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How to schedule a 50-50 parenting plan

Many parents who get a divorce discover that they can benefit from a 50-50 parenting plan in which each parent shares the joy of caring for their children 50 percent of the time. Children will have two homes and live with both parents an equal amount of time with this plan.

While the central premise of equal parenting time is a constant with the 50-50 split, parents may have varying ways of divvying up time depending on the schedules and needs of everyone involved. Here are several ways parents might divide their time in this way:

The every-other-week schedule

This schedule simply involves the children living with Parent A one week and Parent B the next. Often this schedule is the most appropriate for children beyond the age of being a toddler and can cope with being away from one parent for an extended period of time.

The every-other-2-weeks schedule

The every-other-two-weeks schedule works like the every-other-week schedule but it involves a two-week gap between visits. This schedule works better for older children above the age of 10 or even into their teens. These older children are more independent and can cope with extended periods of time away from either parent.

The 3-4-4-3, 2-2-5-5, 2-2-3 and 2-2- plans

The 3-4-4-3 plan, 2-2-5-5 plan, 2-2-3 plan and 2-2- plan are better for children who require more regular and frequent contact with their parents -- and often work well for younger children. These plans might look like this:

  • Three days with parent A
  • Four days with parent B
  • Four days with Parent A
  • Three days with Parent B
  • And so it continues

Stay flexible with your 50-50 plan

Parents may want to have some degree of flexibility -- with regard to their 50-50 child custody plans -- that allows the parents to switch between various expressions of the 50-50 split as the children grow up over the years. Perhaps parents will start out with a 3-4-4-3 plan when the children are young, and graduate into an every-other-two-weeks plan as the children mature.

If you would like to know more about the various ways to organize your 50-50 child custody plan, learn more about New York child custody law and how divorcing spouses tend to negotiate the terms of their parenting arrangements.

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