By: Tasya Rivera Martin There are many different parenting time schedules out there. What may work for one family doesn’t necessarily work for other families. Different schedules also work at different time periods in your children’s lives. When determining what schedule is in the best interests of your children and family, it is helpful to consider things like the children’s ages, their extracurricular activities, and the distance between you and the other parent. Below are examples of various schedules for you to consider. Note that each schedule discusses the number of overnights in a 14 day period. One of the factors in determining child support is the amount of overnight parenting time each parent has with the children. Refer to my prior blog “Basics of Child Support” for more details.
- Every other weekend (2 out of 14 overnights): From after school Friday until Sunday evening. This is generally the bare minimum schedule for a non-custodial parent.
- Every other weekend and one overnight per week (3 out of 14 overnights): Same as above, but with an additional overnight during the week.
- Every other weekend and two evenings per week (4 out of 14 overnights): Same as above, but with two overnights during the week (usually Tuesday and Thursday).
- Extended every other weekend and one overnight per week (5 out of 14 overnights): From after school Friday until Monday morning school drop off and an overnight during the week (usually Wednesday).
- Week on/Week off (7 out of 14 overnights): This is just like it sounds: One week the children are with one parent and the next week they are with the other. This schedule generally works with older school-aged children who have an easier time being away from each parent for a one week period of time. This is also a popular summer schedule. It is not uncommon for the off duty parent to have a midweek visit/dinner with the children.
- 2-2-3 Schedule (7 out of 14 overnights): This is where the schedule rotates Monday/Tuesday, then Wednesday/Thursday, then Friday/Saturday/Sunday, then the schedule starts over, but with the parent who didn’t have the children over the weekend.
- 2-2-5-5 Schedule (7 out of 14 overnights): This is a popular schedule because you have consistency with which parent has the children on the Monday/Tuesday and Wednesday/Thursday, unlike the 2-2-3 schedule. In the 2-2-5-5 schedule, one parent always has Monday/Tuesday, the other parent always has Wednesday/Thursday and the parents alternate the weekends.
- 3-4-4-3 Schedule (7 out of 14 overnights): This is where the child(ren) are with one parent for 3 days, the other parent for 4 days, then the first parent for 4 days, and the second parent for 3 days.
The internet has a lot to offer in terms of parenting time calendars. Below are just a few resources available online to help you create your parenting time schedule and calendar:
Remember to keep an open mind when agreeing on a parenting time schedule and remember that what may work for the present time may not work in the future. You and the other parent will need to work together in the years to come to decide if changes are necessary to the parenting time schedule in order to accommodate the changes your children go through as they get older.