Parents who choose to get a divorce will need to address multiple issues related to their children, and the decisions they make will be set down in a parenting plan that will be incorporated into their divorce decree. These issues include the allocation of parental responsibilities, which will determine how the parents will make child-related decisions going forward, as well as the child support obligations that will apply to both parents. Parents will also need to create a parenting time schedule that details when children will spend time with each parent. By understanding the options available for dividing parenting time, parents can make sure they create a schedule that will provide for the best interests of their children.
Options for Parenting Time Schedules
The amount of time that children will spend with each parent may depend on a variety of factors, including how each parent participated in child-related duties and activities during their marriage, each parent’s work schedules and availability, children’s schedules for school and activities, the needs and desires of the parents and the children, and each parent’s ability to provide for their children’s needs. A parenting plan will include a workable schedule that fully details the days and times that children will spend with each parent, as well as how children will be transported to and from each parent’s home.
Parents may choose to divide parenting time equally. This may be done in multiple ways. With a “2-2-3” schedule, children may spend two weekdays each week with each parent, and they will stay at parents’ homes on alternating three-day weekends. A “3-4-4-3” schedule may be used in which children stay with one parent for three days and the other parent for four days in one week, then alternate that schedule the following week. Parents may also decide to have children stay with each parent for alternating seven-day weeks.
In many cases, it will not be feasible for parents to share equal amounts of parenting time, or children may live primarily with the parent who has historically handled the majority of child-care duties. Depending on a family’s needs, parents may determine multiple ways of dividing parenting time. In general, children will usually be able to stay with a non-custodial parent every other weekend, while also spending time with them on one or more days during the week. However, other arrangements may be made, and parents are free to craft schedules based on their family’s unique circumstances
In addition to addressing day-to-day parenting time, parents will also need to determine how they will divide time with children during holidays and vacations. In many cases, parents will choose to alternate certain holidays each year. For example, children may stay with one parent on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and the other parent on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day in one year, then parents will alternate these holidays the following year. Parents may also decide that children will spend an extended amount of time with each parent during school vacations during the summer and winter.
Contact Our Hillside Parenting Time Lawyer
Creating a parenting time schedule can be a complex task, and parents will need to consider a variety of factors while making sure they are focusing on how they can best provide for their children’s needs. At the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., our Oak Park child custody attorney can advise you on how you can protect your parental rights as you create a parenting plan while advocating for your children’s best interests throughout the divorce process. Contact our office at 708-449-7404 to set up a complimentary consultation.