Whether you are just separating or preparing to divorce your spouse, child custody and a parenting plan are important aspects to work out. Working together to create a detailed plan will reduce the chance fights and confusion later – as it is all laid out for you in writing. So, where do you begin? Here is a list of the most important things to consider when creating your parenting schedule.
Consideration 1: Relationship Between Parents
The way your relationship ended often dictates the state of your current relationship with your co-parent. This is important to take into consideration when deciding how the child exchanges should occur. Your relationship may allow for child exchanges to happen at the home. If there is tension or any issues that would make one party feel uncomfortable about having the other at their home, then you may want to consider doing the exchanges in a public place – to encourage things to stay civil.
Consideration 2: Ages of the Children
You need to plan for the fact that your children will have different needs based on their ages. A baby or toddler may not as easily change homes as an older child. Flexibility is key here, because you need to set up your parenting schedule to reflect the needs of your children based on their ages, but also to offer flexibility for when your children change and grow. Always take into consideration any special physical and emotional needs each child may have. Remember, you don’t have to have the exact same parenting schedule for all your children. It can vary based on current needs and then be reevaluated as things change.
Consideration 3: Driving Distance Between Co-Parents
Sometimes, parents will live within minutes of each other and sometimes they will live hours or even states away. You need to take the distance and travel time into consideration when deciding a parenting schedule. For those who live a significant distance away, will you meet halfway? Have one parent drive the full distance for drop off and the other to return the kids? Consider sports and other activities your child is involved in and how transportation will work with those situations as well.
If you are dealing with child custody and parenting schedules and want an expert family law attorney to help lead you through, contact the child custody attorneys from the Pearman Law Firm at 720-259-9528 for a free initial phone consultation.
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