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Trying to figure out a parenting schedule? These tips may help

Perhaps the most important parts of a divorce for parents here in Phoenix are the issues surrounding their children. While your marriage may be over, you will always be parents. You and your future former spouse may agree to put the needs of your children first.

Even though coming to that decision represented a substantial challenge, it could turn out to be the easiest one the two of you make. Now, among other things, the two of you need to create a parenting schedule that works for the whole family. You know that each of you wants to spend as much time with the children as possible, but making that happen is another matter entirely.

Factors to consider

As you attempt to create a working schedule, it may help to consider the following factors:

  • How close you and the other parent live
  • Whether the children are of school age
  • The children's school schedules
  • Whether the children participate in extracurricular activities
  • Whether you have a regular babysitter the children like
  • What special needs your children have, if any
  • That it's not about winning or losing
  • Understanding that the schedule may not always be convenient for you
  • Shouldn't place future conditions on the schedule you create now
  • Acknowledging that your former spouse is a good parent too

You may also want to consider talking to your children about what they would like to see when it comes to the schedule. After all, you are making significant changes to the only life they have known up to this point. You and the other parent have the final say, but if making certain concessions would make the transition easier for your children, it may be worth asking.

Once you have a working schedule, you may want to try it out for a month or so to see if it works as you intended before finalizing it. This way, you can make any tweaks necessary before it's written in stone and approved by the court. Doing so could save you some headaches in the future when things fail to go as planned.

Other considerations

When you negotiate your own parenting schedule, you gain the ability to retain control over your family's future. The court will more than likely approve any arrangement the two of you come to as long as it serves the best interests of your children. In order to know what that means and how it affects your plans, you may benefit from making use of the legal resources available to you.

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