Many reasons underlie why couples in California get divorced. The process becomes even more complicated if you have children. One of those complications involves determining a custody and visitation schedule with your ex-spouse.
Clinging to old visitation notions
Even if a divorce is amicable, ex-spouses sometimes get caught up in so-called traditional notions of child custody and visitation. However, modern co-parenting recognizes that the schedule of one week on, one week off isn’t necessarily the best for everyone involved.
Although trying to abide by such a schedule may be the simplest solution, it often doesn’t work. For one, sticking to such a schedule forces your children to go an entire week without seeing the other parent, which could make them feel distanced and alienated. This type of schedule may not bode well for you if you or your ex has frequent work obligations that make it difficult to take care of the kids during the “on” week. The situation worsens if you and your ex aren’t getting along, so what can you do?
Think outside the traditional visitation box
Devising an alternate schedule and being flexible to everyone’s needs will go a long way when trying to work out custody and visitation. Consider these alternatives when working on a co-parenting plan:
- 2-2-3: Two days with one parent, two with the other, three with the first, and then flip the next week
- 3-4-4-3: Similar to the above
- 5-2: Again similar, with a flip every week
- Extended every other weekend where kids spend four days with one parent and flip it the next weekend
It’s important to work out an equitable child custody and visitation schedule beforehand instead of waiting for problems to arise. Experienced legal professionals may help you plan a schedule that takes your children’s best interests and both parents’ needs into account.