Parents going through a separation in Florida are likely to encounter some difficulties in finding a child custody schedule that works for everyone. Ideally, parents should share custody equally, but jobs and other life events can make this complicated. Schedules that are best for parents may not be in the best interests of the children and might not work for the parents’ childcare needs.
Typically, the easiest way for parents to share child custody is to alternate custody every other week. The downside of this plan is that it can make it harder to retain babysitters or nannies who rely on full-time work unless the parents can agree on one nanny for both houses. Trading off every other week can also be hard on younger children as it can cause them to experience separation anxiety.
A better alternative is a 2-3-3 or 3-4-4-3 schedule where one parent has custody for two or three days and then the other has custody for three or four days, respectively. These schedules work better if parents live close together since they each entail switching custody every few days.
Parents are not required to share custody exactly 50-50; they can also agree to a 40-60 split. One way to do this is by having one parent take the children over an extended weekend, such as from Thursday to Sunday.
There are many other factors to consider when creating a child custody schedule, like family holidays and birthdays. Parents should also account for their children’s after-school activities: If a child has activities on one day of the week, a parent who always gets custody on that day may want to get extra time with the child on another day. A family law attorney may help parents come up with a custody schedule that accounts for all contingencies.