Parents in North Carolina who make a child custody agreement in which one person is the custodial parent and the other has visitation rights have a number of options for the child custody and visitation schedule. One of the most common schedules is one in which the child spends every other weekend with the noncustodial parent.
While this is often from 6 p.m. on Friday to 6 p.m. on Sunday, the parents might agree to extend this until Monday. This can be particularly helpful if one parent is often away on weekends and has trouble getting back by Sunday evening. Some parents add a weekday evening of visitation or an overnight.
Some of these schedules work well for parents who have regular work schedules on Monday through Friday, but for parents who work the swing shift or who have other irregular work obligations, different arrangements might be needed. One parent might be responsible for picking up the child at school each day and handling homework and dinner. The noncustodial parent might have the child on weekdays, Tuesday to Thursday, instead of on weekends. As long as parents are able to keep to the schedule and offer the child the needed support, any arrangement that works for parents and children can be an effective one.
Parents might also decide they want a joint custody arrangement instead of one in which one parent only has visitation, and in this case, a variety of schedules can be suitable as well. Children could spend a few nights a week with one parent and a few nights with the other or alternate weeks at each parent’s house. A parenting plan that establishes consistent rules for both households may help the child’s sense of stability while moving back and forth, and it can also address issues such as when the child meets a parent’s new partner. Parents may work with their attorneys to work out a plan that satisfies everyone’s needs.