Parenting Schedules and Separation in Divorce Mediation

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What are Parenting Schedules? Why do we need them?

What are parenting schedules in divorce and divorce mediation? Why do we need them? In Minnesota and most states, it comes down to what is best for the children. Children do better with regular parenting schedules. These regular schedules are different with children who are younger: generally the children move back and forth between parents every couple days (babies even daily). Then the time in each household gradually increases. Some teens have a week in each household, a few stay on one house most of the time (easier to keep track of homework). A select few are given the privilege of going back and forth between houses as they wish (older, responsible, driving teens). Every child is different. Some are unsettled for hours or even days when they switch households. They require longer stays in each place. Some miss their parents greatly, and do better with shorter stays in each household.

Different Schedules

What is a 3-4-4-3 parenting schedule? A 5-2-2-5? These numbers refer to the days (actually nights) in each household over a 2-week period. There is also every other day, or week by week. Some parents have custody most days, with the other parent getting every other weekend. regular times to switch are very helpful. The schedules may be totally different in the summer school break. See below for examples

How about Parents’ Schedules?

Parent’s schedules are important, too. But the children come first. In Minnesota I was taught that if a schedule was made easy for parents but tough on the kids, that was not okay. If a schedule is inconvenient for one or both parents, that was okay, as long as it is good for the kids. Now if a schedule is difficult for the parents, then at some point the schedule gets too difficult, and affects the children. Think of the children first and not yourselves. Parent’s work schedules are often set, but even if they are variable, try to keep the children’s schedules as regular as possible.

Summary of Parenting Schedules

Parenting schedules are especially tricky if there are children from different parents living in the household and they also have other parents to visit. Is it best to have all the children together at one time and place, or is it better to have a kid or two at a time? Depends upon the parents and kids. It is often very helpful to go over schedules with a mediator or child psychologist to get things at their very best, rather than haphazard. Call Glen at 507-269-9079 or 612-670-7980. He can help in the Twin Cities and Southern Minnesota.