Potential issues with alternate week co-parenting plans

On Behalf of | Jul 18, 2023 | Child Custody & Support |

It’s common for divorced or separated parents in Colorado to share custody of their children. When they’re granted equal time with their kids, the alternating weeks or 50/50 co-parenting plan might seem natural. However, there are good reasons why this arrangement may not be the best.

Understanding the alternating weeks schedule

Parents with shared child custody who choose the alternating weeks co-parenting plan think they are doing the fair thing. This involves splitting up their time with their child where one parent has custody one week and the other gets the child the following week. This plan might work with older kids in their teens, but many younger children can have problems with it. The 50/50 schedule means that the child is away from a parent for a full week, which can lead to separation anxiety. The child might suffer at school and have trouble sleeping and coping overall.

The alternating weeks co-parenting plan could also be problematic for parents. Depending on a parent’s plans or work schedule, they might have issues having their child in their home for a full seven days. Another issue that might arise is conflict between parents if they aren’t on the best terms; with the child staying with one parent for a full week, it makes it necessary for the former spouses to have more contact throughout that week.

Alternatives to alternating weeks

If the alternating weeks co-parenting plan doesn’t work for your family, there are plenty of good alternatives. The 2-2-3 schedule lets each parent have custody for two days and then swap so that the first has the child for three days. The following week, the parents switch up their time.

Another good option is the 3-4-4-3 schedule. The child spends three days with one parent and the remaining four days of the week with the other parent. The next week, the parents swap their time with the child. Even the 5-2 schedule is appropriate for some families. The child is with one parent for five days and spends two days with the other.

Alternating weeks can work with the right circumstances. However, younger kids often fare better with different co-parenting arrangements.