One of the hardest things about getting a divorce can be figuring out child custody. Even if parents are on the same page about the amount of time their children will spend with each parent, it can be challenging to find a schedule that works for everyone. Luckily, there are many options for divorcing parents in Washington to consider.
For couples who want to share custody 50-50, one option is to alternate weeks. However, this system is not ideal for children’s emotional well-being, particularly younger children. Kids who do not see one of their parents for a week at a time can develop separation anxiety or a more serious anxiety disorder. Additionally, it may not be easy for parents to find a babysitter or nanny who is willing or able to work every other week, assuming the parents are unable to share the same child care provider.
A better custody schedule would be one where the parents alternate days more often, like a 2-2-3 or a 3-4-4-3 schedule. With the 2-2-3 schedule, one parent has the kids for two days, the other parent has the kids for two days, and then the first parent has the kids for another three days; the parents switch the following week. A 3-4-4-3 schedule is similar, but the parents only need to switch off once during the week, which could be easier for parents who live farther apart.
Parents going through a divorce in Washington may benefit from consulting with a family law attorney regarding child custody. The attorney may help negotiate for a schedule that will work best for everyone involved, whether it is a 50-50 schedule or it gives one parent more time with the children.