School Age Child Parenting Plans and Custody Schedules (5-13 years)

Making a parenting plan for a 5- to 13-year-old

A parenting plan for a school age child has all of the information of a basic parenting plan, but it is customized to fit the needs of a 5- to 13-year-old child.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

Make My School Age Child Plan Now

Here are some things you need to know about 5- to 13-year-old children to make your parenting plan more effective.

  • School age children are more comfortable with separations from parents because of school, spending time with friends, participating in extra activities, etc. Your child will be able to handle longer separations from each parent.
  • School age children understand concepts of time and routine. You can give your child a calendar that shows the parenting time and other activities the child is involved with.
  • School age children are more independent and can be comfortable having two homes. Your child should be okay spending time in both parents' homes.
  • School age children adjust well to different parenting styles.
  • School age children are very flexible in their development and can adapt to a creative parenting plan. You have a lot of options for choosing a schedule that works for your situation.
  • School age children should be encouraged to try a lot of different activities and to be involved outside of the home. Your parenting plan should allow your child to participate in activities and both parents should be supportive.
  • School age children should be given the opportunity to talk on the phone to the other parent in private. You may want to include a provision about this in your plan.
  • School age children do better in school when both parents are involved in schooling. Your plan should allow both parents to help your child with homework, go to parent-teacher meetings, attend school activities, etc.

An older child may have opinions about the parenting plan and the custody schedule. Children should be allowed to express their feelings and you may consider their views but the parents must make the final decisions about the parenting plan.

Making a custody schedule for a 5- to 13-year-old

Your custody schedule should give your child as much contact with both parents as possible. As you make your schedule you should consider the involvement of each parent with the child before the separation, the geographical distance between the parents' homes, the parents' work schedules and commitments, and the parents' level of conflict.

For school age children, you should maintain a consistent schedule and limit the number of transitions between households. Some children will need a schedule that provides a home base while others will do well alternating between households. You should also give your child's social activities and commitments priority whenever possible.

Some common custody schedules for 5- to 13-year-olds are:

An alternating weekends schedule with a midweek evening visit.

An alternating weeks schedule where the child alternates weeks with each parent.

An every extended weekend schedule or every weekend schedule where your child spends weekdays with one parent and weekends with the other parent.

A 2-2-3 schedule where the child spends time with both parents during the week.

5- to 13-year-olds do well with many different types of custody schedules. Depending on your family situation, one of the following schedules may work for you:

You should include a holiday schedule in your custody schedule that shows where your child will be for each holiday.

You can also have a summer break schedule if you want a different residential schedule when your child is on summer break.

Development from 5 to 13 years old

Understanding some of the development of children from 5 to 13 years old can help you make a better parenting plan and custody schedule for your child.

Between the ages of 5 and 13, children develop peer and community relationships. Their friendships become very important to them and they are mostly friends with members of the same sex.

Children this age gain self-esteem as they accomplish things in school and learn new skills. Parents should encourage their children to try many activities like sports, clubs, music and scouts. There should be a balance between activities and free time because children of this age still need time to just play.

Parents should have close communication with teachers, school employees, and parents of your children's friends. This will help you know what is going on in your child's life and learn about problems quickly.

Children have many physical developments from 5 to 13 years old. Parents should help children understand what is going on with their bodies and provide appropriate information.

From 5 to 13 years, children will be exposed to many issues through television, other media, and friends. Parents must discuss issues like violence, sexuality, and substance abuse with their children. Parents should encourage their child to talk openly about concerns and express themselves without fear of punishment.

School age children are able to participate in family chores and can help around the house. Parents should communicate their expectations to their children and help them learn responsibility and work.

Children in this age group shouldn't watch more than two hours of television a day.

Get help with school age child parenting plans and schedules

Creating a plan and schedule on your own can feel overwhelming. You have to be sure to use airtight legal language and can't omit any required information.

The Custody X Change app takes the guesswork out of the equation. It walks you through each step of creating a parenting plan and helps you build a schedule piece by piece.

As a result, you get documents and calendars that meet your family's needs, as well as the court's standards.

For quick, reliable and affordable help making a parenting plan and custody schedule, turn to Custody X Change.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

Make My School Age Child Plan Now

Explore examples of common schedules

Explore common schedules

Join the 60,000+ other parents who have used our co-parenting tools

Organize your evidence

Track your expenses, journal what happens, and record actual time. Print organized, professional documents.

Co-parent civilly

Our parent-to-parent messaging system, which detects hostile language, lets you collaborate without the drama.

Get an accurate child support order

Child support is based on parenting time or overnights in most jurisdictions. Calculate time instead of estimating.

Succeed by negotiating

Explore options together with visual calendars and detailed parenting plans. Present alternatives and reach agreement.

Never forget an exchange or activity

Get push notifications and email reminders, sync with other calendar apps and share with the other parent.

Save up to $50,000 by avoiding court

Write your parenting agreement without lawyers. Our templates walk you through each step.

Make My Plan



Long distance schedules

Third party schedules


Summer break

Parenting provisions


How to make a schedule

Factors to consider

Parenting plans:

Making a parenting plan

Changing your plan

Interstate, long distance

Temporary plans

Guides by location:

Parenting plans

Scheduling guidelines

Child support calculators

Age guidelines:

Birth to 18 months

18 months to 3 years

3 to 5 years

5 to 13 years

13 to 18 years


Joint physical custody

Sole physical custody

Joint legal custody

Sole legal custody

Product features:

Software overview

Printable calendars

Parenting plan templates

Journal what happens

Expense sharing

Parenting time tracking

Calculate time & overnights

Ways to use:

Succeed by negotiating

Prepare for mediation

Get ready for court


Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

Make My School Age Child Plan Now

No thanks, I don't need a parenting plan