August 2016 - Creative Custody Arrangements Can Help Children Adjust
Divorce is a difficult adjustment for everyone, especially for children. But parents can help their children cope by staying as positive as possible and being creative particularly when it comes to custody arrangements.
The trend in custody arrangements is moving away from the “every-other-weekend-and-alternate-holidays” model toward co-parenting. In the past, we thought the less we interrupted a child’s home life the better, and we were convinced that constantly moving children between two different homes added to their stress. Research has proven that wrong.
A study published last year in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health confirmed that, in cases of divorce, children who spent equal time with both parents displayed significantly fewer psychosomatic problems than those who lived primarily in single-parent homes.*
Successful co-parenting arrangements require patience, cooperation between parents, and thinking outside the box.
Alternating Weeks: One option is for children to spend one week with mom and the next with dad, choosing the transition or hand-off day that’s most convenient for all involved. For younger children, a mid-week visit with the other parent can be helpful.
The Rotation Schedule: Pick a formula – 2-2-3 or 3-3-4-4 or some other combination that ensures children get to spend both weekdays and weekends with each parent at some point during the month. Here’s what this arrangement might look like:
Week 1: Monday and Tuesday – Mom, Wednesday and Thursday – Dad, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – Mom Week 2: Monday and Tuesday – Dad, Wednesday and Thursday – Mom, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – Dad
Even well-intended arrangements may need adjustment. Factors that may warrant an adjustment to your custody arrangement include:
- The arrangement looks good on paper, but isn’t practical;
- As children age, their needs and schedules change;
- One parent is forced to relocate due to a job change or remarriage.
It’s important to note that changes to court-ordered custody arrangements require approval of the court. Your divorce attorney or mediator can help you reach the custody arrangement that works best for your family and adjust those arrangements as the need arises. – Victor Rotolo
*Source: “This Divorce Arrangement Stresses Kids Out Most,”