Custody X Change makes it easy to create your personal, customized child custody schedule. With Custody X Change, you can choose from a list of common repeating cycles, or you can create your own. After the schedule is applied to the year, you can look at the time-share percentage that each parent has so you know exactly how your visitation schedule will go in real life. Here is the way to make a custom repeating cycle of custody and visitation in Custody X Change.
If you click on the tab that says Repeating Cycle, this is what the screen looks like.
The first step is to pick which parent the child lives with. If you have a joint custody schedule, or if the child spends equal time with both parents, then pick yourself.
Next, choose the cycle type (under the default parenting plans). You can choose how many weeks your repeating cycle lasts. You can choose from one to ten weeks for your schedule. For this example, we’ll pick a a two week schedule with the father as the parent the child lives with.
Now, you can choose the start date and the time of exchanges. If you have different exchange times for every visitation, just use the default time and we’ll change it when we put in the visitation.
Next, you can put in any type of custody schedule that you want. You do this by clicking on the day that you want to change the custody and then clicking on the edge of the time to change the times.
After you put in the child visitation schedule, you can click on the Calendar tab to see how it looks when it’s applied to the year. You can also see the time-share percentage at the bottom of the screen so you know how much time each parent has with the children.
With this schedule, the mother has 50.14% and the father has 49.86%. If you don’t like the percentages, it’s easy to go back to the Repeating Cycle tab and tweak the schedule. You can experiment with as many options as you want until you find the perfect schedule for you and your child.
Parents involved in a custody situation need to learn the laws and child custody rules that guide the process of custody. Now, every state has different rules and guidelines about child custody. You can find information about your state’s custody laws at Child Custody Laws. However, there are some basic rules and guidelines that every state uses to make their laws. Here are some of those rules to help you with your case.
1. Do what is in the best interest of the child. This is the number one custody rule. Every law in every state is based on the principle of doing what is best for the child. In fact, custody laws are put in place because the child needs to be protected. Make sure that everything you do in your child custody case follows this rule. Too many times parents make the custody situation about themselves or about getting back at the other parent. It should be about doing what is best for the child.
2. Be fair to the other parent. This actually goes along with the previous rule. The mother and father need to be fair to each other during the custody proceedings, because that is best for the child. It is also best for the parents. If the mother and father can work together to come up with a parenting plan, they will both be happier with the result. It will also save countless hours of not returning to court and a lot of money in legal fees.
3. Child visitation isn’t connected to child support. Many parents feel like they can deny visitation if the other parent isn’t up to date on their child support. That’s simply not true (in any state). Child visitation and child support are two different issues. If a parent isn’t paying child support, the other parent should go to court and get the law involved. If a parent denies visitation, than the parent who is denied should go to court and get the law involved (denying visitation goes against the custody order and can be ruled as contempt).
These are just some of the child custody rules that parents should remember. Hopefully they can help your child custody case.
What changes a custody case into a dispute? It can actually happen over any number of things. Basically, if the mother and father in a custody case aren’t able to come to an agreement about their custody issues, a child custody dispute can develop. If the dispute isn’t resolved quickly enough, it can turn into a full fledged custody battle where both parents use their attorneys to fight it out in the courts. That situation rarely leads to the best custody arrangement for the children. So, here are some suggestions for parents to resolve disputes as they go along.
1. Make an effort to work with the other parent. The parents who can sit down and come up with a custody agreement or parenting plan that they both agree on are happier with the end results. They usually get fair time with the children and they save a lot of money in legal fees. Their children reap the biggest benefits from this because they get to develop relationships with both parents and they don’t have to pick a side. A mother and father should really try to work with the other parent. When there are disagreements or disputes (and there will be some) neither parent should give up and hand the case over to the courts. If both parents commit to working together, they will be able to resolve their differences.
2. Use custody software. Programs such as Custody X Change help parents resolve their custody disputes because it gives them an objective resource to help them make their parenting plan. Custody X Change also takes a lot of frustration out of making the custody and visitation schedule so that parents are less likely to be irritable. They can easily make changes to the schedule until both parents are happy. They can also view the time-share percentage so they know exactly how much time they get with the children.
3. Attend custody mediation. Mediation is another way for a mother and father to work through a child custody dispute. In mediation there is a neutral third party who helps the parents figure out what is best for the children. There is a high success rate in mediation, and it even helps couples who have high conflict relationships.
An unmarried father and mother who are no longer together have to work out their child custody situation. Unmarried parents face the same decisions as divorced parents about child custody agreements, child support, and raising the children in separate households. Here’s some information about unmarried parents and child custody that can help in making those decisions.
Before beginning a child custody case, an unmarried mother or father should make sure to establish paternity. There are several situations where this needs to happen. In some situations, the father is present at the birth or knows about the child from the beginning and is involved. He can sign a paternity acknowledgement when the baby is born or before. However, there are some situations where a man may not know he is the father of a child. The mother should approach him and tell him he is the father. If the man is unsure that he is the father, he can have a paternity test to make sure. A man should get a paternity test before he signs a paternity acknowledgement because once paternity is established the man is responsible financially and otherwise for the child. If a mother informs a man he is the father but he refuses to acknowledge paternity or take a test, she can file a paternity claim against him. This means that the court will order the man to take a paternity test. If he is the father he can sign the papers. If he doesn’t sign, he will have to go to court and prove that he isn’t the father (this is almost impossible because paternity tests are so accurate).
Once the issue of paternity is taken care of, the mother and father should come up with a custody agreement or parenting plan. These are the documents that outline how the child will be raised. It specifies which parent will have custody of the children and who has the right to make decisions about the child. The parents should also come up with a custody and visitation schedule so that the mother and father both have the opportunity to see the child. Once the agreement is set, the parents go to court and get the plan accepted as a custody order. This makes everything legally binding.
An unmarried parent who has the majority of custody of a child should receive child support from the other parent. In order to get child support started, the parent must file for child support and have the court order it. If the other parent refuses to pay, the parent can go back to court and the court will help get the money.
Unmarried parents have the same resources for child custody situations that divorced parents have. They can consult with an attorney, go to mediation, get help from the court, etc. They should use all of these resources to come up with a custody arrangement that’s best for their child.
Sometimes parents separate because they need some time to work on and figure out some marital issues. Sometimes the parents separate once they decide to divorce–and the separation is intended to be permanent. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to make provisions for child custody during separation.
In fact, it’s preferable if the parents an work out some of the custody and visitation issues before one of them leaves the house. The mother and father need to come up with a plan about how they will continue to care for their children and also how they will communicate and keep them updated during this time of great change. Here are some things to work out before separating.
1. Where will the children live? It’s generally better if the children can stay in their own home–especially if the parents don’t know how the separation period will end (meaning, they haven’t decided to divorce). This means that the children usually live with the parent who stays in the home. However, a child may be particularly attached to the parent who is leaving, and the parents may want to consider having the child go with that parent. Decide what is best for the children.
2. How will visitation work? The parents need to come up with a visitation schedule for the parent who has left. It’s very important that the children understand what is going on and that they don’t wake up to find that mom or dad has disappeared. Before a parent moves out, discuss it with the children and tell the kids when they will see mom or dad again. The parents also need to decide how visitation will work. Sometimes it is helpful for the children if the parent visits them in their own home. The parents can do this until the children are comfortable going to a new place. The mother and father should also talk about transportation to visitation and other issues.
3. How will the finances work? The mother and father need to come up with a financial plan for how they will continue to care for the children. If the separation is permanent, the child support payments should start. If the time of separation isn’t known, the parents should decide how they will cover expenses and who will pay for what.
4. How will the parents explain things to the children? If possible, both parents should sit and talk with the children. It’s very important that neither parent talks negatively about the other parent. The parents should decide the best way to explain what is going on and help their children adjust to the new circumstances.
Parents separating can be very traumatic for children. However, if the parents have a plan for how they will handle child custody and separation, they will be in a better position to help their children through the adjustment. It will also take away some of the stress during this time.
Custody X Change provides a great parenting plan template for parents who are creating their custody agreement.
This is a screen shot of the tabs in Custody X Change. In the software, you simply click on the tab to create that part of your parenting plan. Let’s briefly go over each part of the template.
1. Repeating Cycle. In this tab you set up your repeating cycle that the computer applies to the whole year. You can put in your own custom cycle or pick from a list of common cycles.
2. Vacations. You can enter in the specific dates that each parent can take the children on vacation, or you can put in an unspecified vacation clause in your agreement.
3. Holidays. Custody X Change provides a comprehensive list of common holidays people put in their custody and visitation schedules. You simply click on the holidays you want included and assign them to the parent who has custody. You also put in the times the holiday starts and stops.
4. Calendar. When you open the calendar you will see the repeating cycle and also any holidays you’ve entered. In this tab you can also add in any special events or other times when the custody changes. You simply click on the day to add the time.
5. Parenting Provisions. Custody X Change gives you a detailed list of parenting provisions to put in your plan. You simply check the ones you want. If you want provisions that aren’t listed, you can add your own.
6. Reports. You can print out your entire parenting plan. This includes reports that give a detailed account of the time-share percentage that each parent has with the children. There is also a report that spells out the custody and holiday schedule, and includes the parenting provisions.
7. Tracking. After you’ve followed the parenting plan template and your plan is in place, you can use the final tab to keep track of what actually happens. This also prints a report that shows any differences to the schedule. You can also keep notes in this tab.
Remember that you can download a free edition of Custody X Change to see how it can help you.
Step parenting brings a host of challenges to the step parent. Some of those challenges arise from complications with the child custody situation. Here are some tips for step parents about coping with some of the child custody difficulties.
1. Don’t bad mouth the child’s other parent in front of the child. If the parents are having problems with child custody, there will probably be ample opportunity to be angry and frustrated with the child’s other parent. However, it is imperative that you avoid saying negative things about that parent in front of the children. It doesn’t help the situation and your words can be used against you (the child may tell the other parent what you said). Many times your angry statements alienate the step children. The odds are pretty good that you’ll be upset with the other parent, so you need to learn to talk to an objective outsider, write down your feelings, or discuss things in private with your spouse.
2. Accept the situation. Many times step parents come into a custody situation and they feel like everything needs to change. They may feel like their spouse is being taken advantage of or that the other parent isn’t playing fair. As a step parent you simply have to accept the fact that this is the situation–and it won’t change overnight. Continually pointing out everything that is wrong with the situation won’t help things. Instead, pick one or two things that you feel should change. Discuss in depth with your spouse about why things are the way they are (there are likely many reasons you’re not aware of) and talk about ways the custody situation could improve. Work slowly to make improvements.
3. The child’s other parent will be part of your life. As a step parent, you married into a situation where there will always be another parent in the background. Don’t think that person will just disappear or that they won’t have any impact on your family. Be prepared to deal with things the best way you can and remember to keep the child’s welfare first.
Step parenting is very rewarding and has great benefits. Hopefully the child custody issues can be worked out so that everyone can enjoy things more.
Divorcing parents are going to need help figuring out all of their child custody issues. Fortunately, there are many resources for parents searching for child custody help. Here’s a brief overview of just some of the ways that parents can get help for their situation.
1. Child custody mediation. Custody mediation is a good way for parents to work out their custody agreement or parenting plan. There is a high success rate in mediation, and the parents get a personal custody coach to work through their issues. The mediator is a neutral party who helps the parents make decisions that are the best for the children. To find a mediator, look in your local phone book, check online, or ask at the courthouse. Some states require that parents go through mediation, and you can save money by going through the court mediator.
2. An attorney. This is usually the resource parents think about. Attorneys are valuable for how much they know about the law, but they are also very expensive. You can usually consult with an attorney before you retain one, and you should do so if you feel like you need a lawyer. If a parent is deeply involved in a custody battle, they may need an attorney to help them.
3. The courthouse. There should be help at the courthouse when you file your custody papers. Some courts even have a little reference library where parents can look up information about the custody laws in their state. You can also ask questions about forms and papers to the people who work at the court.
4. Online information, forums, books and other literature. Many states have pages about their custody laws and you can even find a lot of forms online. You can also find advice and forums to help you figure out some of your custody issues. Even though there is a lot of information available on the internet, don’t forget about your local library. There are numerous books that can help your with child custody and your library may have a reference section where you can learn more about the state laws.
5. Support groups. Many areas have support groups for divorced or divorcing parents that provide custody help. Check in your local paper, at the library or other public place, or online to find out more information about support groups in your area. It can be a great benefit to meet with people who have gone or are going through a similar situation that you are. And, you can get good advice about how to handle your custody situation.
6. Custody software. If you need help creating a custody agreement or parenting plan, you can get software (like Custody X Change) to help you. This can be a way to take some of the stress out of your situation and create an agreement that works for you.
If you want to change your existing child custody order, then you need to go through a process to get it modified. Now, every state has different laws and procedures that govern child custody modifications, so if you want to change your custody agreement you need to find out the specific laws where you live. But, there are some general principles about how to get a child custody modification that help regardless of where you live. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
If you want your custody order modified, you need to go through the courts. However, there are two ways to get your change accepted by the courts. If you and the other parent agree on the modification, you simply file some papers and the court accepts the change. If you and the other parent do not agree on the modification, a court date will be scheduled where both parents present their side of the case. The court will then decide if the order will be changed.
So, the first thing to do if you want a child custody modification is to approach the other parent and find out what they think. Do some preparation so you can fully explain the change you want, why you want it, and how the change will help the child. Listen to the other parent and make some compromises to the change if needed. If you can both agree on a new schedule or arrangement it will make things a lot easier.
However, if the other parent won’t discuss the issue and refuses to make any changes, you will need to prepare to present your case in court. You may want to consult with or hire an attorney to help you. You will basically need to prove to the court that the changes you are suggesting are in the best interest of the child. If you are asking for a major custody modification (like a change of custodial parent or an overhaul of a custody schedule) you should be prepared to show that the child will be harmed if these changes don’t happen.
The courts like children to have stability so they don’t look favorably on parents who are constantly trying to modify their custody order. Pick your battles carefully and don’t rush to court every chance you get. Be sure you have a good reason for wanting your order changed.
If you are worried about your child’s safety or well-being, you should file for an emergency custody modification. Check with your local courthouse to find out more information, but there should be some way you can immediately meet with a judge to share your concerns and get your child to a safe place.
If you’re a grandparent and your child is going through a divorce, you may have some concerns about the child custody situation of your grandchildren. Grandparent’s worries range from wondering how much they’ll get to see their grandchildren after the divorce or trying to decide if they should step in and try to get custody. Here is some general information about grandparent’s child custody and visitation rights.
1. If your child is going through a divorce and trying to resolve the custody situation, you can help by being supportive. Grandparents can play a big part in providing emotional and other support to their children and grandchildren at this time. They can listen to their child and offer to help take care of the grandchildren. Grandparents can also help explain things to the grandchildren and show them love and understanding during this difficult time.
2. If you are worried that neither parent is capable of providing good care for the children, you should think about becoming a legal guardian for the children or seeking custody of the kids. A legal guardian has legal responsibility for the children and can make decisions for them. This is usually a good thing for grandparents because the parents don’t have to give up their rights, but the grandparents can step in and help. Grandparents can also get custody of the grandchildren if they can prove to the court that it is in the children’s best interest to live with them.
3. Grandparents can try to maintain friendly relations with both parents. This needs to be done with care, but grandparents can offer help to both parents with regard to the grandchildren. At least, the grandparents can let the other parent know that they still want to be involved in the grandchildren’s lives and come to extra-curricular or special events. This very much depends on the parents of the children and how each one will respond.
4. A grandma and grandpa will still be able to see their grandchildren anytime their child has them in the child custody schedule. So, they shouldn’t worry too much about never seeing the grandchildren–they will still have opportunities.
Parental custody is the term used to imply the rights and duties that parents have towards their children. Basically, parents have the obligation to care and provide for their children financially, physically, emotioanally, and otherwise until their children are adults. This responsibility doesn’t change if the parents divorce or separate.
In a custody situation, parental custody can refer to one of the parents living with the children and caring for them the majority of the time. This is also called sole custody. Parents can also share custody in a joint custody situation.
If parental custody is given to one parent, the mother and father need to arrange for child visitation. Child visitation is when the child spends time with the parent who doesn’t have custody. Parents should schedule as much visitation as the child needs to maintain a good relationship with that parent.
It is up to the mother and father when they separate to come up with the right custody and visitation schedule. They should create it based on what their children need. This is how they can continue to support their children.
Both mothers and fathers need to know their child custody rights when they begin a custody case. If both parents understand their rights and obligations, it can help them to work out the best agreement for the children. Here are some of the basic rights that a mother and father should know.
1. A father has equal right to custody and visitation. Sometimes fathers think that the courts will automatically give custody to the mother so they don’t even try. Instead, the father should focus on coming up with an agreement that is the best for the child. This generally means that both parents share custody and have close to equal time with the child. If the case goes to court, the father should be prepared to prove that his plan really is the best for the child.
2. A father has the right to know he is the father of the child. If a couple is unmarried, or a married man has suspicions that his wife’s child isn’t his, a man can requent a paternity test to establish paternity. That way he knows for certain the child he is caring for is his.
3. A father has the right to help in and out of court. A father has the right to seek legal and other help during the case. He also has the right to discuss custody issues with the mother. He can also suggest the father and mother go to mediation to work things out. Sometimes parents forget that there are other ways to solve custody issues than with a lawyer.
4. A father has the right to love and provide for his children. A father has an obligation to care and support his children. It is also his right to protect and watch over them–and to be involved in raising them. He needs to remember this and fight to get the best agreement possible.
1. A mother has the right to custody and visitation. Both parents have equal claim to custody for the children. A mother shouldn’t assume that she’ll be granted custody–nor should she necessarily try for sole custody. A mother should have fair time with her child, but she should also come up with a custody and visitation agreement that works the best for the child. This usually means that the father is also involved. It also means a mother shouldn’t be intimidated and think she shouldn’t fight for custody. She also needs to be in the child’s life.
2. A mother has the right to have the support of the father of the children. An unmarried or divorced mother has the right to help from the father in raising the children. Generally, if the children are living with the mother, the mother has the right for child support from the father. She also has the right to bring a paternity suit against the man she knows is the father and have him court ordered to help if necessary.
3. A mother has the right to seek help for custody issues. A mother can always hire a lawyer if the custody case has turned into a battle. She also has the option to suggest mediation or other ways of working together. A mother should seek help before giving up on her custody situation.
4. A mother has the right to mother her children. Children need the love of their mothers. They also need their support and protection. No matter what the custody arrangement is, a mother has the right to love and provide for her children.
Parents involved in a child custody situation have a lot of questions. Here are some answers to frequently asked child custody questions.
1. Do I have to hire a lawyer? Parents do not have to hire an attorney for their custody case. Usually if the parents are able to work together on an agreement they don’t really need a lawyer. If the parents do not get along though, and if one parent is being very difficult to work with and wants to pursue full custody, you should probably hire an attorney. You should meet with an attorney and ask questions about your case to find out if they will really be that helpful. And, if you hire an attorney, you can do some things on your own (like develop a parenting plan or custody agreement) that will save you some money in legal fees.
2. What is custody court? Custody court is actually the family law court. This is the same place where you get your divorce. Custody court simply refers to the parents going to the courthouse and meeting with the judge. If the parents agree on their custody case, they judge will accept their plan. If there are disagreements, the parents and their legal counsel will present their cases and the judge will make the final decision about the custody arrangements.
3. How do I make a parenting plan or custody agreement? A parenting plan or custody agreement is the plan that outlines the information about your child custody arrangements. It includes a child custody and visitation schedule, a holiday schedule, and information about special events. It also has any parenting provisions or stipulations that the parents want to include. Parents can also put in other information about child custody that they want.
4. What is child custody mediation? If parents are not able to work out a parenting plan together, they can attend child custody mediation. This is where the parents meet with a neutral third party who knows about custody agreements. They work with the mediator to create their parenting plan so they can get it accepted by the courts. Some states require that parents go to mediation before their court day.
5. How do I win child custody? Winning child custody means that you are happy with the final custody arrangements. The best way to do this is to work with the child’s other parent to create a custody and visitation schedule that both of you like. This way the schedule will last longer and both parents will uphold it. If the other parent is impossible to work with, you should prepare to present your case to the court. You should make the parenting plan you want the court to adopt and then explain why it is best for the child.
As soon as one parent moves out of the house, or the parents separate, they need to think about what they’re going to do about child custody. Usually during this time the parents are in a stage of waiting. They are waiting to see how the separation turns out, or they are waiting for a divorce to finalize. Since the final circumstances are unclear, the parents should come up with a temporary child custody arrangement. They can do this by filing for temporary custody. Here are some suggestions if you are in the situation.
- Filing for temporary custody is similar to filing for child custody. You simply go to the courthouse (or you can look for the right forms online) and fill out some papers. In temporary custody, you will be assigned a court date within a week or two. On that date, the parents will meet with the judge in a meeting and they will work out the temporary custody agreement. The judge will put a date when the agreement ends–usually the day of the final custody hearing.
- To prepare for your temporary custody meeting, you should meet with the other parent and try to work out the custody arrangements you want. You will need to figure out where the children will live and how often they will meet with the other parent.
- Work out a custody and visitation schedule and calendar that you can show the judge. If you and the other parent can figure it out together and both agree on it, things are easier. It really is best if you both can show the judge what you want–then it will just be accepted.
- If you and the other parent are not able to work things out, you should prepare to present what you want for temporary custody. Work out a custody and visitation schedule and include a calendar. Mark out the time each parent has with the children and be prepared to explain why this is the best arrangement for the children.
- Remember that the temporary custody arrangements have a big impact on the permanent child custody arrangements. If the temporary agreement is working for the kids, the courts will usually adopt it as the permanent arrangement. So, don’t accept things for temporary custody that you wouldn’t want to last forever.
In a joint custody agreement, the parents have about equal time with the children. There are a myriad of ways to set up a joint custody schedule. You can set up an Ackerman plan, a 2/2/5/5 schedule, a 3/3/4/4 schedule, switch custody every other week or every two weeks, etc. One way to make setting up this schedule easier is to use family law software.
There are a few different types of family law software that have been developed. For setting up a custody agreement, parents can get custody family law software. The software make is easier to create joint custody schedules in a few ways.
1. It makes it easy to experiment with ideas. In order to make the best joint schedule for the parents and the children, the parents will need to play around with some different options. Custody software makes it very easy to do this. Custody X Change lets you make as many plans as you want. You can experiment with different repeating cycles and visitation until you find one that works for you.
2. The software can give you an accurate time-share percentage for each parent. While you create a calendar in Custody X Change it constantly gives you the time-share percentage that each parent has with the children. This is especially helpful in joint custody arrangements because the parents can know for sure they aree sharing time equally.
3. You can easily make changes. Usually the parents who have joint custody schedules are a little more flexible with time because they are trying to work together. If the parents need to make a change in the schedule, having it on the computer makes it easy. You don’t need to remake your entire schedule or count all of the days. You simply open the calendar, click a few times, and everything is updated.