Common Joint Custody & Parenting Schedules

Blue border with “Joint Custody and Parenting Schedules” in black lettering and the gold Freed Marcroft LLC divorce and family law attorneys logo in the lower right corner.One of the major decisions to make during a divorce is how the parenting schedule will work. Many families have some form of shared parenting schedule, where their children spend significant time with each parent. For many, the “normal” schedule is established, and then the plan is further refined to address special occasions like holidays and vacations.  There are a number of custody and parenting plans that work well for different families.

Read on to learn more and see some examples.

Background on Joint Custody & Parenting Schedules

Joint Custody is what it’s called when a court orders custody of a minor child to both parents.  There are two types of joint custody: joint legal custody and joint physical custody. Joint custody is now the presumption in Connecticut.

It’s confusing, but it’s important to note that “joint physical custody” does not necessarily mean 50%/50% parenting time.

In some cases, when there’s joint custody and shared parenting, the child will lives with one parent on a primary basis, subject to flexible and liberal visitation with the other parent.  In other cases, parents using a truly shared parenting model where each parent has substantially equal time with the child each week or each month.  The “alternating weekend with an overnight” schedule works better for other families.

The appropriateness of a particular schedule varies as parenting plans are often influenced by the child’s age, school and work schedules, and the distance between the two parents’ homes.

Read: What Does Joint Physical Custody Mean?

Read: Do I Have to Pay Child Support if We Have Joint Custody?

Common Types of Joint Parenting Schedules to Consider

There are four common parenting schedules it makes sense to familiarize yourself with.  They are:

When you click through, you will be able to see visuals of how those schedules work and reach about the pros and cons of each.

Remember — these schedules are just examples to give you a lay of the land.  They can be adapted for your children and family — or we can even create a hybrid.

Also remember that this is just the basic schedule.  Your family law attorney will help you figure out how to address things like vacations and holidays.

Things to Think About When Creating a Custody and Parenting Plan

  • Consider your work schedules and the kid’s school and activity schedules.  You want to strive to get the children high-quality parenting time with each parent.
  • Be mindful of your child’s age and stage.  What works for a young child won’t necessarily work for a teenager.  We can draft parenting plans that are mindful of those potential changes.
  • Don’t Focus on Winning or Losing.  This plan is about doing what’s best for your kids, not about how many times you have to give in or counting the exact number of hours you each have with the kids.
  • Think about the location of your home and your co-parent’s home when deciding how many transitions to have.
  • Don’t overprioritize convenience.  It’s important to remember that the purpose of your parenting schedule is to support your kids’ continuing relationship with both parents—and that requires a healthy dose of compromise.

Next Steps

For more information about Connecticut divorce and family law, check out our Divorce Information and Facts.

If you have questions or want to learn more about how our team of divorce attorneys can help you with your divorce or Post Judgment issue, please contact us either here or by phone at 860-560-8160.