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Sharing custody? Here are some options for parenting schedules

After divorced parents in Texas settle on shared custody, they will need to work out a parenting schedule. If done correctly, a parenting schedule can meet the various needs of all the family members while still offering flexibility when unexpected situations or emergencies come up.

Sharing physical custody means that the children will divide the time they spend with each parent into about equal amounts. How this looks in each family can be quite different, because designing the parenting schedule requires considering several factors, including:

  • Each parent’s work and personal schedule
  • The child’s age
  • The child’s school and extracurricular schedules
  • The locations of the child’s school, care center and activities in relation to each parent’s house

Parenting schedule options

The most straightforward way to split shared custody is through alternating weeks, where children spend one week with one parent and the next with the other parent. Other options for shared parenting schedules involve dividing the days of the week, which can be done in a variety of combinations. These include:

  • Children spending two days with one parent, two days with the other parent, then five days with each parent
  • Children spending three days with each parent followed by four days with each parent
  • Children spending two days with one parent, two days with the other parent, then the long 3-day weekend with the first parent and flipping the order the next week

In all these options, the schedule is focused on splitting the time as equally as possible while also allowing both parents to have time with their children during the weekends. As needs in the family change, parents and children, when they are old enough, should be able to discuss the schedule and make any adjustments necessary.