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Finding a child custody schedule you can live with

When Todd and Vanessa decided to get married, having kids was important for them. Now ten years later—as it has happened for a number of their friends—Todd and Vanessa are getting divorced. Their two kids are important to them and both want as much time as they can get with the girls.

Deciding what’s best for the kids is the most common answer the couple heard when it came to custody decisions. A 50/50 schedule can benefit the children because parenting time is split evenly, allowing the children to build a close a relationship with both parents. The 50/50 schedule is ideal when:

  • The parents can communicate without fighting.
  • The children’s best interests are put first by the parents.
  • The children can handle the rotation between homes.
  • Both parents live in the same geographic area to facilitate switches.

Joint custody schedule options

There are a number of options to provide equal time with the kids for Todd and Vanessa. The best option will coordinate with work and school schedules, as well as the kids’ extracurricular activities, Vanessa’s attorney advised her. Some of the options include:

  • Alternating weeks: The children would spend one week with Todd and the following week with Vanessa. This is a good option when the children struggle with the transitions.
  • Alternating weeks with a midweek overnight: Sometimes, going an entire week without seeing your kids is too much. This schedule includes an overnight visit with the other parent to ease the pain.
  • The 2-2-3: This is a common rotation that goes like this: Vanessa has the children every Monday and Tuesday; Todd has them every Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, Saturday and Sundays are alternated between the parents every week, so each parent has the kids two weekends of the month.
  • 3-3-4-4: In this schedule, the children would spend three days with Vanessa, three days with Todd, then four days with Vanessa with this schedule, followed by another four days with Todd. The advantage is the continuity of always being at the same household Sunday through Tuesday and Wednesday through Friday. The only day that alternates week to week is Saturday.

Sticking to your plan

Todd’s attorney suggested sticking to the plan and if need be, adjusting it as circumstances change. He stressed the importance of communicating when something comes up, like a work trip or a vacation. OurFamilyWizard.com offers tools for coordinating custody schedules, as well as other co-parenting tools for splitting expenses and sharing children’s health records. It also includes a message board and the innovative Tonemeter, which flags possible conflict causing tone in your messages.

An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate through the options and offer suggestions, keeping communication open and finding the best possible solution for your family—and your children.

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