Joint custody is a court order that grants equal custody of the child to both parents, and it is also the most logical and effective route that parents usually take to keeping the best interests of their kids. Joint custody schedules are perfect for co-parents who wish to spend equal time with their kids by dividing their own schedules.

Samples of Different Joint Custody Schedules

Finding a suitable routine for the entire family is a must when choosing a custody schedule. Consider certain aspects, such as work schedules of both the parents, children’s school schedules, their extracurricular activities, and even the traffic, if you live a bit far away from each other.

Below are some joint custody schedules which may allow each of the parents enjoys 50 percent time with their children.

Type of Joint Custody Schedules


Alternating Weeks

This 50/50 custody schedule is quite popular among parents. According to this plan, kids will spend one week at their mother’s place, and the next week in their father’s place. While most co-parents agree to make the transition at the weekend, they can choose whatever day of the week is best for them.

Alternating Weeks with an Evening Visit or a Midweek Overnight

Parents, who worry that their kids will miss them for not seeing them during the entire week, opt for adding an additional midweek family visit to their already chosen alternating week schedule. This is how it works: while alternating midweek-evening-visit allows the family to reunite for some specific time, midweek-overnight-stay option allows the kids to spend the entire night with the other parent. Even if Tuesday is the most common one for both evening and overnight visit, parents can choose any night that works well for the entire family.

2-2-3 Day Rotation

With this shared schedule, children need to stay two days with parent A, and the following two days with parent B, then spendthe rest of the threedays with parent A. The routine flips in the next week, and parent B gets the opportunity to spend the weekend with the kids. The major advantage of this scheme is that both parents could take turns to spend weekends, while their children still spend an equal amount of time with each parent.

3-3-4-4 Day Rotation

In terms of this shared custody schedule, kids first spend three days with parent Afollowed by spending three days with parent B. Then, they spend four days with parent A and another four days with parent B. In this plan, the only thing that keeps changing week to week is Saturday. The advantage of this plan is kids always remain at one residence Wednesday through Friday, and at the other on Sundays untill Tuesday.

2-2-5-5 Day Rotation

This schedule is quite similar with 3-3-4-4 scheme. The kids spend two days with parent A followed by two days with parent B, and then spend next five days with parent A and another five days with parent B. In this scheme, the only fluctuating days are Thursday, Friday and Saturday whereas kids can always spend Sunday through Monday at one place and Tuesday to Wednesday at the other.

How to Make Joint Custody Schedules Work

Sharing the custody of the kids is not always as easy as it seems. Shuffling kids between two different residences, coordinating schedules and splitting up holidays surely seem intimidating when you try to work out all these. Thus, it is important to follow certain guidelines.

1. Don’t Badmouth Your Ex

According to many experts, you should never make any poor comment about your ex as yourbehavior might affect your kids. You have to understand that even if you are pissed off, your kids love him or her as a parent. Therefore, whether it seems justified or not, you should maintain your dignity for the sake of your kids.

2. It's About Your Kids

You must realize that unlike your divorce, the custody is about your kids. Often co-parents forget to give attention to the wishes of the kids while handling the emotional stress of divorce. You have to accept the fact that your kids are gifts to be cherished throughout your life. Joint custody can work ideallywhen you put aside your ego and focus onwhat’s the best for your kids.

3. Don’t Be Unrealistic

Frequently, parents tend to go for impractical custody plans based on insecure feelings during their separation or divorce. The best way to deal with custody planning is to keep your emotions aside and concentrate on the facts.

4. Find a Way to Communicate

The chief key to make your joint child custody effective is to follow an agreeable way of communication. For the sake of your kids, you both need to find out a suitable way of communication that works well for both of you. Nowadays, you can communicate through emailing, texting, calling, maintaining calendar, etc.

5. Make the Fighting Worthwhile

Parenting is quite hard and co-parenting is much more complex. You should always try to prevent any conflict through open communication with your ex. If a disagreement arises, you should think wisely whether fighting over the conflict seems worth or not. You have to be rational and only fight for the matters that’s truly worth.

6. Hear Your Child’s Voice

It’s a fact that kids face a hard time whenever their parents take the decision of separation. You should allow your kids to express their thoughts and let them share their confusions. Once kids observe that they are being given importance, they will be more willing to cope up with the new situation. You should always make the decision that is best for their well-being.

7. Adjust the Schedule If Needed

Several co-parents find reviews of custody arrangement time to time useful. This helps the parents assess how the chosen schedule works for their kids. And also some adjustment do need to be made when your kids grow older or circumstances change.

8. Update Contact Information

Whenever you are sharing child custody equally, both of you need to keep yourself up-to-date with each other’s current contact information. This will assure that you can contact or reach the other parent in case of emergency or any change of the plan.

9. Be Aware of Your Rights

You should know all the detailed facts of the joint custody agreementwhen sharing child custody. You should be familiar and maintain the rules and regulation like allotted time, restrictions all the way to avoid any further complicacy. Both of the parents should respect the rights of each other regarding custody agreement.

Watch this video to see how the joint custody schedules work for this single mom: