As a parent who now has to think about how to divide your time with your child, all you want to do is figure out the best custody schedule for them. You need one that works with your responsibilities, but you also want one that makes it easy for your child to see you and their other parent.
It can be hard to figure out the right custody schedule right away, so remember that many people do go through a period of trial and error. The first schedule you come up with doesn’t necessarily have to be one that lasts throughout your child’s childhood and up until adulthood. You can ask for modifications if and when they are necessary.
How can you start working on a custody plan?
To get started on the custody plan, remember that you should try to balance your time, the other parent’s time and your child’s time. You should start with a presumption of around 50-50 custody unless there are factors that make another arrangement necessary.
There are dozens of custody schedules that people have used in the past. Some of the most common include:
- 3-2-2-3 schedules, where you switch custody every two or three days
- 7-7 schedules, where you switch custody weekly
- 1-1 schedules where you switch custody daily
- 5-2 schedules where one parent has custody throughout the week and another on the weekends
What determines the schedule that you’ll want is your current responsibilities and work schedule. For example, if you work Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. until midnight, it may make sense for the other parent to have custody through the week since they’ll be home after school. Similarly, if you have a 12-12-12 schedule at work, you may have four days a week where you’re completely free to care for your child when the other parent may be busy.
Both you and the other parent should discuss the custody schedule that could work based on your work and other responsibilities. If you can’t agree, you may have to go to court, so make the effort to come up with a compromise.