Shared custody arrangements in California can vary tremendously depending on the needs of the child and the work schedules and availability and willingness of each parent.
The are several classic schedules that are common in divorce cases. There’s the one week on and one week off, with a dinner with the opposite parent during each week as well. Another is referred to as the two-two-three schedule. This schedule allows each parent to get two consecutive days each week, the other parent getting the next two days each week, and alternating the weekends.
For example, let’s say Mom gets every Monday and Tuesday, Dad gets every Wednesday and Thursday and then parents alternate each weekend so they get equal weekend time with the child.
There are so many variations in custody schedules as well but these two are fairly common and allow for a good a balance of contact for both parents.
What kind of child custody arrangements are there for parent who do not live close to each other or who live in different states?
If parents are living outside of a reasonable car commuting distance, then there may be options of the child flying to see the other parent one or two weekends per month, and then school holidays, and several weeks in the summer.
This type of child custody arrangement of course depends on the financial resources of the parents to be able to afford schedules that require frequent plane trips. With an out-of-state situation, even one weekend a month may be difficult to manage for both parents and the child. That often leaves holiday trips and summer trips as the only contact points for the parent who lives out of California.
Does the parent’s gender influence who gets child custody in California?
Usually it is more the gender and age of the child that influence who may get to be the primary custodial parent, than automatically the mom versus the dad. We no longer have a typical scenario where mom always has custody and dad is the visitor parent. Society has become much more balanced in its outlook and the court’s practice reflects that changed attitude. These days much will depend on the respective work schedules of each parent and their availability and the nature of the relationship each parent has with the child.
For example, in a situation where a father with a flexible work schedule and a mother has a nine-to-five job, the father may get maybe equal if not more custody because he is simply able to be physically around more often and more easily. Then sometimes there are situations where a child is just closer to one parent than the other, and sometimes it can be that the teenage girl is closer to her mother in that particular stage in life, the same applies to a teenage boy.
A lot depends on the ages of the children, what may work at 6, 7 & 8 may not work for slightly older children and will need to be adjusted.