There are many things to think about concerning child custody schedules as newly separated parents in Illinois may be starting to find. For starters, parents should have an open line of communication with their exes for successful co-parenting. While there are other general guidelines to which parents should adhere, such as not bad-mouthing each other in front of the children, there is no right answer when it comes to custody schedules.
Ideally, and assuming both parents can care for a child, individuals should try to split custody 50-50. This arrangement caters to a child’s best interests, and it will help him or her adjust to not seeing both parents every day. If this is not feasible, there are other solutions, including 60-40 schedules. Rather than having one parent take the kids on weekends, one parent could have the kids for an extended weekend from Thursday through Sunday to get some extra time together.
When deciding on a custody schedule, parents should consider the age of their children. Younger kids will struggle if they go a full week without seeing one of their parents if custody is alternated each week. A good alternative is a 2-2-3 or a 3-4-4-3 schedule, assuming it does not interfere with a child’s school schedule. Parents of older children may find it easier to alternate between five days and two days with the kids, making it a 5-2-2-5 schedule.
Other things to keep in mind when creating a schedule are children’s birthdays and holidays. Parents should also come up with a plan for what to do if one of them has an emergency. A family law attorney can help parents come up with a comprehensive custody schedule, which can always be changed in the future as the children get older.