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Creating a parenting schedule during divorce

Hawaii parents who are facing divorce may need to make a parenting schedule that outlines when the child will spend time with each of them. They should not think of this as a document that involves winning or losing and should not try to use it to undermine one another. Instead, the parenting schedule should serve its purpose of ensuring that the child keeps a relationship with both of them.

Parents should try to imagine themselves in their children's place and what would be important to them in that situation. If they have older children, those kids might have some input into the schedule. Convenience should not be a priority for parents, but they should think about their child's schedule. They should also consider logistics like the distance of their homes from one another and how close each lives to the school.

Some parents may struggle with the idea that the other parent has a different parenting style or has not been as involved in the caregiving, but the child is unlikely to be harmed by a different approach to parenting. If parents cannot reach an agreement, they may have to go to court. One disadvantage of having a judge create a parenting schedule is that the parent could end up with even less custody time than was proposed in negotiations.

As they are negotiating, parents should keep in mind that there are a variety of arrangements that may work for them. In some cases, one parent might just have the child on alternate weekends and one or two weeknights. However, the child might also alternate weeks at each parent's house or spend part of the week with one parent and part with the other. Parents might also want to make a schedule for holidays and vacations.

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