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A Great Child Custody Schedule for Divorced Parents

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In a heated divorce battle, child custody can be an emotionally charged subject. But once the dust settles, if the parents can put their own issues behind them and focus on the best interests of the children, the topic can become incredibly dry. In the end, it’s simply valuable information that several readers have asked for and I need to address. Trying to keep things light, I’ve pimped this post in typical Dad’s House style.
So fasten your seat belt and get ready for a rockin’ kick-ass custody schedule that any divorced parent living in the same town as their ex could use. (Feel free to pass it on to Madonna, Dr. Phil, Shania Twain, and other celebrity divorce couples. And if you can ignore my parenthetical attempts at humor, you’ll find some valuable tips here.)
My ex-wife and I share joint custody of our children. Through eight years of divorce, we’ve successfully used the same custody schedule for our two-home parenting. Since we have 50/50 custody and are both actively involved in our kids’ lives, we wanted a plan that allows each of us time with the kids every week. Here’s our plan. It works great. (Hear that, Madonna, Dr. Phil, and Shania Twain?)
Monday, Tuesday nights – kids are at mom’s house
Wednesday, Thursday nights – kids are at dad’s house
Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights – we alternate weekends
Transitions from one home to the other happen through school. For instance, on Tuesday night the kids sleep at their moms, and on Wednesday morning they go to school from her house. After school, they come to my house and sleep there Wednesday night. On Friday morning, or Monday after a weekend with me, they transition back to their mom’s. (If you and your ex are jet-setting celebs, always on-the-go, this won’t work.)
We liked this plan better than simply alternating weeks. By splitting each week down the middle, my ex-wife and I can sign up for scheduled activities at night, like a writing class or a running group. Also, on any given weeknight our friends and neighbors know which house the kids are staying in. That makes play dates and hanging out easier to plan. Plus, my availability for dates and booty calls is more predictable. (Thankfully, I don’t have paparazzi following me around.)
Clothing travels back and forth between homes, depending on what the kids wear to school. So do bikes and skateboards and backpacks. Toys stay in each home, so games are often different between mom’s house and dad’s house. Lesser used items like ski clothes and boogie boards are bought for them once and used by whichever parent is taking them to the snow or beach.
We swap major holidays – for instance, I get the kids for Thanksgiving in even numbered years. And we alternate summers for big vacation trips.
Birthdays and special occasions, however, are quite a different beast. And I’ve got the stories to prove. Blogging fodder for a future post, and something that won’t be so dry…