An excellent way to minimize the possibility of conflict in a child custody situation is to make up a schedule for parenting time that agrees with both parents and the child. Meeting with your spouse or ex-spouse to craft a well planned visitation schedule may take patience, time, and effort, but it will certainly produce good results over time.
A well thought out visitation schedule will benefit the whole family. Everyone should be more assured about the custody situation once it is done. It should allow your child to better adjust to any new situations caused by your divorce. Also, deciding on parenting time with your spouse may keep the court from making a schedule both parties are not agreeable to.
The most elemental visitation schedule is the repeating cycle. First, write out your most wanted visitation and custody schedule over a few weeks’ time, and then notice if and when the schedule repeats itself. If you observe that both of you alternate weeks, then this is thought of as a two-week schedule. If the schedule repeats after four weeks, then this is called, of course, a four-week schedule. One advantage of the repeating cycle is the ability for both parents and child to plan vacations and events in advance.
A common schedule is for one parent to take custody of the child through the week, usually when the child is in school, while the other parent takes custody on the weekend.
There are things to remember when crafting a child visitation schedule. You should plan for regular weekdays and weekends, certainly, but also for holidays. Make a list of the national, school, and religious holidays you want in your schedule. Then take a look at your work and school calendars. Decide on the best way of splitting the holidays between you and your spouse. In an ideal world, both you and the other parent should have about the same amount of holidays with your child. You may agree to change around all or some of the holidays every year.
Once dividing the holidays is done, get a feeling for other special occasions – including birthdays, graduations, school vacations, and any out-of-town trips. Calendar time for soccer games, recitals, and other events that come up throughout the year. Put in the dates you are presently aware of and come back to the schedule later on.
Now, identify any changeable terms and conditions that might help manage the custody situation better. These items could include rules or guidelines about transportation in between visits, and best practices to making changes to the schedule.
Remember that compromise between both parents is an essential aspect of any child visitation schedule. You and your spouse should not just be considerate of each other’s wants and needs, but place your child’s well being above all by putting as little disruption and stress to their lives as possible.