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Some thoughts on the alternating weeks custody schedule

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2023 | Child Custody and Visitation

Many parents sharing custody in California try to be fair with their co-parenting plans. As a result, it’s only natural that some consider the alternating weeks schedule. However, there are some good reasons to avoid using that when creating a custody plan.

Understanding the alternating weeks parenting schedule

The alternating weeks schedule or 50/50 child custody plan is exactly as it sounds; the child stays with one parent for a full week and then spends the next week with the other parent. Each week, the parents switch. In theory, this sounds like a good idea and very simple, but there may be issues arising for the child and the parents.

Why it’s better to avoid the alternating weeks schedule

One of the biggest arguments against the alternating weeks parenting plan is that it can cause children to miss one parent too much during the week and lead to separation anxiety. This can have serious consequences not only for their mental health, but their school performance can suffer. Kids might even withdraw from their peers and favorite activities and become depressed.

If the parents live far enough away from one another, this parenting plan can also lead to other issues for the child. For example, they could experience disruptions with school, activities and friends. Even if the child doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety while alternating their weeks with their parents, these problems can be significant.

Parents can also suffer the effects of the 50/50 parenting plan. It can cause problems with a parent’s regular routine and disrupt plans. A parent could even have problems with work when they have custody of their child for a full week; for example, they might have trouble taking the child to school and getting to work on time.

The alternating weeks parenting plan isn’t the best for everyone. Some families find that the 2-2-3 or 3-3-4 schedule works better for them.