Texas parents who are getting a divorce and who are trying to work out a plan in which their children spend roughly half their time with each parent might think it will be easiest to simply have the children spend alternating weeks with each of them. However, for children younger than 12, this arrangement could induce separation anxiety. A week can feel like a long time for young children.
Alternating weeks may be difficult for one or both parents as well. It could be hard for them to rearrange their schedule every other week to get the child to and from school or to arrange child care every other week. One alternative is a 2-2-3 approach in which the child spends two days with one parent, two with the other and then goes back to the first for three days. The following week, the parents switch. Parents can also do a kind of switch with a 3-4-4-3 schedule to keep the days equal.
Sometimes a 50/50 schedule is not practical. Other options could involve children having a long weekend with one parent and weekdays with the other parent or even every other weekend with one parent. The most important thing to consider is how the child’s life will be affected by the parenting plan.
Parents do not necessarily have to go to court to reach a decision on child custody and visitation after divorce. Many are able to make an agreement out of court, and this can give them the flexibility to create a solution that works for them and their children. If they do have to turn to litigation, a judge will base the decision on the best interests of the child. As children get older and their needs change, parents may need to have the schedule modified.