Co-parenting agreements are as unique and varied as the parents and children involved in each case.
Still, standard custody arrangements exist, and each has a typical division of custody time within them.
According to lawyers.com
, a service from the lawyer and law firm directory publisher Martindale-Hubbell, “Parents are free to come up with their own visitation plans or they can leave it up to a judge to decide. In either case, a judge will review the facts and sign off on the parents’ proposed plan or create a new visitation plan that serves the child’s best interest.”
Services like those offered by [url=https://www.talkingparents.com]Talking Parents website[/url] can help keep the best interest of children in mind with secure messaging and shared calendars to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to custody agreements.
Again from lawyers.com: “Visitation is a matter of state law, but generally speaking every state allows parents to exercise a reasonable amount of visitation with their children, which generally means enough time to establish and maintain a meaningful relationship. …The definition of what constitutes… ‘reasonable’ …will vary depending on state rules and individual circumstances.”
Common Custody Scenarios
A 50/50 schedule works the way it sounds. Parents share equal time being in custody of the child (or children). This type of arrangement benefits the child by giving equal time to each parent, allowing regular interaction and consistency.
50/50 schedules work well when parents live reasonably close to each other to facilitate child exchanges, when parents communicate well without fighting, and when the child is OK with moving regularly between parents’ homes.
Typically, 50-50 arrangements have the child alternating with one parent one week and the other the next. Sometimes the schedule will be something like the first and the third week of the month with one parent, the first and the third weekend with the other, while exchanging custody the second and fourth weeks and weekends.
Co-parents often work out a 60/40 arrangement when both parents want substantial time with the child, but a 50/50 schedule isn’t feasible.
The 60-40 arrangement works well when parents can communicate about the schedule without conflict and when the child is comfortable moving between homes. While not totally equal, the child still has a fair amount of time with each parent.
The schedule for a 60-40 agreement is essentially four days on and three days off for one parent. One typical version begins at a specified time on a given day – such as 8:30 a.m. Sunday – with the child at the first parent’s home until an exchange at 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
A 70/30 agreement may happen if the parents don’t live close to one another or when one parent works long hours or has to travel frequently. The main challenge is that one parent has significantly more visitation time with the child than the other.
There are several breakdowns of how to divide time in a 70-30 arrangement. The most common is probably the weekend schedule, where the child is with one parent during the week and the other on the weekends.
Another version might feature a pattern of two full weeks with one parent, followed by one week with the other.
In either case, co-parenting agreements often allow for some phone time or video chats with the parent who has less physical time with the child.
Keeping Track of Custody
Co-Parents create different physical and digital calendars to keep track of custody or use a custody calculator to make sure they are following agreements.
Talking Parents has a Shared Calendar (included on both Free and Premium plans) that allows parents to update custody schedules and maintains unalterable records of all events.