Did you know that, according to The Daily Campus, 39% of marriages in the US end in divorce? Considering how common divorce is, it’s clearly the right choice for many people. That being said, divorce can be a little more complicated when children are involved.
If you’re in the middle of divorce proceedings, then you’re probably looking into custody solutions.
For example, the 3-3-4-4 or 50/50 custody schedule. This way, you and your ex-partner can do what’s best for you both and your children.
Divorce can be a challenging time. It’s best to do what you can to make it easier for your children.
But how do you find a custody schedule that’s best for your family? Not knowing what solution is best for you makes this time even more challenging and stressful.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can use the 50/50 custody schedule. In this article, we’ll review the different types of 50/50 custody you can use.
This way, you and your partner will be happy with your joint custody agreement and your children will be too. Finally, you can move on and move forward, starting your new lives. Read on to learn more.
Factors to Consider With a 50/50 Custody Schedule
Before we go into the different 50/50 joint custody schedule examples, it’s important to review factors to consider. This is because, depending on you and your ex-partner, different join custody solutions will work best. The factors to consider include:
- Work schedules
- Activity and school schedules
In terms of distance, this custody schedule is best if you and your ex-partner live close to each other. This is because a 50/50 schedule requires frequent exchanges. If you live in the same neighborhood or blocks away, it can work easily.
However, if you and your ex-partner live far away from each other, this solution could easily become complicated. Imagine having to rush across town to drop off your kid. Or having to drive to another state every weekend.
As you can see, a 50/50 schedule is best if you and your ex-partner live close to each other. If you’re still working out the schedule, it may be worth speaking to your partner about this.
You could find a solution that works. For example, renting a room near the main house.
With this child custody schedule, communication is key. Because you will be seeing each other frequently, you need to prioritize getting along well with your ex-partner. The last thing you want is for your children to see more conflict.
If you and your partner have trouble communicating, it’s worth speaking with a professional. This way, if you use the 50/50 custody schedule, you’ll have communication ground rules to follow.
Additionally, you need to be able to communicate in case there are any issues that require patience. When meeting up with your ex-partner, many problems can arise that are out of their control.
For example, meetings running late or unexpected traffic jams. If you think communication might be an issue with these situations, you have two options.
First, you can choose not to go with a 50/50 child custody schedule. Second, if you really want this schedule because it’s best for the kids, use one that has fewer exchanges. (We’ll review the different options later in this article.)
You will also want to think about your work schedule. Are you often at work late? Does your ex-partner work on the weekends? This will have an impact on your 50/50 schedule. Having a shared calendar can help you decide what works best for you both.
Activity and School Schedules
Finally, there are your children’s activity and school schedules to consider. If they have a long spring break, this might impact the schedule. If one of your children finishes school before the other, this could mean exchanges might be best during the weekend.
You’ll also want to consider your children’s extra-curricular activities. You don’t want your 50/50 custody schedule to interrupt the activities they look forward to throughout the week.
To avoid this, you can get creative and find a solution out of the following examples. This way, the whole family will be happy with the new schedule.
It can also help to speak with your children. If they’re younger, they might not be able to get involved. However, pre-teens and teens might appreciate you reaching out about these arrangements.
Of course, keep in mind that this could be emotional for them—so ensure you are comforting and open when you speak with them.
Example 1: Alternating Weeks
The simplest 50/50 custody schedule is the alternating week’s schedule. With this schedule, your children spend one week with you and then one week with your ex-partner. Parenting exchanges in this schedule are minimal, occurring only once a week.
Even though there are fewer exchanges, you’ll both spend a lot of time with your children.
A full week will give your children the time they want to spend with you. You’ll be able to have dinner together, share their activities, and help them with their homework.
This can free up weekends for each parent if the exchange is during the workweek or on Sunday evenings. If the exchange occurs during the weekend, then each parent can have a weekend day with the kids.
Keep in mind, however, that this schedule is best for older kids. They’ll appreciate the stability that gives them time to focus on their studies and activities. They’ll also be able to manage not seeing a parent for a whole week.
Younger children, on the other hand, might not want to wait so long.
Example 2: Alternating Weeks With Overnight
The alternating weeks with an overnight schedule is almost the same as the alternating week’s schedule. The only difference is that, in the middle of the week, the kids get to see their other parent. It might look something like this over one month:
- Week 1: Kids see parent A, with a visit from parent B
- Week 2: Kids see parent B, with a visit from parent A
- Week 3: Kids see parent A, with a visit from parent B
- Week 4: Kids see parent B, with a visit from parent A
This works if you want a simple schedule, but don’t want to be away from your children too long. However, it may be stressful for your children. It can be difficult to switch up where they’re sleeping once a week.
For this reason, this joint custody schedule also works better with older children. They might find it annoying, but they’ll understand. A younger child, on the other hand, might not understand.
This said, if you have teens, they may feel more heard if you ask them what they think.
They might say no to the schedule. They might also let you know what nights work best for them. Either way, being involved will help them during this transition.
Note that if you live a bit far from your ex-partner, an overnight once a week could be tricky. However, doing it over the weekend could be a good solution.
Example 3: 2-2-3 Schedule
Another 50/50 custody schedule is the 2-2-3 schedule. It works like this. Children stay with parent A for 2 nights, then parent B for 2 nights, then parent A for 3 nights. Then, you switch. They stay with parent B for 2 nights, then parent A for 2 nights, then parent B for 3 nights.
If you have younger children, this can be a good custody schedule. This is because your children won’t have to go as long without seeing you.
However, there are some issues with this schedule. For one thing, there are more meetings you and your ex-partner will have. Conflict could easily arise.
For this reason, if you choose this schedule, you should work with your partner to avoid conflict. Even though this can be challenging, it’s worth putting in the work.
If this schedule makes your children happier, then it helps to make these meetings less antagonistic. Additionally, it can improve your communication with your partner overall to avoid conflict.
Another issue with this schedule is that the days you and your partner have your children over alternate every week. If you have a busy schedule yourself, this can cause some issues.
With a schedule like this, it helps to have a flexible schedule yourself. For example, instead of doing yoga only on Mondays, you can commit to doing it once a week. Planning your schedule months in advance can also help.
This way, you won’t be blindsided by suddenly having to pick up the kids at school.
Example 4: 3-3-4-4 Schedule
When you’re using the 3-3-4-4 schedule, your children will have a bit more stability than with the alternating week’s schedule. This is because they will be seeing both of their parents more regularly. It’s also a bit easier schedule-wise for the parents.
For example, if the schedule starts on a Sunday, you’d have the kids Sunday through Tuesday.
Then, your partner would have them Wednesday through Friday. The only day when you would meet to exchange the children would be Saturday.
With this schedule, you would be able to have more movie nights, make time for exercise, and focus on your work schedule.
This is helpful not only for you but also for your children. Because both you and your ex-partner will be a little more organized, it’s less likely that there will be too much conflict.
You’ll also be less stressed and more productive with your time, which your children will notice.
Finally, it will also be easier for you to keep track of your children’s activities. This is because your schedule will be more finalized. You’ll be less likely to forget to pick them up from soccer practice.
If you have teens, remember to avoid having the exchange fall on a Friday or Saturday if possible. This may be easier for you or your ex-partner. However, it may be annoying for your teens.
They need some consistency in their social life, too. So speak with them before implementing this schedule.
Example 5: 2-2-5-5 Schedule
The 2-2-5-5 schedule is beneficial for parents in the same way the 3-3-4-4 schedule is. You and your ex-partner will be able to have more consistency every week. For example, let’s say you start the schedule on a Sunday.
In this case, the only alternating days are Saturday and Thursday. Every other day will stay the same, making it easier for your to plan your life. (As well as your children’s activities.)
This can also help your children have a better sense of consistency.
However, keep in mind that 5 days without seeing one parent might be a bit intense for younger children. Keep in mind that with teens, they might not want their alternating day to fall on a Friday or Saturday.
To be sure that your teens are happy with the arrangement, speak with them about what days might work best.
Need More Information?
Now that you know about how to create a 50/50 custody schedule that works, you might need additional information. Perhaps you want to learn about other types of custody schedules where one child is with one parent more.
Or perhaps you want communication advice for recently divorced ex-couples. Whatever information you need, 2Houses can help you.
They can help you communicate, create a co-parenting calendar, and more. To register with 2Houses, find out more now.