When you are trying to successfully co-parent after a divorce, a solid parenting plan that addresses time sharing in as much detail as possible can be an integral and foundational need to fill. A well drafted parenting plan, however, is easier said than done. It involves balancing the time commitments and priorities of both parents as well as that of the children. A child’s schedule can be so much more than just accounting for school. It can include school events, doctors’ appointments, extracurricular activities. It can also be important to address holiday time sharing schedules and much more. As you embark on the development of your parenting plan, keep in mind what you understand about your children and their needs. You are better situated than any other to know what this includes and it will be essential in developing your parenting plan.
How Should You Address Time Sharing in Your Parenting Plan?
Every family is different and that is why there really is no one size fits all parenting plan to address the best time sharing schedule for you and your own family. As a starting point, you may want to consider some of the more commonly employed rotations for those parents with shared custody. Understand, however, that these are just a starting point. Flexibility in crafting the plan and an ability to communicate effectively with your co-parent will be important throughout this process and beyond.
For some families, a biweekly parenting schedule works best. This can often be the preferred arrangement when the children are older and have busier schedules. It can also be more accommodating for parents that live farther apart from each other. A biweekly schedule means that the kids spend one week at one parent’s house and then the next week at the other parents. As with any parenting time schedule, you and your coparent should work out as many specifics as possible of the plan, including when exchanges should take place and where the exchanges will occur. If going a full week with the kids at the other parent’s house seems too long, you can provide for a middle of the week overnight, or something along those lines, if the other parent is amenable to such an arrangement.
Alternatively, a 2-2-3 schedule may sound like a better fit. The arrangement means that the children go with one parent for 2 days, the other parent for 2 days, and back to the first parent for three days, and so on and so forth. The upside of such an arrangement is that neither parent has to go for a very long stretch without seeing the kids. The downside is, of course, that there are frequent exchanges which can be disruptive to the kids’ schedules.
There are also plenty of rotations that do not involve an equal split in parenting time. Sometimes, parenting time will mean that the children stay with the custodial parent except for visits to the noncustodial parent every other weekend. Sometimes, the noncustodial parent will have midday visitations and other times may arrange for shorter overnight stays.
Family Law Attorneys
At Navarrete & Schwartz, we understand that every family has different needs. We are here to take your unique needs into consideration in all aspects of the divorce process, including creating a parenting plan that you are comfortable with. We are proud to serve the residence of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.