One of the most important aspects of a good parenting plan is the co-parenting schedule. With a growing number of Minnesota families sharing custody, an alternating-weeks schedule can seem like an easy way to ensure that each parent has equal parenting time. However, it’s not always in the best interests of the children or their parents. There are other options that may be a better fit, particularly for young children.
The 2-2-3 schedule, in which children spend two nights with one parent, followed by two nights with the other and then three nights back with the first parent, alternating the next week, is perhaps more complicated but often suits the needs of young children. In their early years, a week is a long time for a child to go without seeing the absent parent. Shorter, more frequent stays at each parent’s house can help children maintain strong relationships with each parent and keep both parents actively involved in the children’s lives. It also may work better with the parents’ work schedules, allowing parents to be more flexible in arranging childcare and scheduling other commitments.
Schedules that aren’t divided exactly 50/50 may also be a viable alternative. Some parents find that a 60/40 schedule addresses their situation better. One parent may have a more demanding job or live farther away from the children’s school.
Scheduling parenting time can be a complicated issue, and the simplest answer isn’t always the best one. Divorcing couples might benefit from the help of a lawyer with experience in family law. A fair parenting plan that addresses the needs of the children and the parents is a particularly important aspect of a divorce settlement that may benefit from the guidance of an attorney.