If you’ve recently separated or gotten divorced from your partner, and you have kids together, then you may be discussing custody plans.
For example, there’s the 2-2-3 schedule. This is a commonly agreed-upon custody schedule, as it keeps things pretty fair. Because of this, it may be ideal for you and your ex to adopt this schedule.
However, there are other alternatives out there, which may be better suited to you and your ex-partner’s lifestyles. But how can you know if they are if you aren’t aware of what your options are?
If you’re trying to figure out a co-parenting schedule with your ex, then keep reading. We’ll discuss the 2-2-3 schedule and other alternatives you can use for better co-parenting.
To help you manage the custody plan, you can always get a custody scheduling app. They’ll usually have a 2-2-3 schedule template.
This makes it very easy to keep track of who the kids should be with and when. You’ll be able to plan and see future events. If there’s a need to rearrange the schedule, you’ll be able to do so ahead of time.
What Is a 2-2-3 Schedule?
As you may have noticed, 2-2-3 adds up to 7; this is a custody plan based on a weekly schedule. It’s also known as the “every weekend” schedule.
One parent gets the children for 2 days. Then, they swap to the next parent to the next 2 days, and then the first parent gets the kids for a long weekend. The next week, it starts with the other parent, and they end up getting the kids for the long weekend.
This makes it fair for both parents, as in the end, they get an equal amount of time with their children.
Who Is the 2-2-3 Schedule Good For?
The 2-2-3 parenting plan involves the kids moving around often. Because of this, it’s great for parents who live close to one another.
On the other hand, it’s still good for parents who live far apart. There’s a long weekend that’s built into this plan. This allows for both parents to get some quality time with their kids, without losing part of their allotted time to work.
However, the 2-2-3 schedule does come with its caveats.
For example, the kids are moving between two houses so often. So you’ll need to get very good at packing (as does your ex).
Or you’ll need to have 2 sets of everything, split between the 2 houses. That way, your children will have they want, regardless of which parent they’re with for the few days.
The 2-2-3 schedule may also be hard on your older kids, especially if they have a busy schedule with lots of extracurricular activities. For example, if they have band practice every Tuesday and Thursday, they’ll be at a different parent’s house each week, and on each day. This can prove to be difficult for them, especially if they have to travel quite a distance from a parent’s house to practice.
Alternatives to the 2-2-3 Custody Schedule
The 2-2-3 custody schedule may not be ideal for all parents. In that case, you’ll want to look into other co-parenting options to make a 50/50 custody agreement work. Here are some popular ones.
With this schedule, each parent gets the kids for an entire week, which can provide more stability for them. Instead of switching houses every 2 or 3 days, they get to double or triple the time with each parent. This can be easier for busy parents, as it means there will be fewer handoffs.
However, this also means that each parent will have to go without seeing their children for 7 days at a time. For many, this is too long. Co-parents will work out slight variations to alternating weeks so no one is left missing their kids for too long.
For example, many parents will allow for an overnight visit to the other parent in the middle of the week. This means their ex-partners won’t miss their kids too much. Plus, they also get some temporary respite for a short period of time.
While this variation in alternating weeks can be referred to as the 4-1-2 rotating schedule, you won’t see many people refer to it as such. For the most part, people just call it alternating weeks with an overnight visit.
If you want to keep to a 50/50 custody schedule but handoffs for 2-2-3 are too much, then consider a 3-4-4-3 schedule. Instead of 3 handoffs a week, it’ll go down to just 2. It may not seem like a huge difference, but you’ll definitely feel less stress when you cut out that one extra handoff.
In this schedule, you keep the kids for 3 days, then your ex keeps them for 4. At the end of the week, they hand off the children back to you, and this time, you get to keep them for 4 days. After those 4 days, your ex-partner gets them back, but for 3 days.
This schedule allows both you and your ex to keep the kids for longer than a 2-2-3 schedule. But it won’t be as long as the alternating week schedule. This makes it an ideal medium between these two custody plans.
2 Weeks Each
If your kids are very busy with extracurriculars, then 2-week schedules may be best for them. This is also good for children who don’t like change.
Considering there are only 2 handoffs a month, this might be less stressful for them to go through. They get to stay at a house for longer each time.
This is a very good custody plan to consider if both parents have high-pressure and busy careers. They may not have the time to dedicate to frequent handoffs.
However, they wish to have a longer period together with the kids. This can be especially true if some days go by spent mostly at the office.
This is a pretty extreme 50/50 custody schedule, but it does happen for some parents. This may be something to consider if a parent frequently has business trips that take them away for long periods of time.
If this is the case, then it may not always be feasible to do 1 month on and 1 month off. Instead, you’ll have to see when future business trips are and then schedule co-parenting around that.
For example, let’s say your ex knows they’ll have to go to jet off to Europe in 2 months. You can already pencil in that time to be yours. Then, depending on when your ex has had the children, you can make up for their lost time after they get back.
Depending on your personal situation, the monthly 50/50 custody plan may not always be consistent. But it may just be what accommodates you, your ex, and your children the best.
Consider Nesting for Your Custody Plan
Nesting may seem like a strange concept, but it does work for exes who are on good terms. Nesting can provide a stable environment for children, especially after a separation or divorce.
What is nesting exactly? This is where you keep the main residence as the residence for the kids.
Then, each parent takes turns living with the kids in that main residence, while the other parent goes to live in another property. This can be a shared rented apartment.
In this type of custody plan, the children get a stable environment, which is what every parent hopes to provide. It’s true it may create a little more inconvenience for the adults. However, it may be worth exploring, especially for parents who have had an amicable divorce and only want what’s best for the kids.
However, do note that there may be drawbacks to nesting. The kids are in the environment where their parents were originally together in. As a result, they may get false hopes that you might get back together with your ex.
Also, some benign things you may have done in the house may be misconstrued as a malicious act by your ex. So you need good communication, transparency, and trust to make nesting work.
If you do manage to make nesting work, you can either use the 2-2-3 schedule here. Or utilize any of the alternatives we’ve provided you from above.
Work out a Viable Co-Parenting Schedule With Your Ex
Now you know all about the 2-2-3 schedule and other viable alternatives. With this, you can find a solution that works for both you and your ex.
Navigating a separation or divorce can be tough, but at least custody doesn’t have to be. By having all these options available, you and your ex-partner can sit down and figure out which one’s the best. That way, they get adequate time with each parent.
For more guidance on co-parenting, check out this helpful guide.