5 Reasons Why a 5-2-2-5 Parenting Time Schedule May Be Right For You
Deciding what parenting time schedule is best for you and your children may feel daunting. Parents have a variety of options and may struggle to know which schedule will work best for their family. The 5-2-2-5 is the most common equal (50/50) parenting time schedule.
What is the 5-2-2-5 Parenting Time Schedule?
This schedule involves one parent having Monday and Tuesday every week, the other parent having Wednesday and Thursday every week, and the parents alternating having parenting time on the weekends.
Reason #1 – Promotes Quality Time with Both Parents
When parents separate, one of the most difficult aspects for children is understanding how long they get to see each parent. The 5-2-2-5 parenting time schedule is designed to provide children with significant quality time with each parent. Through this schedule, the children will never go more than five days without seeing each of their parents. This can improve both the children and parent’s emotional well-being because they are always less than a week away from being able to see each other; this is especially important for younger children where it is harder to be apart from either parent for too long.
Reason #2 – Creates Consistency
A 5-2-2-5 schedule helps children and parents develop a consistent routine to limit confusion and unnecessary back and forth. Unlike a 3-2-2-3 schedule where the parties alternate all parenting days each week, a 5-2-2-5 schedule delineates clear weekdays to each parent. Parents can plan well in advance for extracurricular activities, items the children will need at both homes, and whose parenting day it is when calendar obligations arise with school. The routine this schedule provides can be positive on children’s development and personal responsibility as they are able to follow a set schedule and prepare for their upcoming days at each parent’s residence.
Reason #3 – Both Parents Are Valued
Unlike schedules where one party is the primary residential parent, an equal 5-2-2-5 schedule allows for both parents to be in their children’s lives equally and to continue building a strong bond with each. Neither parent is viewed as the ‘weekend parent’ and both parents play the same role in ensuring the minor children’s needs are met, which children recognize and appreciate.
Further, Arizona differs from some other states in that there is no gender preference given to the mother. Arizona values a father’s role in their children’s lives the same as they value the mother’s. An equal parenting time schedule accentuates the important role both parents play in their children’s development without the children feeling one parent is more important than the other due to having more parenting time. Indeed, studies have shown children tend to do better in equal parenting time situations, emotionally, physically, and behaviorally.
Reason #4 – Creates a Balance of Weekday/Weekend Parenting Time
A 5-2-2-5 schedule ensures both parents are involved in the children’s education and have extended weekend time. It is important for both parents to have a role in ensuring the children are progressing in their educational endeavors while also being able to build memories with fun activities and trips on the weekend. This schedule provides a balance to ensure one parent is not seen as the strict parent since they have the children on weekdays while the other is the fun weekend parent.
Reason #5 – Convenient for Parents
Another reason a 5-2-2-5 parenting schedule may be the best option for parents over a week-on / week-off is because it makes parenting exchanges predictable and convenient. Parenting exchanges can be high sources of stress for both children and parents. But knowing the schedule well in advance, can alleviate many of the stressors. It makes co-parenting easier because it removes any ambiguity.
Choose the Right Plan for You and Your Children
Child Psychologists have long established that children do better (in nearly every way) when both parents are involved and working together. The 5-2-2-5 Parenting Time schedule works the best for many families. But it is not the best for everyone. We encourage you to explore your parenting plan options and create the best parenting plan for you and your children.