In Missouri, courts require divorcing couples to submit a parenting plan that includes a complete, detailed time-sharing schedule. This is to ensure the child or children get to spend significant, meaningful time with both parents. Coming up with a visitation arrangement can seem like a daunting and emotionally draining task. Once in place, however, it usually proves very helpful for families, parents, and kids alike by eliminating uncertainty and reducing the need for constant negotiations.
So what do common co-parenting schedules look like?
If parents have joint custody, the arrangement should ensure the child will regularly divide time equally or nearly-equally between the two households. For some, this might mean:
To come up with a plan, it helps to have:
Plan on making sure the child can spend Mother’s Day with Mom and Father’s Day with Dad. Some days, like the child’s birthday, could be spent together as a family, or the child could spend half the day with each parent.
Discuss how holidays and special days will be spent. This could mean each year alternating major federal holidays and religious days, along with Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, 4th of July, Halloween, etc.
Be sure to think about school schedules. The child might spend Spring break with one parent this year and with the other parent next year. Discuss your summer plans, too.
Once you have a detailed plan on paper, note all pick-up and drop-off responsibilities. How will the child get where they need to be when it’s the other parent’s turn? What about after school and recreational activities? Make sure transportation plans are realistic, fair, and fit within the parent’s work schedules. Note if you will rely on other trusted family members for help, such as grandparents or an aunt.
No time-sharing arrangement will be perfect, of course; parents can always expect the unexpected to force changes to best-laid plans. Courts encourage divorced co-parents to be flexible and work cooperatively when it comes to trading days as needed. We are glad to assist you when coming up with a schedule that meets your family’s needs.
With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. Contact Jones Family Law Group, LLC today for any questions or to set up a consultation.
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