When it comes to parenting schedules in shared custody situations,1 there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every household is different, so it’s crucial to give careful thought to what works best for you and your co-parenting partner – and, most importantly, your children. Thankfully, there are a lot of scheduling options for families to consider.
- 50-50 Plan: Some parents agree to split the parenting time equally between them. This requires a situation where the children don’t mind change, and both parents are equally available to take care of the child.
- 3-4-4-3 Plan: This schedule is good because it never keeps a child away from a parent for longer than four days. The child spends three days with one parent and four days with the other parent and then four days with the first parent and three days with the other parent.
- 2-2-5-5 Plan: Here, a child spends two days with each parent and then five days with the other parent.
- Alternating Weeks: In this schedule, the child spends a full week at a time with each parent. The transition usually happens Friday afternoon after school, so that the child spends a weekend and then a full school week with each parent. The same concept can be used with an alternating two-week plan, where the children only switch every two weeks. These plans place the child with one parent for a long time before they see the other, so many don’t think this type of plan is ideal, but if fewer transitions may be good for your child and they can handle the week-long separation, it may work.
Not All Plans Are Created Equal
If a 50-50 split of parenting time isn’t what’s best for your children, parenting time may be split 60-40, 70-30, or even 80-20. The ages and daily needs of the children are a major factor when deciding what percentage of time children should spend with each parent.
- Weekend Plus: Here, one parent always has the child for an extended weekend lasting from Friday afternoon until Monday morning. This is a good, consistent plan for school children but will prevent the weekday parent from ever spending time with the children for weekend activities.
- 4-3 Plan: In this plan, the child alternates four days with one parent and then three days with the other. For example, a child might transition on Wednesday at 3 p.m. and stay with that parent until Saturday at 3 p.m. This splits up the weekend time but would require that both parents could easily get the children to school.
- Every Third Week: In this plan, the children spend three consecutive weeks with one parent and then spend one week with the other parent. With this plan, there is a lot of consistency for the children during the three-week periods, requiring transition only once a month.
- 5-2 Plan: With this plan, the children would alternate periods of five days with one parent and then two days with the other.
- Every other weekend: With this plan, one parent has the majority of the parenting time. This may be a good idea for very young children or situations where one parent travels for work. Sometimes, a Wednesday evening dinner visit may be added to this schedule for the parent with less parenting time.
No matter what, there is a plan that will work for you and your children. Contact the Connecticut family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons & Grant, L.L.C. with questions about shared custody parenting schedules. Call our office today at 203-348-2465 to discuss your options.