By Jedidiah McKeehan

When individuals who have children get divorced they are required to enter in to a “Parenting Plan.” This plan dictates who gets the children on what dates. This plan stays in place until the children turn 18 or graduate from high school, whichever comes later.

The plan will have a day to day schedule that covers most of the days of the year, with holidays being dealt with specifically in the plan. For example, the parents might alternate year to year the Thanksgiving holiday, or the mother might get every 4th of July and father gets every Labor Day.

As to the day to day schedule, what does that look like? Most people are familiar with the absentee father getting visitation every other weekend, however, many parents these days are pushing for a 50/50 custody plan.

How do you implement a 50/50 plan though when there are 7 days a week? Most people use a 2-week time period for exchanging children. Some parents decide to do week on, week off visitation. This does not always work though, because many parents do not want to go a full week without seeing their children.

Another option is to do an alternating 4/3 schedule. That means that one parent would get Monday and Tuesday each week, the other parent would get Wednesday and Thursday, and then the parents would alternate weekends with the children.

What happens during the summer when the children are not in school? Typically, the children will stay on the same schedule but each parent will get a week or two of uninterrupted visitation so that they can go on vacation with the children somewhere.

Likewise, on the Christmas holiday from school, one parent will take the children from when they get out of school until December 24 or 25 at some agreed upon time, and then the other parent will get the children until they return to school. The parents have the option of alternating who gets the children first or second if they desire or they can keep the same schedule every year.

Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.