Some of the most difficult and important issues you will address during divorce proceedings will relate to children from the marriage. In a divorce, child support will need to be decided and a parenting schedule will need to be ironed out. There are many moving parts that can make drafting a parenting schedule extremely complicated. Here are some things that you should keep in mind when developing a parenting schedule that will be best for everyone, especially the children.
What to Consider in a Parenting Schedule
Ideally, both parents and the children will be comfortable with the arrangement set forth in the parenting schedule. While it can be a big change for all involved, a well-established parenting plan will help provide stability and structure. It is important for expectations to be clearly set and for everyone involved to understand what the parenting schedule involves.
2. The Age of the Children
To create the most effective parenting schedule, it is critical to consider the children. The age, temperament, and special needs of a child need to be taken into account when developing a parenting plan. Younger children, such as babies and toddlers, will need to see each parent more frequently than say a teenager would need to. Not only are teenagers not as dependent on face-time with both parents, but there are often extracurricular and social activities that take up more time for them.
3. A Child’s Temperament
Additionally, the temperament of a child is important to consider. Some children tend to be more flexible and adaptable which will give you more wiggle room in creating a parenting schedule. Other children need and demand consistency. Keep in mind the unique qualities of your child. You can always modify your schedule later on as the children mature. Also, you should take into account any special needs of a child in the parenting schedule. Some children require certain things to address such as medical, developmental, and other needs. Give space for these things in your parenting schedule.
4. The Practicalities
There are also practicalities to consider when developing a parenting plan. For instance, the work schedules of both parents will be important when developing a schedule. One parent could work weekends; another parent may work nights. It makes the most sense to develop a plan where the kids are scheduled to visit the parent who is not working. Scheduling time with the parent most available will allow the parent to really maximize the time spent with the children. You will also want to consider where each parent lives in relation to things like the child’s school and other activities. These are logistical matters that must be taken into consideration in order to develop a streamlined parenting schedule that is efficient and maximizes the quality of time the child will spend with each parent.
Holidays should also be addressed in the parenting schedule. Holidays can be incredibly personal or not really all that important. It all depends on the person and the family. If one parent is very personally invested in a holiday and the other is not, it would be a good idea to allow the parent who considers a holiday important to have that time with the kids.
Florida Divorce Attorneys
At Orlando Family Team, our dedicated divorce attorneys are committed to helping families make a major transition. We work with our clients to make sure the specific needs of their children and the whole family are taken into account when developing important plans such as a parenting schedule. Contact us today.