Working Out a Standard Custody Schedule
You can create your own custody and visitation schedule (on your own or with the other parent) or you can work with an attorney or legal professional and have them create it. If you don't want to pay the high cost of an attorney, and want to easily make your own schedule, you can use the Custody X Change software.
Custody X Change is software that creates custody schedules and parenting plans. You make each part of your schedule, and then you can print your calendar and plan.
A standard custody schedule can refer to the elements in the agreement that are common from state to state, and it can also mean some of the more common visitation arrangements that experts feel may be in the best interest of children.
There is no single ideal custody schedule. Instead, you must customize a schedule to fit your family.
All states require a parenting plan in order to process a divorce, and part of that parenting plan includes a custody schedule. The schedule outlines where your children will be every day of the week, as well as times for drop-off and pick-up, transition locations and transportation issues. It also spells out where your children will be for holidays and vacations.
Depending on a variety of factors, such as type of custody, distance between your homes and your children's ages and stages, a standard custody schedule that is suitable for one family may not work for another.
In an effort to help newly divorcing parents create a custody schedule that addresses their children's developmental needs, family courts often provide sample custody schedules or templates to base new schedules on.
You can also rely on custody software, such as Custody X Change, for comprehensive parenting plan and custody schedule templates.
Although there are as many types of custody schedules as there are families, all custody schedules must share some common features. Generally, these features include designated visitation time with the non-custodial parent, as well as how holidays, vacations and special days like birthdays will be spent.
A successful typical custody schedule can be created for instances where:
- Children spend an equal amount of time with each parent in a week
- Children alternate weeks with each parent
- Children stay with one parent during the week and the other parent every weekend
- Children spend the majority of time with one parent, then visit the other parent every other weekend and one weeknight
- Children visit the non-custodial parent every other weekend
Custody X Change software allows you to create a detailed calendar that can be printed out. The color coding clearly indicates which parent has the children on any given day. You can also update and amend the schedule as needed.
Because children of different ages need different types of care from parents, typical custody schedules are often categorized by age ranges. For example, you will find guidelines for custody schedules for infants is different than one for pre-teens.
Based on comprehension and maturity, there are common elements in a standard custody schedule that work well for each age group.
Here are some tips to consider when creating age-appropriate custody schedules for your children:
- Develop a consistent, repeating schedule so children develop a sense of security
- Be as flexible as you can with children's schedules
- Younger children need shorter and more frequent visits than older children
- Older children can handle overnights and longer visits better than young children
- Postpone overnight visits until children seem comfortable and ready for it
- Set up visitations during the days and times that result in smooth, calm transitions
- Encourage visitation to extended family, such as grandparents
- Allow time for children to pursue extracurricular activities even if it takes away from visitation time
For typical custody schedules to be successful, you and the other parent need to understand that your children now have two homes. When you do everything you can to help your children feel safe and comfortable at each home, their levels of stress and anxiety will lower.
Children do best when they have two parents who provide a caring and stable environment, even if the parents are not together. Creating a schedule using typical custody schedule guidelines can help you do that.
The type of custody you are awarded has a major effect on the custody schedule. Depending on whether you have joint or sole physical custody translates into how the schedule is structured so that both parents get parenting time that is in accordance with the custody.
Parents with joint physical custody must create a schedule that allows both parents to have access to meaningful parenting time with the children. This generally means a somewhat equitable split, depending on the children's ages. Older children, certainly, can handle a nearly even distribution of time between parents.
Sole physical custody means the children will reside in one parent's home, with visitations to the other parent's home. The parenting time is less equitable that a joint physical custody arrangement, but doesn't mean the non-custodial parent can't enjoy lengthy visitations with older children..
Custody X Change software allows you to work out a custody calendar that can be tailored to a joint custody arrangement or a sole custody arrangement. Once the custody schedule is approved, you can upload it to your mobile devices for easy reference.
Determining custody is one of the most difficult problems for divorcing parents to resolve, and it is likely that you and the other parent will not agree on how to work out a custody schedule. There are many issues that you both must agree on to create a working schedule.
Among the issues most likely to cause disagreements are:
- The amount of time the non-custodial parent gets with the children
- Whether overnight visits are appropriate for young children
- Holiday and vacation times
- Caring for children when they are sick and cannot attend school
- Missing visitation times because a conflict arises
If the other parent does not agree with the standard custody schedule you've created, it's up to him or her to create an alternate schedule. The family court will review all plans submitted and make a decision on which one is in the children's best interest.
No standard custody schedule can be applied successfully for the entire time your children are minors, therefore, you and the other parent are encouraged to revise the custody schedule as it is required.
As children grow, their capacity to handle longer visits increases. They often become more busy with after school activities. Teens often get jobs or start dating. Parents may change jobs, move or remarry. All these factors can affect a custody schedule and cause it to stop working well.
If you and the other parent agree that your typical custody schedule is not working, make changes and submit the new schedule to the family court. If the court finds that it is an improvement to the children's needs, it will likely be approved.
Use custody software such as Custody X Change to submit your custody schedule to the court. The software is easy to use and prints out your calendar for the court to review..