Find a Child Custody Schedule that’s Best for Your Kids
Helping your children feel stable and secure after a divorce can be hard, and both of these feelings are critically influenced by the manner and schedule by which you exchange custody with your co-parent. Use the following points to guide your conversation on finding a workable schedule for sharing custody after your divorce.
- Communicate the schedule clearly with your children
After a divorce, your children will want a return to predictability and stability. Make sure that you find a custody schedule that both you and your co-parent can and will adhere to, and see that your children are always aware of that schedule. Predictability offers your children a feeling of control over their lives and can help reduce anxiety they may experience around changing homes.
- Keep your children’s needs first
Your children’s schedules and developmental needs should be the primary considerations when designing a custody-sharing arrangement. For example, younger kids typically need more frequent in-person time with you to maintain a strong bond than older kids might. Older children will also want to be able to spend time with their friends on a regular basis, which may mean that they will want to spend more time at the home of the parent nearest their school and friends. As a result, a custody schedule may work well for a time but need periodic review as your children grow and take on new extracurricular activities. Remain adaptable to changes that best promote your children’s happiness.
- Make your schedule as simple as possible
A complicated, unintuitive pattern for when your children are at one parent’s house versus the other’s will only serve to leave both you and your kids off-kilter and, possibly, prone to forgetting where your kids should be and when. Keep the exchange schedule easy to remember. This is especially helpful if you and your ex have difficulty communicating calmly; the fewer complications in the schedule, the less you’ll need to discuss it.
- Decide early where children will be spending holidays
Often, courts will help you allocate holidays between the two parents during a divorce or division of custody. If not, avoid dramatic last-minute fights by agreeing to such a schedule far in advance. Don’t forget to also request custody for any other special days you may wish to spend with your children, such as birthdays or family reunions.
For compassionate, knowledgeable legal assistance with your Florida divorce or custodial dispute, contact Pensacola family law attorney Crystal Collins Spencer for assistance with your case, with offices conveniently located in Pensacola (850-912-8080), Sandestin (850-424-6683), and Fort Walton Beach (850-200-4652).