After undergoing a situation that results in a child being unable to live with both parents, a time-sharing schedule must be established. During the holiday season, it is crucial that you spend time with your child and show him or her that although living arrangements are now different, your love has not changed.
A time-sharing schedule is formed so that children spend time separately with each parent. This schedule should include a residential schedule (an everyday schedule), a holiday schedule and a summer break schedule. When you and your ex arrange a time-sharing schedule, the goal should be for everyone to be content with the arrangement.
What to Consider when Making a Time-Sharing Schedule
As you make your schedule, consider the following:
• Parents are encouraged to work together to make a time-sharing schedule they like.
• The time-sharing schedule should allow your child to have frequent and continual contact with both parents.
• Your child's age is a determining factor of how long and frequent the visits are.
• If there is more than one child between both parents, they will stay together when seeing each parent.
• If both parents are not able to agree on a time-sharing schedule, then the court will establish one for them.
A Court Time-Sharing Schedule
When a court establishes a time-sharing schedule, children over three years of age live with a residential parent and visit the non-residential parent.
When visiting the non-residential parent, the time-sharing schedule typically consists of the following:
• One evening with them from after work or school to 8:30 p.m.
• Every other weekend from Friday after school or work to Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. or Monday morning when school starts.
However, the time-sharing schedule changes if the child has no school on the Friday before the non-residential parent's weekend. In this case, the weekend would start on Thursday. The same applies when the child has no school on Monday; the child is permitted to stay until Monday evening or Tuesday morning when school starts.
For holidays, the court sets a specific time-sharing schedule according to the specific holiday (including birthdays) and which year it is. For instance, Thanksgiving gives a chance for the child to spend time from 3 p.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Sunday with the residential parent on even years and with the other parent on odd years.
For summer break, the non-residential parent has the child from 9 a.m. on the second Saturday of June for 6 weeks. In the middle of this time the residential parent can visit the child on one weekday evening and every other weekend.
Provisions are guidelines that parents agree to abide by when sharing the responsibility to raise their child. They can also make your time-sharing schedule run smoothly.
The Parenting Coordination Program
Sometimes creating a time-sharing schedule doesn't happen because both parents may not be able to agree upon one. In this case, the court is willing to step in by appointing a parenting coordinator to offer help, education and mediation.
Both parents must agree to pay for this service. However, if both you and the other parent are unable to afford to do so, the court may not require you to have one or they may pay for it.
If both parents are still unable to reach an agreement on a time-sharing schedule, even after being appointed a parenting coordinator, the court will arrange a schedule for you.
At Segarra & Associates, P.A., we understand the importance of establishing a meaningful time-sharing schedule that will assist you in protecting the best interests of your child. Our goal is to ensure that you and your family are able to enjoy as much quality time together as possible, especially during the upcoming holiday season. Contact us today for a consultation!