Child Sharing Time Tips For Custody
Sharing custody with an ex can be a complicated matter, but it’s important to keep in mind what’s best for your kids. There are any number of conflicts and other hiccups that can arise, especially if you do not get along well with your kids’ other parent. Below, we offer a few tips on how to avoid conflict and keep your custody arrangement as smooth and painless as possible. If you need assistance with a divorce or other family law matter in Southern California, call an experienced Claremont child custody divorce lawyer for advice and representation.
Respect the Parenting Time Arrangement
In a divorce or other custody battle, you’ll wind up with a custody and parenting time arrangement that dictates where your children spend their days and nights. The schedule should reflect the schedules and needs of each parent as well as the lives of the children, based on their ages and other factors. Once the schedule is set, especially if it has been incorporated into a court order, it’s important for you and your co-parent to adhere to that schedule as best you can.
You have a responsibility to spend time with your children and to make sure they get their time with their other parent. Do not try to take additional hours or nights with your kids when it’s not your appointed time. Likewise, do not miss your appointed time with your kids. Making a habit of doing either can weaken your custody rights and give your co-parent ammunition to take greater control.
Remember: Your Kids Have Lives Too
When you’re setting a parenting time schedule, it’s easy to focus only on the schedules of the parents. It’s important to keep in mind that your children have their own lives, including their own needs and desires. If they are of school age, they may have after-school activities such as clubs or sports. They may have weekend sporting or social activities, and they may want to take trips or go to camps over the summer. Sometimes, it makes sense to stay with one parent an extra night in order to go to a football game the next morning or spend the night with a friend.
Do your best to work cooperatively with your co-parent whenever your kids’ lives necessitate alteration to the schedule. You can swap days, or even attend events together if you are in a place to do so.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Scheduling issues can pop up at the last minute, so it’s important to be communicative. Even if you prefer not to speak with your ex directly, sending an email or text can get the point across just as well. There are even smartphone applications that allow each person to input the general schedule and to make or request alterations to the set schedule. You can mark dates as unavailable or input upcoming events to inform your co-parent about any scheduling changes. These apps can make custody alterations easier and less confrontational.
Be Flexible, But Not a Pushover
The parenting time arrangement sets the general parameters for your child custody arrangement. As we stated above, do your best to adhere to the schedule as much as possible. However, it’s also important to recognize that not every week is the same. Sometimes, a change is warranted.
If your ex needs to be out of town for a span of time, you can negotiate an adjustment–maybe they take an extra week here and you take the extra time while they’re gone. If the kids have a school event or a summer activity that would be more convenient from the other home, you can swap a day here or there to make things easier.
It’s important, however, to stand your ground where appropriate. If your ex continually tries to sneak in extra time–holding the kids a few extra hours or regularly asking for additional days and nights–remind them that you are both subject to the custody order. You have the right to spend time with your kids and you do not need to accede to the whims of your co-parent. If you get into the habit of letting them take extra days outside of the schedule, you might even lose the strength of your argument based on the original arrangement. Feel free to say the following as much as necessary: “I’m sorry, but we should follow the custody order/parenting time agreement.”
Reach out to an experienced California child custody attorney at Blasser Law for assistance with a dispute over child custody, property division, divorce, or any other California family law matter. The seasoned, successful Claremont child custody dispute legal team at Blasser Law is ready to assist clients with any family law concerns in the San Gabriel Valley or Los Angeles County. Contact our family law office at 877-927-2181.