If you are considering divorce or are going through the process of determining custody of shared children, you are likely aware that the process can be quite overwhelming emotionally. The good news is that Missouri courts prioritize equal access to children whenever possible, by encouraging 50/50 custody schedules for co-parents.
It is not always intuitive how to divide a child’s time perfectly in half, but some existing schedules already exist. In this article, we will explore some of the more popular options for shared 50/50 custody schedules, but you also always have the freedom to create a schedule that perfectly meets your needs in cooperation with your co-parent.
St. Charles County Shared Custody Schedules
As a starting point, it is always ideal to see if you and your co-parent are able to mutually agree to a custody agreement. If you and your co-parent are able to agree on custody, all you have to do is submit your proposed agreement and plan to the court. The judge will then review the proposed plan to ensure that it is in the best interest of the child. Assuming it is, the plan will be approved and will go into effect.
Compliance with the plan is then required by law, and deviating from the plan can result in you being held in contempt of court. It is important to understand that just because you created the parameters of the plan does not mean that you have the flexibility to change or alter them whenever you want. Alterations can be made, but they require formal modifications made by the court.
If you and your co-parent are unable to come to an agreed-upon parenting schedule, either on your own or with the help of a lawyer or mediator, the decision will be left to the court. Each parent will have the opportunity to submit a proposed parenting plan and the judge will make a determination as to what plan would be in the child’s best interest.
Types of 50/50 Custody Schedules in Missouri
It is harder than it seems to split a person’s time perfectly in half, so there are a number of existing schedules that demonstrate how it can be done. Two popular child custody schedules are described here:
- 3-4-4-3 Schedule. It is especially hard to divide a week in half for the basic reason it totals an odd number of days. The 3-4-4-3 plan compensates for that by allowing a child to spend three days with one parent and four days with another one week, and then alternate for the following week so that each parent receives equal time over a two-week period.
- Alternative Weeks Schedule. Some parents feel that less moving around creates more stability for a child, so they prefer the alternative weeks’ schedule. This schedule allows the child to stay with one parent for one full week and then the other parent for the next full week, alternating back and forth.
You should always keep in mind what’s best for your child. The last thing you want to do is create unnecessary stress when the divorce or separation alone is stressful.
Compassionate Family Law Attorney in St. Charles County MO
If you are pursuing custody of your children, it is important to have a trusted family law advocate on your side to fight for the best possible outcome for you and your family. We, at Johnson Law Firm, LLC in St. Peters, Missouri, are here to help you navigate what can otherwise be a complicated and frustrating process. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.