When divorcing parents want to share custody of their children, a 50-50 split might seem like the way to go. However, it often isn’t practical. One parent may have a very structured workweek and/or possibly regularly work late into the evening. That would mean their child would need to spend part of their time with that parent in the care of a babysitter.
That’s one reason many parents opt for a 60-40 split. That works out to about four days with one parent and three with the other. Often, one parent will take the child during the week, while the other will pick them up Friday after school and drop them off at school Monday morning. This can work well if the parent with the 60% portion of the split works at home or at least is able to be available for the kids before and after school.
A 60-40 split doesn’t always look the same
A “4-3” schedule like the one described above can work well when kids are old and/or mature enough to be away from one parent for a few days without getting anxious. It also minimizes parent exchanges. Most importantly for the child, it allows them to be in one home throughout the week, which can be convenient if they have after-school activities. It also provides them with a routine.
There are other schedule variations if you have a 60-40 split. Each parent can take turns having their child for the extended weekend, for example. There can be more frequent exchanges if you have a young child who has a difficult time being away from a parent for more than a couple of nights.
The schedule you decide on will depend on your child’s needs and the work schedules of both parents. Remember that it may need to change as your child gets older. However, working out a parenting schedule together is one of the first important things you’ll do as co-parents. It’s wise to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the various options and to have experienced legal guidance.