Step parenting challenges and rewards

If you are helping your spouse raise children from a previous relationship, you know that stepparenting has its challenges and its rewards. Dealing with the children's other parent can be one of the most challenging things.

Fortunately, Custody X Change can help.

How can Custody X Change help with our custody situation?

Custody X Change is software that can make your spouse's custody arrangements easier to handle.

This allows you to spend less time fighting with the other parent and worrying about the schedule, so you can spend more time on your family.

Many people use Custody X Change to create their parenting plans during their custody proceedings, but the tool that can be used until the children are grown.

Custody X Change lets you set up your parenting plan and custody agreement.

You can enter the details of your spouse's court-ordered custody papers. You can also enter the custody and visitation schedule into a calendar.

The calendar is printable, so you can provide a copy to your spouse's ex and there won't be any question as to whose turn it is. The calendar also shows exchange times.

The calendar can be quite useful, but it is Custody X Change's tracking capabilities that make it unique. The software can keep track of the time share percentage each parent is supposed to have the children, as well as the actual time each parent had the children.

You can even use the journal to keep track of things that happened so you have a record of it.

The program prints all of this information out into professional documents that outline the complete custody and child visitation schedule (this is in addition to the calendar showing all of the times), the parenting provisions, and a time-share percentage report.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

Make My Schedule and Plan Now

How does this make our custody situation easier?

Well, with Custody X Change you take a lot of the hassle out of the custody situation.

  • This allows you to focus your energy on the children and helping to raise them.
  • Your documents are organized and help avoid conflict since everything is clear.
  • The software can help you track and document what actually happens.
  • If child support payments need to be adjusted, you will have accurate records of time percentages to support your claim.
  • If you ever need to return to court, you have a ready-made parenting plan and the reports to help you make the changes you want.

Custody X Change will prove to be an invaluable tool to help you and your spouse with the custody arrangements.

Let's look at some specific scenarios to see a few ways Custody X Change can help:

The flaky parent

The ex was supposed to drop the kids of at 6:00 and it is 6:45 and they are "on their way."

You were supposed to pick up the kids at 8:00. You get there and the kids are still in their pajamas, so you have to wait until they are dressed before you can leave.

You made plans, but the ex forgot whose turn it was to have the children, so they are still at your house while your reservation has been cancelled and your table given to someone else. (Happy anniversary.)

If you are tired of being treated as if your time is less valuable than the ex's, use Custody X Change.

The calendar is clear. It's easy to read. It can even be made into a PDF and sent to the ex's mobile device so there will be no excuse for excuses.

The custody and visitation schedule isn't a guideline — it's a court order. If your stepchildren's other parent continually breaks that court order, he or she may straighten up when asked to do so or face going to court for a new one.

The defiant parent

You go to pick up the children, and no one is home.

The ex is mad and using the children to get back at you and your spouse.

You try calling the police, but they don't do anything because they "stay out of domestic matters." They just file a report, again.

Do not despair. You can use the tracking and journaling features of Custody X Change to document situations like these.

If you can establish that the ex has a pattern of defying the court order, you can go back into court and plead your case.

You can create another parenting plan and make a new custody and visitation schedule that you would like the court to adopt.

Judges do not like their orders to be disregarded, and they do not like children to be kept from a parent. If your argument and evidence are compelling, you have a good chance of success in the courtroom.

The inconsistent and irrational parent

Perhaps the other parent is really good about sticking to the schedule. He or she is there on time, every time.

The problem is that not enough rules were put into the original parenting plan and this parent pushes and flip-flops back and forth so much it causes conflict and drama. This parent might:

  • Call you up screaming because the new shirt Billy wore over to your house was not returned even though you had previously verbally agreed to not be petty about the child's belongings.
  • Sign Suzy up for ballet lessons without even consulting you and then demand you pay for half of the lessons (and the tutus) (and the slippers) and you just finished paying for the piano lessons you weren't asked about.
  • Volunteer to coach the triplets' soccer team and then select one of "your" nights to hold practice. Yes, they are aware it is your night. They expect you to spend it watching them march your stepchildren up and down the soccer field.

If the other parent is like this, you need to revise your parenting plan to include more rules so that order can be established and conflict can be avoided.

Modifying the parenting plan is easy. Simply use the information found in the custody order to create a parenting plan with Custody X Change.

Then you can add in all the rules and provisions you want such as rules pertaining to the children's belongings, how to handle optional expenses, and what to do what extracurricular activities conflict with the custody schedule.

As long as you can get the ex to agree to the new terms of the agreement (and you can ask if he or she has anything to add) you should be able to go to court and have the judge approve it as an amendment to your previous child custody order.

If the other parent won't approve it, you can take it into court and explain to the judge why you feel it is important and in the best interest of the child for the changes to be made.

These are just a few of the ways that Custody X Change can help stepparents. Ultimately, Custody X Change makes your custody situation easier to handle.

Try it, and find out how it can help you.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

Make My Schedule and Plan Now

Explore examples of common schedules



Long distance schedules

Third party schedules


Summer break

Parenting provisions


How to make a schedule

Factors to consider

Parenting plans:

Making a parenting plan

Changing your plan

Interstate, long distance

Temporary plans

Guides by location:

Parenting plans

Scheduling guidelines

Child support calculators

Age guidelines:

Birth to 18 months

18 months to 3 years

3 to 5 years

5 to 13 years

13 to 18 years


Joint physical custody

Sole physical custody

Joint legal custody

Sole legal custody

Product features:

Software overview

Printable calendars

Parenting plan templates

Journal what happens

Expense sharing

Parenting time tracking

Calculate time & overnights

Ways to use:

Succeed by negotiating

Prepare for mediation

Get ready for court


Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

Make My Schedule and Plan Now

No thanks, I don't need a parenting plan