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Tips for designing a child custody schedule

There are several important points that California parents should keep in mind when creating a joint parenting schedule during a divorce. One of those is that they should try to think about what the experience will be like for their children. Life after divorce involves many changes and a big adjustment for children.

By considering logistics and the child's schedule, parents can minimize some of those changes. For example, it may be helpful if the child can keep the same child care provider. Parents should also make sure they don't live too far apart from one another or the child's school. They should think about the child's extracurricular activities and may even want to seek the input of older children. Kids with special needs may need extra consideration when designing a custody schedule.

There are also pitfalls that should be avoided. It can be tempting to try to make a schedule that is convenient for parents, but the idea of the custody schedule is to facilitate the child's relationship with the parents. This means that it may be inconvenient at times. Parents should also avoid trying to fight divorce battles using the custody schedule. If they are unable to reach a decision about the schedule, they may have to go to court, which might result in parents being even less satisfied with the judge's decision.

Mediation might help parents settle on a custody schedule even if they are in a high-conflict divorce. Mediation is focused on reaching a compromise that is satisfactory to all parties involved. This is in contrast to the adversarial process of litigation. One consideration that parents may have surrounding custody is whether the custodial parent will keep the family home. This can give children more stability, but it may be more than a parent can afford on one income.

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