As a part of their divorce, Washington parents need to adopt a co-parenting plan. Although many people opt for plans that include alternating weeks, they may not be ideal. There are reasons to avoid this type of arrangement.
The problem with alternating weeks co-parenting plans
If you and your former spouse end up with a shared physical custody arrangement, you might think alternating weeks is the best option. However, it’s often the wrong one for your child.
Children need stability, so shuffling back and forth from your home to your former spouse’s home on alternating weeks could be exhausting for them. Even if you live close to one another, many aspects of your child’s life could be disrupted. Even worse, your child might suffer from separation anxiety.
Alternative custody schedules to alternating weeks
You can mix up your co-parenting plan to include alternative schedules to alternating weeks. Many families enjoy the 3-4-4-3 schedule that sees the child staying with one parent for three days and the other for the next four days. After that, the first parent gets the child for four days and the other parent gets them for the next three days. Afterward, you alternate the order.
The 2-2-3 parenting schedule is also a good idea. You have your child for two days, your former spouse has them for the next two and then your child comes back to you for three days after. Once that week is up, the two of you alternate your schedule for custody.
Even the 5-2 schedule works for many families. One parent has the child for five days and the other gets them for two. You switch the schedule the following week.