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How to Establish a Fair Parenting Schedule Arrangement

Parenting Schedule arrangements are possibly the most important part of a divorce settlement. Spouses are required to submit a preferred parenting schedule and the court is tasked with approving this schedule or creating an alternative.

How is a Fair Parenting Schedule Arrangement Established?

The well-being of the child is the most important aspect of a fair parenting schedule. Parents and the courts should take certain factors into consideration when determining if a parenting schedule will support a child’s health and well-being. These factors include:

• Child’s physical and emotional health
• Child’s age and maturity
• Sibling and family relationships
• Child’s ability to adapt to various environments and situations
• Location of both parent’s homes
• Ability of each parent to meet the child’s needs
• Child’s school schedule and extracurricular activities
• Relationship between each parent and the child

What Comprises a Parenting Schedule?

A parenting schedule includes more than just the general dates and times a child spends with each parent. It also includes weekend routines, holiday schedules, vacation time, and special events. Each parent might be entitled to sharing certain holidays with his or her child, and there might also be an opportunity to travel with the child. In addition to considering the well-being of each child, a court will make every effort to create a fair schedule that allows each parent adequate general and special occasion time with the child.

In addition to times and dates, visitation schedules sometimes include details about travel arrangements, information about exchanging the child, methods for changing the existing arrangement, methods for communicating about issues involving their child, and methods for resolving disputes concerning the schedules.

Most arrangements also include details about the right of first refusal. This refers to a parent’s right to care for his or her child should an issue arise during the other parent’s time with the child. For instance, if a father is scheduled to spend the weekend with his child and a work emergency arises, the child’s mother must be the first person approached to care for the child. If the father were to call a babysitter or other caregiver, he would be infringing on the mother’s rights.