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When do you swap the children for alternating weeks?

You know the importance of careful scheduling when you have joint custody of the children. After all, children need routine, and they need to know they can count on both parents to be there for them at the right time. You absolutely want to carefully schedule custody out in advance so that you and your ex have a firm view of what is expected of you.

Perhaps the easiest way to do this is with alternating weeks. There are more complex schedules, such as having the children at your house for the beginning of the week and at your ex's for the end of the week, while alternating the weekends, but complexity may not be right for you. It can lead to confusion and accidental scheduling mistakes. If your main goal is to set up a stable routine for the kids, it is easiest to just switch back and forth every week.

So, when should you do the swap? The simplest option is to do it every Friday. The children wake up at one parent's house, go to school that morning and the opposite parent picks them up from school at the end of the day.

The beauty of this is that the weekends also alternate, so you get time to yourself and time with the kids. Plus, you and your ex never have to make special drives to each other's houses. It minimizes contact and chances for conflict. The kids know what to expect and the swap happens at exactly the same time every single Friday afternoon.

Of course, every situation is unique. Make sure you know what options you have and how to create a plan that works for you.

Source: Very Well Family, "50/50 Joint Physical Custody Options," Jennifer Wolf, accessed June 04, 2018

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