How to Arrange a Time-Sharing Schedule During a Divorce

Divorce is very tough on children. They are forced to adapt to a new schedule of being shuttled back and forth and usually end up living in two different homes, or not seeing one parent a majority of the time. With all of this change, it’s important for your child’s life to have as much stability as possible. That’s why having a planned out schedule, and sticking to it, will help your child adapt. Read up on these schedule modification tips to make sure your schedule goes as smoothly as possible for both you and your kids.

Creating a Time-Sharing Schedule For Your Children

Your time-sharing schedule should include:

  • An everyday schedule that shows when the child is with each parent on weekdays and on weekends
  • A holiday schedule that shows which parent the child is with for holidays
  • A summer break schedule that shows when the child is with each parent during summer break

Other things to consider as you make your schedule:

  • Parents should work together to make a schedule they both like
  • Your schedule should give your child frequent and consistent contact with both parents
  • Your child’s age usually determines how long and how frequent visits are
  • Usually all the children in a family stay together for time-sharing
  • If parents are not able to agree on a schedule, the court will establish the schedule

Having the courts establish a time-sharing schedule 

Most courts follow similar guidelines when setting up a time-sharing schedule. For the everyday schedule for children 3 and over, there will be one residential parent, usually the one who lives near the child’s school, and one nonresidential parent. The child visits the non-residential parent:

  • One evening during the week after school or work to 8:30 pm
  • Every other weekend from Friday after school or work to Sunday evening at 6:00 pm or Monday morning when school starts
  • If the child has school off on the Friday before the non-residential parent’s weekend, the weekend time starts on Thursday.
  • If child has school off on the Monday after the non-residential parent’s weekend, the weekend ends on Monday evening or Tuesday morning when school starts.

In the long run, the courts want to keep the child’s best interests in mind. Sticking to a consistent schedule so that your child knows what to expect is ultimately the best way to manage a time-sharing schedule.