Child custody arrangements are set based on the children's needs. For some situations, a set parenting time schedule isn't going to work. These include circumstances like the parents having varying schedules at work or a long-distance arrangement.
When these cases occur, both parents have to be willing to compromise and work together to ensure that the children get what they need. This includes being able to spend time with both parents. Here are some points to remember when you are trying to find a creative solution to a challenging custody situation:
Communication is important
When your parenting time schedule has to remain fluid because of work schedules, you and your ex need to communicate with each other often. As soon as one parent gets their next work schedule, they should provide it to the other person. This can help you and your ex to figure out who can care for the child when.
Give and take is necessary
As you are trying to figure out the schedule for the children, ensure that they get to spend quality time with each parent. They might have to spend some time with a sitter or another family member. However, they still need time with their mom or dad. You and your ex should remember to be focused on the children and how various schedule changes might impact them.
Prepare the children
Having to change the schedule often can be challenging to the children. Make sure that you let them know what's going on as soon as you know or as soon as it is appropriate to do so. While younger children might not understand, older children will likely appreciate knowing when they get to see each parent. This is especially important when there are major changes.
Visits might not always occur in person
In the case of long-distance parenting, it might not always be possible to spend time with the child in person. Thankfully, technology can still let you spend time with your children despite the miles between you. Using video chats is a common way that military members stay in touch with loved ones. You can use this, too, even if you aren't in the service. Just remember to account for time zone differences.
No matter how you are going to handle parenting plan schedules and methods, you should have a general outline of what to do in your custody agreement. Include how disagreements are going to be handled since you will inevitably encounter them.