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How can you arrange a joint-custody schedule?

Child custody concerns often come up in divorce cases because parents want to do what's best for their children but may feel conflicted about leaving their children for any amount of time. The truth is that all parties involved will have some adjusting to do; Children will have to adjust to living separate from one parent from time to time, while parents will need to adjust to having their children visit and stay with the other parent.

Shared custody is common. Most courts prefer that couples work out joint custody agreements, where a child lives with both parents and sees them as regularly as possible. It's a well-known fact that children with access to two parents generally do better psychologically than children without access to one parent.

How should you arrange a joint custody schedule?

Developing a joint custody schedule might not be simple. You both likely have to maintain regular jobs, and you may live a fair distance apart. Joint custody doesn't mean that your child has to live with each of you 50% of the time. What it does mean is that you need to make every attempt to be involved in your child's life as much as you can.

For parents who work, one option would be to split custody so the working parent has custody of their child on their days off. For example, a parent who works Thursday through Sunday could have custody Monday through Wednesday. The parent who works Monday through Friday would then be able to cover Saturday and Sunday, and both parents would need to discuss how to manage the days where their work overlaps (Thursday and Friday).

How you arrange custody may depend on a number of factors. Your attorney is there to help, so reach out if you'd like more examples of possible custody schedules.

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