Episode 21 Transcript: 50-50 Parenting Schedules

Hi, everyone, and thank you so much for tuning in to the Divorce Field Guide. My name is Ani Mason and I’m a divorce lawyer and mediator and I’m also the creator of this podcast.

Today, we are going to be transitioning to a slightly different format for the podcast, and we are going to be focusing in mini episodes, so two or three-minute episodes, on a very specific topic or question or challenge that clients of mine have faced going through the divorce process. So, let’s get started with the first topic.

In this mini episode, we are going to be looking at 50-50 parenting schedules. As I have mentioned previously in the podcast, there are a variety of options available to parents who want to do a 50-50 parenting schedule. In this mini episode, I want to talk you through some of the most common versions of 50-50 parenting schedules that I see.

So, the first schedule that comes to mind is referred to often as a two-two-three schedule. This is basically where the parents take the four weeknights of the week, so Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday weeknights, and they split them evenly. Parent A gets Monday and Tuesday night. Parent B gets Wednesday and Thursday night. And then, the parents alternate who has the weekend nights. So, those are considered to be Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. And there are two schedules that are very similar, but slightly different, that work like this.

So, in the first schedule, which is a two-two-three schedule, Parent A has Monday, Tuesday night with the children. Parent B has Wednesday, Thursday night. And then, Parent A would have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, generally into Monday morning return to school. Then, if Parent A had the weekend, Parent B in the following week would have Monday, Tuesday night. Parent A would have Wednesday, Thursday night, and then Parent B would have the following weekend, Friday, Saturday, Sunday night into Monday morning, generally.

In that schedule, the parents are never spending more than three nights away from the child, which is something that many parents are drawn to, but they are also switching which weeknights they are with the children, so there’s not consistency week-to-week. There’s an alternating schedule. So, if you were Parent A, you would have the children Monday and Tuesday night in the first week and then, Wednesday and Thursday night in the second, and it would rotate like that, Monday, Tuesday, one week, Wednesday, Thursday, the other week.

There’s a slight variation on that schedule that we sometimes refer to as a two-two-five-five schedule, and that is basically where the parents are alternating weekends, same as the first schedule I described, and they are splitting the weeknights. So, they’re evenly splitting Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night, but the same parent has Monday and Tuesday night every single week and the same parent has Wednesday and Thursday night every single week.

There are other ways that people do 50-50 schedules. So, one that is not as common, but it is done in particular with older kids, would be a week on with one parent and week on, week off, so one week with one parent and one week with the other parent. Certainly, that approach allows the child more time to settle into his or her home with the parent, but it does also mean a lot more longer stretches away from the child for the parents and away from the parents for the child.

And then, finally, two remaining schedules that I’ve seen, one is where the parents alternate the weeknights, the four weeknights. So, Parent A has Monday night. Parent B has Tuesday night. Parent A has Wednesday. Parent B has Thursday night. It’s a lot of back and forth, but the parents are never – they’re not – away from the child for more than three nights ever. They are seeing the child very frequently during the week, and then they alternate weekends, which is basically the same thing in all of these scenarios. So, it’s Friday, Saturday, typically Sunday night with the child into Monday morning.

And then, the other type of 50-50 schedule I’ve seen is one that basically divides the week, typically on a weekend. There’s a transition over the weekend such that the parents have three and a half days exactly with the kids or in one week, one parent will have four evenings and the other parent will have three evenings. And then, in the subsequent week, the first parent will have three evenings and the second parent will have four evenings. The evening that’s different might be, for instance, a Saturday evening. So, one parent has Wednesday, Thursday, Friday evening. That’s Parent A. And then, let’s say for that week, Parent B has Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday evening. In the following week, Parent A would have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then Saturday evening, and then, Parent B would have Sunday, Monday, Tuesday evening. That’s a little bit less common, but it’s another way to slice it.

I hope this mini episode was helpful in giving you a sense of what potential 50-50 parenting schedules could look like.


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