2-2-5 Parenting Plan Pros and Cons
First Rule: Children First
The first rule of any parenting plan is the child’s best interests. I firmly believe that if the children are ok, nothing else matters. Conversely, if the children are NOT ok, nothing else matters.
Child development is critical to formulating a good parenting plan. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to parenting plans. Children may need more of mom sometimes, and more of dad other times.
Some children cannot go 1 night without their parents; while others can hide away all summer at camp without so much one FaceTime call with their parents.
My eldest has always been so independent. Last year, at age 10, she took a class trip to Paris for 12 days. My youngest (3 years younger) has never spent a night outside of our home.
Children are all different.
Children are also incredibly resilient. A divorce is a restructuring of family whereby they will learn to adapt to two different homes.
Culture also plays a factor in formulating parenting plans. Some cultures still believe it’s better for children to be with their mothers. There are some cultures that also believe that ONE home is more stable and better for the children. If the two parents are from the same culture, and have the same beliefs, it is easier for them to reach a parenting plan.
If culture is a problem, I encourage working with a parenting plan coordinator rather than two (2) attorneys litigating. They are more adept at generating solutions for conflict in custody cases.
If there are attorneys involved, I recommend you hire attorneys who are familiar with child development (or have their own children!)
Simple concepts like breastfeeding, detachment anxiety, and overnight visits will be completely unfamiliar to someone without children.
The problem is, many parents in a divorce are not thinking in terms of their children. Divorce is a VERY stressful time. Many parents are DROWNING in financial straits and the torrential downpour of new responsibilities of having separate residences. Divorce is basically MOVING (super stressful) while juggling children and HATING the other side.
Eventually the hate subsides (in most cases, not all), but there is still the stress of the restructure.
Sample Parenting Plans
Weekdays and Weekends (2-2-5 or 2-2-3 or 2-2-5-5 or 3-4 4-3)
The one thing these parenting plans share is that the children see both parents every week on both weekdays and weekends.
With 2-2-5 parenting plan, parent A always gets Monday Tuesday, parent B Wednesday Thursdays and they alternate weekends. The longest the child goes without seeing one parent is 5 days.
With 2-2-3 parenting plan, parent A gets Monday Tuesday, parent B Wednesday Thursday, parent A gets the weekend, the parent B gets Monday Tuesday. The longest the child goes without seeing one parent is 3 days.
Children get equal time with both parents – both on weekdays and weekends. Weekdays are often strictly dictated by homework, feeding, bedtime. Weekends are the fun times. Children get the strict and fun part of each parent.
Some children don’t like being “shuffled” around during the weekdays. If your child is less inclined for change, the better plan would be 2-2-5 over 2-2-3, because at least with 2-2-5, they have the stability of Mondays and Tuesdays with the SAME parent.
Week On, Week Off
With this, the children spend one week with parent A, and one week with parent B.
This schedule is less change, so may work for older children. It’s also a better schedule for parents who live far away from each other.
This schedule is better for parents who have conflict with each other, as there are less exchanges.
7 days without one parent may not work for the younger children. Week on, week off may interfere with activities, such as piano, where only 1 parent has a piano. If the piano lessons are weekly, the week on without the piano will result in skipping that lesson.