During your separation, you and your spouse may have a loose arrangement for making sure your children spend time with both parents. Once you move forward with a divorce, you and your divorce attorneys will need to work out an agreeable time-sharing arrangement. Often a judge will have you and the other parent come up with an arrangement where you split time equally. This rarely means one night at mom’s and then one night at dad’s house. Instead, as parents, you need to consider both work schedules and the child’s best interest to come up with a plan that works for everyone.
Suggestions for Time-Sharing Plans
Because there are seven days in week you may, at first, think that it is not possible to share time equally, however there are many ways to make sure your children get equal time with both parents. Here are a few common solutions that allow for equal time over two weeks:
- One week at each parent’s home can be a great solution when you want the kids to settle into a routine and have less disruption. Alternately, for older children, two weeks or even a month at a time may be advantageous.
- Another option may be three days at one home then four days at the other; then the following week, the arrangement is switched so the parent who previously had four days now has three. At the end of two weeks, the children have had equal time with each parent.
- You could try Two-Three-Two weeks—one parent has the three days in the middle of the week and the next week the other parent has the three days in the middle.
- Weekday/weekend switch is an arrangement where the children spend time with one parent during the week and then they go to the other parent on the weekend. The next week it is reversed.
You, the other parent, and your divorce attorneys will need to work out the ideal arrangement for your children and specific situation.
Exceptions to Equal Parenting Time
There are many instances where sharing time equally may not be feasible or in the best interest of the child or children. If a parent is not available due to long work hours or if they travel often, an equal arrangement may not be appropriate. In our last blog we noted that sometimes an older teen may have a preference that the court will consider. Of course, when one parent has been deemed unfit, they may end up with supervised visitation which generally means only a few hours at a time.
Wagstaff Law Office can help you with your divorce, divorce modification, time sharing, alimony, and child support. Our divorce attorneys can help you through the entire process whether you and your spouse want to go through mediation, collaboration, or if you need to go to court to finalize the divorce. Call us today at (727) 584-8182 to learn more about our many services.