of Schedules for Divorced Parents
Co-parenting can be daunting, stressful, and overwhelming. One aspect of co-parenting is finding and choosing from shared custody schedules that work for you, the other parent, and your children. There are a variety of options to choose from, and it can be hard to know which will be best.
You might be in a situation where you have good relations with the other parent. For others, that may not be the case. This can make scheduling yet another headache to deal with.
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We’ll outline your choices for coparenting schedules and how you can find the best one for your family.
What are the best co-parenting schedules?
Finding the right shared custody visitation schedule can be hard. The good news is that the schedule can always be adjusted as children grow up and get busy with school and extracurriculars. Here are the most common shared custody schedules.
A 50/50 schedule is where each parent gets the same amount of time with their children. There are many ways to set up this type of schedules for shared custody.
- Alternating weeks: Just like the name sounds, your children would spend one week with each parent. Exchange dates usually happen on Fridays or over the weekend, but you can choose whatever day of the week that will work best. Some families also choose to have a mid-week visit so that children don’t ever go a full week without seeing the other parent. This may look like children spending the either the evenings or overnight with the other parent every other Wednesday, for example.
- Two weeks: Similar to alternating weeks, only your children would spend two weeks at a time with each parent.
- Frequent exchanges: In these schedules, your children move around often and you get to see them more frequently. Some examples are the 3-4-4-3 schedule, where kids would spend three days with one parent, four with the other, then four with the first, and three with the other. A 2-2-5-5 schedule would follow a similar pattern, as would a 2-2-3 schedule. Some also opt to go with an alternating every two days schedule. These frequent exchanges can get confusing for everyone involved and are best recommended for younger children.
60/40 schedules work by giving one parent slightly more time. These schedules usually have children spend weekdays with one parent and a long weekend with the other. Other versions include children spending four days with one parent and three with the other or an every other extended weekend schedule.
A 70/30 schedule usually functions where parents switch every weekend, one parent has kids for five days and the other for two. Another version is to have children live with one parent for two weeks and the other for one week. You could also do a swap every third day. In this case, children would live with one parent for two day and the other for one day.
80/20 schedules would work by having the children stay with one parent and visit the other parent every other weekend. An alternative would be to have children live with one parent and visit the other every first, third, and fifth weekend.
90/10 include daytime visits only and may be common for shared custody visitation schedules. The children would stay in one house overnight consistently, while visiting the other parent during certain times in the day.
There is a lot to take into consideration when selecting a schedule. If you and the other parent are not close by, it may be difficult to stick to a schedule that includes frequent exchanges. You’ll also want to think about how old the children are. Younger children do better with more frequent exchanges so they can regularly see each parent. Once children begin school, a weekly schedule may be better to keep some consistency with rules, homework, and extracurricular. As kids become teenagers, a two-week schedule, 70/30, or 80/20 may work better.
Once you’ve found the schedule that will be best, you may be wondering how you are going to keep track of when you have your kids and when they will be with the other parent. Google Calendar is a great way to have a shared calendar. You’ll be able to color code visits and put in important dates that everyone needs to be aware of, like tests or sporting events.
Or, you might want to get an app. Custody X Change is an easy-to-use app that will also help you keep track of dates and your selected schedule. No matter what you use to manage your schedule, you’ll want to consider holidays that could impact the schedule, your children’s extracurriculars, vacations, and work conflicts for you or the other parent.
Dealing with events that could change the schedule can be difficult. If you get along well with the other parent, it may be easy to send a quick text to communicate. Here are other tips on how to be effective co-parents. However, if you don’t get along well, email may be the best want to propose temporary schedule changes or to alert the other parent about a certain event. Keep the email short, sweet, and professional for the least amount of conflict.
If you have any tips for others going through the same situation, leave a comment below or share this article. We’re all in this together to support each other.