Creating an Effective Co-parenting Calendar
How do I make an effective co-parenting calendar?
You can create your own co-parenting calendar (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 calendar, you can use the Custody X Change software.
Custody X Change is software that creates parenting plans and custody schedules.
What is a co-parenting calendar?
A co-parenting calendar is an essential tool that divorced parents use to determine where their children will be staying on any given day of the year.
Co-parenting occurs when two parents are raising their children but are no longer in a romantic relationship with each other. Even though your marriage ended, your responsibilities to your children have not.
Also called a visitation schedule, custody schedule or parenting time calendar, a co-parenting calendar is an important part of your divorce proceedings. Each state requires divorcing parents to agree to some kind of custody schedule.
The calendar is an agreed-upon schedule that both of you follow as part of the larger parenting plan. The parenting plan is a document that outlines how you and the other parent will continue to raise your children, and what each parent's responsibilities are. The co-parenting calendar is a key component of the parenting plan.
Why does my family need a co-parenting calendar?
Your family needs a co-parenting calendar so that you and the other parent are working together to provide the most stable environment possible for your children. Without one, there is too much room for miscommunication and conflict escalation.
Here are some of the benefits of a detailed co-parenting calendar:
- A set schedule can help everyone adapt to life after your divorce
- You and the other parent know exactly what is happening on any given day
- You can make regular and consistent plans for your children, such as music lessons
- Your children will feel more secure and self-confident knowing their schedule in advance
- You and the other parent can plan a consistent parenting routine at both homes
- You may reduce your legal costs because there are fewer disagreements on visitations
- It reduces the potential for arguments, miscommunication and conflict over visitations
Custody X Change software can help you create a co-parenting calendar that you can print out or upload to your mobile devices to keep track of the schedule every day of the week.
What information do I need before making a co-parenting calendar?
When you and the other parent sit down together to create a co-parenting calendar, it helps to have all the actual dates, times and other scheduling details in front of you.
Because you and the other parent are dealing with approximately a year's worth of scheduling, you should not rely on your memory or guesswork when creating a parenting time schedule.
Here are some of the things you should have with you when creating a co-parenting calendar:
- Beginning and ending times for each child's school, including any shortened days
- Beginning and ending times for each child's extracurricular activities, such as music lessons
- Days off of school, such as teacher preparation days or school breaks
- Days of state or national holidays, such as President's Day
- Beginning and ending of summer vacation
- Any third party visitations, such as spending a week with grandparents in the summer
- Any other holiday or event, such as religious celebrations or vacations
When you have exact times and dates at hand, your co-parenting calendar will be more accurate when completed. A reliable schedule can help reduce conflict between you and the other parent, because these major decisions about visitation have already been decided.
To help you create a workable calendar, use the award-winning software Custody X Change. It provides a schedule template that you can customize for your own family's needs. Then, you can print out the calendar or upload it to your mobile devices for easy access.
What if the other parent doesn't want to make a co-parenting calendar?
If the other parent refuses to work with you on preparing a co-parenting calendar, it's fine if you create one on your own. You can submit a sample co-parenting calendar as part of your paperwork to the family court.
Ideally, the family court wants to see a co-parenting calendar that both parents contribute to. Some judges may order you and the other parent to attend a mediation session to work out a parenting plan and custody schedule.
It is possible that when you submit a sample parenting plan to the court that the judge may agree with you and make that plan official. As long as you show that the co-parenting calendar you've made is in the children's best interests, it could be approved as is. The judge may ask for minor modifications as well.
Just because the other parent doesn't want to cooperate, doesn't mean you should skip out on giving the court a sample co-parenting schedule. As the expert on what is best for your children, the court is interested in what you have to say about visitation. Use Custody X Change software to create a professional-looking document for submission.
What does the judge want to see in my co-parenting calendar?
The judge at your custody hearing wants to see a co-parenting calendar that puts the children's physical and developmental needs ahead of parental convenience or desires. The goal of family court is to protect the children from any harmful effects that divorce brings.
Ideally, the judge wants to see two parents cooperating on how they will continue to provide physical and emotional stability after the divorce. Parents who can negotiate a fair and stable parenting plan, including a co-parenting schedule, are showing the court that they are putting their children's best interests first.
The co-parenting calendar should show the judge that you and the other parent are doing everything you can to preserve the children's current living situation and lifestyle, within reason. The calendar should also reflect reasonable visitation time with the noncustodial parent.
Here are some things to avoid when creating a co-parenting calendar:
- Avoid lengthy overnight visits for small children
- Avoid too many transitions between households in a week
- Avoid unreasonable transition times, such as early in the morning or late at night
- Avoid restricting the children's access to the noncustodial parent unless the other parent is found unfit by the court
- Avoid excessive travel if the two residences are too far apart
How can I ensure my calendar meets my children's needs?
You can ensure your co-parenting calendar is meeting your children's needs by noting in a parenting journal how each aspect is going. From your children's temperament to any missed visitations, a parenting journal can help you keep track of important and notable occurrences.
When you keep a parenting journal, you can recognize patterns in your children's behaviors and note any parts of the schedule that just don't work. The other parent is more likely to acknowledge that the calendar needs adjusting when you can point to evidence you noted as it happened.
If you need to make official changes to the co-parenting calendar, a printout of your parenting journal can also help convince the judge that revisions are necessary for your children's best interests.
Custody X Change software includes a parenting journal that lets you record notes connected to specific days on the calendar. You can print out a report of your notes whenever you want.
It's handy to have a digital journal to keep track of all the positive and negative things that happen as your family tries to adjust to a new way of life.
The easiest way to make a co-parenting calendar
As a result, you get a visual calendar and a written schedule. They meet your family's needs, as well as the court's standards.
For quick, reliable and affordable help making a co-parenting calendar, turn to Custody X Change.
Custody X Change is software that creates parenting plans and custody schedules.