Many separated parents in Virginia accept the common wisdom that switching off weeks between households in the best way to implement a 50-50 custody schedule. In this case, however, the conventional wisdom might not always be the best solution for the children.
Parents will usually opt for this custody schedule since it is considered to be easy and simple. There is little to dispute when the calendar says that the child is with their mother one week and their father the next. However, this may look past what is best for the child emotionally.
When a child begins a week with one parent, it is a full week until they can see the other parent. This can have a psychological effect and create a distance between the child and both parents. It may also cause separation anxiety because saying goodbye means not seeing the other parent for an entire week. While the weekly approach seems easy, it often requires communication among the exes between the weeks as the children might want to speak with the other parent.
Some analysts suggest an approach that is more flexible and allows both the needs of the children and the parents to be met. There are numerous alternate arrangements that require a little imagination but can be rewarding for the children.
A family law attorney can help a divorced parent devise a custody arrangement that works well for everyone involved. Exes may need a third party with experience in custody matters to make suggestions for them to consider, and this is where a family lawyer can come in handy. A lawyer could help diffuse potentially tense situations and look after the best interests of the kids and client.