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Comparing the 3-4-4-3 and Alternating Weeks Schedules

Updated on February 11, 2012

The 3-4-4-3 and alternating weeks schedules both fall under 50/50 child custody. However, you will see they are very different and each has their own pros/cons. If you are considering 50/50 joint physical custody, I highly recommend you do all the research you can about the different schedule types. This article is a great starting point.

3-4-4-3 Custody Schedule

The 3-4-4-3 schedule is very simple to understand and implement. Your child spends the first three days of the week with one parent and the last four days with the other parent. The following week it switches so the first parent gets four days and the second parent has the child for three days.

The benefit of this schedule is each parent knows they have the first part of the week or the last part of the week. There is very little changing of this schedule except on Wednesday. Many families find this works well if they desire a stable, unchanging schedule. You child also has a more stable routine than other schedules available.

The downfall of this schedule is one parent has every weekend. This may work for you and your situation but you really want to consider the consequences of choosing this schedule. If you do decide to go with this schedule, make sure in your parenting plan you allow weekends for family reunions and special events.

Calendar of the 3-4-4-3 Schedule

This is a calendar of the 3-4-4-3 schedule. Here you can see how the only day that changes is Wednesday. This schedule was created on the Custody X Change software. There you can make any adjustments to the schedule you want. Time with the father is in blue and time with the mother is in pink.

Alternating Weeks Schedule

The alternating weeks schedule is also very simple to understand and implement. Both parents share equal time which their child. Your child will spend one week with you and one week with the other parent.

This schedule is great for those who also want a stable, easy to understand schedule. There is not a lot of midweek exchanges and the child gets to spend more time at each home. This schedule works very well if your child needs constancy and struggles with frequent exchanges. It is easier for your child to stay current in school, other activities, and responsibilities. This schedule is also very popular with teenagers because their life is not interrupted frequently.

The biggest concern with this schedule is some parents and/or children struggle not seeing the other parent for a whole week. This can be overcome by arranging a dinner one night a week with the non-custodial parent which allows them to stay connected.

Alternating Weeks Calendar

This is a calendar of the alternating weeks schedule. Here you can see how the schedule is very simple and easy to implement. This schedule was created on the Custody X Change software. There you can make any adjustments to the schedule you want. Time with the father is in blue and time with the mother is in pink.

Additional Resources

There is no right or wrong choice when you are choosing a custody schedule. As long as you choose the best schedule for you, the other parent, and your child, it will work fine. There might be some adjustments at first but hang in there.

For additional help or information, I highly recommend you use the below links to learn more about the schedules above. This website also has additional schedules and information on child custody.


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