Many different things come into the picture when you are going through a divorce. If you have children, you will have to figure out how to make parenting time and child custody matters work for your situation. This can often be accomplished through mediation.
While it might be a challenge, you and your ex will have to work together to get things taken care of. By working together in a civil manner now, you can set a positive working tone for the rest of the time you have to deal with custody.
The basic plan
You will have to come up with a basic plan for child custody. This is what will happen under normal circumstances. In the past, the arrangement was likely that one parent, often the father, only has the children every other weekend during the school year and for two weeks during the summer. This isn’t the case any longer. Most child custody arrangements include more involvement by both parents instead of heavily favoring one parent over the other.
Holidays and birthdays often pose a bit more of a challenge than regular days. Both parents might want to spend Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and other holidays with their children. This can make it hard to decide what to do about custody on those days. One option that you have is to all spend the day together, which allows your children to make memories of special days with both parents.
Another option is to split the day where the child spends part of the day with each parent. Depending on the circumstances, such as if extended family is visiting or when holiday celebrations are held, other arrangements might be made. For example, if your family does a big Christmas celebration but your ex celebrates on Christmas Eve, you might have the child for Christmas Day and your ex has the child for Christmas Eve.
Days when school lets out early or there are days off can pose problems. You should try to make plans for these days as soon you get a copy of the calendar for the school year. This lets you make sure that your child is taken care of without either parent having to rush to find child care right before the early day or day off.
As you can imagine, these issues can be contentious for parents. Compromise and effective communication can help you to work through these issues and others that you face over the course of your child’s life.