If you and your co-parent are planning to share physical custody of your children equally, you may be talking about a 50-50 split. However, 60-40 splits have become popular.
Some parents may balk at the idea of having their children less than their co-parent. It’s important to realize that while one parent may technically have custody of the kids 60% of the time, that doesn’t mean that they’re with them more. They may be in school for much of that 60% custody time, for example. It depends on what kind of schedule you work out.
There are a number of different schedules that you can have under a 60-40 custody split. Let’s look at the most common ones:
Long weekends: This is where the parent with 60% custody typically has the kids from Monday morning until Friday afternoon. The other parent picks the kids up from school on Friday, has them over the weekend, and takes them to school Monday morning.
This schedule provides consistency. It might also be best if one parent works long hours during the week and couldn’t always be there for the kids after school. However, the parent who has the kids during the week doesn’t have as much free time with them.
4-3 schedule: This can be set up the same as a “long weekend” schedule, or you can work it out so that the parent with 60% custody gets the kids Wednesday through Saturday and the other parent gets them Sunday through Tuesday. This gives both parents some weekend time with their kids.
2-2-3 schedule: Parents with younger children or kids who don’t do well away from one parent for very long sometimes choose this schedule. The parent with 60% custody gets the kids for two days, the parent with 40% custody gets them for the next two days and then returns them to the other parent for three days.
Which schedule you choose will depend partly on how close you and your co-parent live to one another and to your children’s schools. It will also depend on your work schedule.
Whatever custody schedule you work out in your original custody agreement is likely to change as your kids get older and their needs and other circumstances change. Your attorney can help you work to negotiate the schedule you believe is best for your children and any modifications later on.