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Transitioning between being an intact family and an intact household to one
where the parents live in different households and have to share time with
their children can be very difficult.
First and foremost, it’s very important to sit down with your co-parent if you
are able to and open the lines of communication from the very beginning.
Sit down with the school calendar. Figure out what the schedule is during
the week. Figure out the kids’ extracurricular activities, after school and on
Figure out what type of schedule would be in your children’s best interest.
For example, we have what’s called a 5-2-2-5 plan. Parent one has
Monday, Tuesday with the children. Parent two has Wednesday, Thursday
with the children, and then the parties alternate weekends from thereon
That schedule is really beneficial because it truly affords each parent equal
time during the week and on the weekends, so we do find that it is a very
popular schedule and works really well for the kids.
Another potential schedule is a 3-4-4-3 schedule. Parent one has the first
three nights. Parent two has the next four, and then parent one gets the
next four after that, and it just rotates from thereon out. Again, this is a
pretty popular schedule because it does afford each parent pretty equal
time with the kids both during the week and on the weekends.
We have seen some schedules go for one week on and one week off. I find
that this is a little bit more attainable the older the child is. However, the
younger the child is, being away from one parent for seven days at a time
can be very difficult.
We’ve also seen some people do a two week on, two week off schedule,
which, again, works best for older children, especially when the child is in
Some parents choose to do alternating weekends. So, let’s say, the father
has the majority of the time and the mother gets the kids every other
weekend. Certainly, if that’s something that you and your co-parent decide
on, that’s great.
Yet it can also be difficult because in that arrangement, mom’s not as
involved during the week with the kids. It’s also harder to be an every other
weekend parent, just by the very nature of not having much time with your
Either way, you can see that there are plenty of opportunities out there for
you to explore different types of parenting time arrangements to see what
works best for your kids.