Should I choose alternate week parenting?

When California parents decide to dissolve their marriages, they immediately wonder what the best custody arrangement is. While a custody arrangement that involves parents alternating weeks is a popular option, some experts now report that it may not be the best option. If you’re considering this type of custody arrangement, look at some of the potential drawbacks that this arrangement creates for your child.

Is 50/50 possible?

While most family law judges try to ensure that both parents get to spend ample time with their children, there are instances in which true 50/50 custody isn’t possible. When one parent has a complicated work schedule or the parents don’t live in the same area, 50/50 custody becomes significantly more difficult. If 50/50 custody isn’t possible in your situation, alternating weeks will not work.

Separation issues

Many divorced parents believe alternating weeks is the best option because it ensures that Mom and Dad get the same amount of time with their child. However, experts agree that forcing your child to spend a week without one of their parents is difficult for them. This is especially true among younger children who don’t fully understand the concept of alternating weeks.

Considering your child’s age

There aren’t any uniform custody arrangements that perfectly suit every couple. Just like every divorce is unique, every child’s needs are unique. However, when determining whether to choose an alternating-week custody arrangement, your child’s age should play a role in your choice.

This parenting method often works for teenagers, especially those who can drive. Older children better understand time, and being able to drive between their parents makes things easier for them. Conversely, younger children don’t always understand what a week is or why they can’t see one of their parents.

There are plenty of other custody options available. When making your co-parenting plan, consider your child’s age, their unique needs, and the viability of a standard 50/50 arrangement.

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