Decisions as to parenting time generally consist of designating:
- Specified days that the children will spend with each parent on a regular basis;
- The obligations of each parent during his or her parenting time to take the children to school and extracurricular activities;
- Holidays and school breaks that the children will spend with each parent, and
- Details for vacations that children will take with each parent.
When divorcing parents are unable to agree on child custody, the court has authority to decide the appropriate custodial arrangement in the best interests of the children. Typically, once child custody is determined, the court anticipates that the parties will be able to resolve the parenting time arrangement between themselves (or with the assistance of their lawyers) or through a designated mediator.
It’s generally helpful to remember that when you have children, your co-parent will remain in your life for the rest of your life. Therefore, not only would a future co-parenting relationship benefit you – it would mean the world to your children.
I help clients remain in control of making these key decisions for their children by facilitating agreements on all aspects of child custody and parenting time. One particularly cost-effective way is by hosting a 2-hour settlement conference at my office with both parties and the other attorney. We create a welcoming environment with food and beverages and a large whiteboard used for brainstorming. The other attorney and I often together facilitate the dialogue to maintain progress and an agenda is circulated beforehand.
In the process of successfully achieving agreement on child custody and parenting time, you gain valuable tips and strategies for minimizing conflict that you can use long into the future.
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