Why is the alternating weeks custody schedule not ideal?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2023 | Child Custody |

Parents in New Hampshire who are no longer married or together must work on deciding how to divide custody of their children. While some might think that alternating weeks is the fairest option, it’s not the best. These are reasons to avoid it and some better alternatives.

Understanding the alternating weeks schedule

When devising a schedule for child custody and parenting time, a standard option is to alternate weeks. Also known as the 50/50 co-parenting schedule, it involves having the child stay with one parent one week and then the other parent the next. This custody schedule is alternated in the same way week after week.

Although it might sound like a good idea, it has downsides. Children can easily develop separation anxiety when they spend an entire week away from one parent. It could lead to more significant issues like depression. It’s also hard for the parents because it can strain their daily routine.

Alternatives to the 50/50 plan

Older kids might do well with the 50/50 custody plan. However, parents with younger children may want to consider something different. The 2-2-3, 3-4-4-3 or even 5-2 schedule may work much better. The child can split their time up more with each parent.

The 2-2-3 co-parenting schedule means the child spends two days with one parent, two with the other parent and three days with the first parent again. With the 3-4-4-3 schedule, one parent has the child for three days of the week and the other gets them for the remaining four. Parents then alternate that the following week.

The 5-2 custody schedule might be better for adolescents. The child stays with one parent for five days and the other for the other two. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a full week/weekend situation.

A dramatic change in the family dynamic is stressful for everyone, especially the kids. Finding the right parenting schedule can ease things.