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Creating a child-friendly parenting schedule

Maricopa County parents who are getting a divorce may want to explore a variety of solutions for parenting time. Parents aiming for a 50/50 split, which is increasingly common, may find that for younger children, alternating weeks means too much time away from each parent. Children can develop separation anxiety as a result.

Instead, parents may want to consider having the child move between their households more frequently and breaking down the days so that the child spends four days a week with one parent and three with the other. This could mean a 3-4-4-3 schedule across two weeks or a 2-2-3 schedule across a week. For parents, this might also work better since they have the child more regularly and are not trying to arrange child care for every other week.

Parents might look at the options and decide that a 60/40 schedule is better for the child. This could mean the child spends a long weekend with one parent and weekdays with the other. The child might spend five days with one parent and two with the other or spend every other weekend with the other parent. Above all, the focus should be on the schedule that will benefit the child the most.

Parents may be able to agree on a plan for parenting time without having to go into the more adversarial atmosphere of litigation. However, in some cases, this may not be possible, and they may want to work with an attorney regarding the best strategy for a child custody hearing during a divorce. There are also circumstances in which one parent may be concerned about the child's safety with the other parent if that parent is abusive or neglectful. This might result in supervised visitation for that parent.

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