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5 Things to Consider When Creating a Child Custody Schedule


One of the most important advantages of using mediation or arbitration during divorce is the ability of couples with children to come up with a custody schedule that best suits all of the parties’ needs, as well as their lifestyle. Although a court will still need to approve the agreement before it becomes legally enforceable, the children’s parents will retain control over the creation of the family’s custody plan.

However, creating a custody schedule with which both parties agree is not always easy and can actually be a very complex and emotional process, so there are a few things that couples should keep in mind when attempting these negotiations. To learn more about coming up with your own custody agreement, please contact a member of our child custody legal team today.

Scheduling Obligations

There are a number of factors that parents should take into consideration when coming up with a custody agreement and parenting plan, including the children’s scheduling obligations, which could include:

  • School schedules and academic endeavors;
  • Sporting activities, music lessons, dance classes, and other extracurricular activities;
  • Education-related activities, including participation in clubs and tutoring programs;
  • After-school employment;
  • Religious instruction; and
  • Volunteer opportunities.

These types of activities can play an important role in a child’s development, so it is critical for parents to keep those activities in mind when creating a time sharing schedule. In fact, the more detailed these agreements are, the better, so parents will also want to consider who will take the child to and from lessons, weekend trips, and performances.

The Children’s Personalities and Ages

No two families are the same, so divorcing couples who share children should remember to put their own differences aside and focus instead on their children’s specific needs, based on their personalities and ages. Although judges are directed to create plans that are in a child’s best interests, parents and guardians are often in the best position to recognize their child’s specific needs and are most familiar with their children’s unique personalities.

Work Schedules

In addition to their children’s schedules, parents should also work to draft a parenting plan that takes into account their own work schedules and social commitments. These factors should be balanced with the children’s needs, as the parents’ schedules will largely dictate who can spend time with the children on a day-to-day basis, as well as who can transport them to and from obligations.

Distance Between the Parents’ Homes

The distance between the parties’ residences, along with childcare arrangements, will play an extremely important role in the successful creation of a parenting plan. If, for instance, two parties live relatively far away from each other, it may be in their best interest to create a plan where the child stays with each parent for a longer stretch of time, whereas it may be easier for couples who live close together to travel back and forth more frequently.

Call Our Office Today

For help determining what steps to take during your own child custody negotiations, please call dedicated Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today.


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