March 18, 2021 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant
If you are a parent who is going through a divorce, you might be overwhelmed by the many possibilities there are for your child custody schedules. While many factors are considered while creating a child custody arrangement, the child custody schedules should be age-appropriate.
This is because divorce affects a child depending on their age, and they cope differently. Parents, therefore, should agree on age-appropriate custody schedules that are fit for the kid.
Babies and toddlers between ages 0-2 years need to see both parents frequently. Babies in this age-bracket lack long-term memory and they can lose the attachment quickly if there is no consistent or frequent contact level.
Children between the ages of 1.5-2 years experience the highest level of separation anxiety. Custody schedules for a child at this age should be planned so that each parent sees the child frequently to maintain their bond and reduce the child’s anxiety.
At the age of 3-5, here children tend to form deep attachments with their parents. While they can tolerate periods of separation, they still need frequent and consistent visits from both parents. This is the best time to create overnight schedules where a baby can spend a night with each parent.
However, at this stage, long schedules consisting of a week are highly discouraged because of a detachment that can easily occur in as little as a week’s time. Avoid alternating weeklong schedules to keep the child’s best interest in mind.
At ages 6-11 most children can handle back and forth visitation between each parent’s home with relative ease. This is the best time to have a week-on/week-off schedule.
However, some children will prefer to spend most of their time in one home instead of the 50/50 split. You can create child custody schedules depending on how mature the child seems to be, the bond between the child and each parent.
Between ages 12-18 can be a difficult one while planning custody schedules. This is because at this age children have developed their own identities. They have their own opinions regarding the relationship they have with each parent and their relationship with each other.
Some will develop feelings of anger and resentment on one or both parents for causing the divorce. Parents should be careful with children in this group and come up with flexible custody schedules where a child is also allowed a voice in the process.
While there are many factors to consider while coming up with child custody schedules, these are some of the reasons why child custody schedules should be age-appropriate.
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About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)
The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …