This post is to assist parents to come up with the best parenting time schedule for their family. Every family is different and different schedules may or may not work for certain families or their children. It's important to always keep in mind what may work best for the parents may not be what is in the children's best interests. Younger children may prefer more frequent contact with their parents while older children may be more interested in having stability for weeks at a time without changing houses. Younger children may be more bonded with one parent than the other, so having more parenting time with that parent while the child is younger may be best for the child until the child is older and begins spending more time with the other parent. Below are some common parenting time schedules to consider and modify to suit your family's needs.
For those with questions about Holiday Schedules or how parenting time affects child support, please visit those pages for more information.
Week on/Week off - This schedule is often the first schedule parents think of when they think of "equal parenting time". While this schedule may work well for older children, this may not be in the best interests of younger children that need more frequent contact with parents. Please see below for alternative "equal parenting time" schedules. This kind of schedule sometimes incorporates a halfday evening visit on the "off week" for the other parent.
2-2-3 Schedule - This schedule is preferred by many parents because children are never away from one parent for more than 3 overnights at a time.
2-2-5 Schedule - This schedule provides more of a fixed weekly routine with the same parent always having either Monday/Tuesday or Wednesday/Thursday overnights. Some families prefer this schedule as it is easier to plan activities during the weeknights for active children. However, it does provide 5 overnights in a row to each parent, which may not be appropriate for young children.
Standard Parenting Time - This schedule is the "traditional" schedule for parenting time and was considered the norm for many years, even though courts are now leaning more towards equal parenting time schedules. This schedule still works well for many families by splitting up the year into "school year" and "summer break". During the school year, the children primarily spend their time at one house, while alternating weekends, but during the summer break, the parents alternate "week on/week off". The school year schedule may also be appropriate for very young children or those that are more bonded with one parent than the other.
Always meet with an attorney to discuss your individual parenting time schedule before agreeing to it in Court. An attorney can assist you in developing a parenting time schedule that will work for your family and will also know what the typical parenting time a Court would award, should a family not be able to agree, will be.
Attorney Allison Greenlee Korr handles cases in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and all surrounding counties, call today for a consultation. 269-381-4471