When it comes to finding the right schedule for families with shared parenting time, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Each family is different, and it is critical to carefully consider which type of parenting time schedule is best for you and your children. Thankfully, there are a lot of creative parenting time schedule options for families to consider.
Here are a few examples of the types of plans other Colorado families utilize to make shared parenting time smooth sailing.
Some parents split their parenting time equally. This kind of plan requires a situation where the children don’t mind change, and both parents have equal time to spend with the children. Splitting the parenting time equally is usually best for kids over the age of 8, but it varies by family. There are several ways to achieve a 50/50 schedule. Some examples are:
- 3-4-4-3 Plan— The biggest benefit of this plan is that the children are never away for a parent for longer than 4 days. 3 days are spent with one parent, then 4 days with the other parent. After that the spend 4 days with the first parent, and 3 days with the second parent.
- 2-2-5-5 Plan— With this simple plan, children spend 2 days with each parent, then 5 days with each parent.
- Alternating Weeks— Children spend an entire week at a time with each parent. The switch-off is usually on Friday afternoon after school. This way, the child spends one weekend and then one full school week with each parent. The same concept can be used for an alternating 2-week schedule, where the kids only switch parents every two weeks. These plans place the child with one parent for a relatively long time before they see the other. Because of that, these plans may not work for smaller children or children who have difficulty coping with homesickness. But, if less frequent transitions may benefit your child and they can handle the long separation, this may be a good option.
Not All Plans are Created Equal
Smaller children often require a strong routine with a sense of a secure “home base,” while older kids may need more flexibility with the schedule as they take on after school activities, part-time jobs or increased social time.
Examples of Other Plans Weekend “Plus”— In this scenario, one parent always has parenting time with the child
for a weekend that lasts from Friday after school until Monday morning. This plan works well for school-age children. The downside is that the weekday parent will never get to spend time with the kids on the weekend.
Alternating Weekends –This plan places the children with one parent for the majority of the time. Infants and toddlers may benefit from this plan. It is also a good option for parents who do a lot of travel for work. Families can also add in a midweek dinner for
the parent with less time.
4-3 Schedule— Here, the child spends 4 days with one parent, and then 3 days with the other. Example: the child can transition on Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 PM, remaining with that parent until Saturday at 3:30 PM. This way both parents get parenting time on the weekend. It’s important to note that this schedule would only work well in situations
where both parents can easily get the children to school.
5-2 Schedule –Similar to the plan described above, but with alternating 5 days with one one parent, then 2 days with the second parent. The right plan is out there for every family. You need someone who is experienced to help you choose what works best for you and your children. Contact the Colorado family law attorneys at Skulborstad Legal Group, LLC to talk about which parenting time schedule is right for you. Call our office today at 888-888-888.