The Forgotten Shoe and the Problem with Frequent Exchanges
I have great kids, but they always are forgetting some important item – a shoe, a text book, a football jersey. Pretty much whatever you can imagine, my kids have forgotten to bring it in the car.
Many parenting plans have children spending equal time with both parents. I think this is generally a good trend. I completely support parents coming up with unique parenting plans (custody orders) that work for their specific family.
Many “modern” parenting plans are some sort of variation of a 2-2-3 plan.. (2-2-3 means, starting on Monday: 2 days with Mom, 2 days with Dad, 3 days with Mom, 2 days with Dad, 2 days with Mom, and 3 days with Dad). This type of schedule is often favored by mental health professionals, and can be “pushed” on parents in divorce cases. I recommend experimenting with this type of schedule to see if it works for you and your children.
However, if your kids typically forget one item per exchange, the number of exchanges in a 2-2-3 plan can morph from three exchanges per week, to six or more. (Plus the phone calls and coordination to arrange for the pick up of the missing item).
In my case, my former wife and I waived the white flag, and went to a 7-7 schedule (week on/week off). While items still sometimes fail to make the exchange, it is usually a once a week fix. We also have learned that it is best to have the exchange of children on the family’s “slowest” day of the week. (In my case Sundays). This allows for a more relaxed “inventory” of the items to go back and forth – and if all goes according to plan, your children will show up at the exchange with both shoes on their feet.
My point is not to push a 7/7 plan. Instead, I am recommending that you experiment and find a Parenting Plan that works best for you family.