One thing that divorced or separated parents seem to be the most frustrated with is their child custody schedule. There are a wide range of different types of schedules that they might have, but it seems that most of these actually cause a lot of stress and strife for parents. Thankfully these preset schedules can really help you to understand what you should expect when you are in court. They can also help you to be logical in your decisions about what is really best for your children.
Joint/Shared Custody Schedules
One of the easiest schedules for parents who are sharing joint custody is to have alternating weeks. How this works is that each parent has a child from a Friday night through the following Friday night and then they switch with the other parent. The best way to be successful with this type of custody is to have clear schedules for each parent of activities and things that are going on with the child.
Alternating Weeks with a Mid-Week Visit
Some families find that it is too much for their children to be separated from the other parent for a week. In this case, parents can alternate weeks but then have a midweek visit on one day each week. The parent who has the visits alternates based on the who is not having the children for the rest of the week. This schedule can be a bit confusing with activities and such so it takes careful planning. The visit can be anywhere from a few hours to overnight.
The 2-2-3 Rotation
While this rotation might seem confusing at first, it is really quite simple. Basically you have your children every other weekend. Then you alternate the week accordingly. On the weeks that you have the weekend you also have the previous Mon/Tues. The other parent has the children on Wed/Thurs. And then the following week it switches. So, you’d have your child two days one week and five the following on a rotating basis.
The 3-3-4-4 Rotation
With the 3-3-4-4 rotation, the child custody schedule is a little more complicated. Basically, you have your child for three days, then the other parent has them for three days. Next, you have your child for four days and then the other parent has them for four days. This continues on throughout the month.
The 2-2-5-5 Rotation
This rotation is very similar to the 3-3-4-4 only you have your child for two days. Then your ex has your child for two days. This is followed by you having your child for five days, which is followed by your ex having your child for 5 days. It is quite simple in comparison to what people expect when they hear the name.
Sole/Primary Custody Schedules
The Weekend Visitation
One of the most common visitation schedules for someone who is the non-custodial parent is to be awarded every other weekend. While this was the most common in the past, courts have become more progressive in the past fifteen years and many are in favor of more liberal visitation schedules.
Alternating Weekends with a Mid-Week Visit
Another option that is available and probably the current most popular option, is for the non-custodial parent to have one week night each week and alternating weekends. This is the best choice for many families because the non-custodial parent gets to be more involved with school and activities while also seeing their child at least one day each week.
Alternating Extended Weekends
When one parent only has the child for two nights, it can be hard for them to develop a relationship. This schedule allows the non-custodial parent to bond with their child every other weekend for 3 full days instead of just two.
Alternating Extended Weekends with a Mid-Week Visit
This schedule allows the non-custodial parent a weeknight overnight stay. It also gives the non-custodial parent three consecutive nights every other weekend.
1st, 3rd & Alternating 5th Weekends
The way that this works is a little simpler to keep track of. The non-custodial parent gets the first and third weekend of each month. Then the custodial parent has the child the second and fourth weekend of each month. The parents then alternate the fifth weekend in the month.
1st, 3rd & Alternating 5th Weekends with a Mid-Week Visit
This schedule basically combines the idea of the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekend schedule while allowing the non-custodial parent one mid-week visit. This visit can either be a visit that is a few hours long or it can be extended to an overnight stay.
There are so many types of visitation schedules out there. These common ones are all tried and have worked for many families. The thing to remember is that you need to make sure that you pick a visitation schedule that is going to work for you and your family. This means that you have to consider the things that you are each doing with your children and figure out the best way to accommodate their schedules as well as your own.