In Colorado, parents who share physical custody may alternate weeks between the parents’ homes since that is the easiest arrangement. However, what is easy does not always equate to what is best for the children. Accordingly, parents should be flexible and open to other ideas when it comes to dividing parental time.
Experts are now noting that children may experience negative emotional effects from being apart from one parent for an entire week at a time. The first problem is that the prospect of being away can cause a child to develop separation anxiety, which they must relive every week. They can grow distant from one or both parents when they do not see them for an extended period of time. Children already experience enough with a divorce, so it is best to choose a schedule that suits their emotional interests.
The alternating weeks schedule may also be difficult from a logistical perspective. In order to do what is necessary for the children, a parent will need to have a job that gives them the flexibility to leave early and come late as necessary. However, many employers are simply not willing to cut the employee a break, even if it is for the purpose of custody of the children. This can lead to scheduling problems.
Co-parenting could require a different child custody arrangement than what the parties originally thought would be ideal. A family law attorney may help their client think of different possible schedules that could still divide parental time in half while being best for the children from an emotional perspective. The attorney may then help the client negotiate with the other side to reach an arrangement that makes the most sense for the children.