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Why is the alternating weeks schedule not the best?

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2023 | Child Custody |

Michigan parents who are divorced often share custody of their children. When creating a co-parenting plan, it might be tempting to go with the alternating weeks schedule. However, this might not be as good an option as you might think.

Understanding the alternating weeks plan

The alternating weeks co-parenting plan is done using a 50/50 schedule between parents who share child custody. Each parent has custody of the child for one full week; every week, they alternate their time with the child, which is why this parenting schedule is named as such.

Many parents believe that the alternating weeks co-parenting schedule is the fairest because of the way custody is split. However, it can have negative effects on both the children and their parents. Some older kids may fare well with this arrangement, but younger children might suffer from separation anxiety and miss a parent while they spend a full week away from them. This could lead to myriad problems in the child’s daily life.

Parents can also have problems with this schedule. It might be difficult to coordinate child care and have ample time to get away from work to attend all events.

Alternatives to alternating weeks

Some co-parenting schedules are better for everyone compared to the alternating weeks arrangement. The 2-2-3 schedule lets the child live with one parent two days, the other the next two and then three days with the first parent again. The 3-4-4-3 schedule is similar but sees the child spending three days with one parent, four with the other and then four with the first parent and three with the other.

These alternative co-parenting plans are often easier for children because they get to see both parents more often. Your child’s well-being should be the first priority when selecting a schedule.