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So, You’ve Agreed Upon 50/50 Parenting — Part I

July 30, 2020  | 
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{3 minutes to read} Reaching the agreement that you both want to share substantially equal time with your children is clearly a very meaningful decision, but it isn’t the only decision you will need to agree upon in terms of your parenting plan. There are many options in terms of parenting schedules that you will need to consider, and that can be a source of conflict.

There is no “right” schedule, as it all depends on your children, their developmental capabilities, their activities, their commitments, and your work schedules. As always, what must be paramount is what is best for your children, and not what your research may have indicated is the best schedule, or what may have worked for other parents you know.

These are some schedules that you can consider:

One Week With Each Parent

This could be helpful for older children who want consistency, or if transitions between the parents are problematic. But it has an obvious drawback in terms of the children being away from each parent for a long period of time. If you are considering this, you may also want to consider some mid-week access with the other parent to help the children feel connected with both parents.

3-4-4-3 Schedule

This could be a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday overnight with parent A; then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday overnight with Parent B; then Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday overnight with Parent A; and then Thursday, Friday, Saturday overnight with Parent B.
This permits more parental access with each parent on a regular basis than the weekly access schedule and minimizes transitions to an extent, but it results in: 
 
  1. Neither parent ever having a full weekend with the children; or
  2. One parent having the majority of the weekend time every week.

2-2-3 Schedule

This typically would be Monday, Tuesday with Parent A; Wednesday, Thursday with Parent B; Friday, Saturday, Sunday with Parent A; then Monday, Tuesday with Parent B; Wednesday, Thursday with Parent A; Friday, Saturday, Sunday with Parent B.
 
This gives alternate weekends to each parent, but it could be confusing for some children and will require a lot of coordination between the parents. 
 

2-2-5-5 Schedule

This typically would be Monday, Tuesday with Parent A; Wednesday, Thursday with Parent B; Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday with Parent A; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday with Parent B.
This also gives alternate weekends with each parent, but the five days away from the other parent, again, can be a long time for some children. 
 

Keeping in mind that you are choosing these schedules in the abstract, it’s important that you provide for reviews of the schedule and be cognizant of whether or not your well-intentioned schedule is working out for the children. You should also provide for a process to resolve a dispute if one of you thinks that the schedule is working and the other does not.

In my next post, I’ll address some other considerations for equal parenting plans, no matter which schedule you choose. 

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

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