A look at the alternating weeks custody schedule

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Child Custody |

Parents who are no longer married want to make the best of the situation for the sake of their children. While sharing custody, creating a co-parenting schedule is crucial. Although many parents might think that alternating weeks for shared custody is ideal, there are reasons why it doesn’t work.

Understanding the alternating weeks parenting schedule

The alternating weeks parenting schedule is considered the 50/50 schedule. Some parents decide to incorporate it in their child custody plans where one has the child for a week and the other parent has their turn with the child for the next week. They alternate each week, hence the name of this parenting schedule.

Parents who choose the 50/50 parenting schedule often think that it’s an appropriate and fair way to share child custody. On paper, it seems like a good idea because the child gets to maintain their relationship with either parent. If both parents live close enough to one another, the child can also continue attending their regular school, keep their friends and continue enjoying their regular extracurricular activities.

Why alternating weeks isn’t the best schedule

Although the alternating weeks schedule is popular with some families, it’s better to avoid it. When a child spends a full week with one parent, it means they are separated from the other for that time. Although they are reunited with that parent the following week and the parenting schedule switches off, it could cause the child to develop separation anxiety or depression. The child may also have trouble adjusting week in and week out to switching environments even if their parents live close to one another.

Putting your child through this level of stress is not worth it. There are many alternatives to the alternating weeks parenting plan that can work better for everyone.



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