If you and your ex-spouse have joint custody of the kids, you will have to figure out how you are going to work out a sharing schedule. If your child is in school, chances are that one parent will have to have the child during the week and the other will have custody on the weekend. If two parents live near each other, then there is the possibility that the children can move from one house to another midway through the week without much complication. No matter what you decide to do, the key is that you write it down. Shared custody can mean that both parents get equal time with their child, or that one child has primary custody while the other parents gets to pick up the rest of the time.
The court will help you to organize your joint custody schedule based on four options. The first option for parents who have equal joint custody is to do a “week on, week off” arrangement. This means that one parent has the children for one week and then sends them to the other parent for a week. This is only feasible if the parents live near each other. If you choose this custody arrangement, you should make up a room and stock your child’s room with all the necessary items that he or she would need. This will be easier than having to pack up your child’s belongings every other weekend. In an every other week schedule, holidays are often looked at separately. That way a mother can have her children on Christmas one year, while the father may have them for Easter in exchange.
You can also arrange a 3-4 split arrangement. This is when one parent has the child three days in a row and then the other has the child for four days. This is not an equal arrangement but works better for some parents who only want their children for the weekend. A 2-2-3 split is another option for parents that want to have equal time with their kids. In this arrangement, the child spends two days with one parent, then two with the other. Then the parent who had the first two days gets the three days of the weekend with the child. The next week, the order switches, so that in the end both parents are receiving equal time with their children.
You can also split days in order to make up a joint custody agreement. This works best when parents work different shifts at work and want to have the child at different times. For example, if a mother gets the child during the day, and then works as a nurse at night, she can drop the child off at his or her father’s house. The father will then care for the child during the evening and night, drop him or her off at mom’s in the morning, and do the exact same thing every day. The parents can also alternate holidays and weekends to keep things fair.
Any joint custody schedule may call for some flexibility as things happen and there are times that a schedule may not always work in specific situations. If you believe that you are not getting the custody time you are entitled to because your spouse is constantly making excuses or stalling when it comes to returning your child, then you may want to talk to a family attorney about the issue. Contact a family lawyer at Hopper Law Office today if you have more questions about arranging joint custody and determining which option is best for you.