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The pros and cons of 2 standard custody schedules

Child custody schedules vary dramatically from one case to the next, depending on a whole host of factors. Two of the most common schedules, though, are as follows:

  • Switching the kids back and forth every week. This is often done on the Friday after school.
  • Switching the kids every two to three days. A specific schedule can be created so that both parents still get the same amount of time, but they do it in smaller chunks.

When deciding what you'd like to do, you have to weigh all of the pros and cons. Think about your needs as a parent and what will be best for the kids.

The weekly trade

For instance, the weekly switch is probably easiest on parents and kids in many ways. There are fewer transfers, which gives them more stability. They know where they'll be living for longer. If you and your ex don't get along, it also means fewer face-to-face meetings and fewer chances for arguments.

The downside, though, is that you lose your children for what may feel like an enormous amount of time. What are you going to miss in a week? Are you really going to feel lonely when the house is empty?

Multiple transfers

The benefit of a schedule with more transfers is that you're only away from the kids for two or three days at a time. You get some breaks, which can actually be nice when you invest time in friends and hobbies, but you never feel cut off.

The downside is that there is a lot more driving. You have to make transfers on busy weeknights. The kids may not like it, feeling like they spend more time in the car than at home.

Your options

Carefully weigh all of your options and your legal rights when trying to decide on the right child custody schedule for your family.

Source: The Spruce, "Sample Joint Custody Schedules," Jennifer Wolf, accessed Feb. 28, 2018

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