One of the hardest issues divorcing couples face is how to divide up their time with their children. When approaching parenting plan decisions, it’s only natural for both parents to ask for an even split of time with the kids.
For the most part, today’s courts are likely to give them equal time. But is that really the best thing for you or your children? Here are some things you need to consider:
1. How old are your children?
Very young children may quickly adjust to switching homes every week. Once they’re older, however, most kids get attached to their own space and don’t want to shuffle around. They may also develop a group of friends and outside activities that are location-dependent. It may be better to set a looser custody schedule to accommodate their needs.
2. How flexible is your work schedule?
It can be hard for two parents to manage the demands that come along with children of any age. Since you’ll be on your own with the kids during your parenting time, you need to make certain that you have the time to handle the morning routines, the dinner schedule and all of the other parenting tasks.
This can produce a situation where “less is more” when it comes to custody. You may enjoy more quality time with the kids if you’re not their primary caretaker.
3. What kind of specific needs do your children have?
Some children have special needs that can make a 50/50 parenting split unrealistic. If you have a special needs child and your spouse has been their primary caretaker all along, it could overwhelm your child to have drastic changes.
Ultimately, the right parenting plan is the one that works best. While you and your ex-spouse may no longer be married, you’re still a family with unique needs, and your parenting plan should reflect that.