Coming up with a custody schedule involves a lot of compromises. However, you might be able to reduce the stress of trying to create the most ideal plan, by allowing for some flexibility.
A family law attorney can help you and your ex agree on a custody plan and schedule that has structure yet isn’t exactly set in stone. For example, if you split custody 50/50, you could consider dividing parenting time by the number of days you will take care of your children each year rather than strictly having your children the second and fourth week of each month.
You probably don’t want to have your children changing homes every other day. Or it wouldn’t make sense to have them spending several months with one parent before seeing their other parent again. But allowing more flexibility can help your family deal with life’s surprises and take the shame out of asking to alter the schedule.
Easier schedule change requests
You might want to have an outline of how you will schedule parenting time. Perhaps, you will implement a cycle where you take care of the kids for three days, drop them off at your co-parent’s home for the next three days, and then repeat. But, creating and following a protocol for schedule change requests that will benefit your children in one way or another can go a long way.
For example, say you are approaching your days with the kids and realize the home renovation project you took on over the weekend is going to take a couple more days. If you and your spouse have a system in place and a mutual understanding that life can throw curveballs, then you can feel comfortable when asking to rearrange the schedule in unique situations. And, once the children return to your home, it won’t be a construction site.
Worry-free vacation planning
In addition to creating leeway for interrupting the rhythm of your regular schedule in case of emergency-type situations, being more flexible can also make holiday or vacation planning a lot easier. Designating the same parent to have the children on the same holidays or take them on vacations during the same time frame year after year can be unrealistic. Rather, revisiting your custody schedule more often than an annual basis can help you create a schedule that meets both your child’s needs and each other’s preferences.
At the end of the day, you don’t want your children’s schedule to be chaotic, but a little bit of wiggle room can make life whole lot easier.