Joint Custody Visitation Schedules
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.
Even if you and the other parent have equal amounts of time with your child, you may want to consider designating one of your homes as your child's primary residence.
For most people, the primary residence is the home in which the child spends more time. The primary residence is the address that is used for the child's records. This is the address that you will use to enroll your child in school and on medical and other important forms.
If you have a 50/50 custody plan, you should designate one of your homes as the child's primary residence for legal purposes. Some states allow parents to alternate their child's primary residence each year. You can request this if you feel it is necessary.
Keep in mind that “primary residence” is just a phrase and designating a primary residence does not mean that one parent is superior to the other.
If you would like to alternate the child's primary residence, you can use Custody X Change to include this stipulation in your parenting plan.
Although most courts have standard visitation schedules in place for parents who cannot reach an agreement, most judges will approve schedules that both parents mutually agree on. You should never feel obligated to follow a standard schedule.
The amount of time your child spends with each of you should be based on your availability and the needs of your child. The best interest of the child is every family court's main concern.
Your joint custody visitation schedule should give your child the right amount of time with each of you. There is no set formula as to how much time each parent shall have.
Some states require that each parent have the child for a certain percentage of time in ordered to be considered for joint custody. You should review the laws for your state in order to ascertain whether or not you will have to meet a minimum requirement when allocating your child's time.
When you create your child visitation schedule with Custody X Change, you can take advantage of the time share percentage reports in order to get an accurate assessment of how much time each parent will have the child.
Joint custody means sharing your child. Your child should be able to spend adequate amounts of time with each of you. Your schedule should provide your child with security and establish a routine. Many parents opt to create a repeating schedule that does both.
You can use Custody X Change to create your joint custody agreement and your joint custody visitation schedule. The software allows you to create a custody schedule in both written and calendar form. You will be able to use Custody X Change long after your custody order has been finalized to view and print out calendars until your child reaches adulthood.
Your visitation schedule should be comprised of three components:
A residential schedule: This schedule will indicate where your child will live and how much time your child will spend with each parent on a regular basis. It should contain the days and times parenting time shall occur with each parent.
A holiday schedule: You will need to include a holiday schedule that allows your child to spend time with each of you for holidays and other special occasions. The holiday schedule supersedes the residential schedule. Some of the occasions you may want to include are:
- Federal holidays
- State holidays
- School holidays and breaks
- Religious holidays
- Special occasions such as Father's Day and Mother's Day
- Any other special occasions that are important to your child
Many parents choose to take turns having the child for the various holidays, alternating in even and odd years. You are free to create the holiday schedule according to family traditions or however you see fit. You should provide your child with equitable amounts of time with each of you on holidays and special occasions.
A vacation schedule: Your child should be allowed to spend vacation time with each of you on an annual basis. Vacation time should allow your child to have an uninterrupted, extended period of time with each of you. You don't necessarily have to leave town in order to take vacation time.
Narrowing down vacation time years in advance may not be possible. Instead of assigning each parent actual dates for vacation time, you can include provisions in your agreement that stipulate how much vacation time each parent shall have with the child and how much advanced notice each parent should give the other before taking the child for vacation.
Custody X Change is an excellent tool you can use to create a thorough, comprehensive, customized joint visitation schedule for your child. Custody X Change allows you to divide your child's time in any manner you see fit.
You can even sync your Custody X Change calendar to your iPhone, Blackberry, Outlook, and many other devices and calendars, such as Google and Yahoo.
You will never have to flip through a wall calendar again because you will be able to have your custody schedule in your pocket when you use Custody X Change to create your joint custody visitation schedule.