Divorce is a tumultuous time in the lives of those going through it. Even when you and your future former spouse are determined to reach an amicable agreement, the current and future changes going on in your lives can cause a great deal of stress, especially if you have children.
In order to help make the transition into a new way of life easier for your children, you will need to come up with a time-sharing agreement that reduces the stress they must feel. In order to do so, you will want to consider a variety of factors.
The basic factors to review
Every family is unique, and you will have issues to consider that pertain only to your family when creating a parenting-time schedule. However, as you begin your contemplation of how you will divide your time with the children, you may want to consider some basic factors, such as those listed below:
- Consider the impact the schedule has on your children’s daily routines. For instance, you wouldn’t want them going back and forth from home to home every day since that would be too cumbersome on them.
- Do you live close enough to each other to make transportation minimal or even non-existent?
- Make sure that the schedule does not have an adverse impact on school-age children since they will need to get back and forth on school days. You will need to sort out who will drop off and pick up the children on what days, and so forth.
- School may not be the only part of your children’s schedules to take into consideration. Do they have extracurricular activities, friends and family they spend time with regularly, and other obligations they need to fulfill?
- Even though it’s important for you and the other parent to be able to function with the schedule, your convenience should not be the first priority — instead, the children should take priority.
- Make sure you and the other parent are not attempting to “one up” each other by negotiating for more time or overcomplicating the schedule to punish the other parent. Some people do this outright, but it could be a subconscious desire to inconvenience the other parent in some way.
- Even though you need to consider the future, try not to make the schedule rely on events that you want to happen but which may not happen since life is unpredictable. For instance, don’t assume that the two of you will be living next door or down the street from each other at some point in the future.
If you can keep the above items in mind as you start working out your time-sharing schedule, you should be on your way to a successful plan. If you need help determining what would work best under your particular circumstances, an experienced Florida family law attorney could prove invaluable in identifying factors that could affect your plan.