Usually, the courts decide the parenting time schedule if parents cannot agree on one. Nevertheless, those comfortable planning their children’s schedule with the other parent can do so themselves.
As inviting as it is to create a schedule according to their preferences, parents must plan it according to what is best for their children. With this said, they should follow certain guidelines and special considerations when planning parenting time.
A child’s uniqueness mainly determines the most suitable schedule
Guidelines based on children’s age bracket and developmental stages are useful when curating the most suitable parenting time schedule. However, parents should only use these guidelines to supplement their planning. Every child has different needs and not all may fit the general patterns of children in each developmental stage.
Instead, parents should plan the schedule while considering both the guidelines and special considerations, including the following:
- The parents’ and the child’s respective routines and schedules
- The parent’s and the child’s respective health conditions
- Each parent’s relationship with the child
- Each parent’s capacity and willingness to care for the child
- The distance between parents’ homes
- Whether there are siblings that will participate in the parenting time
- The child’s relationship with other family members and relatives, such as grandparents
- The child’s relationship with blended or stepfamily members, if any
- Parenting time expenses, including transportation and similar costs
These are only some special considerations when creating a parenting time schedule. Other factors may apply to some families, while irrelevant to others.
The parenting plan goal
Creating a balanced parenting time schedule is important for the child’s overall well-being. Parents having a difficult time agreeing or determining the applicable factors can find solutions with the assistance of a legal expert on child custody matters.