When couples with children divorce in West Virginia and elsewhere, one of the most important aspects they must consider is how they will raise their kids together going forward. A co-parenting plan is important, and parents should create a custody schedule that is predictable and consistent. This will help the children adjust to their new lives. Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating a parenting schedule.
- The children’s ages — Young children may need more frequent transitions between both parents in order to maintain solid relationships with mom and dad. Older children, however, may not need more frequent transitions, but they may have more extracurricular activities that can alter a parenting schedule. Either way, children do better when the schedule provides stability as well as flexibility to meet the needs of their activities.
- The co-parents’ relationship — Ostensibly, couples get divorced because they cannot get along. This can cause issues with co-parenting; however, parents must remember to work together for the sake of the children and put aside their differences, especially when around their kids.
- Flexibility and right of refusal — Sometimes, things pop up or circumstances change beyond the control of one of the parents. When this happens, the other parent should have first right of refusal to take the kids instead of calling a childcare provider. Parents should remain flexible with the schedule and make adjustments as needed and as civilly and practically as possible.
Each family in West Virginia is different with different requirements and activities they must account for when raising their children. If two parents can work together, they can come up with an effective child custody and parenting time schedule that meets their current needs but is also flexible enough to be changed when needed. If parties cannot work together or are having a hard time drafting an effective co-parenting plan, they should work with experienced legal counsel to help them through the process.