Creating a Custody-Sharing Schedule that Best Serves Your Kids
After a divorce where children are involved, your number one priority is likely to be on making you’re your children feel secure and loved, and a successful visitation schedule can help toward this end. Once you’ve determined the share of time you and your co-parent will each have with your children, determining how that division of time will look logistically can be almost as challenging. Read on for guidelines on how to design a schedule that will help your children to thrive.
Find a simple schedule, and stick to it
Re-establishing a routine for your family after a divorce will help your children cope with the change of no longer living with both parents. Creating a simple schedule that both you and your ex can maintain will make it easy for both you and your children to remember, and will make it more likely that the schedule will be regular and reliable for your kids. As a bonus, if you and your ex have difficulty communicating calmly, a simple and regular schedule will require less discussion.
Put the schedule in writing
Once you’ve found a schedule that works, make sure that you create a written version, and, if possible, that a copy is lodged with the court. Not only will writing it down make it easier to remember and rely on what you agreed, but it will ensure that you and your ex are on the same page and will serve as an easy way to clear up disputes.
Consider your children’s ages when making a schedule
Your kids’ needs will evolve as they get older, and so should your visitation schedule. Younger children will require more in-person time to maintain a healthy connection with you, making it more beneficial to have a more frequent exchange of custody. Older children don’t need as much face time and will likely want to remain in the home that is closer to their friends and extracurricular activities. Instead of having an older child switch homes as often, consider allowing your child to spend longer stretches near their friends and connect with them by phone and text, and instead make up time with longer visits during school holidays or through weeknight dinner visits.
If you’re facing a dispute over child custody or a contested divorce in Central Virginia, ensure that your voice is being heard and your rights upheld in court by determined, trial-ready legal counsel by contacting the Pack Law Group for a consultation at 540-586-7225.