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Creating a parenting schedule that works for everyone

Florida parents who are getting a divorce need to create a parenting schedule that outlines when the child will stay with each parent. By doing this in a way that prioritizes the child's needs, parents can indicate to their children that they care what happens to them.

As part of putting children first, parents need to think about how their children will feel. They should consider logistics such as how children will get to and from school. If the children have a regular child care provider, parents should think about whether they can keep that person. They also need to keep children's activities in mind. Older children may want to offer their input, and parents may need to make accommodations for children with special needs.

Parents should not treat the parenting schedule as an opportunity to get back at the other parent or to win and make that parent lose. They should also avoid focusing on their own convenience. Creating a child-centered schedule means that the parents will sometimes be inconvenienced. Parents should not let the parenting schedule hinge on future plans that may not come to pass, such as one parent's move. They should also not assume the other parent is not competent. Finally, parents should give the parenting schedule a try and make changes if it is not working.

When making decisions about child custody and visitation, parents should also take holidays and vacations into account. This may help reduce the likelihood of conflict later. They should keep in mind that there are a number of different scheduling arrangements that may work for them. For example, they might want to have the children spend alternate weeks with each parent, or the child may move between the parents' homes during the week. Some parents even take turns living in the family home while the children stay there full time.

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