One of the most difficult aspects of divorce can be how to handle parenting duties once the split is final. Whether you and your ex-spouse decide to share the parenting duties, or he or she will receive limited visitation, arranging a consistent schedule can benefit everyone, especially your kids. If you are ready to divide parental duties, there are a few steps you can take to create an effective schedule, with the help of state guidelines and your attorney.
- Review State Guidelines
Many states offer guidelines for child visitation and may even be suitable for your current situation. You can ask the courts for guidance based on your children’s ages and which parent currently has custody. Your lawyer can help you find guidelines and advise you whether you need an individual or custom schedule.
- Meet with Your Ex-Spouse
One challenging aspect of setting up a visitation schedule may be getting your ex to agree with its terms. If you have more custody rights to your children, this may anger or upset your ex, who may demand more time with them. You might want to ask your lawyer if he or she can arrange mediation, which may help you and your ex reach a mutual agreement for a visitation schedule. Mediation may also be helpful if you have children of varying ages and need support for the visitation needs of each.
- Create a Detailed Schedule
Once your parenting partner agrees to the basic details of a visitation schedule, meet with him or her and your attorney to review other items of importance. For example, you may want to add specific times for drop off and pick up, where these will happen, and who will be allowed to transport the children if your ex cannot — such as his or her parents or a sibling. The more specifics you add to your visitation schedule, the fewer misunderstandings there may be.
- Add Summer and Vacation Time
You may want to remember that your child’s daily schedule will change over the summer and during times when school is closed for a week or more, such as during Christmas vacation. Making provisions for these times can help prevent arguments over who the children will see over the time period and for how long, which can have a negative impact on their emotional and mental health.
Creating a child visitation schedule that is beneficial for all involved can be difficult, but there is assistance available. Reach out to a divorce lawyer, like a divorce lawyer from the Law Office of Daniel J Wright, today for more information.