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Child custody options: which one is right?

When parents in Illinois go through a divorce, it can be difficult to decide on a child custody schedule. A lot of parents want to have equal custody, but some plans can be better than others for a child's emotional well-being.

For instance, some parents think it would be easiest to alternate weeks with one parent having the kids from Sunday through Saturday and the other parent having the kids the following Sunday through Saturday. However, for younger children in particular, this can cause separation anxiety. If parents do decide on this schedule, it is recommended that parents spend some time with their children during their off weeks. One caveat is that visiting the kids during off days may be a challenge if the couple's divorce was not amicable.

A few options for child custody that can potentially be better than alternating weeks are the 2-2-3 and the 3-4-4-3 schedules. With the 2-2-3 schedule, one parent has the kids for two days, the other parent has the kids for two days, and the first parent has the kids for another three days; the couples alternate between who has four total days. The 3-4-4-3 schedule is similar with the parents switching off between having the kids for three or four days at a time.

Of course, couples filing for divorce do not have to agree on a 50-50 child custody schedule. Other options include giving one parent a long weekend with the children from Friday evening through Monday morning or giving one parent custody during the weekdays as long as the other parent is fine with having custody only two days per week. A family law attorney may help parents try to reach a child custody schedule amicably.

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