Sharing Custody and Creating a Parenting Schedule: What Divorcing Parents Need to Know

When you're working through a divorce, you may find that you have a large number of decisions to make. One of the most important is how you'll share custody of your children and create a schedule you can all benefit from.

When you and your partner choose to separate, you'll have many shared decisions to make. You'll work through the terms of your divorce and decide who will keep the house and who will get the cars. You'll talk about how you'll divide your investments. You'll even need to discuss parenting schedules and custody. When children are involved in a divorce, understanding how you'll handle parenting arrangements can be tricky. Fortunately, a well-developed parenting plan can help you, your partner, and your children to deal with the divorce in a healthy way. When you're ready to get started, there are a few things you should consider.

First, decide how you'll share custody. If you and your partner are on speaking terms and can communicate openly with one another, you may be able to come up with a parenting schedule you're both happy with. For example, you may choose to share custody 50/50. You may have the kids live with one parent during the week and another on the weekends. You might even choose to have the kids spend the first half of the week at one parent's home and the second half of the week with the other parent. If you cannot come to an agreement as to how you'll divide custody, your lawyer will talk with you about legal options. Understand that in these cases, a judge may need to decide how custody will be divided.

You'll also want to consider holidays. When you and your partner share custody of a child or children, chances are that one of you will want to take the kids on vacation at some point. This can be a touchy and sensitive subject; however, it's an important topic to address. In most cases, both parents will have the opportunity to take the child on vacation at some point during the year. In your parenting plan, you can specify how long these vacations will be.

Keep in mind that no matter what type of schedule you and your partner create, you can modify this together at any point. As your child grows and their interests, hobbies, and friendships change, you may find that your parenting schedule needs to change, too. When your child is young, for example, they may want to share their time evenly between homes. As they get older, your child may want to stay at the same house more regularly in order to participate in local sports or friendship activities.

The best way to handle questions about custody arrangements and parenting plans is to reach out and speak with your attorney. They'll be able to evaluate your case and to discuss your options with you. Call today to schedule your consultation.