The courts will typically approve of any parenting scheme that you and your spouse agree on. Often, cooperating parents will have a custody arrangement structured in their parenting plan and will never refer to it again, using common sense and being flexible with one another. For minor changes or occasional deviations, you do not need to go back to court. The “visitation police” are not going to come and find you.
If you are not able to work that well with your spouse, then a specific schedule is recommended. That way, you each will have the same expectations of when you will be with the children.
Since each family is unique, you need to figure out which schedule works best for you and your children. This may change as the children get older.
In Arizona, there are Model Parenting Plans which are often helpful.
Some common arrangements include the following:
- Alternating weekends beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday evening or Monday morning as well as midweek period, either for dinner or an overnight. This is considered to be basic “guide line” access. Typically, a legal Monday holiday would extend a weekend for 24 hours.
- “5-5-2-2” plan which alternates weekends and gives one parent every Monday and Tuesday overnight and the other parent every Wednesday and Thursday overnight. This is an equal time sharing scheme, or “joint physical custody.”
- “2-2-3-2-2-3” plan which alternates weekends and gives one parent Monday and Tuesday overnights one week and that same parent Wednesday and Thursday overnights the second week. This is also joint physical custody.
- One week/ one week with a mid week dinner visit. This is another joint physical custody arrangement.
Most parenting plans will include the following:
- Dividing school vacations and recesses.
- Alternating major holidays.
- Mothers Day with Mother; Fathers Day with Father.
- Reasonable telephone access.
- Vacation access.
James L. Cork II is an Associate Attorney at Fromm Smith and Gadow PC. Mr. Cork has been practicing Family Law since 2008. Mr. Cork has represented hundreds of clients in the following practice areas: Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation, Child Custody (now referred to as Parenting Time and Legal Decision-Making), Child Support, Spousal Maintenance, Paternity, and Grandparent Rights. To schedule a consultation with Mr. Cork please call 602-955-1515.
This answer is for informational purposes only. It is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship shall exist unless and until an agreement for legal services is reached between attorney and client, and a legal services contract is fully executed by and between attorney and client.