If you have children, one of the hardest parts of getting a divorce is figuring out how to coparent. Louisiana courts often encourage joint custody, which allows both parents to share physical custody, as well as the authority to make decisions on behalf of the child. However, in some cases, it is better for the child to live with one parent full time one parent to have while the other parent has visitation rights.
In any case, you and your ex will need to come up with a custody schedule that works for your family, while also serving the best interests of your child. If you are having trouble figuring out your schedule, consider one of the following options.
Sharing each week
If you and your ex live near each other, you may consider a schedule where the child spends part of the week with you and the other part of the week with the other parent. Here are a couple of examples:
- 2-2-3: Child spends two days (Monday and Tuesday) with you and two days with their other parent (Wednesday and Thursday), alternating each week, with alternating weekends (Friday through Sunday).
- 3-3-4-4: Child spends three days with you, followed by three days with their other parent, then four days with you, followed by four days with their other parent. This keeps the kids at one place Wednesday through Friday and another place from Sunday to Tuesday, and the only day that changes every week is Saturday.
Alternating weeks (with or without midweek visits/overnights)
Sometimes, it is better for parents with 50/50 custody to simply alternate weeks (child spends one week with you, then spends the next week with their other parent). You may also allow midweek visits and/or overnights. For example, when it is your week with the child, the other parent can visit on Wednesday evening.
School year/school breaks
When parents do not live in the same area, it can be nearly impossible to transport the child back and forth on a regular basis. In such cases, the custodial parent is often given full-time custody during the school year, while the noncustodial parent will have longer periods of time with the child when school is not in session (summer and winter break).
It can be hard to agree on custody-related matters, especially if you and your ex do not see eye to eye. A family law attorney in your area can help you navigate these custody and visitation issues and work out a plan to benefit your child.