Sharing child custody effectively

Co-parenting in New Jersey may be difficult for parents who work busy schedules, but sharing custody and coordinating on matters relevant to the child’s upbringing will ultimately make a divorce easier on a child. Even if it is not feasible to agree to a 50-50 child custody split, both parents can still be involved and regularly see their children with a 60-40 or even a 70-30 split, which could involve having one parent see the kids over extended weekends or weekends.

For parents who have a harder time switching child custody during the week, the only feasible option for a 50-50 child custody schedule may be to alternate weeks, with one parent having custody from Sunday through Saturday and then switching. Though this schedule may work for teenagers, it can potentially lead to emotional problems for younger children, who may struggle with separation anxiety.

A better option for parents who are sharing custody of younger children is to alternate custody every three or four days, known as a 3-4-4-3 schedule. A similar schedule is the 2-2-3 schedule, but this would involve trading off more than once per week, which can be challenging for some parents. Another consideration for some parents is the ease or difficulty of hiring a nanny or a babysitter.

Ideally, parents should be able to coexist and attend their child’s birthdays and other special occasions together. In reality, tensions can be so high between parents that they find themselves needing to trade custody on holidays or birthdays. Even if parents are initially on good terms, sentiments can change, and it is best to have a child custody schedule reduced to writing. A New Jersey-licensed family law attorney may be able to help parents draft an agreement and account for any possible disruptions to the plan.

FindLaw Network