Favaro Parenting Schedule Model
Planning for separated parenting
The main audience for these documents is intended to be parents drafting a post-separation parenting plan or court orders.
This particular schedule comes from Peter Favaro (see details below). It is not perfect but, together with his overview of several of the issues, it provides a good basis to begin considerations, planning and development of a parenting schedule for a parenting plan or for parenting orders.
Space is provided on the worksheet to workout various drafts.
Favaro Parenting Schedule Model
The Visitation Schedule I Recommend
By Peter J. Favaro (2009)
I am partial to a particular type of shared parenting schedule that I have seen work well with both high-conflict and low-conflict divorced parents for many years. I suggest this when both parents are within a twenty (20) minute drive to school; when both parents are available to spend most of the allotted time with the child or children; and when the children are comfortable and happy with both parents. It is a two week repeating schedule.
I will explain it with notation showing how the children go from home to home with letters and symbols. The first day always represents Monday, so that the weekend can be seen as days in a row.
First designate one parent M (Mother) and the other parent F (Father) - alternatively, A and B can be used.
A singular M or F indicates the children spend the whole day with the designated parent. An M/F means the children move from Parent M to Parent F on the nominated day.
Week 1: M M M M/F F F F/M. The children are with Parent M on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for the entire day. On Thursday the children go from Parent M to Parent F. They are with Parent F on Thursday after school or in the evening (depending on the transition time). They are with Parent F all day Friday and Saturday, and they return to Parent M on Sunday evening.
Week 2: M M M M/F F F/M M. The children are with Parent M from Monday to Thursday afternoon or evening, just as in Week 1. Instead of the children coming back to Parent M on Sunday, they return on Saturday morning. This is so Parent M can have weekend time with the children.
The advantages of this schedule are:
1. The children see Parent F for some portion of fourteen (14) days out of every twenty-eight (28) days.
2. The children see Parent M for some portion of twenty-two (22) days out of every twenty-eight (28) days. The children are only out of the home of Parent M for six (6) days of every twenty-eight (28) day period.
3. The children have a regular "transition day" during the school week. Every Thursday the children go to Parent F's residence. This gives Parent F the opportunity to participate in schoolwork and other activities. Thursday is an important day to prepare for quizzes and tests, so this should satisfy Parent F's desire to be a "real parent" as opposed to merely a weekend parent.
4. Midweek visitation is eliminated in favour of blocks of parenting time for each parent. There is no need for rushed visitation, fast-food dinners or sloppy homework.
5. Because parenting time is distributed in blocks, each parent has "time off" with respect to parenting responsibilities. This is great because when it is each parent's time for parenting, they can concentrate on the children. When it is their "off" parenting time, each parent can tend to their personal responsibilities, their social lives (which should be kept away from the children) and their shopping and personal chores.
There is one drawback to this schedule: Parent M does not get to spend a "full weekend" with the children, meaning that there is no weekend where Parent M gets to have a Friday night with the children. There is a way to deal with this facet of the schedule. It is called "being reasonable." If Parent M wants to spend a Friday night with the children, she calls Parent F in advance and requests the time. Parent F obliges because Parent F wants the children to do fun things and have fun experiences. So as to make up the missed Friday night sleepover, Parent M then offers that on the next Week 1 (which is Parent F's longer block of time), the children can stay with Parent F on the Sunday night they would ordinarily return and that Parent F can take them to school on the Monday morning.
"Smart Parenting During and After Divorce", Peter J. Favaro, Ph.D. McGraw Hill, USA, 2009, Topic 37, 'How to Set Up a Long-Term Visitation Schedule', pp 147-150; ISBN-13: 978-0-07-159755-5 and ISBN-10: 0-07-159755-7, Library reference 306.89FAV.
Peter J Favaro, Ph.D., is a psychologist and executive director of Smart Parenting: The Family Center, which provides court services to high-conflict individuals and families. He has handled more than six thousand custody cases in the state of New York. To learn more, visit http://www.smartparentingfordivorcedparents.com