The sample schedule shown here has that mid-week visit taking place on Tuesdays, but you can choose whatever day works best for your family. Absence from one parent may seem like forever, even if it is only for a few days. Avoid including anything in your shared custody schedule that takes the toddler away from his or her existing routine too much. However, that will not meet your toddler's needs for proper growth and development. Create a custody schedule that reassures the child that their fears will not be realized. When should I revise a shared custody schedule for my toddler? Toddlers change and grow at a rapid rate, and what may be appropriate for a younger child might no longer apply to a growing toddler. The easiest way to make a shared custody schedule for toddlers, You've included what your toddler needs for proper development, Both of you participate in key moments in your toddler's life, Your toddler shows little signs of stress or anxiety, You and the other parent notice fewer miscommunications about visitation, Big changes are introduced slowly and gradually, When any third party time occurs, such as day care or time with a relative, What days parents are responsible for drop-off and pick-up from day care, Which parent is responsible for childcare when the toddler is sick, What time each holiday period begins and ends, When vacation time with each parent begins and ends. As your toddler reaches developmental milestones, you and the other parent can implement making small, gradual adjustments to the shared custody schedule. The only day that changes from week to week is Saturdays, giving a weekend day to each parent. Will the kids alternate weeks living with each of their parents, or go back and forth in some other sort of even split? It may seem simple to create a custody schedule by dividing up days on the calendar. What is a shared custody schedule for toddlers? Minimal transitions. Many families add a midweek evening visit to their alternating week's schedule, so the children never go a full week without seeing either parent. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. Many parents find it convenient to use a color coded calendar that clearly designates where the child is … A successful shared custody schedule for toddlers allows both parents to create homes where their child feels comfortable, and facilitates smooth transitions between them. caretakers as long as their cues and needs are being met, combined with regular waking, eating and sleeping schedules. When parents share joint legal custody, they both have a say in major decisions regarding the child's life, such as education, religious upbringing, and ​medical care. A successful shared custody schedule for toddlers fits what the child needs, not what you and the other parent desire. These six joint custody schedules provide for almost equal time for the kids with both parents. What makes a successful shared custody schedule for toddlers? Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. With a 2-2-3 schedule, you’ll never go more than 2-3 days without seeing your children, but there’s also not much of an opportunity to ever feel settled in. With this custody schedule, the children reside with Parent A for two days, then with Parent B for two days, then spend a long three-day weekend with Parent A. You may want to include midweek visits with this schedule. Self-comforting rituals. Frequent contact with both parents helps you and your toddler maintain positive relationships. The time spent at each location is made as equal as possible while promoting the child's best interests. What should I avoid in a shared custody schedule for toddlers? Custody X Change is software that creates custody schedules and parenting plans. Constant reassurance. Here are 4 things to keep in mind as you create a shared custody schedule for your toddler: You and the other parent can revise your shared custody schedule for several reasons--when something is not working, when major changes are on the horizon and as your toddler gets older. Moving to the other parent's home every few days can be disruptive. Display a picture of the absent parent at each home, and designate a special item that travels with the toddler. Custody X Change software makes creating a shared custody schedule easier for children of all ages. In addition to helping you create a custody schedule, Custody X Change software lets you write out parenting plans from templates suited to all ages. As with most joint physical custody schedules, this one requires that your children have fully functional bedrooms and living space in each of your homes. Jennifer Wolf is a PCI Certified Parent Coach and a strong advocate for single moms and dads. Shared custody schedules describe in detail where your child will live during the week. Many families choose to make the transition on Fridays or over the weekend, but you can choose whatever day of the week works best for you. Consider revisiting the plan every once in a while to make sure it continues to meet all of your needs. This schedule requires 3 hand-offs a week and more communication, and you don’t have the same days each week, which could cause complications for extracurricular activity schedules. Young children have the ability to comfort themselves with objects, such as a special blanket or toy. The longer duration of each parent's home might be a little less disruptive for the kids. The children live at mom's house one week, then switch over to dad's house the next week with this schedule. Above all, allow your children a voice in the planning and discussion if they're old enough.​​. Equally allotted joint physical custody (JPC) is on the rise in most of the Western world, and researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden have concluded that this is a trend in the right direction. Make adjustments to your shared custody schedule to help your toddler cope with the changes. Your shared custody schedule should address issues such as: Always remember that your toddler is a unique individual that All these plans should give you a good starting point. develops at his or her own speed. Every 3rd day schedule where your toddler spends every 3rd day with the nonresidential parent. Losing a caregiver and losing their familiar things are among the biggest fears toddlers face when going through a divorce. When you adjust the shared custody schedule to accommodate your toddler's milestones, keep in mind your toddler continues to require guidance and support even as he or she takes steps toward more independence. Adah Chung is a fact checker, writer, researcher, and occupational therapist. This custody schedule assumes that you have equal time with the kids, and that you’ll alternate every other week (so one week, Parent 2 has the kids for four days in a row; the next week, Parent 1 has the kids for four days in a row). How do I make a shared custody schedule for my toddler? If you or the other parent are making a big change, such as a move or remarrying, that's an appropriate time to revise the schedule as well. This routine is similar to the 3-3-4-4 schedule, but the children reside with Parent A for two days, then Parent B for two days, followed by five days with Parent A and five days with Parent B. This routine is similar to the 3-3-4-4 schedule, but the children reside with Parent A for two days, then Parent B for two days, followed by five days with Parent A and five days with Parent B. Custody X Change software lets you create a clear, visual calendar that you can print out or upload to your mobile devices. Transition between homes can be hard on toddlers, so structure the schedule to have as few as possible. On the following week, you flip-flop. Creating a schedule on your own can feel overwhelming. In order for your toddler to form important relationships with both parents and reach physical and emotional developmental milestones, consider what your toddler needs as you structure your shared custody schedule. The midweek overnight visit takes place on Tuesdays on the calendar shown here, but this isn't carved in stone if another night works better with your kids' extracurricular and social schedules or your work schedules. With this schedule, the children alternate residences one day a week (usually on Fridays), but they enjoy one mid-week overnight with the other parent. "We have joint custody." You make each part of your schedule, and then you can print your calendar and plan. You can tell that your shared custody schedule is successful by the following: Above all, keep your toddler's schedule predictable and consistent. Like the 3-3-4-4 day rotation, this schedule allows the children to spend Sundays and Mondays in one residence, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the other. Combine the parenting plan and the custody schedule to detail everything you and the other parent need to do to raise a happy, well-adjusted toddler. Toddlers are growing more independent but still need the reassurance that their parents are there to support them. You can tweak and adjust the schedules to meet your family's unique needs. How should a shared custody schedule for toddlers address development? In your shared custody schedule, build in a special time to call the absent parent, such as right after dinner, to maintain contact.