How to Explain a Parenting Time Schedule

Kids are going to have a lot of questions about parenting time after a divorce and how the schedule will affect them. You can answer their questions by planning ahead. The following are examples of questions you should be prepared to discuss with your child.

What is a Parenting Time Schedule?

You can explain to your child that a parenting time schedule sets out how you and your ex are going to co-parent. It will clarify which parent has the child during weekdays and weekends at various points of the year, including breaks and holidays.

How Will the Schedule Work During the School Year?

During the school year, you can inform your child about the schedule that is set for pick-ups, drop-offs, and overnights. The child might spend all weeknights with one parent and weekends with the other, for example. Or, the child might spend equal time with both parents in a 50/50 arrangement.

Who Will Pick Me Up and Drop Me Off?

The schedule will show in writing who will pick up and drop off your child from school, as well as from extracurricular activities.

Who Will Take Me to My Team Practice or Lessons?

The answer to this question may vary depending upon the day of the week whether one of the parents is a coach or instructor in the extracurricular activity.

Will the Schedule Change Over School Breaks?

The schedule will show where the child will be spending time over school breaks. This may vary depending upon the specific holiday or break. Most schedules identify which parent will have the child for each major holiday during the year, as well as birthdays and other important dates.

How Will the Schedule Change During Summer Vacation?

You can show your child how the schedule will change (if it will) during the summer. Some schedules change, and some do not.

Do I Get a Say in the Schedule?

South Carolina law says that the court needs to consider a “child’s reasonable preference for custody,” taking into account the child’s age, maturity, and other factors. As such, you can explain to your child that she or he might have a voice in determining the schedule, but the child will not be able to make a final decision.

What Will Happen If We Need to Change the Schedule?

The answer to this question can be tough for kids to understand. Under South Carolina law, child custody can be modified only if a material change in circumstances has occurred, and that change in circumstances impacts the child’s best interests. You will want to explain to your child that something major will need to occur in order for the child custody arrangement to change. In other words, custody changes are not done lightly. At the same time, your kid should know that some flexibility might exist for the specific parenting time schedule.

Contact a South Carolina Family Lawyer

Kids are going to have so many questions about how a parenting time schedule will work, what it will mean for them, and whether they will get to have any input. Our experienced South Carolina family law attorneys can help you to understand the ins and outs of parenting time schedules and custody arrangements. Contact the Peck Law Firm for help with your case by getting in touch online or calling us at (843) 631-7117.

Recommendations For Additional Reading

The Downsides of Exactly Equal Parenting
Can I Minimize How My Children Are Affected By Divorce?
Should I Stay in a Marriage for the Children?