For parents who have to decide on a visitation schedule, it can sometimes be difficult to determine what the right schedule is. Sometimes, a single schedule has to have different arrangements during times of the year when a child is in school or when a holiday is coming up.
As someone who is just starting to look into custody and visitation schedules, there are a few that you should look into first. Getting to know some of the options can help you begin to design a schedule that is right for your situation and your child.
1. 50-50 schedules
When you and your spouse will share parenting responsibilities equally, choosing a 50-50 schedule is acceptable. These schedules don't mean that you have to have your child transfer back and forth daily. Instead, you can try for arrangements such as spending two weeks at one house and two weeks at the other, alternating weeks or alternating every two days. Some people prefer having three days, then four, then four, then three. The goal is to get as close to 50 percent of the time with your child as possible.
2. 80/20 schedules
When one parent isn't going to be in the child's life often or has to work too much to provide the majority of care, an 80-20 schedule could be the right choice. These often come with alternating weekends, while the primary guardian has the child the rest of the time. You can also opt for arrangements where one parent gets the first, third and fifth weekend or every third weekend of the month.
3. Out-of-state scheduling
A problem for parents who have to relocate is how to arrange custody in a fair way despite distance. In out-of-state situations, you might have long weekend visits when children are out of school, summer vacation custody or a single weekend per month where the child comes to visit.
Depending on the distance, it might be possible to have the child go to the other parent's house each weekend or every time there is a long weekend at school. In addition to the visits in person, virtual visitation, phone calls and other arrangements can be made to encourage more communication between the parent and their child.
These are a few possible visitation arrangements you could start with in your case. Developing the right one is necessary to keep your child's best interests at the forefront of your divorce.