Designing a Timeshare for Your Custody Dispute

For many parents, putting together an effective timeshare is one of the most challenging parts of child custody cases. Knowing how to structure a good timeshare can help you develop a comprehensive, effective timeshare that will enable you to maintain a positive relationship with your child and co-parent in the short and long term.

To schedule a consultation with our team and speak with an experienced child custody attorney, contact us online or via phone at (718) 215-0121.

First Things First - Thinking About Work Schedules

Work schedules are often the defining aspect of visitation arrangements during custody cases. There are a few common types of custody timeshares that people often choose, depending on their work schedules:

  • Week on, week off. In this type of timeshare, each party gets custody every other week. It's a simple schedule that's easy to maintain, and often works best when both parties have stable work schedules.
  • 5-2, 2-5 or 3-4, 4-3 split. In this type of visitation arrangement, one parent gets custody for five days, then the other for two. Then, the first parent gets custody for two days, and the other for five. A 3-4, 4-3 split works the same way, but the number of days allocated to each parent is different. This type of schedule often works well for parents who can choose their own work schedules, enabling them to get work in when they don't have their child on hand, especially in the case of a 3-4, 4-3 split.
  • Flexible custody. In this type of arrangement, the parents simply exchange custody whenever it works best for them. This kind of schedule often only works when the parents are on good terms and want each other to spend time with their child, but it can be a boon for those with unpredictable work schedules.

Get together with your co-parent and discuss your work schedules. Talk about whether either of you may find a new job in the upcoming months that may necessitate a change in your work schedule. Making sure your custody schedule slots into your work schedule nicely is vital if you want to obtain the best outcome in your case.

Agree on a Childcare Solution

For most parents, needing childcare of some sort is a foregone conclusion. Most schools let out before five o'clock, so even if you both have a standard 9-5, there will be some period of time your child will need care before a parent can pick them up.

Agreeing on what childcare resources to use is vital if you want to maintain peace of mind. For example, if you both have relatives you can trust to look after your children, you may not need to pay for childcare. Most schools also offer complimentary after-school care. Having your child spend time with a friend and other parents you trust can also be a great solution.

However, if you don't have family or friends nearby to look after your child, you'll probably need to find a childcare provider closeby. In that case, finding a childcare provider that is affordable for both parties, and that both parents can trust, is crucial. Research and visit childcare locations together if you can, and interview the staff there. You should have full confidence that your child will receive excellent care wherever they end up.

Figure Out the School Situation & Custody Exchange Locations

Typically, whichever parent has custody a majority of the time (also known as the custodial parent) will dictate where the child goes to school, and their location will designate the child's school district. However, there are - of course - other options. For example, parents in certain custody arrangements may need to agree on a school. Other parents may choose to educate their child privately instead of using a public school district.

Whatever the case, the school your child attends will probably play a large role in where you exchange custody. Many parents exchange custody on school grounds. Others may choose a location nearby.

Ensuring you feel comfortable with the school your child attends and where you want to exchange custody is vital if you want to reduce the stress associated with your custody situation.

At Levi Divorce & Family Law Attorneys, we can help you identify and pursue an ideal visitation arrangement in your custody case. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (718) 215-0121.