Divorce Mediation is a peaceful alternative to the usually contentious litigation, but that doesn’t make it easier to decide how to split time with your kids. When deciding how to split time for your co-parenting arrangement, it can be difficult to know where to start. It’s important to find a schedule that works for both parents AND the children.
A few major factors to consider are:
- how consistent the schedule is;
- the amount of communication and hand-offs between parents necessary for success;
- whether the schedule is conducive to a routine;
- the time spent away from each parent; and
- how extracurricular activities will be affected.
One example of a 50/50 custody schedule is the Every Other Week.
Pros: Schedule Consistency, Minimal Communication, Minimal Hand-offs, Routine Conductive
Cons: Time Away, Extracurricular Activities
Great for: Older children
This schedule gives each parent enough time to get the children in a groove and allows for minimal communication and hand-offs. If your children are school aged, you can make the swap around a school day, for example, mom drops Johnny off at school on Monday morning and dad will pick him up, and vice versa every other week. You can also do this surrounding an extracurricular activity. There will need to be some communication surrounding school and extracurriculars, for example, making the other parent aware that they were signed up to bring the team snack next week.
50/50 schedules work best when:
- The parents live fairly close to each other, so exchanges are easier.
- The parents are able to communicate with each other about the child without fighting.
- The child is able to handle switching between parents’ homes.
- Both parents are committed to putting the child’s best interest first.
- The parents agree that the 50/50 schedule is the best one for their child.
Click here for a summary of the co-parenting schedule examples.