When parents in North Carolina who are getting a divorce have joint custody of their children, they need to create a parenting schedule. This should be designed with the best interests of the children as the focus.

Logistics

Parents should think about what their children must be feeling as they make the schedule and try to disrupt the children’s lives as little as possible. This might include ensuring that children can still have the same babysitter or child care provider. Parents may want to consider other logistical matters as well, such as how close they should live to one another if their children will be going between their homes frequently. They should also keep in mind any activities that their children only have at certain times of the year, such as a sport or other extracurricular activity, and work around that.

Focusing on the children

As tempting as it can be to see the parenting schedule as a way to get revenge on the other parent or a situation in which there is a winner and a loser, parents must focus on the well-being of their children. A parent who has not previously done much care-giving can learn the necessary skills. Parents can make changes in the schedule if it is not working for them. If they cannot agree on a schedule, a judge can make one.

There are a number of different custody arrangements that may work for parents and children after divorce. Some parents even take turns living in the family home while the children remain there full time although this usually only works as a temporary arrangement. There may also be situations in which parents do not have joint physical custody. In these cases, the parent who has visitation rights might see the children on certain weekends or on some weekdays. A family law attorney may help parents work out a schedule that works for everyone.