If you’ve recently gone through a separation from your partner, there are a lot of things you’re no doubt sorting through for yourself. Not only do separations tend to come with a lot of mental and emotional stress, but things also get more complicated when you take into account all of the physical things that have to be parceled out once you and your partner decide to part ways romantically.
Things get doubly complicated when you throw sharing custody of children into the mix. While there are many variations to custody schedules, determining how much time (and which days) a child or children spend with either of their parents or legal guardians. Some options favor one parent over the other, and while this may be a better choice in certain circumstances, more often than not parents who are going through a divorce want to maintain as much access to their children as possible. That’s where a 50/50 custody schedule comes in!
In this article, we’ll talk a bit more about what custody schedules are, the different types that exist, and ultimately talk more in-depth about different types of 50/50 schedules to help you and your ex determine the best schedule for the two of you as well as for your child(ren).
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It can be challenging to find the right custody schedule for you and your little ones, and there are many factors you need to consider if you and your former partner are going through negotiations for shared custody.
How old your child is, how good they are at adapting to change, their daily schedule (and yours! and your co-parent’s!), as well as their schooling habits in addition to their relationships to other family members who may still live with one of you versus the other are only a few of the things you should be keeping in mind!
When it comes to different types of custody in general, there are a few different variations, such as:
- The 60/40 schedule,
- The 70/30 schedule,
- The 80/20 schedule, and, of course
- The 50/50 schedule.
There are also schedules for more complicated situations, such as long-distance schedules if one of you is planning to move out of state, as well as holiday and summer break schedules you can consider as well.
At the end of the day, choosing the best one for you depends on a variety of factors like the ones listed previously, and what should always be first and foremost in these situations is what’s ultimately best for your kids.
If you and your partner have already decided on a 50/50 schedule, wherein both of you share equal physical custody of your children, then you have some further options within this as well.
Some examples of 50/50 schedules are:
- One Week On, One Week Off
- The 2-2-3 Schedule
- The 2-2-5-5 Schedule
In the following sections, we’ll talk about each of these custody schedules more in depth and hopefully help you and your family find the most appropriate one for you!
One Week On, One Week Off
Also known as “alternating weeks,” this schedule is the simplest one to ensure that both parents are maintaining roughly equal access to their children. As the name suggests, in this arrangement your child will spend one week with you, and then the following week with their other parent, to be returned to you the week after, and so on throughout the entire year.
What’s great about this schedule is not only do you both get to spend the same amount of time with your kids, but it can be flexible to adapt to your family’s needs. You don’t necessarily need to start your week on Sunday, you can pick any day that lends itself to your needs the best, be it Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays! You could even modify it to switch off every two weeks if that would work better.
You can even schedule midweek or overnight visits with the other parent during the week if you want to make sure you’re both seeing your kids every week.
However, as good as this option looks on paper, it’s only useful in certain situations. In order for this schedule to work effectively, both parents should live relatively close to one another and be on good enough terms to communicate consistently.
The 2-2-3 Schedule
In a 2-2-3 Custody Schedule, your child will live with one parent for 2 days of the week, spend the next 2 days with the other parent, and then return to the first parent for the following 3. Then, the next week it switches. So parent number 2 would start the week with the first 2 days, then parent 1, then back to parent 2 for the last 3.
This schedule also maintains some flexibility, and–like with other schedules–you can customize it by changing the start day or the exchange times. Since this schedule means you’ll be having pretty frequent contact with your co-parent, you also want to make sure you guys can get along well enough for this schedule to work.
The 2-2-5-5 Schedule
In this 50/50 configuration, your child lives 2 days with one parent, followed by the next 2 days with the other parent, continued by 5 days with the first parent, and then returned to parent number 2 for the following 5 days. In this way, it’s a variation of an every 2-week exchange.
Depending on how you want to customize your schedule as well, you may just end up with your own variation of a 2-2-5-5, such as a 5-5-2-2, a 2-5-5-2, a 5-2-2-5, a 2-5-2-5, or a 5-2-5-2 schedule! It all just depends on how you and your co-parent want to go about things.
Divorces can be complicated, but luckily, when it comes to figuring out how you want to share custody, it doesn’t have to be! If you and your ex are considering a 50/50 custody agreement, then you have a few different options at your disposal.
At the end of the day, you just want to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your kids to make this process as easy on them as you possibly can.