St. Louis Divorce Lawyers

A Brief Guide to Custody Options: the 50/50 Schedule

One of the most difficult decisions a parent has to make during a divorce is setting a schedule for seeing and spending time with their child.

parent holding child's hand

A few years back, a law went into effect with the purpose of encouraging judges to award equal custody time (50/50 custody.) However, some judges are hesitant, claiming that 50/50 custody isn’t in the best interest of the child. Instead, it may confuse them.

Are they right? How is equal custody different from the traditional one? And, should you ask your St. Louis divorce lawyer to push for it?

Types of 50/50 Schedules

While simple in theory, many realize that finding common ground when it comes to equal custody can be quite difficult.

Here are three types of schedules that might work best for both parents:

Every Other Week: This schedule is pretty forward: you have the kids for one week, from Sunday to Sunday while your ex-spouse will stay with them for the next. There’s just one exchange per week, which can limit the conflicts that may arise during drop off or pick up. However, if the other parent lives on the other side of town, then that might mean a longer commute to school or other extracurricular activities.

From Thursday Until Sunday: Another schedule that could work for some parents is picking up the kids on Thursday morning or after school and dropping them off on Sunday afternoon. The problem with this schedule is that one parent has to deal with the demands of a school week while the other gets to enjoy spending time with the kids during the weekend. You may alternate between weekdays and weekends so that you avoid a potential conflict.

The 2-2-3 Formula: It may look more like a math formula or code. And, granted, it’s the most complicated custody schedules of them all. According to it, children will spend two days of the week with one parent, two days with the other, and the remaining three days with the first parent. You switch it next week. It is a very demanding schedule that requires a lot of flexibility. So, if there is a lot of friction between you and your ex-spouse, then you may consider avoiding this method as you will have to see each other quite a lot. On the other hand, if you are on good terms and great at co-parenting, then this schedule can truly ensure equal custody.

What Should You Do?

Understandably, you want to spend as much time as possible with your kids. However, you don’t want to tire, confuse or frustrate them either. Discuss your options with your spouse and an experienced St. Louis divorce attorney to figure out the best solution for your case.

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