Parents going through a divorce in Louisiana already know that child custody can be a painful battle. Though it used to be the case that women would usually retain full custody of the kids, more and more men are exercising their right to share custody. Though a 50-50 split may be seen as the fairest to the parents and the children, some shared child custody schedules are more problematic than others.
For instance, one way that parents may handle joint custody is to alternate weeks. This may involve one parent having the children from Sunday through Saturday while the other has them the following Sunday through Saturday. For many children — particularly younger ones — this can be emotionally difficult. Being away from one parent for a full week can trigger separation anxiety. Additionally, it may be more of a challenge for one parent to retain childcare on an every-other-week basis.
A better option for parents doing a 50-50 child custody schedule would be to alternate every three to four days. Under a 3-4-4-3 schedule, one parent has the kids for three days, then the other has the kids for four days, then the first parent has the children for four days, and so on. The 2-2-3 schedule has a similar idea, but the parents would switch custody more times during the week (which could be more of a challenge for parents who live farther apart).
If switching custody during the week is too much of a challenge, and if parents are willing to agree to an uneven time split, they could agree to trade off for the weekends or for an extended weekend (starting on Friday). Regardless of the eventual outcome, parents can benefit from having a Louisiana family law attorney representing them during child custody negotiations.