Parents in North Carolina who are getting a divorce may need to create a parenting plan. This includes information about how they will raise their children as well as a schedule outlining when the child spends time with both parents.
A growing number of courts are encouraging parents to aim for a 50/50 split, and some parents may think the best way to manage this is by having the child spend alternating weeks with each parent. However, this can cause anxiety in children, particularly if they are younger than 12 years old. A week can seem like a long time for a young child. Instead, parents may want to look at arrangements in which the child spends three days with one parent and four with the other, switching the following week. This could be achieved with a schedule that goes 3-4-4-3, but parents could also break it down more. A 2-2-3 schedule gives the child two days with one parent, two with the other and three with the first. The following week, the other parent would have the child for the extra days.
When a 50/50 split is not workable, there are many other approaches that parents can try. For example, the child could spend weekdays with one parent and long weekends with the other, or they could follow a 5-2 schedule.
Parents may get other ideas for ways to divide time by reviewing a the Winston Salem child custody blog. Attorneys may help parents negotiate and determine a schedule that works for them and their children. Divorce does not necessarily mean that parents will end up in child custody court, and many parents are able to reach an agreement without going to court. If they must go to litigation, the standard that the court uses is the best interests of the child.