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Parenting Schedules: A Guide to Custody Plans

Parenting Schedules A Guide to Custody Plans

Parenting Schedules: A Guide to Custody Plans

Recent changes to Florida Custody require the courts to presume that custody will be shared equally.   That does not mean that in cases where it is clearly in the best interest of the child 50/50 has to be the court’s outcome.  This only means that getting other than 50/50 custody will require proof to the courts that 50/50 custody is not appropriate in your case.  

Custody, or Time Sharing, refers to a parent’s legal responsibilities and rights regarding their child’s care, welfare, and upbringing. In divorce or separation, custody may be categorized into physical custody, which pertains to where the child resides, and legal custody, which involves decision-making authority over essential aspects of the child’s life, such as education, healthcare, and religion. 

Joint custody allows both parents to share these responsibilities, whereas sole custody assigns them to one parent. Often, the most emotionally charged and complex aspect of custody arrangements is determining how the child will divide their time between the parents.

The Need for Parenting Schedulestypes of custody plans and how a custody attorney can help create one unique for your situation

Creating parenting schedules is a crucial step in custody arrangements, providing a structured plan that outlines when the child will be with each parent, helping to establish consistency and stability in both households.

Visitation or parenting schedules are vital for children whose parents live separately. They precisely designate the days and times each parent will spend with the child, ensuring clarity and consistency in their arrangements. They provide stability and predictability, fostering continued relationships with both parents.  

Types of Parenting Schedules

Understanding different types of schedules is essential to creating a plan that suits the family’s unique needs. This article explores the 2-2-3, 2-2-5-5, and 3-4-4-3 visitation schedules, offering detailed insights into when and how they might be used and the role a child custody attorney can play in this process.

2-2-3 Schedule

The 2-2-3 Schedule involves:

  • The child spends two days with one parent.
  • Two days with the other.
  • Three days with the first parent.

This cycle then reverses the following week.

Circumstances for Utilization

This Schedule works well for families that prefer frequent exchanges and wish to maintain strong bonds with their children. It often suits younger children who may struggle with longer separations from either parent.


  • Frequent contact with both parents.
  • Flexibility to adjust the Schedule as needed.


  •  Numerous exchanges can be logistically challenging.
  • Potential instability if not managed carefully.

The following is a DRAMATIZATION AND NOT AN ACTUAL EVENT: John and Sarah, parents to a 4-year-old, sought the help of a custody attorney to explore the 2-2-3 Schedule. The attorney guided them through the pros and cons, ensuring that they understood the logistical considerations, and helped them draft an agreement that prioritized their child’s best interests.

2-2-5-5 Schedule

The 2-2-5-5 Schedule consists of the child spending two days with one parent and two days with the other, followed by five days with the first parent and five days with the second parent.

Circumstances for Utilization

This Schedule may be appropriate for older children who can handle slightly more extended periods away from each parent while maintaining regular contact.


  • Less frequent exchanges reduce logistical challenges.
  • Allows for more extended, quality time with each parent.


  • Slightly more extended periods may be difficult for younger children.
  • Requires careful coordination to maintain consistency.


Emma and James, with their 10-year-old son, worked with a custody attorney to explore the 2-2-5-5 Schedule. The attorney helped them navigate the complexities, ensuring they understood the child’s needs, school schedules, and holidays, leading to a balanced and well-crafted agreement.

3-4-4-3 Schedule

The 3-4-4-3 Schedule involves the following:

  • The child spends three days with one parent.
  • Four days with the other.
  • Four days with the first parent.
  • Three days with the second.

This Schedule repeats every two weeks.

Circumstances for Utilization2-2-5-5 and 2-2-3 custody plans

This Schedule may be suitable for families that want a balanced but less frequent exchange routine, allowing for consistent contact without excessive transitions.


  • Balanced time with both parents.
  • Reduced number of exchanges.


  • It may require more careful coordination around holidays and special events.
  • Potential issues if parents’ schedules need to be aligned.


Laura and Robert, after careful consideration and consultation with their custody attorney, chose the 3-4-4-3 Schedule for their 8-year-old daughter. Their attorney’s guidance in considering work schedules, school commitments, and their daughter’s extracurricular activities resulted in an arrangement that supported their daughter’s well-being.

Role of a Custody Attorney

A custody attorney is essential in advising and reviewing different parenting schedules with a client. Their expertise enables them to navigate the complex nuances of family dynamics, legal regulations, and the child’s best interests. When drafting parenting schedules, an attorney considers various factors, including the child’s age, special needs, school schedule, extracurricular activities, and the proximity of the parents’ residences. They also consider the parent’s work schedules, their ability to cooperate, and any specific desires or concerns they may have. 

By aligning these factors with the relevant laws and established precedents, a custody attorney can craft a fair and sustainable parenting schedule that serves the child’s well-being and respects both parents’ rights and responsibilities. The attorney’s guidance can reduce potential conflicts and ambiguities, providing a clear and enforceable framework that supports a stable and nurturing environment for the child.

Transportation of a Child and Its Effect on Parenting Scheduling 

Transportation of the child between parents’ residences is a vital consideration in shaping parenting schedules. The logistics, including the distance between homes, traffic patterns, and available transportation, can impact the feasibility of specific arrangements. Parents must decide who will be responsible for transporting the child, whether it’s one parent, both parents sharing the responsibility, or utilizing third-party services. These decisions must align with the child’s schedule for school, extracurricular activities, and other commitments.

In some cases, a custody attorney may assist in drafting specific transportation clauses in the parenting agreement to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that the child’s transitions between homes are smooth and consistent.


Choosing the proper visitation schedule is a complex and deeply personal decision. Whether opting for a 2-2-3, 2-2-5-5, or 3-4-4-3 Schedule, the guidance of a skilled custody attorney can be indispensable. By considering each family’s unique needs and preferences and employing fictional examples to illustrate real-world applications, it’s clear that these visitation schedules offer valuable options for maintaining meaningful parent-child relationships.

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