In many divorce cases, one parent is named the parent of a primary residence. When one parent is named the parent of primary residence, that means the other parent is going to have parenting time. How and when parenting time is accomplished is a very personal decision, and it is personal to you and your spouse.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are many permutations and combinations of how parenting time could be accomplished. It could be every other weekend or one night during the weekend. It could be a certain number of days each week and a certain number of days the next week.
There are numerous ways to fashion a parenting time agreement. What is most important is that the children understand the parenting time agreement. The children should have some knowledge about what is going to occur and when it is going to occur. There should be consistency for the children so that they know when they are going to see the other parent.
Parenting time is a crucial issue, and the courts try to have it decided early on in the process. Therefore, very early on, you will be asked to go to a court-appointed mediator who will discuss with you whether or not a parenting plan can be worked out.
It is important to resolve these issues early because the children are filled with anxiety about what is going to happen, where they are going to live, and how much time they are going to get to spend time with the other parent. So it is very important to sit down with your spouse early on and make these decisions about parenting time.