When New Jersey couples who have young children divorce, one of the first things they will need to figure out is a co-parenting schedule. Often, the arrangement that is recommended for those who want to fully co-parent is the 50-50 schedule, usually in the form of alternating weeks. However, this schedule is not always the ideal one for most families, particularly if the couple has children who are younger than 12.
How co-parenting schedules affect children
As families begin the co-parenting journey, children will also go through the process of adapting to major changes. If parents choose the 50-50 alternating weeks schedule, the children will go to spending an entire week without seeing one parent. While older children, such as adolescents, might adapt easily, for younger children the changes can provoke anxiety, fear and even abandonment issues. However, parents can still opt for 50-50 splits and have the children spend time with each parent each week. For even younger children, parents can also opt for 60-40 splits, where the children spend the majority of the time with the primary caretaker.
Different co-parenting schedules
There are a variety of ways parents can divide custody and visitation. These include:
- Children spending 2 days with one parent, 2 days with the other and 3 with the first parent, then switching for the next week
- Children spending 3 days with one parent, 4 days with the other parent and then switch
- Children spending weekdays with one parent and weekends with the other parent
- Children spending 4 weekdays with one parent and extended weekends with the other
Each family’s needs are unique so parents can work together to find the ideal plan that works for theirs. Understanding how each plan will affect the children should be a major factor in deciding which schedule will work.