Parenting Schedules

Establishing a good parenting schedule is essential to support your children through the divorce.  It is important that they see both parents as much as possible given work and school schedules.

In a situation with a working parent and the other at home, parenting schedules tend to default to every other weekend and one night a week for dinner.  This means the children stay with the working parent 2 nights every two weeks. This is what it looks like and it is not a lot of time for the children.  Imagine what they will feel like, imagine if the at home parent were all of a sudden put in this position.

          Week 1        Week 2     Week 3     Week 4

M
T
W
T
F
S        WK                   WK
S        WK                   WK

If the weekend is extended from after school on Friday to Start of School on Monday and one night during the week (Wednesday) the schedule looks like this.  Much better for the children.

      Week 1      Week 2     Week 3     Week 4

M
T
W       WK            WK           WK           WK
T
F         WK                            WK
S         WK                            WK
S         WK                            WK

To further improve the schedule, if the Wednesday moves to Thursday, as long as the working parent’s schedule can accommodate the kids transportation needs, the children have significant continuous time with the both parents.  Additionally the parent with the bulk of the time with the kids now has nice long weekends available for visits with friends and family.  This is what it looks like.

       Week 1      Week 2     Week 3     Week 4
M
T
W
T        WK            WK            WK         WK
F        WK                             WK
S        WK                             WK
S        WK                             WK

Too often children are used as pawns in divorce with one parent believing that they will get more child support if they have the children more than their spouse or that they will be able to trade time with the kids for other issues.  If this is the case please try to consider the harm this is doing to your children and encourage a better schedule.

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