Maximizing Parenting Time
How to maximize parenting time using Custody X Change to quickly examine options, such as how the vacations and holidays interact with the regular schedule, and how time with neither parent is allocated.
Creating a successful parenting time schedule means setting up a calendar that is fair for both parents and allows the most possible time with the children.
With Custody X Change, you can easily calculate a schedule that maximizes the time you have with your children without upsetting the other parent.
You can do this by:
- Using the timeshare calculations to see how much time each parent has with the children
- Making a fair holiday schedule
- Including summer breaks and vacation time in your schedule
- Choosing the right exchange times
- Examining the uses of 3rd party time
- Picking the right start date for your schedule
When you make a parenting time schedule using Custody X Change, the software displays the exact timeshare percentage for your schedule. The timeshare percentage is the percentage of time that the children are with either parent.
For example, one schedule might show the mother with 67 percent and the father with 33 percent. Another schedule's timeshare calculation may show the mother with 52 percent and the father with 48 percent.
While making your schedule, you can look at the timeshare totals to see what percentage of the time you really have with the children. As you experiment with different schedules, the software automatically reveals how those percentages change.
The ability to check the timeshare percentages as you set up the parenting time schedule is a key factor in dividing up parenting time fairly.
Custody X Change makes it easy to experiment with holiday schedules so that you can use the holidays to increase the time you have with your children.
By carefully assigning the holidays between the parents, you can increase the time you have with your children. As you set up your holiday schedule, you'll be able to see the timeshare percentage that each parent has with the children. This can help you maximize your time.
Remember the smaller holidays. Most parents remember to put the big holidays into their schedule, like Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving. You can also include smaller holidays like Columbus Day and Veterans Day. In your schedule, include as many holidays as possible so that you can have more time with your children. Don't forget religious holidays, state holidays, and school holidays.
Adjust pick-up and drop-off times. When you schedule your holidays, make them last as long as possible. Some holidays make sense as weekend time, and you can try to get the entire weekend. For other holidays, you can schedule earlier pick-up times sooner and later drop-off times.
Choose holidays that aren't in your scheduled parenting time. When you set up your schedule in the software, you first choose a residential schedule. Then, look through the calendar to see what holidays fall into your already allotted visitation time. When it comes time to divide holidays, choose ones where you don't have the children already.
Scheduling the right kind of summer break and vacation time is an easy and fair way to increase your time with the children.
Summer and school breaks: Everyone's schedules are more structured during the school year, but once your children are on school break in the summer or other school holidays, you don't have to stick to the same schedule. With Custody X Change, you can set up different schedules for school breaks than for regular school days.
Unspecified vacations: This is a period of time set aside in a visitation plan for one parent or the other without any specific dates attached. Usually, an unspecified vacation allows for a parent to take the children for a week or two during the year for vacation. When one parent wants to use the unspecified vacation, he or she must give the other parent notice. Custody X Change allows you to add unspecified vacations into your parenting time schedule.
Specified vacations and special events: If you know the specific vacation dates, you can always schedule that right into the calendar. Custody X Change allows you to add blocks of time for either parent and label them so you are guaranteed to have some vacation time with your child. You can also add smaller vacations by adding in some overnight special events if you don't have a week-long vacation planned.
There may be large parts of the day where your child is not with you or the other parent. Instead, your child may be at school, day care or with relatives.
Custody X Change lets you factor in 3rd party time in your parenting schedule using three options:
- Assign the 3rd party time to one parent to create a higher timeshare percentage
- Divide the 3rd party time between both parents to balance the timeshare percentage
- Schedule 3rd party time to a 3rd party to keep each parent's timeshare percentages strictly accurate
How you decide to assign 3rd party time depends on how you want the timeshare percentage calculation to look. The way you assign 3rd party time significantly affects the timeshare percentages in your parenting time calendar.
If you want to raise or lower your percentage, consider these options:
- Raise your percentage a lot by assigning yourself all the 3rd party time
- Raise your percentage slightly by assigning equal 3rd party time between you
- Lower your percentage a lot by assigning the 3rd party time to the other parent
- Lower your percentage slightly by assigning some of the 3rd party time to the other parent
Scheduling pick-up and drop-off times is a key part of a successful parenting time schedule. Sometimes when parents make a schedule by hand, they set exchange times on the hour. There's no real advantage to that other than it is simple to remember.
With Custody X Change, you can easily set the exchange times for whenever you want. This means that you can lengthen every visit by a half hour to an hour if you adjust the exchange time.
For example, instead of having a visit every week from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., you can schedule a visit for 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., or 3:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Because you can be so specific with the software, you schedule some extra time with your child. You'll also get an accurate total of your parenting time because the software doesn't round to the nearest hour.
The start and end date of your schedule can make a difference in the amount of time you have with the children. With Custody X Change, you can experiment with the options of what date to start your schedule. Most family courts will let you choose any start date you want.
Look at the timeshare percentage to see what date will give you the most time with your children. This is an easy and simple way to make sure that you have the maximum time with your children.